This post was originally published on November 3, 2011 and updated on September 5, 2019.
It got rave reviews every time she made it. So it was obvious that when I started my blog years and years (yes, it was like eons ago) ago that it had to be included.
While it was always a popular post, I figured it deserved a little refresh in terms of photos as my photography skills have improved over the years – thank goodness!
What kind of apples should I use?
When baking with apples, you want to use apples that are going to hold their shape and not cook to mush. So you want to choose a firmer fleshed apple. Granny Smith, Braeburn, Honeycrisp, and Pink Lady apples are all firmer fleshed apple varieties that work great in this recipe. Honeycrisp happens to be my most favorite, so I most frequently use those.
The other thing that I want to make sure that you do with this cake is mix it enough. Here’s the thing, this makes a very thick dough, so it’s going to take some serious muscle to mix it together. But power through. Mixing it too little will produce a very crumbly cake – trust me, I know. Mixing it too much can make it dry. I find that stirring for about 1 to 2 minutes will get you right where you need to be.
Personally, I think this cake is delicious all by itself, but if a glaze is your thing, a simple powdered sugar glaze should work just fine. You could also replace the liquid in the glaze with apple juice or apple cider for even more apple flavor. Y’all enjoy!
Apple Nut Cake
- 3 cups peeled and finely diced apples (About 3 large apples) – I used the Honeycrisp but also love Granny Smith
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease and flour a 10 to 12-cup Bundt pan.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt and baking soda.
- Add sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla, mix well - stirring for at least 1 minute. The batter will be thick.
- Fold in the apples and pecans.
- Spread the batter into the prepared Bundt pan and bake for 1 hour or until golden brown and just pulling away from the edges of the pan. Allow to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate or platter.
This cake is moist and delicious. It’s a winner
Thanks, Candy! Glad you enjoyed it!
Just made this cake with Cortland apples. I added 2 t. of cinnamon and 1/4 t. of nutmeg and I used walnuts instead of pecans. I drizzled glaze over top. It’s delicious. It’s moist and really fills up my Bundt pan to make a high beautiful cake.
So glad this turned out beautiful for you and not only just delicious!
Love it. Made multiple times. One of my favs
Thanks! Its one of my favs too!
The texture of this cake is perfect, it’s very easy to make, and my family loved it – BUT it needs spice added. Much better with 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 tsp nutmeg.
So glad that you liked it! This is an old recipe that has never included spices like this and you are definitely free to add any additional spices to make it “your own”. With baking being a pretty exact science I like to keep the spices a bit neutral to try and please everyone!
Great crumb and texture with a delicious flavor! It is a terrific autumn dessert that was so easy to make! I substituted walnuts and finished with powdered sugar. So moist and it came together so easily just by hand stirring!
So glad you enjoyed it!
Great cake. Next time I will add a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg though.
Thank you so much Frances!
This is very close to my grandmother’s recipe! She made a caramel topping which made it into a fantastic desert. Also used walnuts instead of pecans – shocking, I know. Maybe she knew it would share the table with about 3 pecan pies. Thank you for posting. I am making it this afternoon.
Sure hope y’all enjoy it!
Should flour be sifted before mixed . Would that make it fluffy and moist?
Modern milling methods have pretty much eliminated the need to sift flour. Plus, you’ll fluff up the flour when you whisk it together with the salt and baking soda. Hope you’ll enjoy it!
Just made the apple nut cake. It was so moist and very delicious. I did add the powered sugar glaze.Looking forward to my friends trying it. Will be trying more of your recipes. Keep posting.
Thanks so much! Hope everyone enjoys it!
This is exactly the recipe my Grandmother passed down to me with two exceptions: she used a Tablespoon of vanilla and added 2 teaspoons cinnamon. The best Apple-nut cake ever!
I see comments regarding a “recipe box” on your site but haven’t seen where I can create one to save my favorites. I must be overlooking something. Can you Help? (I am subscribed)
Thanks, Kathy! You should see a little blue recipe box hover on the left side of the page. You can also create a recipe box by clicking “Save Recipe” right above the recipe card.
I’m using my laptop and don’t find either of these.
Hmmm… I’m not sure what’s going on. Shoot me an email to email@example.com and we’ll see what we can figure out.
I made this cake today using McIntosh apples and I seriously doubt I have ever tasted anything close to this delish in my entire life! it did not need icing, powder sugar or anything else. I did, however, fail to flour the pan after spraying and it stuck and tore and looked sooooooo sad. Next time it will be either in a 9×13 or big muffins.
Wonderful! I’m so glad you enjoyed this one so much!
