The Ultimate Apple Spice Cake (Secret Recipe Club)

by Dorothy Reinhold on March 30, 2014

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In my quiet exploration of the food blog Bewitching Kitchen this month, I made a shortlist of oh, about a dozen things I wanted to make.

That’s the way food bloggers are. We browse a cookbook and we leave it littered with little Post-it® Notes, marking all the recipes that interest us. We scroll through a blog, and we can get lost for hours. Oh, that spreadsheet for work I was supposed to be working on? I’ll get to it later, after I bookmark the Roasted Beet Hummus, the Cheddar and Fennel Seed Crackers and the Avocado Cilantro Mousse that stole the show at Sally’s holiday dinner. And don’t let me near her Clementine Cake, or I won’t leave.

I sat up straight when I came upon Ultimate Apple Cake (her most popular post from last year), which she made twice in two weeks. That sounds like the kind of obsessive thing I would do, and have done (I made this Banana Breakfast Cake with Pecan Streusel Topping 8 times in one month! Yes, 8. Sigh.).

So that was good enough for me, along with her description of it: “It’s a bunch of diced apples surrounded by a few dollops of cake batter, that puffs and gently envelops each piece of fruit, resulting in a dessert that’s a cross between cake and clafoutis. Very French, very elegant, just enough decadence to turn your afternoon tea into a four-star event.”

The Ultimate Apple Spice Cake | www.ShockinglyDelicious.comI immediately checked the fruit basket (yes! Four apples!), and turned on the oven. So, so glad I did.

Recipe: The Ultimate Apple Spice Cake

Summary: Super moist, overloaded with apples, spiced just right – this is a wonderful breakfast cake, tea cake or dessert.


  • 1 stick (4 ounces; 8 tablespoons) unsalted butter + extra for greasing pan
  • 4 large apples (any kind you like, mix and match) (I used 4 Fuji apples)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar (I used Vanilla Sugar)
  • 3 tablespoons apple schnapps, or Calvados (I used 1 tablespoon EACH brandy, boiled apple cider and water)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon (my addition)
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg (my addition)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice (my addition)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder


  1. Put butter in a microwave-safe measuring cup and heat for about 30 seconds, until melted. Set aside to cool.
  2. Heat the oven to 350F. Grease an 8-inch springform-type pan with butter and set aside.
  3. Core and peel the apples; cut them roughly in 1-inch chunks. Set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl (I did this in an electric stand mixer, but you could do it by hand), beat the eggs until frothy; add the sugar and whisk until smooth. Add the apple schnapps, vanilla extract, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice and mix well.
  5. Mix in the baking powder. Add half of the flour, mix until fully incorporated, add half of the butter and whisk to combine. Add the rest of the flour, then the rest of the butter and mix until combined.
  6. Add the cut apples into the thick batter and use a silicone or plastic spatula-spoon to mix them gently, so each piece of apple is covered in batter. The mixture will seem too thick, and you will be tempted to use fewer apples. Do not second guess this; use all apples!The Ultimate Apple Spice Cake |
  7. Pour the mixture in the prepared pan, tamp any rogue apples down a bit, but don’t fuss with overly leveling it.
  8. Bake for 55-60 minutes, until golden and a cake tester comes out clean when inserted at the center of the cake. Remove the pan to a rack and let it cool for 20 minutes before running a thin knife around the inside edge and then opening the ring. Serve warm or at room temperature.
  9. Serves 6.


Lightly adapted from Ultimate Apple Cake from Bewitching Kitchen. Sally credits it to Marie Helene’s Apple Cake by Dorie Greenspan.

Secret Recipe ClubSecret Recipe Club button on Shockingly Delicious

Here is a list of what else I have made for the Secret Recipe Club since I joined the group. Check it out!

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hours
Diet type: Vegetarian
Number of servings (yield): 6
Culinary tradition: French
My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 

I explored Sally’s blog — Bewitching Kitchen – this month as part of Secret Recipe Club, in which we quietly get to know another blogger and his or her recipes and then reveal what we made from that blog. Today is reveal day, and below this you can see what we all discovered this month.

But first, meet Sally, who was born in Brazil, has lived in Calif. and Paris, and is an absolutely charming, good natured food blogger I met online years ago at a forum called Cook Talk. Her work really fascinates me. She’s a biochemist who works on iron transport by bacteria such as E. Coli, now working in the biochemistry department at Kansas State University.  She stays in shape by running, golf, and doing P90X. Want to speak to her in Portuguese or French? She’d love it!

Here’s how she explains her research: “We study how bacteria such as Escherichia coli and Listeria monocytogenes get iron from the environment and “swallow it up.” The metal is indispensable for bacteria as well as all other living organisms to survive, but it is very tricky to obtain. Iron can be compared to money in the sense that everyone who has it tries to protect it from being taken away. However, bacteria developed sophisticated systems to do just that: steal the iron from you and use it to survive. Since all pathogenic bacteria need to obtain iron to cause disease, we hope that our research will lead to the discovery of new weapons to fight infections.”

As a microbiologist, molecular biologist and biochemist, she has particular expertise in bacteria, and strong, science-based opinions on the irresponsible use of antibiotics in food production, which you can read. It’s worth your time.

The Ultimate Apple Spice Cake | www.ShockinglyDelicious.comThank you, Sally, for the gift of your wonderful blog, the good, thoughtful reading you offer us there and the delicious recipes you share. We’re grateful!

Meanwhile, browse the photo array below to see what else the Secret Recipe Club cooked up this month! 

{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

kirstin March 31, 2014 at 5:16 pm

Yum-o…looks good


Dorothy Reinhold April 1, 2014 at 9:21 am

If you like apples, this is a must-make!


