Old-Fashioned Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting

October 15, 2010 | By andrea | Filed in: Autumn, Baking, Cakes, Cookies & Bars, Dessert, Recipes.

To me, fresh apple cake is the epitome of autumn! A friend gave me a bag of apples from her backyard tree recently so, of course, I had to find something new and delicious to make with them. What I settled on was this recipe for Old-Fashioned Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting. It’s moist, delicious, super easy to make and loaded with appley goodness. 

I made a few slight changes to the recipe but nothing drastic. For the cake, I decreased the sugar from 2 cups to 1-1/2 cups, which was perfect because the brown sugar frosting adds sweetness, too. Also, I substituted 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon allspice for the 1-1/2 teaspoons apple pie spice, and added a splash of vanilla to the cake batter. I chose not to use nuts, although chopped pecans would be a good addition. I thought the cake was actually better the day after it was made so I encourage you to make it a day before you plan to serve it. Enjoy!

 Old-Fashioned Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting 
-recipe from King Arthur Flour

This cake is an old, old favorite of ours. It’s a cake where the whole is definitely more than the sum of the parts. The moist, semi-chunky cake, spread with the frosting equivalent of brown sugar fudge, is perfect served with a cup of coffee or, better still, a glass of ice-cold milk.

2 1/3 cups (9 3/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 cups (14 ounces) granulated sugar (I used 1-1/2 cups)
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons apple pie spice (I used 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, 1 tsp. allspice)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup (3 1/4 ounces) vegetable shortening (trans-fat free)
4 cups (12 ounces) peeled, chopped apples (about 1 pound before peeling)
1 cup (4 ounces) walnuts, chopped

Brown Sugar Frosting
5 tablespoons (2 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter
1/2 cup (3 1/4 ounces) firmly packed brown sugar (light or dark)
3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) milk
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Cake: Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease and flour a 9 x 13-inch pan.

Mix all of the ingredients except the apples and walnuts in a large bowl. Beat until well combined; the mixture will be crumbly. Add the apples and walnuts, and mix until the apples release some of their juice and the crumbly mixture becomes a thick batter, somewhere between cookie dough and brownie batter in consistency.

Spread the batter in the prepared pan, smoothing it with your wet fingers. Bake the cake for 45 minutes, or until the cake tests done. Remove from the oven and place on a rack, to cool completely; don’t remove the cake from pan. When the cake is completely cool, frost with Brown Sugar Frosting.

Frosting: Melt the butter in a small pan over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar and cook, stirring, until the sugar melts. Add the milk, bring to a boil, and pour into a mixing bowl to cool for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, stir in the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. Beat well; if the mixture appears too thin, add more confectioners’ sugar. Spread on the cake while frosting is still warm.

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4 comments on “Old-Fashioned Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting

  1. Hi! We’ve linked your Apple Cake on our blog Frugally-natural.blogspot.com. You are listed on our Weekend Wrapup post tomorrow. Take care!

  2. YUM! A friend gave me a similar recipe that I’ve still never made. I need to do that!

  3. Chef Bee says:

    I love apple cake in the fall. This looks great and I’m definitely going to try the frosting.

    Plan B

  4. Jerri says:

    You cake is making me hungry! Looks fantastic!

    Thanks for linking up for Friday Favorites last week!