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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. 
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 10 people
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: 704kcalCarbohydrates: 88gProtein: 5gFat: 38gSaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 73mgSodium: 496mgPotassium: 146mgFiber: 3gSugar: 65gVitamin A: 540IUVitamin C: 2.4mgCalcium: 34mgIron: 1.7mg
Tried this recipe?Tag us on Instagram @feastandfarm and hashtag it #feastandfarm
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword fresh apple cake

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  1. 5 stars
    Have made this a few times for the last 2 apple picking seasons and it comes out great. I only left it in for 42 minutes.
    Also, I add the sauce to the cake slices/pieces I serve so it doesn’t get too soggy.

  2. Hi there, I’ve been ransacking my cookbooks looking for my mother-in-law’s recipe for a apple cake it was the best ever and I think this recipe of yours might be pretty close to the same one “EXCITED” although I’M WONDERING if YOU THINK I COULD bake THIS IN A bundt pan?
    I’m going to try it anyway and I will let you know if this tastes like my mother-in-law’s and if it worked in the bundt pan. THANK you for sharing!

  3. 5 stars
    Made this yesterday and it was delicious! Made it with Arkansas Black apples. Did have a question though… do we need to refrigerate the cake after it’s cooled?

    1. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 5 stars
    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.

    1. 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

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About the Author

Rachel Ballard, RN, BSN brings more than 20 years of professional nursing expertise to Feast and Farm. With a love for nutrient dense foods that support wellness, she works to distill complex health information and current trends into recipes that fuel the best version of yourself. Read more about Rachel here.