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Pie or cake, cake or pie? End the debate and embrace the best of both with my show-stopping Apple Pie Cake—where flaky pie meets fluffy cake in a delicious dance-off!
Incredibly easy Apple Pie Cake Recipe
If you’ve ever been torn between apple pie and cake, prepare for a revelation. This Apple Pie Cake is the superhero of desserts, swooping in to save the day when you simply can’t decide between fruity and fluffy. A generous filling of spiced apples nestles between layers of golden cake, all topped with a crumb that’s to die for.
Don’t let the conundrum of its name fool you; this dish has a clear identity—scrumptious. The best part? It’s the easiest gourmet dessert you’ll ever make. Mix, layer, bake, and get ready for a symphony of flavors and textures that sing in perfect harmony.
Why You’ll Love This Apple Pie Cake
- Best of Both Worlds: Why choose between the flaky, fruity goodness of apple pie and the moist, fluffy decadence of cake when you can have both? This Apple Pie Cake is the ultimate dessert mashup, offering a harmonious blend of textures and flavors that make every bite a euphoric experience.
- Time-Saver with Gourmet Flair: Using a boxed cake mix as the base takes the fuss out of the baking process without sacrificing flavor. It’s a shortcut to deliciousness, perfect for those spur-of-the-moment gatherings or for impressing guests without spending all day in the kitchen.
- Versatility for Any Occasion: Whether it’s Thanksgiving dinner, a casual potluck, or a Sunday family brunch, this Apple Pie Cake fits the bill. Its balanced flavors appeal to both kids and adults, making it a universally loved dessert that elevates any meal or celebration.
- Apples – I used Macintosh apples as they’re in season at the moment here in Canada, however any kind will do! Be sure to slice them thin and bite sized.
- Brown sugar – I used brown sugar for this recipe as I want to develop a nice dark color for my apple ‘filling’. It will also give a note of caramel to the dish.
- Lemon juice – This will prevent the sliced apples from oxidizing before they’re put in the oven, it also gives a nice tart note to the dish.
- Boxed yellow cake mix – This is meant to be a quick cake and you all know by now that when the time calls for it, I’m not shy about taking shortcuts. If gluten free is available feel free to use that instead. You can also make your own yellow cake mix, using my recipe here.
- Water – This particular cake mix called for water but if yours calls for milk use that instead.
- Oil – A light flavorless oil, canola is always a good go to, is important for ensuring your cake turns out moist.
- Eggs – This will bind our batter.
- Flour – I used all purpose, gluten free flour will also work fine.
- Brown sugar – The molasses in the brown sugar will melt down in the oven, forming a beautiful thin crust of sugar over top of the cake.
- Salt – Say it with me now: every good dessert is only as good as it’s sugar to salt balance.
- Butter – As we want this topping to be crumbly, butter will be cut in with a fork.
Hey, you won’t believe how easy this Apple Pie Cake is to whip up. It’s like a mash-up of two classic desserts, so you get the best of both worlds.
First off, let’s crank that oven up to 350°F. While it’s heating, give a 13×9 inch pan a good spritz with some baking spray. Prepping the pan now means less fuss later, trust me.
Grab your yellow cake mix—yeah, the stuff from the box! Dump it into your mixer along with the water, oil, and eggs. Low speed, two minutes, and bam! You’ve got yourself a cake batter. Pour it into the pan you prepared earlier.
Now, for the apples. Peel ’em, core ’em, slice ’em up, and toss them in a bowl with brown sugar, cinnamon, and a squirt of lemon juice. Stir it well and layer it right over your cake batter. This is where the “pie” part comes in.
In another bowl, let’s mix some flour, brown sugar, and a pinch of salt. Cut in the butter with a fork or your hands until it looks all crumbly. Scatter this magic dust all over the apples. Yep, this is the “cake” element I was talking about!
Slide that beauty into the oven. Now, here’s the thing: ovens are fickle. Start checking around 35 minutes, but it might take up to an hour. Just keep an eye on it and do the toothpick test; it should come out clean when it’s ready.
And there you go! Let it cool, maybe sprinkle some powdered sugar on top if you’re feeling fancy, and get ready to serve up a slice of heaven that can’t decide if it’s a pie or a cake—and doesn’t need to!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use a different type of apple?
Absolutely, go wild! I used regular apples, but Granny Smiths add a nice tartness, and Honeycrisps give extra sweetness. Just keep in mind that softer apples may get mushier.
Do I have to use a boxed cake mix?
Nope, you can make your own yellow cake mix from scratch if you’re feeling like an overachiever. But hey, the box mix is our little secret, right?
Can I make this ahead of time?
You bet! The flavors meld even better when it sits for a bit. Just make sure to store it in an airtight container so it doesn’t dry out.
Can I add nuts or other toppings?
Why not? A sprinkle of walnuts or pecans would add a lovely crunch. Just add them along with the crumbly topping before baking.
- Prep Your Apples in Advance: If you’re short on time, you can peel, core, and slice your apples the day before. Just toss them in a bit of lemon juice to keep them from browning.
- Room Temperature Ingredients: Make sure your eggs and butter are at room temperature for the cake mix. It’ll mix more easily and create a smoother batter.
- Don’t Skimp on the Topping: Really work that butter into the flour and brown sugar for the crumbly topping. The better incorporated it is, the more even your delicious crust will be.
- Test for Doneness: Oven temperatures can vary. Start checking the cake at 35 minutes with a toothpick. If it comes out clean, you’re good to go!
- Let It Cool: I know it’s tempting, but let the cake cool down before you dive in. It allows the flavors to meld and makes for easier slicing. Trust me, it’s worth the wait.
Once the cake is completely cooled, cover it tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and it will keep beautifully in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Want to make it even more convenient? Slice it into portions, wrap them individually, and stash them in the freezer. They freeze well for up to 3 months. To enjoy later, just thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat in the oven or microwave. It’s like giving your future self a delicious gift!
Discover More Delicious Desserts
- Apple Pie Taquitos
- Churro Apple Pie Cookies
- Apple Pie Cheesecake Bars
- Classic Apple Pie
- Quick Apple Turnovers
- Apple Crumble
- Preheat oven to 350℉ and spray a 9×13 inch pan with baking spray.
- Prepare the yellow cake according to package instructions: add cake mix, 3 eggs, water and oil to the bowl of your mixer and mix on low speed for 2 minutes. Pour into prepared pan.
- In a medium bowl, toss together the apple mixture ingredients together and spread over the cake batter.
- In a medium bowl stir together the flour, brown sugar and salt for the topping and cut in the butter using a fork or pastry blender until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle topping over the apples and cake batter, evenly.
- Bake anywhere from 35 minutes to an hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely before serving. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if preferred.
- For the apple mixture: Choose tart apples like Granny Smith for a balanced flavor.
- Baking time may vary: Ovens can be temperamental, so start checking at 35 minutes.
- Optional Add-ins: A handful of walnuts or pecans in the topping adds a delightful crunch.
- Make Ahead: You can prepare the apple mixture and the topping a day in advance, just store them separately in the fridge.
- Serving Suggestion: This cake pairs wonderfully with vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.
Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.
Recipe source: Betty Crocker