This sounds like a wonderful cake – any idea how coconut oil might work in this recipe? Trying to decide if that might overwhelm the apple flavor. Thanks!
I’ve not tried it, so I can’t say for sure. If you try it, please let me know how it turns out.
It’s in the oven now I’m can’t wait ! I hope it turns out good. Went exactly by the recipe !
Sure hope you enjoyed it!!
The apple nut cake came out PERFECT !!! Iam baking another one today for my niece ! I sent her two slices. She said it is oh so good ! It will be a surprise for her. Oh and btw, she said a couple days later, it was even more DELISHOUS !!!! Didn’t change anything went strictly by your recipe !!!!!
So happy to hear you enjoyed it!!
I found this recipe to be quite confusing – it seems straightforward but did not resemble a traditional cake or bread batter. I triple checked that I had followed the recipe (I had exactly), as the cake turned out both dry and over-oily. Upon tasting, I also realized that it had no cinnamon, which is usually a key flavor with apple cakes. It really just tasted of oil. Looks pretty! But it just wasn’t the apple cake I was hoping for.
Hi Jen! Sorry to hear you had trouble with this one. I read back through the recipe and I’m happy to update it if you can share what part of the recipe was confusing. I’m a little confused by it being both dry and overly-oily as you say. I’m having a hard time wrapping my mind around how it can be both of those. Let me know so I can try to help. Was your oil rancid, by any chance? That could be responsible for the oily flavor. Also, when it comes to mixing it, about how long did you stir it? When it comes to the cinnamon, my mom never added it to this cake, so I didn’t include it in my version.
Funny….I ve been making this bread for some 40 years, i.e. same exact recipe. Wonder how long you have had it? Never had a bad turn out. Made it into cakes, bread loafs, and cup cakes. Even used a glaze on mine with cherries for adornment. Great for any season. Me family likes it with their coffee. Some choose to warm it up with added ice cream.
It came from my mom, so I’m not sure how long we’ve had it. It’s so fun to see how long things last and get passed around.
Should I peel the apples or you simply cut them as they are and bake them with the skin?
You’ll want to peel them.
This cake is outstanding! I’m making it again to bring to a family gathering. It turned out moist, dense and absolutely delicious. The chunks of baked apples combined with the nuts are so yummy. Thank you for a great recipe.
I’m so glad it turned out so well for you! It’s certainly a family favorite!
This is one of our favorite recipes! I shared with a co-worker, and she would like to make the cake for Christmas brunch, but needs to make it gluten free. Have you, or any of your readers, tried this with almond flour or other GF flour?
I’ve not tried this using gluten free options, but hopefully someone will share their experience with us.
Stacy – this is the perfect all day nibble on cake. A bite here, a bite there. I love that the cake is not too sweet and so good it CAN be breakfast! I made it as stated and it turned out perfectly, even used Honeycrisp apples. Thanks for a great apple cake!
So glad you enjoyed it so much!
I find this apple nut cake a perfect breakfast for everybody! I love cookies and cakes, and muffins, and so on with apples, it’s the simplest and the most delicious kind of pastry in the world! And this magical combination of apples and pecans makes me eat it till the very end))) Have you ever tried to make a piquant accent using grounded cardamom, nutmeg or cinnamon? I’m just curious))) Thank you for the recipe and for your cute blog!
Thanks, Ann! I love any reason to have cake for breakfast! You can absolutely add those warm spices. I’ve just always made it this way as I feel like the apples are the real star here and it’s the way my mom has always made it.
I made this recipe today and followed the recipe exactly as shown. Baked the cake for one hour……browned nicely and pulling away from the pan. The cake came out of the bundt pan without sticking. BUT the cake is too oily tasting so I will not make it again. Can the oil be decreased or substituted with another ingredient such as yogurt or applesauce?
You can, in fact, reduce the oil, but you risk ending up with a very dry cake.
The cake is perfect when made correctly perhaps try it again…
Will definitely try this recipe, sounds good to me not too complicated and time consuming. Thank you have a great day.
Hope you’ll enjoy it!
I really like using the Bundt pan but usually does not come out clean. How do coat before adding the batter?
Virginian, prior to getting a new bundt, I found if you have sticking pan concerns, you can use a large pastry brush and coat the entire interior of your Bundt with shortening (I use Crisco) and then throw in about 1/2 cup or so (large amt. so you have adequate coverage) of plain flour, rotating the pan so the flour covers all surfaces and then lightly tap the pan over a bowl/trash can to get rid of the excess flour. Beats those so-called baking sprays.
