Photographer: Jennifer Causey Food Stylist: Ana Kelly Prop Stylist: Kay Clarke
Active Time
20 Mins
Total Time
2 Hours 20 Mins
Yield
1 (10-in.) cake

Come autumn, Southerners love an apple dessert, no matter which form it takes. You’ll see farmers’ market apples filling everything from warm and gooey apple cobbler with a scoop of ice cream on top to a towering apple stack cake with sweet, sticky filling. But you really can’t beat a classic apple cake—and Auntie’s Apple Cake is certainly one for the recipe box.

This traditional recipe for easy apple cake has everything you need: fresh apples, a pecan-studded spiced batter, and a heavenly praline-like frosting. Everyone will swoon when served a slice for dessert, but this cake works just as well as a brunch treat (paired with a cup of coffee!) or as a sweet snack with afternoon tea. Like most fresh apple cakes, it actually tastes better after a day or two. For this recipe, any baking apple will do; but we suggest using pink lady, granny smith, or honeycrisp apples.

Get a taste of a Southern fall-favorite dessert when serving up Auntie’s Apple Cake this season. Ice cream optional!

How to Make It

Step 1

Prepare the Cake: Preheat oven to 325°F. Coat a 10-inch tube pan with cooking spray; dust with flour. Beat eggs, sugar, oil, and vanilla with a hand mixer on medium speed about 1 minute. Stir together baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and 2 1/2 cups of the flour in a separate bowl; gradually add to egg mixture, beating on low speed until blended.

Step 2

Stir together apples, pecans, and remaining 1/2 cup flour in a bowl; fold mixture into batter. Spoon batter into prepared tube pan. Bake in preheated oven a until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 1 hour, 15 minutes. Cool in pan 15 minutes. Remove from pan; let cool until just warm, about 30 minutes.

Step 3

Meanwhile, prepare the Frosting: Cook brown sugar, butter, and evaporated milk in a saucepan over medium, stirring often, until mixture comes to a boil and sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until mixture reaches soft-ball stage (240˚F), about 3 minutes. Remove from heat; whisk until slightly thickened, abut 1 minute.

Step 4

Drizzle Frosting over warm Cake. If desired, garnish with chopped pecans.