Easy Apple Cake

A super simple, easy-to-throw-together apple cake. The cake base uses just eight basic ingredients and one bowl to make! Loaded with fresh apples (no peel!) and cinnamon, this baby will be ready and out of the oven in under an hour!
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
one slice of apple cake

There is simply too much to love about this easy apple cake! One bowl + eight ingredient staples for the cake base and you’ll have a beautiful cake in under an hour (UNDER AN HOUR!).

This gem comes from my second book, The Cake Book! I’m so excited to finally share a recipe from it! It is an olive oil base cake, so there is lots of moisture in there.

I love making desserts with olive oil, included these Olive Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies, My Mega Lemony Olive Oil Lemon Cake or this Lemon Olive Oil Gelato (SO GOOD).

So let’s first talk about…

Why You Should Stop Everything & Bake This Easy Apple Cake

  • One Bowl
  • Eight Basic Ingredients for the Cake Base
  • No Creaming Butter + Sugar
  • Ready in Under an Hour
  • It’s Pretty!

I love easy, fun apple recipes. Here are some of my favorites: Apple Cinnamon Roll Pull Apart Bread, Burnt Caramel Apples, Easy Apple Cake and my favorite Slow Cooker Spiced Apple Cider.

Also check out the Caramel Apple Cake (it’s a loaf cake) and Apple Sour Cream Cake with Apple Cider Drizzle in The Cake Book

the whole apple cake, dusted in powdered sugar

In This Blog Post

About This Apple Cake

One-Bowl Baking

Decorating Your Apple Cake

The Cake Book

Pre-Order Gift!

Apple Cake Variations + Serving Options

More Apple Cakes

The Easy Apple Cake Recipe

one single apple cake slice with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream

About This Apple Cake

It’s true, I have other apple cakes already on the blog…in fact, one that looks quite like this (and is also delicious).

But when I started writing The Cake Book I had a very specific mission in mind: I wanted as many of the cakes as possible to be as fuss-less as possible.

To me that meant:

  • The ingredients had to be easy to find;
  • If they weren’t easy to get (your local store), then I would offer substitutions;
  • I wanted to offer shortcuts and make-ahead tips when possible;
  • If a recipe worked in one bowl, I made it one bowl;
  • If I could whittle the ingredients down without sacrificing flavor I WOULD!!

All this said, I grabbed one of my favorite features from The Cookie Book which is that there is a nice balance between what I like to call ‘I’m laying on the couch and I’m tired but if I don’t get something sweet I might perish’ recipes and ‘I want to toil the better part of my day working on a beautiful cake’ recipes.

This particular easy apple cake, which is called the Apple Cinnamon Everyday Cake in the book, falls in the former category, for all of the reasons mentioned at the top of this post! Easy, quick, delicious, beautiful.

The Baker’s Guide to Measuring Flour

One of the biggest (and most common) mistakes in baking is how we measure flour. If you find yourself without a scale, see my top tips on how to properly measure flour for the perfect amount every time!

one slice of apple cake with a bite out of it

One-Bowl Baking

I have mixed feelings on one-bowl baking and here’s why. When you’re creaming butter + sugar you’re really adding texture and structure to your baked good. Your whipping air into the future cake that will make it light and fluffy, yay!

One of the best ways to make a one-bowl recipe is using oil instead of butter. It mixes fab and makes a very moist cake…but what to do about that lost structure? To remedy this, we whisk the sugar and oil for quite some time, until it’s lighter and frothy. This will add some much-needed air and lightness into the mix.

The other concern, is making sure you don’t have pockets of leavening (baking soda and powder) as you want it evenly mixed throughout the cake batter. When you’re adding these to the liquids, sprinkle them evenly over the top and then whisk. This should keep clumping at bay.

One last tip is that sometimes that large bowl of liquid has a hard time combining with the flour. Use a whisk to add the flour to the liquids and then half-way through mixing, switch to a spatula. I find that this keeps me from over mixing while also making sure that the batter is well combined.

These tips will work for most one-bowl recipes, so remember ’em!

Unbaked apple cake

Decorating Your Apple Cake

This is such a pretty and simple way to finish a cake and it also has big curb appeal. Here’s how we do…

DO pick apples that are all about the same size.

DO NOT peel your apples. You won’t even notice the peel when eating the apple cake and it looks pretty and you’re welcome!

DO overlap the apple slices when setting them on top of the cake…they will shrink a bit while they bake.

