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Dutch Apple Cake

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Dutch Apple Cake being sliced

Every bite of this Dutch Apple Cake is sweet and juicy thanks to layers of thinly sliced Honeycrisps, baked up in a no fail batter with a touch of spice.  This easy coffee cake has a nice crisp sugary crust that makes it irresistible.

A slice of Dutch Apple Cake on a silver pie server on a white marble ground

Once early Fall hits I can’t bake with apples fast enough.  I love to cycle through the different varieties and taste the subtle differences in the results.  Today’s Honeycrisp was sweetly juicy, and even after baking the thin slices retained that famous crunch they’re known for.  This cake will take any apple you want to throw at it, so go with your favorite.  (It doesn’t cook long enough for any variety to get mushy, so you’ll be good to go.)

Of course you can get apples year round, but if you make this cake after a day of apple picking you’ve basically won fall.

A slice of Dutch Apple Cake with a fork stuck into it.

Every country, every region really, that supports apple trees has their own favorite apple cake, and this one happens to be inspired by the way they do it in the Netherlands…the sliced fruit is folded right into a buttermilk cake batter.  The thinly sliced apples create a delicious layered effect in the baked cake, making it almost like a cross between apple pie and cake.

I’ve only lightly spiced this cake with a touch of cinnamon and a little nutmeg so as not to overwhelm the delicate apple flavor.  You could spice it more aggressively if you like with a combination of allspice, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

Taking a bite out of a slice of Dutch Apple Cake.

Like most of my recipes, this Dutch apple cake is super simple to throw together.  It’s moist and not too sweet, which means it’s ideal for a morning or coffee break treat.

Making the batter for Dutch Apple Cake

Dutch apple cake ready to bake

One way or another I think everybody loves to make at least one apple cake each fall.  If you’ve got the itch, I’ve got several others on the blog for you to try ~

Irish Apple Cake ~ a similar cake using sliced apples with a crumble topping.

Apple Cider Doughnut Cake ~ no whole apples in this, but applesauce and apple cider flavor it beautifully.

Spiced Apple Cake ~ rich spicy apple butter provides the apple flavor in this cake.

Apple Walnut Zucchini Bread ~ chunks of apple combine with shredded zucchini to make an impressive bundt cake.

A Dutch Apple Cake with a slice taken out

tvfgi recommends: USA 9-inch Spring Form Pan

A spring form pan is handy for a recipe like this because the cake is very delicate, and removing it from a regular cake pan would be impossible.  With a spring form pan you can release the sides so that even the most delicate cakes can be presented and sliced perfectly.  I use my spring form pan for cornbread too because I love to be able to remove it and serve it on the table beautifully sliced.  USA makes a whole line of bakeware and I’m slowly replacing all my pans.  Plus, they’re made in the USA!

Reader Rave ~

I made this cake yesterday and it was a HUGE hit! Easy, moist, and full of that great apple taste. Enjoying another piece right now with my morning coffee. This recipe is a keeper! Thanks for sharing it.”  ~Yvonne


Dutch Apple Cake being sliced
Add to Your Recipe Box
3.31 from 97 votes

Dutch Apple Cake

Every bite of this Dutch Apple Cake is sweet and juicy thanks to layers of thinly sliced Honeycrisps, a no fail batter, and a touch of spice.  This easy cake bakes up with a nice crisp sugary crust that makes it irresistible.
Course Breakfast, coffee break, Dessert
Cuisine American, Dutch
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Yield 12 servings
Calories 226kcal


  • 9 or 10 inch spring form pan


dry ingredients

  • 1 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg freshly grated is the way to go!

wet ingredients

  • 1/2 cup 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar plus 1/4 cup for sprinkling later
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 14 ounces thinly sliced peeled apples best to weigh them, but that is approximately 2 and 1/2 cups. That's going to be 3-4 apples.