Tiny_Chef_829 March 31, 2014 at 4:14 pm

Holy apples, Batman! Looks fantastic.


Dorothy Reinhold April 1, 2014 at 9:21 am

Tiny Chef,


Asiya @ Chocolate and Chillies March 31, 2014 at 4:02 pm

Desserts with apples are one of my favourites…This looks perfect! Great SRC pick!


Dorothy Reinhold April 1, 2014 at 9:21 am

Then you MUST make this one. You won’t be sorry.


Melissa March 31, 2014 at 3:40 pm

Such a delicious looking cake. I’d totally eat it for breakfast. Apples make it healthy, right?! Great pick this month 🙂


Dorothy Reinhold March 31, 2014 at 3:54 pm

Breakfast of champions!


Emily @ Life on Food March 31, 2014 at 3:00 pm

Oh I love apple cake. This came out delicious. Happy Reveal Day!!


Renee - Kudos Kitchen March 31, 2014 at 2:44 pm

I’ve actually made this cake before and it’s a total winner. Seeing your recipe here makes me want to revisit it. It’s totally worth it. Just LOOK at those apple chunks! *swooning*


Dorothy Reinhold March 31, 2014 at 3:16 pm

The more apple chunks, the merrier!


Debra March 31, 2014 at 12:35 pm

I would’ve loved some of this for breakfast this morning!


Dorothy Reinhold March 31, 2014 at 1:13 pm

Yep, it’s GREAT for breakfast!


Amy @ Fearless Homemaker March 31, 2014 at 12:34 pm

Oh heavens, this cake sounds SO wonderful – I’d love a slice right now!


Dorothy Reinhold March 31, 2014 at 1:14 pm

It’s my new favorite apple cake! Loaded with fruit!


Tara March 31, 2014 at 10:13 am

Yum! I have been getting a ton of apples in my csa box. This would be a great way to put them to use.


Dorothy Reinhold March 31, 2014 at 1:14 pm

Apple overload, this cake to the rescue!


jessfuel March 31, 2014 at 9:19 am

This looks so amazing! I’m seriously dreaming about having a slice for breakfast with my coffee right now!!! Love!


Dorothy Reinhold March 31, 2014 at 1:15 pm

You and me both.


Liz March 31, 2014 at 9:12 am

All lovely recipes. Thanks so much and have a Safe and Wonderful Day.


Cathy | She Paused 4 Thought March 31, 2014 at 9:09 am

That is just the way I like my cake… lots of fruit with a few dollops of cake batter. Delish!


Dorothy Reinhold March 31, 2014 at 1:27 pm

Then you will LOVE this one! More fruit than cake!


whatjessicabakednext March 31, 2014 at 8:23 am

This looks delicious, I love apple spice cake!


Dorothy Reinhold March 31, 2014 at 1:28 pm

What Jessica Baked,
Then this baby is for YOU!


Rebekah @ Making Miracles March 31, 2014 at 8:01 am

Yummm – thank you for sharing, this looks WONDERFUL!


Dorothy Reinhold March 31, 2014 at 1:29 pm

It’s wonderful for breakfast, snack and dessert. All-purpose wonderful!


traci March 31, 2014 at 6:45 am

What an absolutely beautiful recipe. I love apple cakes and this one looks incredible. great src pick this month!


Dorothy Reinhold March 31, 2014 at 7:48 am

It IS, and you MUST make it!


Christine March 31, 2014 at 6:18 am

Yum! I love cakes with tons of fruit in them – it’s like it negates the fact that it’s cake. 🙂 Great SRC pick!
That’s crazy about iron in our bodies. Devotedly something to read more about!


Dorothy Reinhold March 31, 2014 at 7:49 am

Not only do the apples outnumber the other ingredients, but if you stand by the sink while eating it, there are absolutely no calories. 🙂


sallybr March 31, 2014 at 4:50 am

Oh, my…. what can I say? I am in awe of your post, and feel so lucky that YOU got my blog, as I’ve been following yours for a long time!

Thanks for the link up to the Antibiotics article, I do find that topic very important for anyone who likes to cook and eat well…

You chose one of my favorite recipes. which I must make again soon, as we both loved it and I haven’t yet made for our new department in KSU. They need the exposure to apples and cake 😉

Thank you so much for your write up, absolutely wonderful way to start my Monday

Happy Reveal Day!


Dorothy Reinhold March 31, 2014 at 7:50 am

It was MY pleasure to peruse your blog this month, and I’m so glad I stumbled on the apple cake. Truly one of our favorites now. And yes, EVERY workplace needs exposure to this cake!


Avril March 31, 2014 at 4:24 am

What. A. Cake! I’m on it as soon as I can buy 3 more apples 🙂
I have your blog this past month and loved EVERY moment of it! Hugs to you Dorothy! 🙂
~avril 🙂


Dorothy Reinhold March 31, 2014 at 7:51 am

Thanks for your nice write-up of my blog this month. You made the Chocolate-Coffee Zucchini Bread SING!
And yes, scamper to the store for 3 more apples. You won’t be sorry.


The Wimpy Vegetarian March 30, 2014 at 10:40 pm

I have a special place in my heart (and stomach) for apple spice cakes. They’re the best!!! Pinning this to make this one too. GREAT pick this month, Dorothy. Happy Reveal Day to you 🙂


Dorothy Reinhold March 31, 2014 at 7:52 am

This apple cake might nudge out any other apple cake recipes in your heart. I apologize in advance. 🙂


JJ - 84thand3rd March 30, 2014 at 9:38 pm

Oh there is little better than a cake absolutely packed with apples – this looks fantastic! Lovely pick!


Dorothy Reinhold March 31, 2014 at 7:53 am

Packed, stuffed, overloaded…this cake is appletastic!


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