This easy Apple Butter Cake combines moist, tender cake with the simple flavors of cinnamon and apple butter into a dessert that’s perfect for fall.
I absolutely love a warm buttermilk biscuit slathered with apple butter. Apple butter is a thick, rich sauce almost like an intensely flavored cinnamon apple sauce. It’s one of those things I hated as a kid but just love now. You can often find apple butter in the grocery store with the jams and jellies, or you can make your own in the slow cooker with my easy recipe.
Now, chances are you’ve heard of adding apple sauce to cake recipes to reduce the amount of fat and to keep the cake moist, but you can do the same thing with apple butter as well. Using apple butter in your cake gives you a stronger apple flavor, too. So, that’s an added bonus. That’s why this Apple Butter Cake is so delicious!
What is apple butter cake?
Apple Butter Cake is a simple butter cake amped up with the addition of apple butter and a little extra cinnamon to create a tender, moist cake that all of our taste-testers just loved! Typically, this delicious cake is topped with cream cheese frosting.
In this particular apple butter cake recipe, I also snuck in a little apple butter into the cream cheese frosting too! Even with not many seasonal spices, this is the perfect dessert for fall!
Tips for making Apple Butter Cake
Try it without the frosting! If I’m being totally honest, I think I might even like this cake better without the frosting. It just has such a great simple, clean flavor that I really love. But y’all know I like simple stuff. It’s how I’ve earned my nickname – “The Mayor of Vanilla-town.” So, if you think the cake is a bit too rich sounding, simply leave that topping off. Regardless, it’s great with the frosting, too. So I’ve included the recipe, and y’all can decide if you want to add it or not.
Soften your butter! You want to soften the butter to room temperature before adding so it blends into your batter. There are several ways to quickly soften butter. If you are using a stick of butter, you can simply place it under a warm drinking glass or hold it in your hands. You may also put it in the microwave, but be cautious. Nuke it for 10 seconds at a time and check between each 10-second increment. You don’t want it to melt at all, just softened, so pay careful attention if you go the microwave route. Still another option is to cut the butter into small cubes and allow it to come to room temperature. It will happen much faster being that it’s in smaller pieces.
Bring your eggs to room temperature! Kind of like the butter tip above, your eggs will mix into the batter more thoroughly and easily if you are working with room-temperature eggs. Simply set them out about 30 minutes before you start whipping up this delicious cake, or you can place them in a large bowl of warm water for about 10 minutes.
How to store apple butter cake
Apple Butter Cake keeps well at room temperature, in the fridge, and in the freezer. Depending on which storage method you choose, you may want to take note of these tips:
- At room temperature – You can store your cake at room temperature in an airtight container or covered tightly with plastic wrap for about 2 days.
- In the refrigerator – Store your apple butter cake in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- In the freezer – You can extend the life of this cake by about 2-3 months if you store it in an airtight container in the freezer.
Apple Butter Cake
For the cake:
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 cup apple butter
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the frosting:
- 1 (8-ounce) block cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3 tablespoons apple butter
- 1 (16-ounce) package powdered sugar (about 3 3/4 cups)
- Preheat the oven to 375°F and lightly spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just incorporated after each addition.
- In a bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and baking power together. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix until combined. Add the apple butter and vanilla and mix until combined.
- Spread the mixture evenly in the prepared pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool completely.
For the frosting:
- Add the room temperature cream cheese and butter to the mixer and beat until smooth. Add the apple butter and combine. Gradually add the powdered sugar and mix well. Spread over the cooled cake.
If nutritional values are provided, they are an estimate and will vary depending on the brands used. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, I recommend grabbing your favorite brands and plugging those ingredients into an online nutritional calculator.