Filled with a layer of local apples and cinnamon, sweetened with maple syrup, and topped off with walnuts this Maple Apple Cake is Fall simplicity at its best. It’s just as good for breakfast on a crisp morning as it is for an afternoon treat with a cup of tea or hot cider.
Happy Fall everyone! You can keep your pumpkin spice. This year I am all about apples and pears. I have some fun savory recipes on tap for the coming weeks, but I thought I’d start out the season with something sweet – Maple Apple Cake.
Tips for Making Maple Apple Cake
Before we get to the recipe, I do have two recommendations. I recommend firmer apple varieties such as McIntosh, Honeycrisp, Jonagold, or Cortland. If you want a tarter flavor, then Granny Smith is a great option. This way the apple layer of the cake maintains some texture. However, if you don’t have any of those varieties, don’t let it stop you. Make it anyway, it’s not going to ruin anything.
I recommend using a tube pan with a removable bottom. It makes it easier to get the cake out of the pan. A Bundt pan would probably work too. I haven’t tried baking this cake in a plain square baking pan – you could certainly give it try but the cooking time may need to be adjusted, so just keep your eye on it.
Maple Syrup Facts
If you didn’t know, maple syrup in the US is classified as Grade A or B, and Grade A is further broken down into categories: Light Amber, Medium Amber, and Dark Amber. Grade B is the darkest syrup available. The darker kinds are made from sap extracted later in the harvest season and have a stronger maple flavor. Go for the dark amber or Grade B when baking, it’ll give you more flavor. And seriously only use REAL maple syrup.
Brands like Log Cabin and (formerly known as) Aunt Jemima, are not actually maple syrup. They are artificial syrups made with refined sugar or high-fructose corn syrup. So, only go for the real stuff.
I only used 1 teaspoon of regular sugar sprinkled on top to create a slight crust on the top of the cake. Otherwise, the only sweetener in this recipe is good old-fashioned maple syrup. Even though maple syrup is made in the late winter/early Spring, it is a flavor I always associate with Fall.
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Maple Apple Cake
- 2 apples cored and chopped
- 2 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup butter melted
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 tbsp butter to grease the pan
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Grease the bottom and sides on the tube pan with the butter.
- In a bowl toss the apple pieces with 2 teaspoons cinnamon. Set aside.
- Using a whisk, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl beat the eggs. Then slowly whisk in the melted butter and maple syrup.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir to combine into a smooth mixture.
- Pour half the batter into the greased tube pan. Add the apple mixture in an even layer on top.
- Then, pour the other half of the batter on top of the apple layer. You may need to use a spatula to gently spread the remaining batter to evenly cover the apple layer.
- Over the top, sprinkle on the chopped walnuts, 1 teaspoon sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.
- Bake for 40-50 minutes, until a toothpick or skewer comes out clean and dry.
- Allow the cake to cool for 10-15 minutes before removing the cake from the pan. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.
Photos by Renato Ghio