Apple Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Apple Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting – this easy apple cake makes a great fall dessert! Apple cake is my dad’s specialty, and a favorite family tradition. I hope you like it.

Apple Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Dad’s Apple Cake

My dad and stepmom came to visit a few weeks ago to meet Maxwell and to play with Caleb. We loved having them in our home. They were a huge help with the boys, laundry, cleaning, and cooking. We were spoiled with delicious meals every night and of course, my dad made his famous cinnamon rolls. He also made another family favorite, Apple Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.

My dad has been making this apple cake for years, but has never shared the recipe with me because he always makes it for us! Well, this time I asked for the recipe so I could share this apple cake with all of you. You need to make this cake! It is the perfect dessert for fall!

fresh apple cake with frosting on glass serving plate

What Apples to Use for Fresh Apple Cake

I am loving all of the varieties of apples that are at the store and farmers market. They are great for snacking on and great for making recipes…like this apple cake! My dad always uses at least two different kinds of apples in his fresh apple cake. This time he went with Granny Smith and Gala. Feel free to use your favorite apples! I love using Honeycrisp apples when they are in season, they are always a favorite apple.

This easy apple cake is super simple to make. You don’t even need a mixer. Just a bowl, spoon, and some arm strength. The cake batter is thick and has a lot of apples. It is supposed be a thick, so don’t worry!

An apple a day keeps the doctor away and that means a piece of apple cake too:)

Apples for fresh apple cake

Apple Cake Family Tradition

The cake is flavored with cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. It is moist with big chunks of apples and a thick layer of cream cheese frosting. You can serve this fresh apple cake at room temperature or chilled. I personally like to eat the cake right out of the fridge. Just give me the pan, a fork, and I am good to go!

I hope you enjoy my dad’s Apple Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. It is a favorite tradition in our family and I think your family will like it too. Now, I just need my dad to come back and visit so he can bake me another apple cake. I know I have the recipe now and could make it for myself, but we still want my dad to come back. We all miss him!

If you like this apple cake recipe, you might also like:

Apple cake served with glass of milk

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Fresh apple cake made from easy apple cake recipe

Apple Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This easy apple cake is a favorite in our family! It is great served at room temperature or chilled.
4.53 from 44 votes


For the Apple Cake:

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray and flour a 9x13 pan. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and allspice. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract. Slowly stir in the flour mixture. The batter will be thick. Stir in the apples until cake batter moistens.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes or until the cake is golden brown and set. Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire cooling rack.
  • While the cake is cooling, make the cream cheese frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until it is completely smooth. Add the butter and beat until combined. Add the vanilla and powdered sugar and beat until smooth, about 1 minute.
  • Frost the cooled the cake with cream cheese frosting. Cut into pieces and serve.
  • Note-The frosted cake can be keet, refrigerated and tightly covered, for up to 3 days. I like the cake chilled or at room temperature.

Have you tried this recipe?

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I'm Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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  1. How sweet of your dad to share the recipe! This cake looks fantastic! And the thick frosting layer – swoon!

  2. I love the looks of this cake and I love even more that your dad made it for you. How sweet. Glad you enjoyed your family time. 🙂 Thanks for sharing this family recipe!

  3. Apples and cream cheese is such a great combo, and all those spices in there do sound perfect or the fall! Plus, apples are fruit, which you eat at breakfast. SO I can eat this too right? Pinned!

  4. Perfect, perfect, perfect fall recipe! And I love that it came from your dad – that makes it extra sweet! Pinning right now. 🙂

  5. I have an apple-themed potluck tomorrow, this luscious cake will be coming with me!! I think I might add some toasted walnuts to the frosting 🙂

  6. What a great family recipe! I like how recipes can have such good memories associated with them!

  7. I LOVE using different types of apples in baked goods, because they all contribute something unique and special! Apple cake is one of my favorite things ever, and yours looks perfect!

  8. I love that you didn’t skimp on the cream cheese frosting. Because cream cheese frosting!
    This does look like the perfect dessert for this time of year 🙂

  9. Saw this posted, and made it this evening. It is so moist, delicious, and perfect for an ways elegant dessert. I was concerned when mixing in the apples how thick it was, but it backed up perfectly! Thanks for this great recipe. Xo

  10. Oh my, this looks and sounds delish! Thank you and your Dad for sharing ~ 🙂 Can’t wait to make it!

    P.S. I’m a new follower ~ looking forward to getting to know you.

