Apple Cake

apple cake

Before we get to the business of this totally amazing apple cake with marzipan fruits, let me tell you a story. Or you can skip the story and just scroll along down to the video and recipe. I will never know the difference and you will get apple cake a little bit sooner.
Everyone has had at least one terrible, no-good, awful boyfriend or girlfriend in their lives. I feel slightly fortunate that my shittiest boyfriend was also my first because it means that I got it out of the way early and figured out some things to avoid in the future when deciding whom to date (not that I always did).

Anyway, we dated from the time I was 15 (he was significantly, inappropriately older) until I turned 18 and broke up with him by moving all of my stuff out and back in with my parents while he was at work. The whole relationship was very fucked up when I think back about it. At any rate, before we lived together, when I was still in high school and living with my parents, probably 16 years old, I made an elaborate cake for his birthday. I don’t remember what kind of cake it was, but I do remember spending hours making marzipan fruits to decorate the damn thing with. Like, HOURS. I think I made every fruit known to the average American produce section: pears, grapes, oranges, lemons, apples, bananas, peaches, plums. It would have impressed the shit out of anyone with a brain.

He was nonplussed.

Not only that, but he made fun of me when I wanted to take a picture of the cake to remember my handiwork! Can you imagine? And this was WAY before the age of everyone taking pictures of everything they eat. This was like, 1995. I was taking the picture with an actual camera. A film camera. And he made fun of me and I never got the picture. What a dick.

N-E-WAYZ … Now I am married to a fantastic, supportive, interesting, handsome, kind and smart man now who loves cake and food and me and that’s what matters.

Oh. And the apple cake. The apple cake matters. The lightning-fast amazing apple cake with the apple cinnamon filling baked right into it so you don’t have to do any more cooking than is absolutely necessary. How much do you love me now?

Amazing Apple Cake Video

Apple Cake Recipe – Printable


Apple Cake

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5 from 4 reviews

  • Author: Hilah Johnson
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x


  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (1/4 pound) butter, softened
  • Filling:
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, grated (about a cup)
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • Cream cheese frosting:
  • 4 ounces cool cream cheese, cut into chunks
  • 3 tablespoons soft butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sifted powdered sugar


  1. Set oven to 350º and grease and flour 2 8 or 9-inch round cake pans. If you have parchment paper, line the bottoms with parchment rounds to make it even easier to get them out.
  2. Combine the filling ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients with a whisk.
  4. Add eggs, milk and vanilla and mix on medium speed for about 2 minutes, until smooth and creamy looking.
  5. Cut the butter into tablespoons and add it to the batter. Beat together on low speed for one minute, scrape the sides, then beat on medium high for 1 1/2 minutes. Scrape the bowl and finish mixing for 30 seconds on low speed.
  6. Divide dough evenly between the two pans. Spread apple mixture evenly over ONE of the cakes.
  7. Bake cakes for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Allow to cook in pans 10 minutes, then turn onto racks (right sides up) to finish cooling.
  9. Make cinnamon cream cheese frosting: Beat cheese, butter, cinnamon and vanilla together on medium speed until well blended. Sift in powdered sugar by the half-cup until the texture is as you like it.
  10. Stack the plain cake on top of the apple cake so that the apple filling is in the center. Frost with cinnamon cream cheese frosting.


  • Calories: 377
  • Sugar: 41
  • Fat: 16
  • Carbohydrates: 56

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How to Make Marzipan Fruits – Video

Printable how to make Marzipan Fruit Instructions
apple cake


  1. Nikki on November 11, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    Happy autumn and congratulations on your beautiful boy! My Omi and I used to make marzipan fruits when I was a girl. They’re almost too pretty to eat but taste too good not to! I am looking forward to making this in honor of what would have been her 93rd birthday this month but I look more forward to eating it. The added bonus is when I totally blow everyone else’s dessert out of the water on the Thanksgiving dessert table. Take that, bitches….LOL! Thanks for posting and I wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving.

    • Hilah on November 12, 2014 at 10:03 am

      That makes me so happy to hear, Nikki! I bet your whole family will be so excited to see the marzipan fruits you make. And perfect timing that it’s your Omi’s birthday month, too!
      Happy Thanksgiving! And thank you for the baby congrats. Our first Thanksgiving with the babe. Can’t wait!

  2. Rachael Macry on November 12, 2014 at 10:24 am

    ohhhh… that’s why the marzipan lesson. I will go back and learn about that, because, this cake looks amazing!! I don’t even care for cake that much, but apples are just about my favorite and yeah, gonna have to do this one!

    Congrats on the bebe, I love babies and it is bringing me out of my long funk, for some reason I know/know of about a dozen fabulous ladies who are pregnant/have had a baby w/in the last few months. Cannot be sad when looking at babies. speaking of.. dude. You need to make a baby pictures tab up there 😀 😀

  3. Bill on November 13, 2014 at 9:15 am

    Gotta love that sifter ! Grannies?

    • Hilah on November 16, 2014 at 11:22 am

      You know it! 🙂

  4. Pancho Solís on November 15, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    If a girl made me a cake AND marzipan fruit on top?!?! I MEAN COME ON, how K-E-W-T is that! What a douchebag 🙁

    About the cake tho, looks yumz, I can tell the filling is kinda gooey and sticky and tarte tatin like. At least it looks like that, and the idea of not having to work on a frosting sounds wonderful! This is definitely on my list of possible christmas dinner desserts.

