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Apple Spice Cake

Viewer Dorothy Mae Brown's recipe for Apple Spice Cake continues to be one of the most popular cakes featured on

  • Servings: 10
Apple Spice Cake

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, May 2006


  • 1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 to 4 Granny Smith apples, cored and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (3 cups)
  • 1 cup chopped assorted nuts, such as pecans and walnuts (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Caramel Sauce
  • Nonstick cooking spray with flour


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 12-cup Bundt pan with cooking spray; set aside.

  2. Working over a large sheet of parchment paper, sift together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt; gather sifted ingredients into center of sheet; set aside.

  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine vegetable oil, sugar, and eggs; mix on high speed until lemon yellow.

  4. Fold reserved parchment in half lengthwise; with mixer on medium speed, gradually shake in dry ingredients until just incorporated.

  5. Add apples and, if desired, nuts, to batter; mix to combine. Add vanilla, mixing until incorporated.

  6. Pour batter into prepared pan, and bake until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 75 to 90 minutes.

  7. Remove from oven, and cool slightly on a wire rack.

  8. Invert cake onto rack; turn cake right-side up to cool completely on rack, and serve drizzled with caramel sauce.

Reviews (55)

  • cwarriner 20 Oct, 2013

    I just made this cake for the first time. It's still in the oven, but was concerned that there was no such thing as "pouring" the batter. It was very thick and had to be spooned into the pan. We'll see how it turns out, but was just wondering if it's supposed to be such a thick batter. I kept looking for a liquid ingredient that I might have missed.

  • koumie 9 Feb, 2013

    I have made this so many times for friends and it is always a hit!

  • Sue Swansen 27 Jan, 2013

    OMG! I looked through many recipes for an apple spice cake and many used applesauce, canned apples, or spice cake mix! This is a true from scratch recipe that is de-licious! WOW! the carmel sauce is awesome on it. I give this a 5 star! I recommended this on my facebook page too!

  • McMinnie 27 Sep, 2012

    This cake produces a thick batter. I only noticed because I don't have a mixer and had to rely upon what little arm strength I have. Don't worry - it yields a delicious result! I made it sans the caramel sauce and got rave reviews. Make sure you use tart apples. Next time I make it I will use a tad bit more spice.

  • jajmarsh 21 Sep, 2012

    I have made this cake several times. I get raves. The caramel glaze is the best. Will make it again

  • oldgolfbag 30 Oct, 2011

    I made this following the recipe. The video recipe calls for unpeeled apples, so that's what I used. I was not particularly pleased with the recipe. I would use much less cinnamon because it overwhelmed any apple flavor. I might add some lemon zest and other "apple pie" flavored spices. Texture was fine and it is a moist cake.

  • dosu 16 Oct, 2011

    This was ok, but not a favorit. I did make some changes though. So my review shouldn't be based on the original recipe. I reduced the oil to 1 cup and baking soda and salt to about half, I also used 1 egg and 2 Eggbeater eggs. The cake texture was still moist, but it was a bit heavy, and even with the reduction i could taste the baking soda and salt. I did have it while still warm, maybe it's better once cooled completely. I did like the caramel sauce. I only made half of it, as someone suggests

  • rjwadden 16 Oct, 2011

    This is a great classic recipe. I make it several times each Fall when good apples are in abundance. One variation I use is to substitute 1 cup of whole wheat pastry flour for 1 cup of the regular flour. It makes it a little healthier without making it too dense. In addition, I usually make this into muffins, large or small, and they turn out great, Bake at 350 for about 22-26 minutes. This recipe will never disappoint!

  • SarvieG 15 Oct, 2011

    This cake looks beautiful & pretty proffessional, as well as tasting fabulous! Didn't change a thing (except I used 3 Royal Gala apples instead of Granny Smith), and turned out great; simple, timeless, and of course, you can't go wrong with apples & cinnamon!

  • JenCruz 14 Oct, 2011

    I made this because it uses quite a few did not disappoint. very good, even without the caramel sauce. i wasn't quite sure about how to cut the apple pieces and they actually came out still a little crunchy instead of totally soft. But, people in my office LOVED it. Definitely plan to make again!

  • Stef350 12 Oct, 2011

    I have made this recipe three times with success. I used my 10 cup bundt pan that worked very well but had to increase the baking time to 60 minutes. The carmel sauce is wonderful-so much better than the store bought sauce.

  • raremuse 25 Aug, 2011

    Absolute best apple cake you will ever make. People go crazy when I make this. I even had someone who wasn't a dessert person beg to take some home.

