Super Moist Apple Cake

Super-Moist Apple Cake

What makes this apple cake so super moist is the cream, which is poured over the top just before it bakes. This is a great coffee cake on its own or served warm with vanilla ice cream.–Clark Frasier and Mark Gaier

LC Which Baking Apples Note

Wanna experience varying textures within the same obscenely moist apple cake? Try a combination of different types of apples. The authors suggest something “such as Granny Smith (which is quite tart), Macintosh (which is firm), and Cortland (which gets very soft with cooking).” You heard them, folks.

Super Moist Apple Cake Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 1 H
  • Serves 10


  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 12 tablespoons (6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 medium baking apples (see LC Note above), peeled, cored, halved, and thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


  • 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Butter and flour a 10-inch round, 2-inch-deep cake pan or springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  • 2. In a large bowl with a stand mixer or a hand-held mixer, beat 1 1/2 cups sugar and the butter for 3 to 5 minutes, until light in color. Scrape the bowl as needed with a rubber spatula and continue to beat until the mixture is very light in texture and color, several minutes more.
  • 3. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, scraping the bowl between additions.
  • 4. Sift together the flours, baking powder, and salt. Alternately add the milk and dry ingredients into the butter mixture, stopping to scrape the bowl as necessary. Add the vanilla and mix the batter just until smooth. Do not overbeat it.
  • 5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly with a rubber spatula. Arrange the apple slices on the batter, overlapping one another in concentric circles. You want to completely cover the top of the cake. Pour the cream evenly over the apples.
  • 6. Stir together the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and the cinnamon and sprinkle the mixture over the top of the cake. Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the pan from the oven, transfer it to a wire rack, and let the cake cool completely.
  • 7. Invert the cake onto the rack, remove the parchment paper, and invert it once more onto a serving platter. Serve the apple cake warm or room temperature. (The cooled apple cake can be stored tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.)
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David Says

David Leite caricature

This apple cake recipe comes from the wonderful team of Clark Frasier and Mark Gaier, life partners and owners of the now-closed Arrows Restaurant in Ogunquit, Maine. Barbara Fairchild, my mentor and the former editor in chief of Bon Appétit, told The One and me about Clark and Mark and the restaurant when we were casting about for a great place to go on our eleventh anniversary back in 2004. "It's terrific," she told us. "You won't be sorry."

Mark had shown us around the restaurant and taken us out to the garden in the back. It was the first time I'd ever seen a restaurant harvest its own vegetables, greens, and herbs. "And in the winter when we're closed," said Mark, pointing to the rafters, "we hang hams that we cure ourselves."

After all this time, I don't remember what we ate, but I do remember walking away impressed—and with a signed cookbook under my arm. This apple cake was the first recipe I made from the book—and yes, it really is super moist. The cake quickly became an autumn staple for The One and me. And as I was casting about for a dessert to make for this year's anniversary—21 years, which is something like 53 in straight-couple years—I remembered this recipe. The One had said he intends to make a tarte Tatin, but I'm making a last-minute substitution. There's a certain symmetry in having this apple cake a decade after we were introduced to it. And I'm sure it'll be every bit as saucy, tart, and tender as it—and we—were a decade ago.

Super Moist Apple Cake Recipe Super Moist Apple Cake Recipe


  1. We love this cake, but we found that both times we made it, we couldn’t get all the apple slices on top. I think perhaps two apples might be enough, or cut the slices a little thicker.

  2. This cake was great — easy to make and with lots of flavour. I only used two apples, and that was more than enough. Served warm the first day and cold with extra cream the second, both ways were very good.

    1. Hi Cristal, the active time should take about 15 minutes (are you handy with peeling and coring apples?) and the cook time around 45 minutes. I’d allow a little over an hour to get this cake on the table.

  3. I was at a wedding in the early 90’s where I happened to be seated with Martha Stewart. She was telling me about an apple cake, but I didn’t have a piece of paper to write on…so we wrote it out on a cream linen napkin. Real linen. Must have cost $20, even in 1993. It’s still in my recipe file.

    Anyway, The recipe is very much like this, with Martha making one small change — she used 1/2 cup half-and-half in the cake batter and 1/4 cup Calvados. At that time, Calvados was $20 for a 12 ounce bottle, but I decided not to eat lunch that week and splurged. It was yummy. I made one addition a year or so later, which was adding a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg to the batter. Nutmeg loves cream and loves apples, and is always open to a three way.

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