    • Hilah on November 16, 2014 at 11:16 am

      Exactly, Pancho! The filling ends up sticky and gooey like the apple filling of a danish or apple fritter. Yum! 🙂

  5. chicago john on November 26, 2014 at 11:06 am

    Wow. After watching your video, I was all set to make this cake for Thanksgiving Day. But after reading the backstory about your boyfriend, I really don’t think it would be appropriate.

    Just kidding; I went out and bought all the ingredients and I’m going to make it and just not think about your boyfriend. I’ve decided to leave out the marzipan fruits, though, as this seems to be the crux of the dissatisfaction in your story. I’m presuming he wasn’t nonplussed about the cake itself. If he was, please don’t tell me until after Thanksgiving.

    • Hilah on November 26, 2014 at 11:35 am

      Ha! Thanks for the support, John. 🙂 I hope you like the cake more than my boyfriend did. Just kidding, I know you will.
      Happy Thanksgiving!

      • chicago john on November 27, 2014 at 12:07 pm

        My wife, Carol, and I are now the proud owners of two of these great cakes! Soon to be on our way to the in-laws with these along with a shit-load of stuffing; which is what Thanksgiving is all about… stuffing 🙂

        Back to the cakes…. they turned out exactly as I hoped they would, including the butter-cheese frosting…. yum!

        I found that it was helpful to invert a dinner plate on top of the final layered composition, with a sheet of parchment between the plate and the upper layer, to promote better conformity between the layers and filling; “Scrunching” them together, I guess one might say; And that arrangement over time seemed to do the trick prior to frosting.

        Here’s hoping everyone has a great Thanksgiving Day 🙂

        • Hilah on November 29, 2014 at 10:37 am

          That is a great trick, John! Thank you.
          Glad to hear y’all understand the importance of stuffing on T-day and hope you all had a great one!

  6. chicago john on November 27, 2014 at 10:15 am

    I started out by the usual method: I chopped up a fresh cucumber, an orange, a jalapeno pepper, a lime, and then I fried a egg just for the halibut! Nothing whatsoever to do with this apple cake; just something I always do for “warm up”. Not sure why….

    Being a “LAZY baker” (not just a “lazy baker”) I started out with two Duncan Hines spice cake mix boxes. However, I did use Granny Smith apples and I did follow the recipe including use of butter. I did, however, change the “milk” idea of Duncan Hines to include 50/50 greek yogurt / water. I guess I’m just frickin’ out of control!!! OFF THE CHAIN !!!!

    Other than that, it all came out good. “Two cakes are better than one”, to paraphrase Marie Antoinette (or Marie-Thérèse a century prior). “More cake?”, asked Alice sarcastically. “I cannot have more cake, as I’ve had none yet!”

    The weird thing is that the German in me (25%), made me weigh the batter into the two 9″ pans to the nearest 0.1 gm. Nonetheless, both times, the layers came out exactly like Hilah’s with the filling on the lower layer. This just further confirms my conviction that Hilah, like Einstein, is somehow in communication with ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence.

    I’m a scientist, or was until I retired, and I cannot conceive of any other explanation for what I’m seeing on the Hilah Cooking Channel. 😉

    • Hilah on November 29, 2014 at 10:42 am

      Well, it’s good to know that the blitzkuchen still works, even with a box spice mix. In fact, I imagine it may have even been slightly more blitzy. BTW, does your German quarter know how to pronounce that word? I have a feeling I pronounce it wrong.

      And yes, I have to agree: Science is most definitely to blame for everything. 😉

  7. Chicago John on November 29, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    You pronounced it well; I believe “blitz” means lightning and connotes ‘quick as a flash’ and of course “kuchen” means cake. Germans like to concatenate their adjectives and nouns in to single words; like the word that tended to describe me before I started watching your channel: “farfromcookin” 😉

  8. Momma J on November 12, 2015 at 3:46 pm

    This looks amazing…I wonder if I can pull off a GF version??

    • Hilah on November 12, 2015 at 4:31 pm

      Hey Momma J! Don’t quote me on this, since it was a year ago, but I do vaguely recall testing this cake with a GF flour blend and I do think it worked pretty well.

  9. vicki thompson on December 18, 2018 at 4:29 pm

    Hilah…!! i know this is a very old post, but i’d love to try this in a 13×9 pan, for a VFW christmas potluck! and i’m wondering how to handle the filling part… either try to just leave on top and frost over…maybe a little tacky. OR sorta make a two layer by halving the batter, adding the apples, and top with the rest…

    If you see this, i’d love any ideas…!

    thanks doll, miss you on YT….

    miss vicki

    • Hilah on December 18, 2018 at 8:06 pm

      Hey Vicki!!
      Can I ask why you want to do it in a 9×13? If just to serve more people, then I think you could double the batter recipe and make a giant cake without much change to the process. If it’s cause you don’t have a smaller pan, then maybe a cast iron skillet?

      • vicki thompson on December 18, 2018 at 9:29 pm

        omg…! thanks for the reply….! 9×13 pan because of serving it up at the potluck, just easier to cut into portions. would i need to double it for a 9×13 pan?

        again…thank for any ideas! and i hope you and yours are having a lovely holiday time…!

        • Hilah on December 19, 2018 at 9:26 am

          Yeah, I think I would double it for a big pan, and increase the cooking time a little. Happy holidays!

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