  11. Oh yes! This is perfect for fall! So glad your dad shared the recipe with you so you could share it with us. 🙂

  12. This cake is delicious!!! Did a trial run for an event I have coming up and all my test subjects raved about it…you know, when their eyes glaze and they talk slower when they say OMG!?!? Yeah that reaction! I had gala and honeycrsp in the house and only 4 ounces of cream cheese so it only got a half batch of the frosting. Frosting layer was thin but I gotta tell you, didn’t miss it…the cake itself is that good! Thanks for sharing!! Growing up(and still here)in Iowa, apple season always brings fond memories of family trips to the orchid for apples and pumpkins! This cake brings it all home!

  13. Has anyone tried this cake with pears? We have so many pears from our pear tree, and i’m trying to use them in as many recipes as possible! Would love to know if anyone has used them in this recipe. Thanks!

  14. I made this cake and it was delicious.. I just have a few questions…
    it was really dense even though I followed the recipe. Is there a way to change just slightly to make it a little less dense. I did stir before I added the apples..maybe it was because of that.
    Also, how do you get the frosting to be so white?? Mine was yellowish…I used cream cheese and unsalted butter… any ideas?
    Thanks for the great recipes!

    1. It is a thick/dense cake because all of the apples. I use Philadelphia cream cheese and Land O Lakes butter and get a white frosting. Maybe your brands are different?

  15. I made this lovely cake for my weekly lunch club and it was fabulous! I used honey crisp apples because they are my favorite. Crisp, sweet, and tart all in one apple. Thank you for sharing! I’m getting closer to trying your dad’s cinnamon roll recipe, but I’m still apprehensive. I don’t do well with yeast. 🙁

  16. I made this tonight and loved it! In response to someone’s frosting being yellow, I find you have to beat it for a few minutes to get rid of that color (I put an extra cup of icing sugar in the frosting). Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  17. I would love to make this cake tonight…is there another frosting I could use to go with this cake? My dad does not like cream cheese frosting and I’m making it for him. Would a regular buttercream go with it? Maybe add some cinnamon or something? Or how about a regular glaze? Thanks so much!

  18. OMG! I made this tonight and it was soon good!! Made it exactly as it is printed and it was awesome! The whole house smelt so good while it was cooking!
    Thank you so much for this recipe!!!!!

  19. I’m making this cake right now — the kitchen smells wonderful! I like how simple the recipe is. I have a lot of dried diced apples I thought about using but decided fresh apples would be better for this cake. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  20. Baking it as we speak!! The batter was so yummy, I couldn’t stop eating it… go away salmonella haha.

    The house smells delicious! Thanks for the great recipe.

  21. Made this cake yesterday for a friends birthday today. Came out great! I learned with Apple bread/cake that it’s always better the next day. I followed the recipe exactly and came out perfect. One change is that it took a little longer to bake in my oven. Other than that it’s a keeper! Just wish it rose more so I wouldn’t have to quadruple the recipe to get a decent size cake. Has anyone tried layering this cake before? Cutting it yourself and not seperating the batter between pans?

  22. Anyone know why this cake doesnt rise? It bakes completely flat for me. Any suggestions on how to make this cake rise? Is it possible

  23. I made this receipt a few days ago and it was delicious. My three year old son loved it and asked me for more. When baking this cake my house smelled like a bakery. My husband enjoyed it and whenever he took a piece he would microwave it for a few seconds and it tasted like just baked. I plan to make this cake again real soon. Thanks for sharing.

  24. I’m making my second batch tonight! Got great reviews on the first one, and with so many apples in the house I’m bringing this second to work. Well, part of it anyway! 😉

    The only thing I might change in the future would be to add some walnuts or pecans.

    For anyone looking to forgo the frosting, I suspect this would do well in a bundt pan with just a sprinkling of powdered sugar, as well.

  25. My 3 year old asked for apple cake for her birthday cake (she is a *little* obsessed with apples these days!) and I had to go hunting down a recipe. I found this one and it looked amazing-since I’ve used other recipes from your blog with great success, I felt fairly confident in diving in, knowing this cake had to feed a party of adults. Before adding the apples, the batter was SO THICK! Truly, more like cookie dough than cake batter. I was a little nervous, but plunged ahead. Lo and behold, it baked up beautifully and was the hit o the party. This is definitely going in the “make again” file! Thank you!!

