This apple snack cake is easy to make, packed with chunks of apple and gently spiced. It has a wonderful balance of sweetness, tender buttery cake and fruitiness. It's always incredibly popular with all who try it, so make sure you do soon, too!
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When my older son was young, we needed to get out of the house pretty early every day. It wasn't so much that he was clamoring at the door, but he was obviously not content being in the confines of our house and needed more to keep him happy.
Luckily, I had a few friends in the same position, and particularly when the weather wasn't great, we'd often head to the Children's Museum.
Much as it is a great museum (and we still go now, just less often), one thing I have never understood is why it doesn't open until 10am.
I know there are plenty of parents and caregivers of young kids who, even with travel time, could do with it being open a good hour or more earlier. Because for whatever reason, so many kids are early risers (why can't they inherit the early bird/night owl genes of their parents?!)
However thankfully, there's a great cafe nearby, Flour, which we still go to regularly for lunch when we're at the museum. We'd sometimes meet there first for coffee and a snack, and their apple snack cake was definitely a favorite.
I've previously shared a sour cream apple cake which we all loved, but I decided it was about time to try a version of the snack cake.
I found the original, which this draws on (from owner Joanna Chang's book, Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston's Flour Bakery + Cafe, affiliate link) a little too sweet, so I've adapted to my taste including reducing the sugar a little.
Don't worry, though: it's still definitely sweet and has a wonderfully round spice flavor, without being too much. It's moist, light and not too crumbly.
Steps to make apple snack cake
This is a really easy cake to make, as you simply:
- Cream together the sugar and butter;
- Add the eggs and mix.
- Separately mix the dry ingredients.
- Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture.
- Stir through the diced apple and dates, then put in a lined pan and bake.
I've added a few chopped dates in here, as I love both the flavor and texture, but you could also use raisins as in the original. Many recipes also add in some nuts which you are welcome to do as well, I just knew my kids would be funny about them and I do really like it without.
I tried it both with and without frosting and I really have a hard time deciding which I prefer. Funny enough, the kids go for with frosting but it is a little more messy. My compromise is the drizzle you see here. It's up to you, and it's delicious either way.
This apple snack cake is a wonderfully easy and tasty cake perfect for any time of day. Enjoy it with coffee, as dessert, as part of brunch or any excuse. It's jam-packed with juicy apples and is sure to be a hit.
Like apple-y treats? So do I! Try these other tasty ideas:
- Apple bacon cornmeal scones
- Caramel apple magic bars
- Apple crepes
- Classic apple tarte tatin
- Apple banana smoothie
- Æblekage - Danish apple trifle
- Plus get more inspiration in the fall recipes archives.
I use this 9x9 inch square baking pan for this that works well (and has a lid, handy for storing any leftovers; affiliate link).
Apple snack cake
- 4 oz unsalted butter room temperature or at least cut in small pieces
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ⅓ cup all purpose flour plain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon cloves or allspice
- 2 cups apples peeled and small dice, approx 2 apples (peeled and cored weight/vol)
- ⅓ cup chopped dates
For the maple frosting (optional)
- ¼ cup confectioners sugar (¼ cup is 4tbsp) icing sugar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 350F/175C. Line a 9x9in (23x23cm) cake pan with parchment.
- Cream together the butter and sugar until well combined (you can use either a stand or hand mixer). Add the eggs one at a time along with the vanilla and mix in well.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Add this to the butter mixture - I suggest folding in with a spatula rather than beating (you can add part at a time, if easier). The mixture will be relatively stiff.
- Add the diced apples and dates, mix them through then tip into the lined prepared pan. Smooth the top then bake for approximately 35 minutes until a medium brown color and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- You can enjoy the cake warm or cool, but if you want to add frosting it will need to be cooled first.
- If adding frosting, sift the confectioner's sugar then stir in the maple syrup. Mix until smooth. Drizzle or spread over the cake once it has cooled then cut and serve. It will keep approx 3-4 days at cool room temp in a sealed box.
See some of my favorite cooking tools and ingredients in the Caroline's Cooking Amazon store.
This post was originally shared in September 2018 and has been updated, primarily with new photos and a video.
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This post was shared as part of Appleweek 2018. Thank you AppleWeek Sponsors: Swiss Diamond, Nordic Ware, Envy Apples, Imperial Sugar, The Spice House, Rodelle Vanilla, Flahavan’s Irish Oats and Nairn’s for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for AppleWeek recipes. All opinions are my own.
Try these other apple recipes:
- Apple, Bacon and Caramelized Onion Pizza by Strawberry Blondie Kitchen
- Apple Bakewell Tart by Books n' Cooks
- Apple Cider Pulled Pork with Apple Slaw by Simple and Savory
- Apple Cinnamon Baklava by Kate's Recipe Box
- Apple Cream Pie with Oatmeal Crust by Savory Moments
- Easy Apple Crisp Pie with Oats by The Anthony Kitchen
- Apple Gingerbread Cakelets by The Monday Box
- Apple Oatmeal Muffins by House of Nash Eats
- Apple Pie Crepes by The Bitter Side of Sweet
- Apple Pie Moonshine by Cookaholic Wife
- Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash by Palatable Pastime
- Baked Cinnamon Apple Doughnuts by Jonesin' For Taste
- Braised Chicken with Apples by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Buttery Apple Streusel Thumbprint Cookies by Faith, Hope, Love & Luck
- Caramel Apple Stuffed Waffles by 4 Sons R Us
- Caramel Apple Cider Vodka Slush Cocktail by Everyday Eileen
- Caramel Drizzled Apple Pie Egg Rolls by The Freshman Cook
- Chai Apple Multigrain Pancakes by Amy's Cooking Adventures
- Chai-Spiced Baked Apple Oatmeal by The Redhead Baker
- Crumbly Apple Cranberry Casserole by Who Needs a Cape
- Easy Apple Dumplings by Corn, Beans, Pigs and Kids
- Gingered Apple Trifles by Culinary Adventures With Camilla
- Instant Pot Applesauce by Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks
- Marlborough Apple Custard Pie by Karen's Kitchn Stories
- Maple Apple Crisp by Jolene's Recipe Journal
- Overnight Apple Pie Steel Cut Oatmeal by Tip Garden
- Prairie Apple Crunch by Family Around the Table
- Ricotta Tart with Apples and Prosciutto by Cooking With Carlee
- Shaved Apple Salad by Cindy's Recipes and Writings
- Spiced Apple Cider Charlotte Cake by Love and Confections
- Vegan Apple Pie Cinnamon Rolls by The Baking Fairy