Old Fashioned Warm Apple Cake

Servings: 15
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes



  • 2 cups (284g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt or table salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 4 cups (468g) peeled, cored and 1/4-inch diced apples*
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup (210g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (58g) packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, for topping (optional)

Sticky brown sugar sauce

  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, diced into 1 Tbsp pieces
  • 1 cup (220g) packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt or table salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


  1. For the apple cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13 by 8-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. 

  2. In a medium mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves for 20 seconds, set aside. In a separate medium mixing bowl toss apple cubes with lemon juice, set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment whip together granulated sugar, brown sugar, and butter until pale and fluffy. 
  4. Mix in eggs one at a time. With mixer set on low speed slowly add in flour mixture and mix just until combined (batter will be really thick). 
  5. Add apples and mix just until combined (batter will still be thick). Pour batter into prepared baking dish and spread into an even layer. 
  6. Bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into center comes out free of batter (a moist crumb is fine), about 33 - 38 minutes (prepare topping around last 5 - 10 minutes of baking so they'll both be served warm). 
  7. Let cool about 5 minutes then cut into squares and serve warm topping each slice with sauce and optional pecans.
  8. For the sauce: In a medium saucepan combine butter, brown sugar, milk and salt (you can add a little extra if you like more of a salted caramel/toffee flavor).
  9.  Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Allow to boil 1 1/2 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  10. Let sauce cool slightly. Serve warm over warm cake.

Recipe Notes

  1. I recommend using a blend of tart and sweet apples for this cake. I used granny smith, golden delicious and gala.
  2. Note that as the sauce sits and cools the brown sugar will begin to crystalize. Simply microwave it, in a large microwave safe bowl, until it bubbles, about 1 minute and whisk well.