apple spice cake slice with vanilla ice cream on top close-up view

Apple Spice Cake Recipe

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This apple spice cake is everything I love about fall. Aromatic, spiced, and deliciously sweet, this easy apple spice cake with caramel sauce is the perfect way to welcome in the fall season. 

Apple Spice Cake Recipe

This apple cake recipe is my way of introducing fall into my home. While I may not get the best fall foliage or coolest of weather here in Southern California, I do have access to some amazing produce, including beautiful apples. 

apple spice cake recipe in a baking dish

This apple spice cake isn’t your usual apple bundt cake nor is it your typical apple spice cake with cream cheese frosting. Heck, this isn’t even a classic French recipe.

Instead, this apple spice cake embraces the simplicity and effortless approach of a French home baker. This apple spice cake will bring you comfort and pleasure with minimal prep. 

No fancy bundt pan for you to grease like crazy out of fear your cake won’t flip out, nor is there any need to frost this beauty as a simple scoop of ice cream and/or caramel sauce on top will do just fine. 

Apple Spice Cake with Caramel Sauce

apple spice cake slice with scoop of vanilla ice cream on top

This scrumptious cake is made with fresh apples for a tender and moist crumb. The recipe for this chunky apple spice cake is from one of my favorites on TV, Ina Garten a.k.a. the Barefoot Contessa.

I personally love her recipes because

  1. They always turn out fantastic.
  2. The recipes are typically a wonderful combination of casual and sophisticated.
  3. Most of the recipes are fuss-free.

This moist spiced apple cake is the kind of cake that can be made in one bowl with ease. The cake batter can be mixed in no particular order, baked in a large pan, and then stored at room temperature.

No decorating, no frosting, no whisking egg whites; basically, there’s no fuss! All you need to complete a slice of this fresh apple cake is a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce.

apple spice cake in baking dish close-up shot

Spice Cake Mix

While you may be tempted to make a Betty Crocker apple spice cake using spice cake mix, I really recommend you try this cake recipe from scratch. As I mentioned, this apple spice cake recipe is super easy to make. 

More than its simplicity, this apple spice cake shines in its flavors and sensational fragrance. When I was mixing the batter for this cake, adding in cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves, I just knew that this cake would taste like the epitome of fall.

With all those warm spices, how could it taste like anything else? 

apple spice cake slice close-up shot

And then as the cake was baking, the aroma started wafting through my apartment, overwhelming my senses each time I opened the oven door to check on the cake.

The cake itself is incredibly moist and littered with rum-soaked, golden raisins, tart apples, and toasted pecans. Each bite of this apple spice cake delivers the blissful notes of the fall season, with the warmth of nutmeg and cinnamon enveloping you in a comforting embrace.

The diced apples and plump raisins are a mixed burst of sweetness and tartness, and work to further moisten this apple spice cake. With a cool scoop of rich vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce, all I want to do is snuggle under a blanket and give in to the tantalizing spell of fall’s irresistible harvest. 

apple spice cake slice with vanilla ice cream on top close-up view

Apple Spice Cake Recipe

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

A moist and delicately spiced apple cake recipe. 


  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 cup rum
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp grated orange zest
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 3-4 granny smith apples, large, small, peeled, cored, and diced into 1/4 inch cubes
  • Vanilla ice cream, to garnish
  • Caramel Sauce, to drizzle on top


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9x13x2 inch baking pan. Toast the pecans on a baking sheet for 5 to 10 minutes; set aside.
  2. Add the rum and raisins to a microwave-safe bowl and cover with a sheet of plastic wrap; microwave for 1 minute, then set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, vegetable oil, vanilla, and orange zest on medium speed. Once combined, add the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves; mix until smooth. The batter will be very thick.
  4. Drain the raisins before adding them to the batter. Add the apples and pecans too, then use a rubber spatula to fold them all into the batter. Spread this batter in your prepared pan, smoothing it out.
  5. Bake the cake for 35 to 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool until it’s barely warm or room temperature before cutting into squares. Serve with a scoop of ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce.


adapted from Barefoot Contessa

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 12 Servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 569
apple spice cake

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    1. Hi Melissa! I haven’t tested this one with gluten free flour so I couldn’t say for sure.

  1. Things have really started to cool off over here on the East Coast, I’m sure cool weather will be heading your way before long! This cake is such a perfect way to prepare for it, cozy indeed! It looks so moist and scrumptious, and the ice cream on top is a stroke of genius! 🙂

    1. Thanks so much, Sam! I really hope the weather starts to cool soon too. I don’t know how much longer I can take of this heat! XO

  2. This apple cake looks so moist and delicious and I can just imagine the lovely spice smell wafting from the kitchen. Even though it was a high of 66 here in NH the other day and I thought I was going to freeze to death, I love baking in cooler weather so making this cake very soon 🙂

    1. Thank you, Karrie! I am dreaming of 66 degree weather!! And dreaming of being in somewhere in New England to enjoy the full beauty and cool weather of autumn. I hope you enjoy the cake! XO

  3. I do not know that I could handle that type of heat on such a regular basis like you do in southern California. I thrive on cool breezes and the A/C hums my songs of praise. I do commend you for still bringing some fall into your life despite the heat and am so glad you did because this apple spice cake is to die for!

    1. I’m with you, Amanda! Usually we have a nice coastal breeze in Southern California that always keeps the weather breezy and cool, but this past summer has been brutal so I am pretty much ready to pack up and move to another state at this point lol. Thanks so much for your sweet words XO

  4. The weather has been really warm here as well but it doesn’t stop me from craving for all the cozy fall flavors. This apple spice cake looks just perfect, Beeta! I love Ina so I know this recipe is just golden! Fuss free and easy is my favorite and the scoop of ice cream is the magic touch 🙂

    1. Thanks, Kelly! Fall flavors are so cozy – makes you want to bundle up in cute coats and boots. And you’re right, Ina’s recipes are always foolproof! XO

  5. I would be happy to exchange some of our autumnal days for your heatwave Beeta! At the risk of making you jealous, we have had the first open fire of the year in our little cottage and blackberry and apple crumble is on the menu! That apple spice cake looks divine, you can be sure I will make it and as our days get shorter and the leaves fall, I will think of you x

    1. Yay, if only we really could exchange weather! And I’m so jealous…I’d love to turn on a fire and bundle up. I’d love even more to share this cake with you too while we’re in front of a fire! Thanks so much love <3

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