Apple Dapple Cake

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This old fashioned Apple Dapple Cake is a must-try fall dessert! It’s an easy bundt cake studded with apples and pecans, baked until golden, then drizzled with a delicious brown sugar sauce to make it extra moist. Every bite is bursting with apples, pecans, and amazing caramel flavors!  

slice of apple dapple cake on a plate


 

I am so happy we are in fall baking season. The cozy sweaters. The fuzzy socks. Pumpkin spice lattes of course. The gorgeous leaves. I mean is there anyone that doesn’t love Fall?! If you dont’ love these things then I’m afraid we can’t be friends. And if we aren’t friends, then that means I won’t run over to your house and drop off cakes.

And you know you want me to drop off this cake to your house. Oh this cake.

This time of year I tend to make a lot of pies like this Old Fashioned Apple Pie, but today I was inspired to make this classic Apple Dapple Cake instead. If you like apples, pecans, caramel, and brown sugar (of course you love these flavors) then you will love this recipe. The combination of flavors makes it a must-try fall dessert.

Seriously. Grab your bundt pan and cutting board and let’s do the dapple thing.

What is Apple Dapple Cake? 

Ok, whoa wait. What? Apple cake huh? Apple Dapple Cake is an old fashioned apple-nut cake, named after the fact that it is “dappled” with fresh apples and toasted pecans. I seriously can’t get enough of this name. So. Much. Fun.

Some say it has Amish roots. Some say Southern roots. Personally, I have zero idea but I don’t care because it’s delicious! 

What does this Apple Dapple cake taste like?

The cake itself is easy to make and moist on it’s own because of the oil and juicy apples.

But at the end you take it to the next level with an amazing brown sugar sauce. Poke holes in the baked cake with a skewer, then pour the sauce on top while the cake is still warm. The sauce soaks in so that every bite is super moist and steeped in delicious caramel flavor! It’s SO yummy.

whole apple dapple bundt cake on a cake stand

Ingredients for this apple cake

  • Granulated sugar
  • Vegetable oil – Any neutral-tasting oil would work.
  • Eggs
  • Unsalted butter
  • Light brown sugar – Of course, dark brown sugar would also work.
  • Vanilla extract
  • All-purpose flour
  • Salt
  • Baking Soda
  • Spices – Cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice
  • Apples – Any variety will work, but I love Granny Smith, Cortland, or Honeycrisp.
  • Pecans – I just toast mine in a 350°F oven for about 5-7 minutes. Toasting the pecans is a MUST and helps bring out the flavor!
  • Heavy whipping cream

How to make Apple Dapple Cake

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

Combine wet ingredients and sugars. First, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine granulated sugar, oil, eggs, melted butter, ⅓ cup (73 grams) brown sugar, and 1 tablespoon (13 grams) vanilla; beat at medium-low speed until well combined, about 2 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl.

apple dapple wet ingredients in a mixing bowl

Combine dry ingredients. Next, in a medium bowl whisk together 3 cups (375 grams) flour, 1¾ teaspoons (5.25 grams) salt, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, and allspice.apple dapple dry ingredients in a glass mixing bowl

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to sugar mixture, beating until combined and stopping to scrape sides of bowl. (Batter will be quite thick.)

apple dapple cake batter without apples or nuts

Add apples and nuts. In a medium bowl, stir together apples, pecans, and remaining 2 tablespoons (16 grams) flour. Then fold apple mixture into batter.

apple dapple cake batter in a mixing bowl with a spatula

Pour into bundt pan. Spray a 15-cup bundt pan with baking spray with flour. Spoon batter into prepared pan; tap pan on counter several times to evenly spread batter and release any air bubbles.

apple dapple cake batter unbaked in a bundt pan

Bake. Bake until a wooden pick inserted near the center comes out clean, 50 minutes to 1 hour, rotating pan halfway through baking and loosely covering with foil to prevent excess browning, if necessary.

Make the sauce. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine softened butter, cream, remaining 1 cup (220 grams) brown sugar, and remaining ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently; cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in remaining 1 teaspoon (4 grams) vanilla.

brown sugar, butter, and cream in a saucepan

Pour sauce on cake. Remove cake from oven, and poke all over with a wooden skewer; then pour ¾ cup (about 195 grams) butter mixture over top, spreading evenly with a small offset spatula. Let cake cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Transfer remaining butter mixture to a small microwave-safe bowl, cover, and refrigerate.

cake poked with a skewer and sauce poured over

Remove cake from pan. When ready to serve, using a small offset spatula, gently loosen cake from center and edges of pan. Then remove cake from pan, and place, flat side up, on a serving plate.

Serve with extra sauce. Heat remaining butter mixture in microwave on high in 10-second intervals, stirring between each, until melted and smooth. Using a large spoon, pour butter mixture over top of cooled cake, smoothing and spreading as needed. Garnish with pecans, if desired.

slice of apple dapple cake with sauce being poured over it

Recipe Tips

  • Measure your flour accurately. It’s super important to measure your flour accurately for the best texture in your cake. Use a kitchen scale and weigh it in grams, or spoon the flour into the measuring cups and level off with a knife. For more tips, here is a full post on How to Measure Flour
  • Don’t overmix the batter. To keep the cake from getting too dense or tough, mix the dry ingredients into the wet on low speed and only until just combined well. This isn’t the time to just let the mixer run. 
  • Poke the holes about ¾ down the cake. You want the sauce to soak deep into the cake, which won’t happen if you poke it too shallowly.
slice of apple dapple cake on a plate with sauce poured over it

Recipe FAQ’s

What kind of apple is best for this recipe?