  • abracadebs 13 Feb, 2011

    This is one of my favorite cakes ever! It is perfect for having guests over because the presentation is beautiful and it makes the house smell amazing. Look up the video for helpful hints.

  • prettyanne 13 Jan, 2011

  • maryjoe85 12 Nov, 2010

    I made this recipe and it was fantastic, although I made some modifications. I used more spices and an orange glaze.

  • talarc 26 Oct, 2010

    has anyone ever tried this recipe as a cupcake? i wonder how it will turn out. i wanted to make it with a caramel-cream cheese frosting, kind of like a caramel apple cupcake. let me know what you think!

  • Tallygirl 4 Oct, 2010

    I originally saw this cake made on Martha's show a few years ago. I've made it dozens of times since then!! It's a family favorite, all of my friend's favorite AND a favorite of my 'second family' at the Fire Department too! I just happen to be making it right now for a firefighters birthday dinner tonight at work! Be sure to leave the peel on the apples, and cut the pieces fairly large. It really makes this a very moist and wonderful cake!

  • Ifancythetrio 4 Dec, 2009

    This was very delicious. The apples and spices went perfectly together and the addition of the caramel really made this special. This was moist and perfect as a morning treat or dessert. Very good. Would make again.

  • CaliforniaCook 25 Jan, 2009

    only so-so. I won't make it again.

  • BruSue 18 Jan, 2009

    I can understand why this is the #1 most downloaded cake recipe!

  • evelynkay 7 Jan, 2009

    This is one of my favorite cakes to make! It is so moist and delicious, with plenty of apple in every bite!! It looks really beautiful when made in a bundt pan. You won't believe how wonderful the house smells when it bakes!! The only thing I have changed is the caramel suace...the recipe makes wayyy too much sauce. You can easily cut the sauce recipe in half and still have more than enough to drizzle on the cake.

  • sallyb23 24 Nov, 2008

    My family loves this cake and I spice it up a notch with 2 tsps. of ground cinnamon. It adds so much flavor to a great fall dessert.

  • LilyCadenas 2 Nov, 2008

    It was fantastic!! I baked it last night and all the family enjoyed it. Thank you!! Try it!!

  • elin_beckmann 12 Oct, 2008

    This cake is fabulous. I added a few tbsp brandy and it was gorgeous. Thank you for this recipe!

  • cherisa77 21 Jul, 2008

    Some tips: use a freezer bag instead of parchment and leave out the salt to save yourself the sodium. I made this cake many times (bundt cakes and layer cakes). Our family enjoyed it as a layer cake with caramel buttercream filled with cinnamon frosting. Next time I'd like to try Martha Stewart's caramel buttercream on this site to fill the layers. I used 2 8" pans and the cakes were done in 30 minutes. This cake is at it's prime on the 6th day kept out in airtight container. Try the sauce. Yum!

  • jarenas 21 Jun, 2008

    made this cake, sans sauce, and it was excellent!

  • Murray 13 Jun, 2008

    Have the website or recipe on hand when you serve this one. Everyone demands it - it's just a no-fail amazing cake. I, too, cut the apples smaller, peeled them and used Fiji's instead of Granny Smith. I also found that I have to watch the bake time- at 51 minutes it was done enough to remove. I saved the extra caramel sauce for individual slices - or as a topping for ice cream the next day.

  • lillyj_j 27 May, 2008

    The cake is good and easy to make....but the caramel sauce just makes it a bit too tastes better without it......

  • stich 25 May, 2008

    My new neighbor made this cake as a thank you for doing her a favor. Except she use Pears instead of apples and added some cloves. Like many other I had to have the recipe. This is such a find. I am thrilled. It is wonderful. Thanks to Dorothy for sharing it, God bless her and thanks to Martha for finding Dorothy.

  • lkilley 18 May, 2008

    this cake is so good that everyone who eats it asks for the recipe. i cheat and make my caramel sauce by just cooking a can of evaporated milk for an hour on the stove. allow plenty of time for it to cool before opening it! YUM YUM. Double YUM.

  • lou2786 9 Apr, 2008

    One word... fabulous!!! I get great comments and lots of 'mmmmmm's when I make this gorgeous cake!

  • lou2786 9 Apr, 2008

    One word... fabulous!!! I get great comments and lots of 'mmmmmm's when I make this gorgeous cake!

  • kgdouglas 6 Apr, 2008

    This is a great cake! Easy to make for potlucks, to share with neighbors and coworkers or for family occasions. The Caramel Sauce recipe makes plenty and II like having the extra. When I'm taking the cake on the road, I let the sauce cook 4-5 minutes and then cool, and use it as a nice heavy glaze.