  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • Lightly spray a 9 or 10 inch spring form pan. If you like you can line the bottom with a round of parchment.
  • Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and spices, and set aside.
  • Cream the soft butter and sugar together in a stand mixer for 3-4 minutes, until light and fluffy. Scrape down the side of the bowl a couple of times.
  • Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and then beat in the vanilla.
  • Stir the sour cream and buttermilk together, and then add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl alternately with the wet, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix until combined, but don't over mix.
  • Fold in the apples and turn into the prepared pan. Smooth out the top. Sprinkle the surface of the cake liberally with granulated sugar.
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the cake no longer jiggles in the center and the top is golden and slightly crackled. The exact cooking time will depend on the pan size you use. You can insert a toothpick in the center to test. Note: if the top seems to be browning too quickly cover it loosely with a sheet of foil.
  • Let cool briefly, and then unlatch the spring and remove the outer ring. I like to run a spreading knife along the edge first to loosen any parts of the cake that are sticking to the pan. Cool completely on a rack before slicing.


Calories: 226kcal

Make this Dutch Apple Cake your own ~

Dutch apple cake pin


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    Leave a Reply

  • Reply
    Victoria B
    February 6, 2020 at 10:33 am

    I’m afraid I cannot get buttermilk or sour cream, any suggestions for alternatives? I often use Greek yoghurt for sour cream but never know what to use for buttermilk!

    • Reply
      February 6, 2020 at 10:43 am

      You can easily make a buttermilk substitute by adding a teaspoon of lemon juice to a cup of whole milk, and let it sit for 15 minutes. You can also use yogurt, sometimes I’ll just thin it slightly with milk if it’s very thick.

      • Reply
        Victoria B
        February 9, 2020 at 3:49 am

        5 stars
        Made this today – delicious!!! Thank you for your advice

  • Reply
    February 4, 2020 at 9:58 pm

    5 stars
    Everyone I have made this cake for absolutely loves it! It’s such a great, light cake perfect for mornings with coffee. I’m so glad I came across this blog!!

    • Reply
      February 5, 2020 at 9:28 am

      Glad you found us Jes!

  • Reply
    December 9, 2019 at 1:02 am

    I don’t have sour cream, can it be substituted with more buttermilk or other things?

  • Reply
    December 9, 2019 at 12:29 am

    Can this cake be baked a few days ahead before serving? or can I freeze it?

  • Reply
    Kate Zy
    February 7, 2019 at 1:01 pm

    This is my go-to apple cake recipe! I often make it in a muffin tin – works and tastes great!!

    • Reply
      February 7, 2019 at 1:18 pm

      I never thought to make muffins, love that!

  • Reply
    angela thornton
    November 5, 2018 at 9:39 am


    • Reply
      November 5, 2018 at 9:51 am

      I used Honeycrisp for this cake, which are sweet and red, with an extra crisp texture, but I really think you can use whatever you like, it doesn’t cook all that long so most apples won’t get mushy.

  • Reply
    October 22, 2018 at 6:36 am

    I made this cake yesterday and it was a HUGE hit! Easy, moist, and full of that great apple taste. Enjoying another piece right now with my morning coffee. This recipe is a keeper! Thanks for sharing it.

    • Reply
      October 22, 2018 at 8:24 am

      I’m so happy it worked out so well for you :)

  • Reply
    October 20, 2018 at 11:44 am

    I accidently came across your blog and saw “Dutch Apple cake” and coincidence will that i am Dutch! So I can tell you that this is indeed one way of eating applecake in the Netherlands! But we eat apples also as a pie, or as a crumble cake, sheetcake, every way you can eat an Apple! Only we use often raisins and nuts, like walnuts, in our Apple pie. But this one’s well loved in my country! You picked the right one! I like your blog! And i’ll make your recipe of “our” applecake. Count on it.
    Have a great day and Thanks for the recipe!
    Lovely greetings from the Netherlands,

    • Reply
      August 31, 2019 at 6:14 am

      Thanks for the vote of confidence Marja!

  • Reply
    October 20, 2018 at 4:16 am

    This looks amazing, I am making for dinner tomorrow, with custard on the side!

    • Reply
      October 20, 2018 at 7:03 am

      Yes to the custard! That stuff is awesome…enjoy :)

  • Reply
    October 9, 2018 at 2:13 pm

    Such an easy cake to bake, and a crowd pleaser at our family dinner. We added dried cranberries (‘tis that season here in the Wisconsin Northwoods) and made the custard to serve with. It was yummie, and made for a wonderful breakfast coffee cake the next morning.

    • Reply
      October 9, 2018 at 3:07 pm

      You’ve just inspired me to do a fresh cranberry version of this cake! The custard and dried cranberries sounds pretty tasty.