  26. What size pan is this to be baked in? It is t stated in the recip and I’d like to give it a try but was uncertain which size pan you used?

  27. Just finished eating a slice of this cake and it was amazing!!! The cake was crispy with caramelized-like sugar on the edges, which I loved! And the cream cheese frosting is perfect! I will use this frosting recipe for everything now.

    The only non-glowing comment I have is that I thought it was a bit unclear on how big to make the apple pieces. This totally could’ve been a “me” issue but I originally cut the apples into one inch cubes and then ended up running a knife through my batter in order to make the apples smaller and better mixed into the batter. Otherwise this was an awesome recipe that I will definitely make again! 🙂

  28. Yum! I just made this and it’s so good. Definitely need to double the frosting recipe to get a thick spread on a 9×13 cake.

  29. I just made this cake & I have some questions. It called for a 9×13 pan but I didn’t have enough batter to fill it so I used a smaller brownie pan. I did cut the apples a little big. I cooked it almost 50 mins until tooth pick came out clean or so I thought. The batter still wasn’t done & it fell in the middle. I put it back in for 5 more mins. The middle is finally done but the top is more crunchy cobbler than cake. It tastes amazing but I don’t understand what I did wrong. Please help!

    1. The batter is thick but I always use a 9×13 pan so it has a chance to spread out. This helps it bake evenly.

  30. I’m baking this cake again! the first one had to be thrown out. It says to whisk everything but when I did that it did’t work for me. You must have to whisk it for hours. I used a mixer the second time & I saw a huge difference with the batter. It doesn’t rise much so I still don’t see how you can get a think piece of cake using a 9×13 pan. This time I’m using an 11×7. You could use a bunt pan but you would have to much a double or triple batch because it doesn’t raise much or at least not for me. My kitchen smells great right now so hopefully I’ll have it right this time:)

  31. Ok my second cake is done. The tooth pick came out clean, it actually raised so that’s good. Now that it is cooling the top is hard and alittle crunchy & the middle is falling! I hate this! I don’t know what happened but I’m done trying to make this cake!

  32. Cake looks delicious & I’m about to try baking it, but your apple measurement is kinda ambiguous, a weight measurement would be much more user-friendly. Do you have an approximate weight I could go by, please?

  33. I put this amazing frosting on my fallen cake & it is really good! I don’t have enough batter to fill a 9 x 13 pan unless it’s supposed to be really thin. I’m actually going to try it one more time. lol I have to get this right. But mine is really good just ugly. hahaha

  34. Hi, my name is Heidi and I am making this beautiful cake today! I was wondering if you have ever made it with 2 rounds and stacked them??

    1. We always make it in a 9×13 pan. Let me know if you try making two round cakes! Enjoy!

  35. Wow! 2 cups of sugar! I know my gang would love this cake and apple season is just around the corner… But anyway to make it without so much sugar? Thanks

  36. The apple cake looks really good. All the recipes look really great. Warm apple cake is wonderful with a warm butter sauce also.

  37. I have made this cake for years and at christmas I 
    Add candied red and green cherries and candies 
    Pineapple also walnuts or pecans. Usually I bake it in a binder or tube pan. I donot  use allspice
    Very moist.  Bake longer than usual because of the extra items.
    Frost with a powdered sugar glaze or just powdered sugar.

  38. Are you sure you didn’t miss adding any liquid in the ingredient list? I just made it and it feels like it really miss liquid… Cake tastes good but I find it a bit too sweet and the eggs were too pronounced. Maybe next time I do 1 egg only. Thanks for sharing!

  39. 5 stars
    I did a couple things different… I used about a tablespoon of vanilla because it spilled and… well, why not!? I also used jumbo eggs. I don’t know if or how much it changed the results but this cake was amazing!!! When I took it out of the oven I was scared I overcooked it because the top was crispy (it kind of looked like brownies) but the inside of the cake was SO moist and delicious and the top wasn’t crunchy it just had this light crust on top.
    Also, for the cream cheese frosting I used about 3 or 4 tablespoons of honey instead of any sugar. It came out wonderful!
    I’ll be making this again soon… very soon!

  40. 5 stars
    With all due respect to your dad, I think he’s got something wrong in his recipe. Several reviews mentioned that the cake didn’t rise much. I noticed that he uses baking soda without an acid to activate it. So I made the cake using baking powder instead & the cake rose nicely & was delicious.