You want to use apples that don’t disintegrate when baked. I used Cortland apples, but Golden Delicious and Honeycrisp are also great. For other good apple options, read my post on all The Best Apples for Baking.

How do I store this cake?

This cake is just as delicious with coffee the next day, so keep those leftovers! Store it in an air-tight container or cake stand for 3-5 days at room temperature.

Can I freeze Apple Dapple Cake?

Yes! First, let it cool completely so that it doesn’t get soggy when you wrap it. Then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature before serving.

Can I bake this cake in a 13×9 pan?

I haven’t tried baking this cake in a 13×9 pan but if you want to I would start checking the cake at 30 minutes. It’s a pretty dense cake with all the apples and pecans going on, so it may take just as long!

three slices of apple dapple cake on plates

More Recipes to Try

Apple Dapple Cake

This old fashioned Apple Dapple Cake is a must-try fall dessert! It’s an easy bundt cake studded with apples and pecans, baked until golden, then drizzled with a delicious brown sugar sauce to make it extra moist. Every bite is bursting with apples, pecans, and amazing caramel flavors!
*Adapted from Bake From Scratch Magazine
5 from 26 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 1 (15-cup) bundt cake
Calories: 648kcal

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 1⅓ cups (267 grams)granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup (160 grams) (160 ml) vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • cup (150 grams) unsalted butter melted
  • cups (71 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice

For the apple mixture

  • cups (438 grams) (438 grams) apples peeled and chopped in ⅓-½ inch pieces
  • cups (170 grams) toasted pecans chopped
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour

For the caramel sauce

  • ¾ cup (170 grams) unsalted butter softened
  • ¼ cup (60 grams) (60 ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup (213 g) packed light brown sugar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Garnish: chopped toasted pecans

Instructions

Make the cake

  • Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine granulated sugar, oil, eggs, melted butter, brown sugar, and vanilla; beat at medium-low speed until well combined, about 2 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, and allspice. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to sugar mixture, beating until combined and stopping to scrape sides of bowl. (Batter will be quite thick.)

Make the apple mixture

  • In a medium bowl, stir together apples, pecans, and flour. Fold apple mixture into batter.
  • Spray a 15-cup bundt pan with baking spray with flour. Spoon batter into prepared pan; tap pan on counter several times to evenly spread batter and release any air bubbles.
  • Bake until a wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean, 50 minutes to 1 hour, rotating pan halfway through baking and loosely covering with foil to prevent excess browning, if necessary.

Make the caramel sauce

  • Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the butter, cream, brown sugar, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently; cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla.
  • Remove cake from oven, and poke all over with a wooden pick; pour ¾ cup (about 195 grams) butter mixture over top, spreading evenly with a small offset spatula. Let cake cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Transfer remaining butter mixture to a small microwave-safe bowl, cover, and refrigerate.
  • When ready to serve, using a small offset spatula, gently loosen cake from center and edges of pan. Remove cake from pan, and place, flat side up, on a serving plate.
  • Heat remaining butter mixture in microwave on high in 10-second intervals, stirring between each, until melted and smooth. Using a large spoon, pour butter mixture over top of cooled cake, smoothing and spreading as needed. Garnish with pecans, if desired.

Notes

  • Measure your flour accurately. It’s super important to measure your flour accurately for the best texture in your cake. Use a kitchen scale and weigh it in grams, or spoon the flour into the measuring cups and level off with a knife. For more tips, here is a full post on How to Measure Flour
  • Don’t overmix the batter. To keep the cake from getting too dense or tough, mix the dry ingredients into the wet on low speed and only until just combined.
  • Poke the holes about ¾ down the cake. You want the sauce to soak deep into the cake, which won’t happen if you poke it too shallowly.
  • Storage: Store it in an air-tight container or cake stand for 3-5 days at room temperature.
  • Freezing: Let it cool completely, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature before serving.
  • Best apples to use: You want to use apples that don’t disintegrate when baked. I used Cortland apples, but Golden Delicious and Honeycrisp are also great. For other good apple options, read my post on all The Best Apples for Baking.

Nutrition

Calories: 648kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 24g | Cholesterol: 96mg | Sodium: 490mg | Potassium: 158mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 43g | Vitamin A: 729IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 2mg
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51 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made this recipe according to the directions with exception of using a 9x13x2 baking pan because my Bundt pans was too small. It turned out delish!! Served with dollop of whipped cream. Good cold or warm. Used golden delicious apples and baked for 52 minutes.

    1. Aw that’s great! I’ll be sure to include for other readers who may not have a Bundt pan 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    love this recipe! I’ve taken to making individual ones in a loose-bottomed dessert tin that I have. Works brilliantly. I always push a piece of sliced quarter apple on top of each one.

  3. 5 stars
    This cake looks amazing! I love the chunks of apple and pecans!

  4. 5 stars
    This apple dapple cake is so flavorful and delicious. I’m sure that I will be making this recipe many times this season to share with my family.

  5. 5 stars
    I love the name of this cake but it’s such a delicious breakfast cake too! The sweet apples and pecans bring the comfort of the season…one of my favorites!

  6. 5 stars
    I loved the flavor of this retro/vintage Apple Dapple Cake recipe. The taste was outstanding, and the recipe was so simple to make. This is perfect for the fall! Bookmarking to make this recipe again.

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