is a deliciously moist apple cake made with fresh apples kissed with cinnamon sugar and topped with a sweet, buttery crumb topping. This is perfect with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce or with a hot cup of coffee!
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Growing up in Pennsylvania, Dutch Apple Cake is something that we'd make every time we went apple picking. The apple chunks in a lightly spiced cake batter then baked to perfection?! Yes, I looked forward to it every year.
A take on my childhood, this nostalgic Dutch Apple Cake pulls its inspiration from a dutch apple pie recipe that I LOVE - but WAY easier to make. It's a bit of a cross between an apple crumb cake and an apple pie. We've still got that delicious apple pie filling - however, I added a cinnamon streusel topping to give this already beautiful cake even more glitz. C'mon, apple season only comes around once a year, let's do it right!
- No stand mixer needed! Grab your mixing bowls, whisk, and a springform pan because that's literally all that you need. This is a super simple recipe, no fuss added!
- All of the flavor of a traditional apple pie without all of the work!
- Moist and delicious and great for any time of the day! Enjoy as a breakfast cake in the morning, a snacking cake for a afternoon treat, or as a crazy delicious dessert!
- Great recipe for the holidays!
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
Apples: I used granny smith apples and honeycrisp apples. These are perfect as they hold their shape in the oven. There are tons of different varieties that you can use, however, I recommend using either granny smith, honeycrisp, jonagold, pink lady, cortland, or Braeburn.
Vanilla Extract - for that warm vanilla flavor that all love. Be sure to use a quality extract as this will surely make a difference in the flavor of the cake. Pro tip: use vanilla bean paste
Spices: cinnamon, a little nutmeg, and a pinch of ground cloves
Eggs and Milk: be sure to use room temperature eggs and milk for best results. This will ensure the best texture!
Unsalted Butter: I prefer unsalted butter for this recipe so that I can control the amount of saltiness in the cake. However, if you only have salted butter on hand, just omit the ½ tsp of kosher salt listed in the recipe.
- Go nuts! Add walnuts, pecans, or even pistachios for a delicious crunch!
- Add a caramel drizzle. Apples and caramel go together like peanut butter and jelly. Scoop some ice cream on top and drizzle on some salted caramel - your tastebuds will thank you.
- Add a tbsp of lemon zest to the cake for a bright flavor!
- Use a different fruit - I love this recipe with pears or raspberries! (Pro tip: If swapping the fruit to either of these, be mindful of baking time. Because of the high water content, it could take a little long to bake)
- Vegan option: use oil instead of butter and use you favorite non-dairy milk instead of whole milk. You can use applesauce instead of eggs, but not that this may increase the baking time so keep an eye on the cake.
- Gluten free option: swap out flour for your favorite 1-to-1 gluten-free baking flour.
- Dairy free option: similar to the vegan option, use oil or your favorite vegan butter instead of butter and use a nondairy milk.
Store any leftover cake in an airtight container or cover with plastic wrap. The cake is best stored at room temperature for up to four days to keep its flavor and moisture. If storing in the refrigerator, it'll last up to a week - just be sure to wrap super tight to prevent it from drying out.
You can also freeze the cake. Simply allow it to cool to room temperature, cover with plastic wrap and place in a freezer storage bag for up to three months. When you're ready to eat it, let it thaw in the fridge.
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