Apple Cake Recipe

by Kimberley Thompson, Tastemaker in Residence


My all time favorite apple cake isn't fancy, time consuming or laden with odd ingredients. It is simple...which allows the great Minnesota apples to speak for themselves.

I modified the recipe slightly from the "Minnesota Heritage Cookbook: hand-me-down recipes" published in 1979.


1/2 cup soft, unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs, room temp
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 apples, peeled, cored and sliced 1/2" thick*
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp cinnamon


  1. Heat oven to 350°.
  2. Cream the butter and 1  1/2 cups sugar; add vanilla.
  3. Slowly add boiling water and beat.
  4. Sift flour, baking soda and salt: stir into creamed butter mixture.
  5. Spread into greased 9 X 13 pan.
  6. Combine remaining sugar and cinnamon into a large bowl. Toss in apple slices to coat.
  7. Arrange slices on surface of cake in neat rows. Sprinkle remaining sugar and cinnamon mixture over top of apple rows.
  8. Bake for 45 minutes. Serve slightly warm.

Cooks Note

This is my uncle Bill's favorite cake; not sweet or gooey. Perfect with coffee, and a wonderful traveling cake to bake and take!