Skip to Content

Fresh Apple Cake with Vanilla Cream Sauce

This fresh apple cake is the perfect cooler weather treat. Topped with a smooth and creamy vanilla cream sauce while the cake is still warm, you’ll have a recipe hit on your hands you can to toss together every time you have fresh apples around. 

fresh apple cake with vanilla cream sauce being poured over it from a pitcher

This post was originally published in October, 2013

Apples are the country farmer’s fruit–isn’t every farmer supposed to raise them? Well I do and so do my parents.

On a trip home to visit my mom and dad we picked a bumper crop of fresh ones and  even though we could have gone 1,000 ways with them, one of the easiest recipes to enjoy them in is a moist fresh apple cake.

someone holding an apple outside

What’s better than an apple so fresh it still had dew on it when you pick it? The answer? Not much.

Mom and I picked Arkansas Black apples, which are hard as bricks in the early fall–they make great baseballs–and are designed to soften slowly in storage over the coming weeks and in to the winter. That God, he thinks of everything.

Imagine serving this cake to your family at your next get-together complete with its own vanilla cream sauce that you pour on while the cake is hot from the oven.  Good heavens. That’s comfort food.

Tips for a knock-your-socks-off fresh apple cake

-Use an apple that’s tart and firm. That means knowing what apples are in season at what time of year. In fall, use a McIntosh, Granny Smith, or Honeycrisp. Personally I don’t enjoy Red or Yellow Delicious apples when I bake so try to find something with more flavor.

-This cake is more apple than it is cake so be patient with the cook time. The recipe states to use a 9×13 pan to keep the cake thin enough to bake in the 50 minutes. If you make it in a smaller dish, be prepared to wait an hour to an hour and 15 minutes for it to cook. Check the center with a toothpick and make sure you’re getting into the batter and not just poking the apples.

-When the cake is about 5 minutes from being done, go ahead and start your sauce. Stir it until the sugar dissolves completely and set it aside. When the cake comes out, pour the sauce over a little at a time so it soaks in. There’s no need to poke holes in your fresh apple cake, but you can if you want to.

fresh apple cake with vanilla cream sauce being poured over it from a pitcher

Fresh Apple Cake

A unique cake for your next gathering or special night in, make a fresh apple cake complete with a vanilla cream sauce that's sure to impress without a lot of work. 
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Save Recipe
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 10 people
Calories: 704kcal
Author: Rachel Ballard


For the cake

  • 4 cups apples of your choice peeled and sliced into 1/2" cubes
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped pecans optional

For the vanilla cream sauce

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


To make the cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350. Spray a 9x13 baking pan with cooking spray and set aside. 
  • In a large bowl, stir together the diced apples and sugar. Add in the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt and stir well. 
  • In a small bowl mix the eggs, oil and vanilla and add to the apples. Stir to combine. Batter will be thick. 
  • Stir in pecans if you are using them. 
  • Transfer to the 9x13 pan and bake until a toothpick comes out clean--about 50 minutes. While the cake bakes, make the sauce. 

For the vanilla cream sauce

  • Place the sugar, butter, cream and vanilla in a small sauce pan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and simmer 3 minutes, stirring often. Pour over warm cake when it comes out of the oven. 
  • Serve the cake warm or at room temperature. 


Calories: 704kcal | Carbohydrates: 88g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 496mg | Potassium: 146mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 65g | Vitamin A: 540IU | Vitamin C: 2.4mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 1.7mg

lemon balm in a blue jar
14 Lemon Balm Benefits + Easy Tea Recipe
← Read Last Post
a chocolate chip dessert cheese ball on a plate with a knife and graham crackers
Chocolate Chip Dessert Cheese Ball
Read Next Post →
Recipe Rating


Wednesday 13th of January 2021

Could I reduce the sugar in half in the cake recipe? Will it bake and set with half of the sugar?

Rachel Ballard

Wednesday 13th of January 2021

I've not tested it Brenda. I would recommend using coconut sugar instead because it swaps 1:1 for white sugar. It tastes more like brown sugar so your cake won't taste exactly as intended, but it will still work. Sugar of course is not just for sweetness but also for rise and texture so when we start messing with it by simply leaving it out, we could end up with unpredictable results. --Rachel


Monday 25th of May 2020

I made the cake today, very delicious but incredibly sweet. I had it without the sauce. Will make it again but with half the amount of sugar. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

Rachel Ballard

Monday 25th of May 2020

I leave off the sauce too Lizette!

A fan

Sunday 6th of January 2019

Loved this cake! Thick and delicious. Only suggestion would be that the sauce is very sweet and makes way too much for the cake. I’d suggest making only a quarter of it and cutting down the sugar in it as well.

Rachel Ballard

Monday 7th of January 2019

I know that sauce is sweet! I agree totally, but try to keep traditional recipes the way they were created back in the day just for the sake of authenticity. I think everyone's tasted buds are different so it's certainly easy to reduce the amount of sugar you use or if you even use the sauce at all. I like the cake without any! --Rachel

Rachel Ballard

Tuesday 7th of February 2017

This is one of my favorites.


Thursday 7th of November 2013

Simply amazing ! So yummy ! Will make again !

Rachel Ballard

Sunday 10th of November 2013

I'm glad it turned out well for you Michelle!