Spiced Apple Cake

spicedapplecake-1-2This Spiced Apple Cake is a seasonal alternative to everybody’s favourite – carrot cake. Making the most of the abundant apples, this recipe uses Bramley (cooking) apples for the cake and the sweet, red dessert variety for the crispy, cinnamon sprinkled apple ‘crisp’ decoration. Throw in a cream cheese frosting, warming spices and drizzle with maple syrup to serve, this cake is rather delicious.


Baked as a 3 layer six inch cake here, it would work equally well as a two tiered 8 inch cake or even a large loaf cake (see Notes below). Indeed, if you are in a rush, the crispy apple decoration is optional, so you can skip it altogether. It just adds something a little special if the occasion requires it.

This cake comes together quickly and easily – not much skill level required here!

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So put your apple surplus to good use and have a go at this. A sophisticated cake, perfect anytime of day!


Spiced Apple Cake


    For The Cake
  • 200g soft light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 200ml sunflower oil
  • 200g spelt flour, or plain flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon all spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 200g Bramley apples, peeled and grated
  • For the Topping
  • 250g icing sugar
  • 40g unsalted butter
  • 100g cream cheese
  • 2 small dessert apples
  • ground cinnamon, for sprinkling
  • To Serve,
  • Maple syrup


  1. Prepare the baking tins by greasing and lining with baking parchment. (See Note below). Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C, or Gas Mark 3.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the butter, eggs and sunflower oil until combined. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, all spice and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter/eggs/oil until well combined.
  3. Wash, peel and grate the apple and fold into the batter until equally distributed. Spoon the batter into the prepared tins equally. Tap the tins on the work surface to rid the batter of bubbles. Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes, turning and rotating the pans half way through the bake, if need be, until a cake tester comes out clean. Allow to cool a little in the tin before turning out onto a wire rack and cooling completely.
  4. For the Topping
  5. To make the dried apple chips (optional), preheat the oven to 120 degrees C, or Gas Mark 1/2. Wash the apples and finely slice them. Lay them onto a parchment lined baking tray and sprinkle with a little cinnamon. Bake for 20 minutes, turning them over after 10 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave there to dry out a little longer. They should be nice and crispy.
  6. For the frosting, sift the icing sugar into a large bowl. Add the butter and with a fork, mash the butter through the icing. Whisk until well combined. Add the cold cream cheese and beat until light and fluffy. Be sure not to over mix it.
  7. Assemble the cake. Spoon one third of the icing onto one cake and with a spatula spread the frosting evenly. Top with the second layer and repeat the icing process. Repeat the entire process with the third cake. Top with the dried apple crisps. Once sliced for serving, drizzle with maple syrup (optional).


I have used 3 x 6inch pans here. This quantity of cake would also work for 2 x 8inch pans or a large loaf/cake pan. Baking times would be the same for the 8inch, more or less. If you are using a large loaf/cake pan, the baking time is approximately 45-50 minutes. If the top of the cake looks like it is browning too quickly, tent with foil and continue to bake until a cake tester comes out clean. If you are using a loaf tin, I suggest reduce the frosting quantity by half.


Source: Adapted from ‘The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook’


  1. Holy cow, Jo! This is just gorgeous! Now that’s a cake! : ) I love how it looks – the 3 layers (6-inch cakes are my fave), the fluffy white frosting, and those apple “ruffles” on top! It’s just beautiful. I think everything went quiet for a minute there as I opened this up and looked at it. : ) Not only does it look so nice, it seems so moist and tasty. This is a beautiful change when it comes to cake.

    PS – I rarely make 3-layer cakes. When it comes to cutting one into layers, I don’t have any special equipment since I rarely do it. I just use a serrated knife and hope for the best. I try to do like Martha Stewart says…you just can’t be afraid of it! : )

    • thecontentedbaker says:

      Ha ha! Thank you so much Monica! This is the first time I have used a 6 inch pan. I didn’t want to have too much cake in the house and I love my layer cakes to have a bit of height.

      Yes, I guess I have to go just go with it in terms of cutting horizontally! Thanks for the Martha tip 🙂 Have a good week.

  2. Definitely brilliant! This cake is so elegant, Jo! I just love the flavours and the apple crisp is so perfect, I would love to try it in a loaf.

    • thecontentedbaker says:

      Thank you Viviana! Yes it would work well as a loaf cake. Yes, making the apple crisps was fun – difficult not to pick at them!! Have a good week.

  3. Such a pretty cake!! Especially with those apple chips on top! I love it. And I love apple season! They are one of my favorites to bake with!

  4. What a beautiful cake, and so perfectly executed. I applaud your use of the 6-inch pans. The height adds so much to the visual impact of the cake. I love tall cakes; they are so luxurious, and I bet the flavor of this one is superb. It’s the right time of year for spiced apple cakes, isn’t it?

    • thecontentedbaker says:

      Thank you for your kind words Adri! Yes, I love tall cakes too. There so many glorious apples at the moment too that need eating!! Enjoy!

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