  • ersi 31 Mar, 2008

    This is one of my favourite cakes. Great taste great look and hard to fail.

  • recipecrazy 5 Feb, 2008

    This cake is awesome! My family and coworkers loved it. Next time I will try toasting the nuts first, but delicious anyway. I made 1/2 the recipe for the caramel sauce and it was just the right amount. Didn't have evaporated milk for the sauce, so I used heavy cream instead and it worked out fine.

  • lavi 29 Jan, 2008

    This is SIMPLY DELICIOUS and easy to bake. it was a great hit with the family. The caramel sauce was a bit too sweet but just a little bit goes a LONG way!!

    i would definitely recommend this.

  • evelynkay 23 Jan, 2008

    I made this on a cold, snowy day (which is rare in Atlanta!) and it was so delicious. The aroma from all the cinnamon will make your house smell wonderful. You could probably cut the caramel sauce recipe in half, as it's very rich and way too much for simply drizzling on a bundt cake. This is my new favorite apple dessert!

  • LaNae 11 Jan, 2008

    I don't bake much because I am not that good at it :) but this is so easy to make and sooooo good; it makes me feel like a pro!

  • cookinincolorado 7 Jan, 2008

    Yummy, moist and easy to bake.....favorite to serve and everyone wants the recipe!

  • christinemg 17 Dec, 2007

    when you split the recipe into three, did you adjust the baking time?

  • gaiagirl 11 Dec, 2007

    I tried it but I use pound cake pan it make almost 3 pans, and it was perfect even without sauce.

  • Patatas 8 Dec, 2007

    Using apples from our backyard tree I made this cake several times this fall. It is the BEST apple cake recipe I have ever made. I served this to a group of women for an afternoon dessert and I had so many compliments on the cake that I felt guilty about claiming that I had made it. The majority of the comments condensed were "WOW".

  • redsuz 4 Dec, 2007

    I don't spend much time in the kitchen, but seized by a spirit of domesticity I decided to bake a cake. I'm glad I chose such a fabulous recipe! It was easy to make and a delight to eat. I used 3 apples, chopped smaller than 1/2 in (that seemed too big to me) and caramel sauce from a jar. My friends were very impressed!

  • MSUE 1 Dec, 2007

    Do you need to peal the apples?

  • jkm1019 29 Nov, 2007

    This was a delicious cake. I did only cook it for about 50 minutes and it was almost...overbaked. It still was great and my family ate it up.

  • JD1 27 Nov, 2007

    I did buy the Granny Smith apples, and baked this cake for Thanksgiving! It is one of the best and easiest cakes I have ever made. I made the caramel sauce from the recipe provided and it was soo delicious. I can't say enough about this recipe!

  • mamina51 27 Nov, 2007

    i tried it it is perfect

  • michstolfi 26 Nov, 2007

    My mother-in-law made this cake for Thanksgiving and it was amazing! She said it was really easy to make and she would make it again in a heart beat. I am going to make this cake for a bake sale at my husband's office.

  • annav 26 Nov, 2007

    This cake is fantastic! It was easy to make, full of flavor and extremely moist. I made it for Thanksgiving and it was a hit. It is still as moist and tasty four days later. I served with vanilla ice cream and store bought (Hershey's) caramel that I heated beforehand - much easier when taking the cake somewhere. However, the cake was just as good, if not better, alone!

  • azza 21 Nov, 2007

    Hi , well this cake is realy good . My husband used to hate cakes but when I made this one he love it and my daughters too .
    It is great with a cup of tea or any kind of juice .

  • JD1 20 Nov, 2007

    I forgot the Granny Smith apples at the market today! Does anyone think that using Macs (from orchard in MA) will ruin the recipe? I can't wait to make this cake!

  • Bito 17 Nov, 2007

    execellent, moist cake bursting with flavor! The caramel sauce though was a bit granular for me, I prefer a smooth caramel sauce.

  • Mafalda 10 Nov, 2007

    Hi! There from Portugal Europe, In n n n ve made this cake about 4 times, and itn n n n s always a bless. Great cake. I also cut the apples smaller. In n n n ve send this for my hubbyn n n n s work they loved it.

  • ontherun 7 Nov, 2007

    This cake is excellent and moist. It was a success at a potluck and my 8 year old son was very excited to hear I'd be making it again for my husband's birthday, where everyone loved it.

  • Erin O-Sullivan 5 Nov, 2007

    My girls like this treat a lot - I made the apple pieces smaller for them (me too ;) everyone liked it. Even better the next morning with coffee.

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