This all in one apple cake couldn’t be easier to make.
If you only make one cake this fall, let it be this Homemade Fresh Apple and Walnut Cake. This cake has been a family favorite for years. It has a crisp chewy crust, soft moist center, and is filled with sweet apple chunks and warm spices like cinnamon and nutmeg.
This recipe was passed down from my great grandmother. She passed away when I was very young so I don’t have any real memories of her. But I do feel close to her whenever I make one of her recipes.
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As an added bonus this cake will make your house smell AMAZING! Who needs candles when you have a fresh apple cake baking in the oven?
What kind of apples are best for baking?
When baking with apples you want to look for apples that will hold their shape and not turn to mush when they are baked. Granny Smith apples are typically the go-to apple when baking but they are not your only option. My personal favorite is the Honey Crisp apple. It is my favorite apple to eat, which means I always have them on hand. It’s not too sweet crisp texture holds up well when baked.
Other apple varieties to try:
- Jonagold: These apples are a cross between Jonathan and Golden Delicious apples. They are tart and sweet and hold up well in the oven. They do not store well so make sure to use them up quickly.
- Fuji: Sweet, juicy and widely available these firm apples are great for baking.
- Braeburn: Another crisp apple that has a spicy-sweet flavor and remains juicy but not mushy when baked.
- Mutsu or Crispin: This apple has firm flesh that holds up well when heated.
- Pink Lady: These apples have a balanced sweet and tart flavor and will retain their shape when baked.
What is your favorite baking apple? Let me know in the comments below.
Do you have to peel the apples before adding them to the cake?
I like to leave the peels on the apples. For one, I’m lazy and peeling the apples takes more work. Secondly, I like to think the extra nutrients and fiber the peels add make this cake “healthier.” Therefore having a second piece can be justified. Peel or no peel is up to you. This is a fantastic cake either way.
When peeling apples the right tools really do make the job easier. This Y peeler is sharp and makes peeling apples and other produce quick and easy.
If you are peeling larger quantities of apples, I recommend these two items that will make the task much easier.
I have had this apple peeler for several years. It is simple to use and easy to clean.
Recently I was gifted a peeler attachment for my Kitchen Aid mixer. It is great for peeling and slicing apples, but it also does a good job of spiralizing other fruits and vegetables.
Watch it in action
How to make an apple harvest cake
In a medium bowl, beat the sugar, oil, vanilla, and eggs with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
I have had a Kitchen Aid stand mixer for almost 16 years and absolutely love it.Sign up for KitchenAid’s Newsletter to receive 10% off your next order!
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until blended. The batter will be thick like cookie dough.
Using a rubber spatula, fold in the apples and nuts.
Pour into the prepared bundt pan and bake for one hour. Allow the cake to cool for about 20 minutes in the pan and then invert onto a wire rack.
This is my favorite bundt pan for baking. Its design is simple with fewer nooks and crannies so I don’t worry about my cake sticking.
Can you make this cake in a 9×13 cake pan?
Yes, you can. Preheat the oven to 325°F and move the oven rack to the upper third of the oven. Spray your 9×13 pan with non-stick spray. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool in the pan before slicing.
If you decide to use a glass pan like this 9×13 Pyrex dish, remember that glass takes longer to heat up but holds on to that heat once it does. Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F.
How do you know when the cake is done?
Baking times for all recipes are only suggestions. The actual baking time will vary depending upon your oven. It is helpful to know your oven and worth purchasing an inexpensive oven thermometer. Oven temperatures can vary as much as 50 degrees plus or minus.
There are several cues to when this cake is fully baked. Check the color. It should be a dark golden brown. Lightly press on the cake with your finger it should spring back. You can also insert a toothpick. If the toothpick comes out clean with just a few crumbs but no raw batter the cake is done.
If you want to be really accurate you can use my favorite instant-read probe thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the center of the cake avoiding the bottom of the pan. The temperature should be between 200-205°F.
You could simply sprinkle a little powdered sugar on top. But I think this Apple and Walnut Cake is delicious when served with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce.
Cover and refrigerate leftovers for 2-3 days.
Yes, you can freeze Apple and Walnut Cake, but I never have any leftover long enough to freeze. If you happen to have leftovers, make sure the cake is completely cool and then slice into individual servings. Wrap each slice in two layers of plastic wrap and one layer of foil. Then place all of the slices into a zip-top bag and label with the date and contents. Freeze for up to 3 months. The longer the cake is in the freezer the dryer it will become. To serve, remove the slices from the freezer and allow them to thaw at room temperature.
I love bundt cakes. No layering, no icing, they couldn’t be easier. Here are some tips to make sure your cakes release easily from the pan.
- Use a nonstick pan that is free of scratches.
- Grease your pan with cooking spray or softened butter.
- Release the cake from the pan while it is still warm. When the cake is still warm, the oil hasn’t had a chance to solidify which helps the cake to release.
Try one of these other deserts.
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies with a Caramel Center
- Fresh Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Fudgy Nutella Brownies
Thanks for Reading!
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