Fall’s favorite fruit stars in this beloved Southern Living recipe. Thinly sliced apples create deliciously rich and moist layers in this delectable dessert; the first time you make it won’t be your last – guaranteed. This Fresh Apple Cake perfectly combines the sweet taste of fruit with delightful autumn flavors, like cinnamon, pecans, and vanilla. Plus, it just gets better with time! The moistness in this tasty treat actually helps it to age very well. Make it days in advance of your holiday party or fall celebration because the scrumptious flavors only improve as the days pass.

The Cream Cheese Frosting is a sweet, buttery finish, and the toasted chopped pecans give our beloved Fresh Apple Cake the perfect amount of crunch. The recipe was originally published in a 2010 issue of Southern Living, and it has been one of our go-to desserts for larger events ever since. The cake is easy to assemble, it serves a crowd, and the mouth-watering flavor of fresh apples will definitely keep everyone coming back for more!

To begin, preheat your oven to 350˚, and combine the butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract in a large bowl until they are completely blended. Next, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Add the butter mixture to the flour mixture, and stir until it’s entirely mixed. Now comes the fun part – the apples. Combine in the fresh Granny Smith apple slices (or, use a slightly sweeter apple if desired) and chopped pecans. Keep in mind that the batter should be very thick, similar to cookie dough. Spread the mixture into a lightly greased pan, and bake it at 350˚ for 45 minutes or until a wooden pick placed in the center of the dessert comes out clean.

Make sure to let the Fresh Apple Cake cool completely on a wire rack before you ice the cake. Spread a thick layer of freshly made Cream Cheese Frosting over the dessert, and garnish it with the remaining pecans for the ideal finish. If you're not a fan of Cream Cheese Frosting, there are a couple other frosting recipes that finish off this cake perfectly. Browned-Butter Frosting is a not-too-sweet topping on this cake that starts on the stove, and Dark Chocolate Frosting will satisfy your chocolate sweet-tooth with a luxurious, silky ganache.

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