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Apple Dapple Cake

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a close up a shot of a slice of Apple Dapple Cake on a plate
This apple dapple cake is a classic recipe with juicy apples and warm spices in every moist bite.
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Table of Contents
  1. Apple Dapple Cake Ingredients
  2. How to Make This Apple Dapple Cake Recipe
  3. How To Serve
  4. Storage
  5. More Recipes You’ll Love
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE
  7. Most Popular Recipes

The sweet name alone of this classic apple dapple cake makes me smile. Studded with pieces of fresh apples and crunchy pecans, this vintage recipe is deliciously moist and topped with a creamy layer of buttery dulce de leche caramel topping.

a close up a shot of a slice of Apple Dapple Cake on a plate

Apple Dapple Cake Ingredients

Apple Dapple Cake raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need:

For the Apple Cake

  • 3¼ cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1½ teaspoons apple pie spice
  • 1¼ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1⅔ cups vegetable oil
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • ⅔ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 4 cups peeled, cored, and diced Granny Smith apples
  • 1½ cups chopped pecans (divided into 1 cup and ½ cup for garnish)

For the Caramel Topping

  • 1 (13.4-ounce) can dulce de leche caramel
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

NUTS: You can substitute any chopped nuts for the pecans. You can also add other nuts as well as the pecans. A combination of pecans and walnuts would be amazing.

BUTTER: You can substitute salted sweet cream butter for vegetable oil. You will need to reduce the amount of kosher salt to 1 teaspoon.

DULCE DE LECHE: You can substitute caramel ice cream topping for the dulce de leche if you cannot find the dulce de leche. Omit the heavy cream if using the ice cream topping.

APPLES: We like the Granny Smith variety of apples for this cake, but you can also use Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, or Gala instead.

How to Make This Apple Dapple Cake Recipe

STEP ONE: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with Baker’s Joy or a generic version. Set it aside.

STEP TWO: Add the flour, apple pie spice, baking soda, and salt to a medium bowl. Whisk to combine.

STEP THREE: Add the vegetable oil and sugars to a large mixing bowl. Whisk to thoroughly incorporate.

oil and sugars whisked in a bowl

STEP FOUR: Whisk in the eggs and vanilla until well combined.

eggs and vanilla whisked in a bowl

STEP FIVE: Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined. Do not over-stir, but be sure no streaks of flour are visible.

STEP SIX: Stir in the diced apples and 1 cup of pecans. 

diced apples and chopped pecans stirred in a bow with the vanilla mixture

STEP SEVEN: Evenly spread the cake batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean (a few crumbs may cling to the toothpick).

OUR RECIPE DEVELOPER SAYS

Oven temperatures vary and may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure they are accurate. Make sure to keep a close eye on your cake as the suggested baking time approaches.

cake spread in the baking dish and baked

STEP EIGHT: Add the dulce de leche to a small heat-safe bowl. Heat in the microwave for 45 seconds, just to loosen the caramel. 

STEP NINE: Whisk in the heavy cream until smooth. Evenly spread over the top of the cake. 

PRO TIP:

Spread the dulce de leche over top of the cake while it is still warm so that it spreads easily and seeps into the cake in just the right way.

caramel mixture spread over the cake in a a baking dish

STEP TEN: Sprinkle the reserved ½ cup of chopped pecans around the edge of the cake. Slice into twelve 2-inch x 3-inch slices.

PRO TIP:

Because of the fruit in the cake, the longer it sits, the moister it will become. You can allow the cake to rest in the refrigerator overnight before cutting and topping the cake.

reserved pecans sprinkled around the edge of the cake in a baking dish

How To Serve

This delicious cake would be a sweet treat to enjoy for an afternoon or evening snack. Serve it along with a warm cup of tea, homemade hot chocolate, or even a pumpkin spice latte to wash it down.

Vintage recipes often bring back childhood memories. Our butter cake and oatmeal cake are two more of our favorites.

Storage

IN THE FRIDGE: Store any leftovers of this easy apple dapple cake recipe in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

IN THE FREEZER: You can freeze the sweet apple cake without the caramel topping for up to 6 months. You will need to wrap the cake in 2 layers of plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil. Allow the cake to thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

a close up a shot of Apple Dapple Cake in a baking dish with a slice taken out

Our old-fashioned apple dapple cake is brimming with chunks of apples and plenty of fall flavors. This nostalgic cake recipe has been around for decades and is just as delicious now as it always has been.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I freeze this cake?

This easy apple cake will keep in the freezer for up to three months. Once cooled, wrap it in plastic wrap and then a Ziploc bag.

Can I use a different kind of apples?

For this simple recipe, you can use any type of apple you’d like.

Can I store this cake on the counter?

This cake will stay fresh longer if kept in the fridge in an airtight container.

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a close up a shot of a slice of Apple Dapple Cake on a plate

Apple Dapple Cake

5 from 43 votes
This apple dapple cake is a classic recipe with juicy apples and warm spices in every moist bite.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 15

Ingredients
  

Apple Cake

  • cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • teaspoons apple pie spice
  • teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1⅔ cups vegetable oil
  • cups granulated sugar
  • cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 4 cups peeled, cored, and diced Granny Smith apples
  • cups chopped pecans, divided into 1 cup and ½ cup for garnish

Caramel Topping

  • 13.4 ounces dulce de leche caramel
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with Baker’s Joy or a generic version. Set it aside.
  • Add the flour, apple pie spice, baking soda, and salt to a medium-sized bowl. Whisk to combine.
  • Add the vegetable oil and sugars to a large mixing bowl. Whisk to completely incorporate.
  • Whisk in the eggs and vanilla until well combined.
  • Stir in the dry ingredients until just combined. Do not over-stir, but be sure no streaks of flour are visible.
  • Stir in the diced apples and 1 cup of chopped pecans.
  • Evenly spread the cake batter into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean (a few crumbs may cling to the toothpick).
  • Add the dulce de leche to a small heat-safe bowl. Heat in the microwave for 45 seconds, just to loosen the caramel.
  • Whisk in the heavy cream until smooth. Evenly spread over the cake.
  • Sprinkle the reserved ½ cup of chopped pecans around the edge of the cake. Slice into twelve 2-inch x 3-inch slices.

Notes

  • Oven temperatures vary and may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure they are accurate. Make sure to keep a close eye on your cake as the suggested baking time approaches.
  • Spread the dulce de leche over top of the cake while it is still warm so that it spreads easily and seeps into the cake in just the right way.
  • Because of the fruit in the cake, the longer it sits, the moister it will become. You can allow the cake to rest in the refrigerator overnight before cutting and topping the cake.

Nutrition

Calories: 323kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.004g | Cholesterol: 39mg | Sodium: 356mg | Potassium: 225mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 165IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 2mg
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  1. Amber says

    5 stars
    This sounds absolutely delicious. I think it would be great with vanilla ice cream. I would also try it with walnuts.

  2. Cindy@CountyRoad407 says

    Man, this had my stomach growling right away! It looks scrumptious and so moist! Thank you for sharing it with us on Farmhouse Friday. Featuring it this week. Hope you link up again soon. Pinned!

  3. Kerryanne says

    Wow, this sounds delicious… putting it on my must make list!
    Thank you for sharing this recipe at Create, Bake, Grow & Gather this week. I’m delighted to be featuring your apple dapple cake recipe at tonight’s party and pinning too.
    Happy fall,
    Kerryanne

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