DO add the apple cake toppings in EXACTLY the order they are listed: 1) lay the apples over the top of the cake, 2) sprinkle with sliced almonds (so pretty, but also optional), 3) drizzle with the fresh lemon juice (don’t over-do-it), 4) dust with the cinnamon and then finally, 5) sprinkle with the sugar!

This order yields the prettiest cake, I promise…I tested it 25,000 times!

TIP: If evenly sprinkling the cinnamon seems like a challenge, you can mix it with the sugar and then sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the top, your call!

The Cake Book cover: Chocolate cake on a white cake stand on a black background

The Cake Book

This easy apple cake is actually called the Apple Cinnamon Everyday Cake in The Cake Book. I changed the title for the blog because, well, SEO, it’s that simple!

This cake is in the Single & Fabulous chapter from The Cake Book and I am absolutely in LOVE with this chapter. First, this chapter was named after that iconic line from Samantha Jones, Sex in the City:

That’s right. We are single and fabulous

Samantha Jones

All of the cakes in this chapter are single layer, fabulous cakes. The recipes include:

  • Stella’s Strawberry Lemonade Cake with Strawberry Marshmallow Frosting (frosting inspired by my friend Jessie Sheehan)…when I was pregnant with Stella I was OBSESSED with fresh strawberry lemonade!
  • Una Leche Lemon-Coconut Cake
  • Apple Cinnamon Everyday Cake
  • Brown Butter Snickerdoodle Cake with Cinnamon Spice Frosting
  • Thick Mint Cookie Cake…inspired by everyone’s favorite Thin Mint Cookie
  • Granny Pete’s Chocolate Cake with Marshmallow Frosting…this is one of three recipes that made it from the blog to the book and it makes me so happy because I dedicated the book to Granny Pete
  • Chocolate-Peanut Butter Graham Cracker Cake
  • Big Ass Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake…yep, so good
  • Dark Chocolate Cajeta Cheesecake…a dream

Any questions about the book, this apple cake or the Single & Fabulous chapter, please leave them in the comments below and I will get back to you!! xo

Before you get started, take a peek at my Top 10 Cake Tips for perfect cakes, every time!

apple cake and ice cream
slices of grape and apple cake

Apple Cake Variations + Serving Options

While apples are available pretty much year round, you can use other seasonal fruit in its place, such as peaches, berries, plums or basically any thinly sliced stone fruit or berry.

I added a dusting of confectioners’ sugar for the photos here, in the book you can see it without. I think it looks like a delicious pastry with the confectioners’ sugar, so consider it…

My favorite way to eat this is with ICE CREAM. Grab a really delicious vanilla bean ice cream and serve each slice with a big ol’ scoop. You will not be disappointed.

For the photo above, I used grapes and then sprinkled sparkling sugar over the top (I love sparkling sugar).

How can this little effort yield so much reward? I dunno…I just don’t know…

lots of slices of apple cake

More Delicious Apple Recipes

Cranberry Apple Hand Pies

Apple Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread

Slow Cooker Spiced Apple Cider

Cranberry Apple Hand Pies

Apple Cinnamon Scones

Rebecca Firth

one slice of apple cake

Easy Apple Cake

A super simple, easy-to-throw-together apple cake. The cake base uses just eight basic ingredients and one bowl to make! Loaded with fresh apples (no peel!) and cinnamon, this baby will be ready and out of the oven in under an hour!
5 from 11 reviews
Print Save Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Cake
Keyword: Cake, Apples, Cinnamon, Almond, One Bowl


For the Cake

  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 2/3 cup (149 g) good-quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon (4 g) almond extract
  • teaspoons (8 g) baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (6 g) sea salt
  • 12/3 cups (225 g) all-purpose flour (how to measure flour)

To Garnish

  • 2 medium apples (cored and cut into thin slices (about 388 g))
  • ¼ cup (28 g) sliced almonds
  • 1 tablespoon (14 g) fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons (36 g) granulated sugar


  • Preheat oven to 350ºF (177ºC). Grease a 9-inch (23-cm) round cake pan and line with parchment paper, greasing the parchment paper as well.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar and eggs until thick and frothy, about 2 minutes. Add in the olive oil, almond extract, baking powder, baking soda and salt and whisk for 1 minute more. Add in the flour and mix until just combined.
  • Pour into the prepared baking dish. Starting on the outside of the pan, lay the apple slices one next to the other, slightly overlapping, and work your way to the middle. Sprinkle the almond slices evenly over the top, drizzle the lemon juice and then sprinkle the cinnamon (do this from up high, pinching some between your thumb and index finger). If you find dusting the cake in cinnamon challenging, consider combining it with the sugar first and then sprinkling over the top. Finally, dust the top with sugar and bake in the center of the oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until it’s puffed, lightly bronzed and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with some crumbs but no wet batter. Let cool on a rack for 20 minutes before taking out of the pan to finish cooling on a rack. Serve at room temperature.
  • If you bake this cake and share on social, would you please tag me @displacedhousewife #thecakebook so that I can see your pretty cakes? I can't wait!! xoxo



