This sliced Apple Cake with Cinnamon is a favorite autumn dessert and looks so pretty with the fresh apples on top. It's actually a very simple cake, nothing fancy and it's even baked in a skillet.
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There is nothing better than the smell of apples, brown sugar, and spices in the oven baking into something wonderful. And this apple cake recipe always turns out scrumptious with a tender cake and sweet cinnamon apples.
It's fun making this dessert with the simple maple-flavored cake batter, then you get to lay the spiced apples on the top of the cake batter creating a pretty pattern. The cake bakes up moist and buttery with the apples nestled into the cake.
Baking in the cast-iron skillet creates crispy edges and a tender and moist center for the cake.
Don't have a cast-iron skillet? No problem! Use an 8" cake pan and you will still get a perfectly moist and yummy cake.
Try these other cast-iron recipes
- A simple vanilla cake recipe you should try is also one of the most popular desserts on the One Hot Oven blog and it's made in a cast iron skillet too. This Easy Vanilla Bean Cake has the most wonderful flavor from lots of vanilla bean seeds.
- Another iron skillet favorite is this Cheddar Iron Skillet Cornbread that's perfect with a bowl of chili
What kind of apple to use
Now that we've covered skillets, let's talk apples. I'm curious, what are your favorite apples to bake with? For this cake, I used Honeycrisp apples, which add a nice sweetness and they are always available for a reasonable price at the market.
Feel free to use different types of apples in this cake. For instance, use a tart and a sweet apple together for different flavors.
What are the best baking apples?
These are the types of apples that are best to use when baking, they hold up well in high heat and hold their shapes
- Green or Golden Apples - use Golden Delicious a sweet apple or Granny Smith a tart apple.
- Courtland - these apples are nearly white inside and have both a sweet and tart flavor.
- Braeburn -these apples are very crispy and retain their shape very well when baked and they even stay juicy when baked.
- Gala- are mildly sweet and crispy
- Honeycrisp - these honey-flavored apples are deliciously crispy and always perfect in a baked dessert.
- Pink Lady - besides being so pretty, these apples will make your apple dessert especially delicious.
- Winesap - these apples have a very deep apple flavor that pairs perfectly with warming spices.
Why you will love this cake
- It's really a simple one-layer cake with rustic fall flavors
- All you need is pantry ingredients, nothing fancy, and your favorite apples
- This tender cake is both sweet and spicy flavored with maple syrup, the warm spices of cinnamon, and nutmeg.
- Serve this cast iron skillet cake warm from the oven, it makes a great rustic dessert worthy of serving to company, or just to have a delicious fall-flavored cake for a snack.
- Apples - it's best to use the best baking apples you can find.
- Maple Syrup - I know it's expensive but pure maple syrup tastes the best. You can substitute honey or golden syrup.
Let's bake a cake
Step 1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. and butter an 8" skillet or an 8" cake pan
Step 2. Core and slice the apple. Leave the peel on the apples for the pretty color and slice fairly thin
Step 3. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and maple syrup to the apples and mix together.
Step 4. In a medium-sized mixing bowl add the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Step 5. In a small bowl mix together the milk, melted butter, beaten egg, and maple syrup, then pour this mixture into the flour mixture. Stir until the mixture forms a thick batter.
Step 6. Pour the cake batter into the prepared skillet or pan then lay the apples on top of the batter in a circular pattern, starting at the outside and moving to the center.
Step 7. Spoon 1-2 tablespoons of the syrup from the bottom of the bowl on top of the apples
Step 8. The baking time for this cake is 40-45 minutes. Slice and enjoy a slice of warm cake from the oven. And even the next day this cake is still just as tasty.
I love how the apples bake into the batter and the apples with the peels add color to the cake.
Quick apple desserts
- Try this tender Oatmeal Bread with Apple Cider deliciously flavored with cinnamon and cloves.
- Another rustic dessert is this free-form Apple Pecan Tart, you will love how easy it is to make.
- Easier than making pie, this Apple Cranberry Galette takes minutes to prepare, you can even use a store-bought pie crust.
- Apple Cider Baked Apples bake up tender and so flavorful with a cider and sweet wine glaze. These are so delicious and so easy to make.
Baking ingredients and a skillet
Do you need a cast-iron skillet? This Lodge 8' iron skillet is my favorite. I love the size and use it for baking and frying with great results.
Using pure maple syrup adds the perfect flavor to this cake. This syrup has a light caramel flavor that's not too sweet.
If you do invest in a cast iron, I have a handy guide on how to season your new skillet so it cooks perfectly.
Don't forget to pin for later when you have a cake craving ~
Since cast iron holds heat well whatever you are baking bakes evenly.
Maple Apple Skillet Cake
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- 1 8 inch Lodge Cast Iron Skillet
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Butter an 8" iron skillet or an 8" cake pan.
Preparing the Apples
- Core and slice the apples and place in a medium-sized bowl. Slice the apples on the thinner side.
- Add the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and maple syrup to the apples, stir to combine.
Making the Cake
- Place the flour, baking powered and salt in a medium-sized bowl, stir to combine.
- Warm the milk in the microwave for 40 seconds on high. Combine the warm milk, melted butter, beaten egg, and maple syrup then add to the flour mixture. Stir to combine and pour into the prepared skillet or pan.
- Lay the apples on top of the cake batter in a circular pattern. Depending on the size of your apples if you have some that do not fit in the skillet, freeze for later.
- If there is syrup in the bottom of the bowl you can spoon some of it on top of the apples, 1 - 2 tablespoons.
- Bake the cake for about 45-50 minutes until it is browned on top and a cake tester comes out clean from the batter.
- Let cool then slice and serve from the skillet or pan.
- Leftovers can be stored in a covered airtight container.
First Published: February 21, 2018. Last Updated: August 4, 2022
- This Cranberry Bread recipe is another fall favorite, it's moist and scented with orange
- These tender Chai Shortbreads are filled with great warming spices with a sweet Chai icing
- Perfect with a hot cup of tea, these Jammy Thumbprint Cookies are filled with apricot jam
- This Upside Down Cake with Apricots & Cherries has a moist vanilla cake topped with caramelized apricots and cherries. It is amazing.
Thank you for stopping by the One Hot Oven blog. Please leave a comment to say Hello or just let me know what you are baking these days, I always love hearing from fellow bakers. Have any questions or just want to chat about the recipe? My contact information is on my about page, and I’ll be happy to help.
From learning to cook on a farm in Indiana to culinary school in California, my passion for food is never-ending. Turning on my oven to bake something for friends and family is my happy place, and I am glad to be here at One Hot Oven sharing both sweet and savory family-friendly recipes for your cooking and baking inspiration.