Everyday Apple Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

This cake isn’t fancy, but it’s super simple to make any day of the week when you’re craving something sweet. I recommend using an apple with a firm flesh. I used gala, but honey crisp, granny smith, etc. will all work. The boiled apple cider is completely optional. Don’t buy a whole bottle just for a few tablespoons. But if you have some, it amps up the flavor so go for it! Want to gussy the cake up a little? Make a batch of apple chips to decorate.

Makes one 9-inch square cake


Apple Cake

  • 8 tablespoons (113 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup (108 grams) light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs (100 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon boiled apple cider (optional)
  • 1 2/3 cups (217 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup (59 grams) toasted chopped walnuts
  • 2 cups (240 grams) chopped apples

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 4 tablespoons (56 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 ounces (114 grams) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups (230 grams) confectioner’s sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons boiled apple cider (optional)
  • Apple chips, for decorating (optional)


Make the Apple Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 325˚F. Grease a 9-by-9-inch square pan and line with parchment paper with a 1-inch overhang on the sides.
  1. In a bowl fitted for an electric mixer, cream the butter and both sugars on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  1. Add the eggs, one at a time until incorporated, scrapping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla and boiled cider and mix until combined.
  1. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Then add to the butter mixture on medium-low speed to combine.
  1. Fold in the nuts and apples into the mixture and then pour into the prepared pan. Mixture will be thick, so you can use a spatula to even it out as much as possible. Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted yields no crumbs. Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

Make the Frosting

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the butter, cream cheese and confectioner’s sugar and mix on medium-low with a hand mixer until roughly combined.
  1. Add the cinnamon and boiled apple cider and then turn to medium-high. Beat until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  1. Using an offset spatula, spread the frosting on the cake. Garnish with apple chips, if desired, and serve. Leftovers can be covered and refrigerated up to 2 days.


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