Chock full of chunky chopped apples and buttery walnuts with just a hint of cinnamon and the right amount of sweetness, this Old Fashioned Fresh Apple Cake recipe is melt-in-your-mouth tender with a perfect, crackly crust on top.
Old Fashioned Apple Cake isn’t just any cake. It’s a wonderfully irresistible, moist and tender combination of pound cake meets quick fruit bread meets coffee cake. Lightly sweet, with big pieces of apple and walnuts, you’ll want to serve it at brunch, with afternoon coffee, for dessert, even the holidays, much like you would Hummingbird Bread, Cinnamon Banana Bread or Old Fashioned Blackberry Jam Cake.
It was my mamaw who made apple cakes in our family. And just like it is with everyone, food is my memory. Stretching back through time, it tastes like home and family. And the foods we value most… well, they tell the stories dearest to our hearts. So, it’s no wonder when the morning air gets crisp now, I find myself baking my Mamaw’s Fresh Apple Cakes.
This is one of those old recipes she found on a Wesson Cooking Oil label and kept as a snipping stuck in the pages of one of her recipe books. That snipping would wave at us from in between those pages all year long. Making us talk about it, “Do you remember when we had that apple cake…?” Prompting us to ask about it, “When are you going to make another one of those apple cakes?”
We all knew when the apples got ripe on the trees, she would get to baking and not a minute sooner. But it didn’t keep us from watching for the day she would slip that snipping from between its pages and start chopping apples.
I received my very own Xerox copy (yes, xerox) of this recipe when I moved away from home. With its overly dark black print, grainy and smudged body, it too is a snipping, clipped from the rest of the blank page that it was copied on. It’s kept safe between the pages of those same cookbooks that used to sit on her counter, but now sit on mine. And it’s removal still heralds the glories of fall and all the memories that can be crammed into one well-greased Bundt pan.
Fresh Apple Cake Ingredients
- vegetable oil
- baking soda
- ground cinnamon
- apples (Honeycrisp, Gala or a combination)
- wax paper
- Bundt or tube pan
How To Make Old Fashioned Fresh Apple Cake
Apple Cake is easy to make and comes together a lot like banana bread does. Wet ingredient + Dry Ingredients, then bake!
Combine Wet Ingredients. Using a mixer combine the first 4 ingredients. The batter comes together more like a dough- stiff and dry in this step than a regular cake batter. But don’t worry, the apples will add plenty of moisture when they are folded in later.
Combine the dry ingredients. Sift together the soda, salt, cinnamon and flour. Slowly mix in the sifted ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix on low about 200 strokes.
Add fruit & nuts. I don’t peel my apples for this recipe, and the more chunky the chop, the better in my opinion. I also am “generous” when I measure my 3 cups of apples. The more the better!
Fold in coarsely chopped apples and nuts. The apples should almost immediately start adding moisture to the dough, relaxing it and making it more “wet.” However, the batter will still be thick and chunky.
Bake. Turn batter into a wax paper lined bundt or tube pan. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour.
Other Cake & Bread Recipes You’ll Love
- Old Fashioned Buttermilk Blackberry Jam Cake
- Sweet Potato Pound Cake with Cinnamon Simple Syrup Soak
- Standout Cinnamon Banana Bread
- Delicious Carrot & Zucchini Muffins with Walnuts
- Lemon Supreme Monkey Bread
Want to share this cake with a friend? Instead of a bundt pan, bake this recipe at the same temp for the same amount of time in 2 well-greased loaf pans. One to keep and one to share!
Fresh Apple Cake
- 3/4 cups Wesson oil
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 3 teaspoons vanilla
- 3 cups flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup walnuts coarsely chopped
- 3 generous cups apples coarsely chopped, fresh/unpeeled and uncooked
- Bundt or tube pan & wax paper
- Preheat the oven to 350 ° Fahrenheit.
- In a large mixing bowl combine the first 4 ingredients. Stir by hand until smooth.
- Sift together the soda, salt, and flour. Add the sifted mixture to the wet ingredients. Beat by hand 200 strokes.
- Fold in the nuts and apples.
- Cut strips of wax paper and line the bottom of the tube pan.
- Turn the cake batter into the tube pan.
- Bake for one hour.
First Published September 2016; Updated October 2021