  41. 5 stars
    Great easy recipe! I used half dark brown sugar instead of all white and subbed cardamom for half of the cinnamon and all of the allspice (didn’t have any). I don’t love cream cheese frosting (I know I’m in the minority – everyone settle down) so I made a caramel glaze with butter, brown sugar and heavy cream. I sprinkled half with toasted pecans to keep everyone happy. It worked. 6 people ate almost the entire cake for dessert. I will definitely make this again!

  42. 5 stars
    Love this recipe. Great flavor. I love to bake and am always looking for recipes. As the contractors rebuild my house from the Thomas Fire, I bake for them each day. My way of showing appreciation for their hard work. Today I’m baking this. 

  43. 5 stars
    Omg this was amazing. My husband and I absolutely loved it. We were fighting over the last piece.  I won this time!  The one thing I did different was half of the chopped apples I put in my food processor and made them a little mushy and then folded them into the batter, as I just didn’t want big chunks of apple.  Please give your 
    Dad a big hug & a kiss for me. I feel this was the best cake I ever made and I bake a lot. Thanks Again Daddy!

  44. The cream cheese frosting is inferior. Too much of a cream cheese taste. You need to increase the butter and sugar content to make it really delectable.

  45. 3 stars
    cream cheese frosting was very runny. It worked (just barely) but not at all thick and fluffy like cream cheese frosting should be. Any idea why?

  46. 5 stars
    I enjoy cooking and always looking for apple recipes. This is now my FAVORITE! I split the recipe in half and cooked it in a 9 X 9 glass pan – it is simply the BEST I have ever had. You said to chop the apples, and then explained that it would become “wetter” when the apples are added – exactly correct! I wonder, by reading others comments, if they did not follow your exacts. I just did not know when to stop mixing together, but had a nice batter like I do with other homemade recipes. Thanks SO much for sharing!

  47. 1 star
    I hate to leave a bad review, but this cake just did not turn out at all. There was a hard layer on the top and bottom and the middle was mushy 🙁

  48. 5 stars
    I made this tonight for my husband’s birthday and it came out delicious! The consistency was perfect and loved the icing!
    Thank you for sharing the recipe, we love apple desserts and this one is a keeper!

    1. 5 stars
      This recipe was delicious. I did change one thing. I never use oil, I always substitute oil for mayo or miracle whip which ever I have on hand. The frosting I added carmel ice cream topping.

  49. I’m making this for sure but…. gonna roll it up with the frosting in the middle photo to follow wish me luck

  50. I made this for my son’s fifth birthday and it was a HUGE hit, thank you and please thank your dad!

    I added a tiny bit of lemon peel to the frosting and it worked well. Next time might try walnuts.

  51. This recipe is delicious. I did change one thing in the recipe. I never use oil, I always substitute oil for mayo or miracle whip which ever one I have on hand. The frosting I added Carmel ice cream topping. Yum

  52. 4 stars
    The flavor of this cake is to die for! I picked apples from a tree growing in our back yard and my boyfriend could not get enough ( hes not a dessert person usually). I used half the amount of sugar in the frosting because we don’t like it to sweet. Also I prefer cream cheese frosting with 1/3 cup of heavy whipping cream instead of the butter it just tastes better.

  53. 4 stars
    Just made it. Used baking powder instead of soda. Needs an acid to make the soda react. Cake is super sweet. Didn’t a lot, but not bad. The bake and texture are spot on. Next time I’m cutting back on the sugar. Modifiable if you like a sweet waterfalls cake.

  54. 3 stars
    Apple’s have a wonderful, yet delicate flavor. I liked the texture of the cake, it is perfect. The Apple flavor was overpowered by the spices and large amount of sugar. I love apple cake and wanted to love this cake. It’s basically a carrot cake, but with apples.

  55. Yummy. On this recipe! I made it, no issues, I used honey crisp apples diced small, as I was afraid they wouldn’t cook..I had to substitute 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice for the nutmeg and allspice because mine weren’t fresh.. LoL those are two spices that rarely get used, they kust hide somewhat in the depths of your spice cupboard getting old..I also set the timer for 30 minutes and checked it, with 35 minutes being my total cook time not 45 minutes..It was nicely brown and the texture a little crisp and moist in the center..just a lovely recipe all the way around.. Thanks for posting..

  56. I want to make the apple cake. The spices I need are all in my pumpkin pie spice. How much of the pumpkin pie spice would I need? TY