Whole Wheat Apple Cake

If there is one thing that really marks the start of fall to me it’s the beginning of the apple cooking season. From the anticipation of picking apples right off the tree, to the hunt for a hundred apple recipes, new and old, to use up the absurd amount of apples that you can pick. Picking fruit from a tree is so fun it is hard to know when to stop. Usually that comes when I can’t carry anything else in my arms. So the first thing on my list of lovely apple filled things to make is apple cake. It is an Italian staple and my mother in-law makes them all the time in the fall. It’s as easy as making muffins.

This cake is especially versatile because you can dress it up or down. It can be a breakfast/tea cake or a dessert cake. I like it as a breakfast/ snack cake the best because I can eat it all times of day that way.


  • 4 medium apples, peeled, cored, quartered and sliced thin
  • 1 3/4 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup of evaporated cane juice
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons of ground chia seeds (optional)
  • 1/3 cup of room temperature butter
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 egg

Start by having the milk, eggs and butter at room temperature and heat the oven to 375 degrees. In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl whisk together all the dry ingredients. Then on the low setting, mix in the butter and 1/3 of the milk until well combined. Then add in the rest of the milk, egg and vanilla and mix until completely incorporated.  Using a spatula mix the apple slices into the batter( leaving a few behind for decoration). Then pour/scoop the batter into a prepared cake pan (I prefer to use a spring form pan). Spread the batter out evenly and decorate the top with apple slices. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes. At this point check for doneness with a tooth pick.  If the tooth pick doesn’t come out clean return the cake to oven and cook another 5-10 minutes.    When the cake is done allow it to cool and then serve as is. Or if you want a dessert like cake serve with a dollop of maple cinnamon whip cream. 

**Though I didn’t try it I am thinking that you could substitute honey or maple syrup for the sucnat. As well as make this a vegan cake by using even more apples and exchange the egg for apple sauce.

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17 Responses to Whole Wheat Apple Cake

  1. Looks delish KC!! You could also try coconut sugar instead of sucanat, works like a charm. And some ground flax and water works as an egg replacer :)

    • KC says:

      Thanks for the tips! I feel like an alternative should always be included in a foot note, as I know I am always looking to substitute things in recipes.

  2. Heather says:

    Oh my, that looks so delicious. I have held off on getting too into fall yet, but I am dying to. The weather has been unbearably hot, and I figured that I needed a bit of cooler weather to get into the spirit. I can not wait for the smell of fresh apples in the kitchen.

    • KC says:

      Other then apples I haven’t done anything else yet for fall. But boy, with the new issue of ROTH out I’m going to have plenty to keep us busy. Our house is definitely permeated with the smell of apples. I’ve made 8 quarts of apple sauce so far plus the cake! Now on to apple leather, dried apple bits, apple pie and possible apple gelato. I need to find a savory apple dish.

  3. Made this today with some of the 55lbs of apples we picked yesterday :) It is delish! Made a few substitutions – used spelt flour instead of whole wheat, coconut sugar instead of cane sugar, coconut oil instead of butter, almond milk instead of milk and ground flax with water instead of an egg. I also added some cinnamon to the recipe and sprinkled some on top before baking it. Love it!!!

    Thanks KC!

    • KC says:

      Your substitutions sound great. I was going to use home ground spelt but I ran out. And I thought about using coconut oil but I’ve got grass-fed butter so I used that. I bet the cinnamon is a great addition. I thought about adding fresh lemon zest as well… I’ll try almond milk next time. I bet that adds a really nice rich flavor.

    • Joni says:

      I just made this Kim’s way minus the almond milk and flax, I used egg. I did add 1 tsp of cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg and 1/2 tsp of cloves…I thought about adding nuts as well but was not sure of my guests with nuts. Thanks!

  4. I’m making this. It just looks too good to miss.

  5. Kathleen says:

    We went to Howards on Saturday and picked four huge bags of apples and a bunch of cherry tomatoes. Hoping to make this cake this week, along with a bunch of applesauce. It may be in the high 90s this week but I can pretend it feels like fall in my kitchen! (And the few days of fall-ish weather we got last week were divine, weren’t they?)

    • KC says:

      We are totally pretending fall is around the corner. We take walks at 6 am with long sleeves on, we open the windows to feel the breeze. We’ve been learning all about the fall equinox as well. :) Please let me how the cake comes out!

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  8. Rachel says:

    Lovely recipe! I’d like to try it, but can you tell me what’s the diameter of the cake pan you used? Thank you.

  9. I saw where you said applesauce can be used in place of the egg, but what about mashed bananas? And can fruit juice be substituted in place of the Sucanat? I’m trying to find a recipe for a banana cake that is made with whole wheat flour and sweetened with fruit juice for my son’s first birthday next year. This recipe is the closest I’ve been able to get. My husband and I don’t want him getting hooked on junk food, but we do still want him to have a small Smash Cake for his birthday. What would be the substitution amounts and what fruit juice would be best to use to complement the banana?

    • KC says:

      Hi Cheyenne,

      If you use mashed bananas I would not use fruit juice to replace sugar. If you are worried about the sugar content I would simply replace the sugar with a cup of very ripe mashed bananas as they are naturally high in fructose and will sweeten that cake just fine.

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