Sometimes a photo is worth a thousand words, and that’s definitely the case with this Spiced Apple Cake recipe ~ you can clearly see the moist tender crumb, and I bet you can almost smell the warm aroma of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. The glossy cider frosting with with a hint of crackling on the surface tells you the rest of the story ~ yum!
How do you judge a cake? I always look for a good crumb. I can’t know anything important about a cake until it’s cut open. I like a nice blowsy, moist crumb, no straight edges or sharp corners. If you cut into a cake and little bits fly off here and there, that’s a good sign. A cake with a good voluptuous crumb can stop me in my tracks, and that’s exactly what happened when I saw this one on White Lights on Wednesday. I had to make it mine.
There are so many things I love about this cake besides that great crumb. It’s got a nice deep spiced apple flavor, and it’s super moist thanks to the cup of apple butter in the batter. I used Greek yogurt, too. I’ve been having a lot of success substituting it into baking recipes, I think it helps give a light texture. I topped the cake with a sweet but still more spicy cider/nutmeg glaze. If that doesn’t scream fall…
I loved this cake. I’m going to keep it around for that day when there’s a first hint of a chill in the air. Or when I just want to pretend there is!
I love a great quick cake like this that can be dessert, coffee cake, snack, or even breakfast, my BLUEBERRY LEMON POUND CAKE is one of my favorites, I just love the combo of lemon and blueberries. And one of the most popular cake recipes on the blog is my TRIPLE COCONUT POUND CAKE, so after you’ve finished this spiced apple cake, that’s a must-try 🙂
Spiced Apple Cake
- standard 9x5 loaf pan
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¾ cup sugar
- ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup Apple Butter
- ½ cup Greek yogurt
- 1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
- apple cider (or milk) for thinning
- 1 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
- Set the oven to 350F
- Whisk together the dry ingredients and set aside.
- Cream the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Stir in the apple butter.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients alternately with the yogurt, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix just until combined, don't over beat.
- Spread the dough into a 9x5 loaf pan (spray lightly with cooking spray and/or line with parchment paper for easy removal) and bake for about 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out without wet batter clinging to it.
- Cool on a rack while you make the glaze.
- To make the glaze, mix the confectioner's sugar with enough cider (or milk) to form a spreadable glaze. Stir in the nutmeg to taste.
- Spread the glaze on the warm cake.
- If nutmeg isn't your thing, you can use cinnamon, or just a bit of vanilla extract in the frosting.
- Here are a few other recipes that use delicious apple butter ~ pork and apples go together so well in this One Pan Apple Butter Pork Chop Skillet. And who knew it would work with shrimp in these Apple Butter Bacon Wrapped Shrimp? For dessert, I love these Apple Butter Pie Bars.
Don’t forget to pin it!
Questions and Reviews
What can I use unstead of greek yogurt?
You could use buttermilk, regular yogurt, sour cream, or creme fraiche Abbie!
Ok thanks I’m making this tonight!
I made your bread. Oh it was so good! So simple to make too! It’s light, non greasy, moist, and just yummy!
Thanks so much for sharing!
Can this be made in a bundt pan? If the recipe is doubled or something?
That’s always tricky, Jessica. You could try to do it in a bundt pan with the same recipe, and just adjust the cooking time, it would take less time in the bundt, and it would be on the small side. I’m not sure about doubling it, I think that may be too much batter for the bundt.
I really love the fact that you use less sugar than others in this cake. I AM an American but after living in Japan for almost 50 years, I find most American sweets way TOO sweet. I generally use 1/2 cup less. But, I think this one will be perfect as is. I can’t get apple butter here so I will have to make it when apples get cheaper! And no oil or butter, great! Using nutmeg in the frosting is soooo interesting!
I agree with you, so many recipes can get by with less sugar. I’m sorry you can’t find apple butter, but you can easily make your own if you’ve got apples. If all else fails, make the frosting for a plain cake!
We just went Apple picking, so I immediately checked this out as a way to use some of our many apples… But it doesn’t look like there’s fresh apples. Do you think the cake would work out if we added some chunks of apples in there?
This recipe is really great, but the apple part comes from rich apple butter. I don’t see why you couldn’t try adding some chopped apple, but I can’t really guarantee how it will come out. You might be better off searching for another apple cake. I just finished a fresh apple cake today, posting later next week on the blog if you can wait that long 🙂
Thanks! We’ll see if the apples last that long (if not, it gives us another excuse to go apple picking!). In the meantime, I’m going to try using some on that apple jam you have posted!
I recently spotted your blog and immediately fell in love with your recipes and photography. Beautiful. I am just about to put the apple spiced cake in the oven and couldn’t easily locate the temperature. I visited White Lights on Wednesday to confirm my guess of 350 degrees, but thought I would mention this to you. The cake smells wonderful with all the fall spices. I am looking forward to serving for my in-laws at dinner tonight! Thank you.
Hey Jennifer — glad to have you! The oven temperature is in the instructions, and yes, it is 350F. I hope it turned out fantastic!
I am home in the snow here in Lake Tahoe.
I have all the ingredients for this except unsalted butter.
Can I use salted butter and just omit the salt in the dry ingredients?
Sure, go for it, and enjoy your snow day!
I used Musselmanns dark apple butter which has cinnamon and cloves already in it so I cut added spices in 1/2. It was perfect! Super moist and crazy delicious.Thanks Sue!
Thanks Sandra — I do agree, this cake is really special. As a blogger I always try to make new things, but this will be hard not to repeat, often, this season!
Sue, this is a perfect apple cake. And I have all the ingredients! Hooray, I can bake one too.
This looks so, SO GOOD!! And that glaze is making me super happy!
I’ve never put apple butter IN anything. I’ve always just spread it ON things. Wish I had my Southern grandmother’s recipe, but one day I’ll try to replicate it. This cake looks wonderful!