Apple Cinnamon Buttermilk Cake

Apple Cinnamon Cake in Pan

This simple, delicious apple cake may be my new favorite fall dessert.  It is moist, tender, packed with tart apples and cinnamon, and very easy to prepare.  What’s not to love?

Apple Cinnamon Buttermilk Cake Cooling

On a whim, I decided to update the popular Blueberry-Strawberry Buttermilk Cake with fall flavors by swapping in apples, cinnamon and extra vanilla for the blueberries and strawberries.  But the result of the experiment was so much better than the original, I’m not sure if I’ll ever make the other version of this cake again.  It’s that good.

Apple Cinnamon Buttermilk Cake, Cut

Although the cake is excellent on its own, you could dress it up by drizzling slices with a salted caramel sauce and serving with dollops of freshly whipped cream.  At the moment,  I really can’t think of anything more appealing than that.

Apple Cinnamon Buttermilk Cake, Detail

I really hope you give this cake a try, but if not, you should drop by my house.  I have a feeling it’s going to be a weekly standard for the next couple of months.

Apple Cinnamon Buttermilk Cake
Adapted from Gourmet

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick), at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup peeled and chopped baking apple (I used granny smith)
heaping tablespoon of raw sugar (demerara, turbinado or Sugar in the Raw)
extra cinnamon for sprinkling

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, butter and flour an 8-inch round cake pan* (or spray with Baker’s Joy or equivalent).

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt; set aside.  In a separate bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, about two minutes.  Add vanilla and egg and beat well.  With the mixer set to low speed, beat in 1/3 of the flour mixture.  Add half the buttermilk and continue beating on low speed until incorporated.  Scraping down sides of bowl as necessary, beat in another 1/3 of flour mixture then remaining buttermilk.  Finally beat in the last 1/3 of the flour mixture until just combined.

3. Scrape batter into the cake pan, smoothing the top with a spatula.  Scatter apple pieces evenly over the top of the cake batter then sprinkle evenly with raw sugar.  Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon.

4. Bake in a preheated 400-degree oven until cake is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.  Cool in the pan for ten minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool until warm.  Invert onto a plate.  Serve plain, or with whipped cream and salted caramel sauce.

*You may use a 9-inch cake pan, if you don’t have an 8-inch one.  The cake will be a bit thinner than it appears in my photos and will bake slightly faster.

Yield: 8 servings

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74 Comments
  1. Dawn

    I love the pix and really want to cook this dessert cake, but here in country NSW Australia we are having a hot (38deg c predicted) day and cold mangoes are all I can think about cooking! Thanks for a great read.

    4:57 pm  Nov 15th, 2009
  2. Debbie

    Great tasting cake and very easy to make…….thanks!… this one is going in the recipe box

    1:12 pm  Nov 20th, 2009
  3. Rosie DeQuattro

    I love the simplicity of this cake. Glad you gave some credit to Gourmet; poor Gourmet–sorry to see it go away. Thanks for the recipe.

    1:53 pm  Nov 21st, 2009
  4. dinah

    Nicole, do you think you you can help? I am allergic to eggs… can I substitute this with more buttermilk maybe? really want to make this… look fw to hearing from you.

    9:09 am  Nov 26th, 2009
  5. Muum

    had a bite of some today! my daughter made it, and sent me here to get the recipe! yummy!

    9:52 pm  Dec 9th, 2009
  6. Claire

    Totally delicious cake, thank you for the recipe!

    @ dinah : You should look into using flax seed dissolved in a bit of water to substitute eggs…I’ve heard that works well. Look it up and try it out!

    5:39 pm  Dec 17th, 2009
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  8. Sabina

    I doubled the apples because you can’t have too much fruit – 1 cup in the dough, 1 cup sprinkled on top. I didn’t have buttermilk, just skim milk and it still turned out delicious. It was devoured within a day….mostly by myself. For the record, I did share a little with my husband.

    1:54 pm  Jan 1st, 2010
  9. Chaya

    I just made this for my husband so it is gluten free. It looks like yours which means it came out well and it good.

    I am blogging it, at Have A Cake.

    3:01 pm  May 14th, 2010
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  11. kristin

    I made this last year in the fall several times and am so excited that it’s that time of the year again! I have two in the oven now for Bible study tomorrow night and I can’t wait to share them – this cake is so good. Just wanted to say thanks for sharing it!

    4:32 pm  Oct 10th, 2010
  12. William

    Just to let you know that this cake is fast becoming a family favourite. Truly delicious, everyone I know likes it.

    3:50 am  Oct 11th, 2010
  13. Debbie

    It’s baking right now and my house smells like heaven!

    2:07 pm  Oct 21st, 2010
  14. Tracey

    I just baked this cake today and it is absolutely wonderful!! So simple, yet so delicious. Thanks for sharing – it was the perfect apple treat :)

    1:22 pm  Nov 2nd, 2010
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  17. Medallion

    Do you think that you could post some pictures of the processes? So I know how you achieved the beautiful product at the end. Thanks.

    10:42 am  Dec 31st, 2011
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  19. Kathy

    This cake is stunning, definitely worth a go if you love apples and cinnamon. The buttermilk makes it so moist!

    5:34 pm  Mar 3rd, 2012
  20. Courtney G.

    I just made this tonight!! So good!!!

    3:49 pm  Sep 9th, 2012
  21. Deirdre

    I made these bad boys for work as my Christmas gift and they were a HUGE hit!!!

    I added walnuts to the recpie and instead of raw sugar on top, I subsituted it with brown sugar = SO GOOD

    9:04 am  Dec 21st, 2012
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