*Suggested oils for the cake: a good quality olive oil, sunflower seed oil…some flavor will come through, so make sure it tastes good before putting it in your cake! 
*Feel free to omit the almond extract and almonds. Add in an equal bit of vanilla extract if omitting.
Thanks for baking with me! Please rate + comment this recipe and tag me on social @displacedhousewife #displacedhousewife so I can see your beautiful treats! xo


Leave a Comment & Rate this Recipe

I love your comments, reviews and questions! If you love this recipe, please rate it when you leave a comment. Star ratings 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 help people discover my recipes. Your support means a lot, I look forward to chatting with you!

Rebecca xox

Recipe Rating


  • Linda Jackson October 7, 2023 at 5:33 AM

    You mention grapes in your notes above? Are you saying to sub grapes for apples? Or in addition to?

    • Rebecca Firth October 9, 2023 at 11:06 AM

      Hi Linda!
      I made it once with grapes and it was delicious (instead of apples). It’s a very versatile recipe…but I think the apples are my favorite way to make it. Let me know if you have any other questions! xo

  • Deb Wright September 5, 2023 at 8:55 PM

    Do you think you could make this Gluten Free with Almond Flour or Coconut Flour instead?

    • Rebecca Firth September 6, 2023 at 6:56 AM

      Hi Deb!
      I haven’t tested making it GF, but if I was going to make it GF I would probably turn to a GF all-purpose flour for best results. My three favorites are Cup 4 Cup (Thomas Keller), Bob Red Mills GF 1-to-1 Baking Flour and King Arthur GF Measure for Measure.

      I would also recommend letting the cake batter sit for a bit for best results. If you bake it this way let me know how it goes! xo

  • kathleen allen July 10, 2023 at 1:47 PM

    5 stars
    Hey Rebecca: I whipped up this cake in my hot kitchen with a fan. It was worth it! I wasn’t sure if we would like the olive oil but it turned out delicious. I only use California Olive Ranch which is expensive but worth it. Bill said this is one of the better things you’ve baked.

    • Rebecca Firth July 12, 2023 at 4:35 PM

      Hi Kathleen!
      I’m so happy you all loved this cake!! I use California Olive Ranch for most of my baking too, it’s so good. Tell Bill I’m glad he liked it!!! xox

  • Kelly Kardos October 9, 2021 at 11:04 AM

    5 stars
    I’m making this for my Maj Jongg group!!

    • Rebecca Firth October 9, 2021 at 11:18 AM

      I wanna come!!!! ;)

      I hope they love it! Let me know what you think!! xox

  • Abby October 9, 2021 at 10:34 AM

    5 stars
    OMG! So good. I can’t wait for your book to come out. In the mean time I will be trying this. xoxo

    • Rebecca Firth October 9, 2021 at 10:55 AM

      Yay!! Thank you so much Abby!!! I hope you love it as much as we do!!!

  • Dad October 9, 2021 at 7:51 AM

    5 stars
    Delicious and all the food groups with apples and cinnamon topping the list.

    • Rebecca Firth October 9, 2021 at 7:53 AM

      Thanks Dad! I’m making it again this week, I’ll bring you some!! xox

  • Hillary October 9, 2021 at 7:42 AM

    5 stars
    Look so delicious I can’t wait to make it.

    • Rebecca Firth October 9, 2021 at 7:45 AM

      Hi Hillary! I can’t wait for you to try it!! xoxo

  • Sally October 9, 2021 at 7:31 AM

    5 stars
    Hello Fall! This looks delicious.

  • Lexi October 9, 2021 at 7:28 AM

    Hi Rebecca! This cake looks amazing and super easy! For the class, if we already pre-ordered and sent an email, does that mean we are set? Will we receive a confirmation email, or just the ingredient list and class info? Just making sure not to miss anything.
    Thanks and congratulations on the new book! Super excited to get my copy!

    • Rebecca Firth October 9, 2021 at 7:45 AM

      Hi Lexi! Thank you so much for asking this question!! A confirmation email will go out this week (soon!) to those that have sent in their receipts thus far. A separate email will go out closer to the event with more info, the recipe, etc.

      Thank you so much for pre-ordering!!! I can’t wait to bake with you!!! xoxo