  • Reply
    October 9, 2018 at 9:17 am

    Although I have lots of apple cake recipes, this one appealed to me because of the sliced rather than chopped apples mixed with the batter. Such a lovely cake! And thanks for giving the weight and volume of the apples, Sue. Many recipes say 3-4 apples or something like that, and the more precise measurements account for variannce in fruit size. Can’t wait to have a reason to make this! Heck, who needs a reason!

  • Reply
    Laura | Tutti Dolci
    October 8, 2018 at 5:18 pm

    Beautiful cake, Sue! I love the pretty sugar crust!

  • Reply
    October 7, 2018 at 6:40 pm

    I had a few gala apples leftover from a trip at TJ’s so I thought this would be a great way to use them up. I made this today and followed the recipe exactly and it is sooo good. The cake isn’t terribly sweet but then you have a bite of apple which brings this cake all together. The only thing I would recommend is putting a piece of parchment on the bottom of your springform pan. Even though I sprayed lightly, the cake stuck slightly. I did use a sharp knife that lifted the cake fine but I think parchment would make it a little easier. But the cake is fantastic! Highly recommend.

    • Reply
      October 7, 2018 at 6:46 pm

      Thanks Kim I actually made a note about the parchment just now in the recipe, good point. I sometimes just leave the cake on the bottom of the pan and serve it that way. But the parchment would make it easier to slide off.

  • Reply
    October 7, 2018 at 9:01 am

    HI Sue, Made this & it’s a flavourful apple cake just as you said. Lovely – great after dinner & husband likes it for breakfast! Karen

    • Reply
      October 7, 2018 at 9:07 am

      Thanks Karen, I’m so glad this cake has been a success for readers, we loved it, and you can never have enough apple recipes! I ate it for breakfast too ;)

  • Reply
    Teri Lyn
    October 6, 2018 at 7:27 am

    Hi Sue, thanks as always for the fabulous recipes. Might this cake be made gluten free using almond flour?

    • Reply
      October 6, 2018 at 8:47 am

      I’m guessing it would work with a gluten free baking mix, but I’m not sure how it would work with just almond flour, that would make it very dense and moist, I think.

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers
    October 6, 2018 at 5:10 am

    Love a great apple cake this time of year. So pretty and perfect for the season!

  • Reply
    October 5, 2018 at 9:28 pm

    This looks simply gorgeous! Love the ease of preparation and the result is outstanding, Sue.

  • Reply
    Brian Cook
    October 5, 2018 at 9:08 pm

    Sue, I love it. Pounds of apples have been gifted to us this week and last. I’ve made French apple tarts, apple sauce, apple butter… Then this morning I saw your recipe. Today I made two of these cakes, incredibly moist and flavorful, and not too sweet which is how I like desserts. I did substitute non-fat Greek Yogurt for the sour cream and 1% fat Kefir for the buttermilk while keeping the butter and eggs. And, I weighed the apples, going up to a pound of apples per cake; worked out really well. Thanks for the timely recipe! More apples came in this evening. I’ll make more cakes.

  • Reply
    October 5, 2018 at 2:34 pm

    this looks amazing!!! i make something similar but can’t get my photos to turn out this nice!! this is the perfect cake for a high tea party!

  • Reply
    October 5, 2018 at 1:43 pm

    Just pinned this gorgeous number and added it to my “bake that” collection. So beautiful, Sue…and I love it that there is buttermilk in the recipe. That pretty much seals the deal for me. Thanks!

  • Reply
    October 5, 2018 at 12:53 pm

    Oh my goodness. This really looks amazing. That sweet crust and all those apples – I know what I’m making next!

  • Reply
    Caitlyn Erhardt
    October 5, 2018 at 12:37 pm

    This looks incredible! Can’t wait to try!

  • Reply
    October 5, 2018 at 12:21 pm

    Absolutely heavenly, especially with the Honeycrisp apples.

  • Reply
    October 5, 2018 at 12:16 pm

    I think your suggestion to top this with custard is spot on. My mother-in-law taught me to do this — she is English– and this is much more common in England than the States. Beautiful cake!

    • Reply
      October 5, 2018 at 1:17 pm

      We haven’t really caught on to it here, you’re right, it’s so tasty!