Apple Cake with Maple Buttercream and Pecan Trim

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Cake of the Month for September 2014

Looks what’s starting to appear at the local market this week… McIntosh apples!!! Did you know John McIntosh discovered the original McIntosh sapling on his farm in Ontario in 1811? The McIntosh Red Apple is considered “all-purpose”, suitable for both eating raw and for cooking. I love it’s tart flavour and semi-firm texture, truly a sign that fall is in the air!

So, now that you have a big basket of apples you’ve harvested yourself (love apple farms in the fall with hay rides, cider… back to the topic…), or brought home from the market – what to do? Let’s make cake!

What could be better to welcome in the season than a delicious apple cake? Don’t take the time to make applesauce, this beauty only needs diced apples for that great chunky texture. Yum!

4.3 from 6 reviews
Apple Cake with Maple Buttercream and Pecan Trim
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups apple, finely chopped
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts + extra for trim
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spray 2 – 8” cake layer pans with cooking spray.
  2. In a bowl mix flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and baking soda.
  3. In a large bowl, beat eggs and oil with an electric mixer until combined. Add sugar and vanilla, beat well for 1 minute.
  4. Slowly add flour mixture until combined – batter will be very thick.
  5. Stir in apples and nuts by hand. Pour into prepared pans. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  6. Cool completely on wire racks. When ready to frost, you may want to trim away the top of the layers which will be a bit crispy. Frost with maple buttercream and trim with more nuts.
MAPLE BUTTERCREAM: Mix ½ cup softened butter with ½ cup maple syrup. Gradually beat in 4 cups confectioners sugar (icing sugar). If too stiff, add 10% cream (by tablespoon) until desired consistency is achieved.


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  1. says

    Submitted on 2014/10/25 at 8:09 pm | In reply to Amanda.
    Hi Amanda, I like to use MacIntosh apples in this recipe but you can use any tart cooking apple like: Royal Gala, Cortland or even Granny Smith.

  2. Denise Rainey says

    This cake was difficult to make, batter very stiff, it broke up trying to take it out of the pan because it was too moist.
    the frosting also, too sweet, and too stiff. had to use the cream to soften it and even then, difficult to spread on the moist cake, it crumbled as I frosted it. maybe its me, but not to my liking.

    • says

      NOTE EVERYONE: I have been testing this cake and made a few changes. I took the amount of apples down to 3 cups from 4. The result is less ‘apple-intense’ but still really awesome. It’s fool-proof and works well every time! Enjoy!!

  3. Zina says

    I just baked this cake and it turned out perfectly. Moist and not crumbly at all.
    It was delicious and the maple buttercream icing was to die for.
    Thanks for the fantastic recipe.

  4. says

    I added 1/4 of buttermilk to the batter.
    Then I added 1 or 2 teaspoons of buttermilk and 3 tablespoons of cream cheese to the frosting to balance out the sweetness. (Note, I am typically not a fan of cream cheese frosting but the little bit worked perfectly.)

  5. Jenny says

    i am making this cake tomorrow , after readying some of the comments, for those that don’t, I HIGHLY recommend lining your cake pans with parchment paper. I also, once the cakes are converted out of the pans, put them in the freezer to firm up before frosting them. These 2 things make a BIG difference.

  6. Helly says

    I made this cake yesterday for a family get together. It was a success! I had to convert most of the measurements into grams / millilitres. If anyone would like the converted recipe, then do let me know. I also used 1 tsp of nutmeg, rather than half a tsp. Just because I like nutmeg. I found it worked well and didn’t taste too nutmeggy 🙂
    I had no issues with the cake crumbling, and I found the icing spread just fine without having to add any cream. Although that may be because I didn’t let is fully cool before icing it, so the heat from the cake probably helped to melt it a bit, making it very spreadable.
    It was a delicious cake and everyone said how lovely it was and how much they enjoyed it :D. Both my mother and my mother-in-law wanted the recipe from me! Thanks very much!

  7. Poppy says

    Made this cake yesterday and totally followed the recipe. Just sprayed the pans with Pam and floured them. Turned out perfect and it was delicious. Will make this one again. Thanks for the great recipe!!

  8. Jennifrr says

    I just made this cake and it turned out perfect. I did use cake four instead of all purpose flour. I also beat the sugar, eggs and oil for about 2 min. Then I stirred in the dry ingredients. One thing I learned about cakes is not to over mix the batter. Then I folded in apples and oecans. Came out perfect in the pans. The frosting is just a standard buttercream. You tweak it until it’s just right. One thing I was thinking was this may be good to chop some caramels and add in the mix. Anyway, great fall recipe. 🙂

  9. Annette says

    I made one and a half times the recipe so I could make cupcakes too. I used coconut oil for the oil and I sprayed my pans and lined them the parchment. I also used 7″ pans and adjusted the cooking time so I would have a taller cake. It is a very stiff batter and I had to get some strong arms to stir in the apples and nuts but this is one of the best cakes I have ever had. It was a huge hit at my family event and beautiful too. I used jonagold apples and they baked beautifully. I was able to get 15 cupcakes as well as two layers. As suggested by another commenter I froze my layers before frosting. The frosting is very sweet so I just used a thin layer on top but a little thicker on the side so the nuts stick. Sadly I forgot to take a picture before we cut into it. I may have to make another so I can get a photo.

  10. Sue says

    Today I am baking this cake for the second time in a week. Need I say how much my family loves this cake? Some of the family did not get a chance to sample so I’m baking it again. Was, the dough stiff? Yes. Was the frosting sweet? Yes. It is a cake made with no added liquids other than the oil. The frosting is made with maple syrup, butter and confectioners sugar. Very obvious to me… is one of the best Apple cakes ever.

    • says

      Thank you see much Sue. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your kind words. Thanks again for coming back and letting me know how much you enjoy my recipe… It’t why I do this!

    • Justin says

      Forgot to post my results..but the cake was a family being known for cooking and baking certainly had my nervous lol…but i was ask to make this cake for our next family gathering…thanks for the recipe..
      The only modification was i used less flour than suggested as i noticed the batter becoming dough like.

  11. Sherry K says

    I made this cake on the weekend and it is really wonderful. The icing is sweet, but that is the point of icing. The cake is so moist and tasty.
    I will certainly be making it again. I was thinking of making it next in a 13 x 9 pan so it is easy to carry to a friend’s home.

  12. Dana says

    This cake looks yummy! Has anyone made it without the nuts? I want to bring it to a Thanksgiving Pot Luck at work and I’m not a fan of nuts as wells as concerned about nut allergies.

  13. Dan Gee says

    I made this terrific cake and noticed it got better with time.I followed the recipe exactly and got excellent results.I wonder if a little bit of applesauce in the mix would add even more flavor.Thanks for the recipe.

  14. Ursa says

    This is my favorite cake ever. I first made it shortly after you originally posted it, and since then it has become the cake I make myself for my birthday (my husband isn’t much of a baker!) I also made it for family some time back and it was a huge hit. Amazingly, it gets even better as it ages, so a day or two after baking all the flavors melt together and it’s just ridiculous. Thank you so much for this recipe, this is a lifetime keeper for me!

  15. Brittni says

    I made the cake last night and it came out awesome! Very delicious and satisfying ! My family loved it, and what topped it off was the icing, I didn’t even have to use any cream. Maple Icing was to die for!

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