P.S. Last year, I finally broke down and bought a nice Nordic Ware bundt pan (I also had prior “sticking” problems) and I am a very happy camper. I am receiving NO compensation for making this recommendation… I’m just a senior who loves to cook/bake and good pans that make your life easier.
I’ve found that having the right pan does make a big difference.
My prior bundt pan, Stacey, was an inexpensive, thin one I had for over 20 years ???? (yes, I was very frugal). You do what you can when you’re pinching pennies. What a world of difference!
I totally understand! Been there for sure!
What kind of Bundt pan do you have?
Was thrilled with how this turned out. Wasn’t sure about the thick batter, but it was great. I did glaze it just because cake should have frosting. Thanks for the recipe!
Wonderful! So glad it turned out so great for you!
Made this cake and thought it was bland in taste. It needed some type of spice to give it more flavor. I put a glaze on the cake, but I wish I had used the caramel sauce as someone has suggested. Have enjoyed other recipes of yours more than this one.
I actually much prefer this one without the spices, but totally understand if you want to add some in.
Yum this looks wonderful!! Am printing the recipe off as I type.. will definitely be trying this recipe soon!! Love all of the fall recipes… apples and pumpkin recipes; what’s not to like!? 🙂 And this apple cake looks heavenly… but not overly sweet. 🙂 Thanks for all your recipes and website… appreciate it very much! 🙂
Thanks so much, Tess! Hope you’ll enjoy it!
I made this yesterday and boy soooo good! Thanks so much Christina!
Awesome! So, so glad you enjoyed it!
Looking forward to southern bites holiday recipes. Thanks so much my family loves all your recipes keep me coming. Christina
So sweet! Thanks, Christina!
Your water pie was a hit and we had a great family dinner sharing memories about the old days. I can’t wait for your holiday recipes I will try them all. The light story is wonderful and we may have to start our own tradition making a southern bite recipe every night throughout the holiday season.
Made cake. A little dry so I made a glaze and poked holes and poured over warm cake. Yum
I have a recipe similar to this that a friend gave me and her recipe makes a caramel sauce to pour over the cake once inverted onto a plate. It does not hurt the cake at all!
LOL!! Sounds great!
I followed the directions exactly and mine came out so dry I don’t know what to do ?? The taste is good though just really sorry it didn’t turn out . 🙁
Oh no! I hate to hear that. Did you use all the oil it calls for?
Yes I did so I have no idea what went wrong !!
For the ones saying it came out dry it could be they used to much flour. I have seen where it is important to not scoop your flour, instead spoon it into the measuring cup, or you could get to much. Just a thought.
This is 100% correct! It’s a very common thing that messes up baked goods.
P.S. The recipe is exactly correct – I did not have to alter cooking time or ingredients. Who says Christmas cooking is over??!! Such a fantastic recipe. I’m going to be watching for more of your recipes. Nice work! Oh, I made it in a bundt pan. Let it sit about 10 minutes before inverting in onto a plate. Perfect.
Rebecca, I’m just elated that it turned out so great for you! Thanks SO much for coming back and sharing your thoughts!
Tried this wonderful cake this morning. Wow! This is the most delicious apple cake I have ever made. The chopped apples and pecans kind of settle in the middle of the cake. It’s so moist and almost pudding-like. I added a little cinnamon to the recipe. This is definitely going to be a favorite in my recipe folder! Simple to make and absolutely flawless!
Can I bake this in a 9″ x 13″ pan or does it have to be make in a Bundt Cake pan?
I’ve never done it in anything other than a Bundt pan, but I can’t imagine why it wouldn’t work as a sheet cake. 🙂
Stacey, I must say I love your blog with all your good home cooked meals and desserts which always come out delicious for me and I never get dissapointed. I love your big, clear tutorial pictures which is awesome showing how the recipe is made, it’s the greatest! I also love the little surprises you have, like free coupons for different laundry detergents in this post. With the high cost of everything I think everyone is couponing it these days and it sure helps to find all you can get your hands on to use in grocery shopping. Your blog is just so wonderful and enjoyable to come to. It always makes my day!!!!!! But I can’t wait to try this recipe for I jsut love, love, love, apple nut cake and this one looks so delicious. Good job!
Elizabeth, if I could bottle up this comment, I sure would – and then pull it out on one of those days where I feel like no one is paying attention. You are so sweet and kind for taking the time to send me this note. It does my heart good to read comments like this. Thanks so much for being such an important part of Southern Bite!
This looks so good, and I can almost smell it baking!!! Have saved in recipe box (whick I love, and will be making it soon. Thanks!!!
Wonderful, Mary! I’m so glad you’re using and enjoying the Recipe Box!