Cinnamon-Apple Cake

February 10, 2009 | Chuck
Cinnamon Apple Cake

A few months ago, Hungry Bear favorited this cinnamon-apple cake on foodgawker and she finally made it for our Lunar New Year celebration this year. It's not Chinese or Vietnamese in any way, but Hungry Bear didn't want to make anything too elaborate and we had two apples to use up. So that's how a cinnamon-apple cake got served at a New Year's party with Chinese hot pot.

I was working that day when Hungry Bear was baking the cake and I wasn't paying much attention. She told me that it was a Cooking Light recipe, but she was making it full-fat because she hates margarine and fat-free cream cheese. I honestly wasn't very excited about the cake. I don't get too excited unless there's chocolate involved.

I don't think anyone at dinner knew how damn good this cake was going to be. Then everyone wanted seconds. It's a light, moist cake with the perfect amount of sweetness from the cinnamon-sugar topping. Hungry Bear thinks it tastes like coffee cake and she'd happily eat it for breakfast.

Our friend, Deb, made it for a family gathering the next day. And I asked Hungry Bear to bake it again a few days later so we could document it for SND. It's probably my favorite non-chocolate dessert at the moment!

A Slice of Apple Cake

Cinnamon-Apple Cake Recipe

SND Note: The original Cooking Light recipe calls for Rome apples, but we used Fujis. If you want to make the light version, substitute margarine for the butter and use fat-free cream cheese. If using an 8-inch springform pan, bake it five minutes longer.

  • 1 3/4 cups sugar, divided
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened (about 3/4 cup)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups chopped peeled Fuji apples (about 2 large)
  • Cooking spray
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Beat 1 1/2 cups sugar, butter, vanilla, and cream cheese at medium speed of a mixer until well-blended (about 4 minutes). Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture, beating at low speed until blended.
  3. Combine 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon. Combine two tablespoons cinnamon mixture and apples in a bowl. Stir apple mixture into batter. Pour batter into an 9-inch springform pan coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle top with remaining cinnamon mixture.
  4. Bake for 65-70 minutes or until the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan. Cool the cake completely on a wire rack. Cut using a serrated knife.

Makes 8-10 servings

[Adapted from Cooking Light]

[tags]apple, cinnamon, cake, easy, cream cheese[/tags]

40 Comments on “Cinnamon-Apple Cake”

  1. Meeta said:

    I get excited if chocolate is involved too – but am learning to love such flavorful cakes and creations too! looks lovely!

  2. Erin said:

    The presentation on that final image is lovely! Also you’re my hero for taking a Cooking Light recipe and reinstating all of the fat.

  3. Garry said:

    Hoo-boy! I was going to ask you for this recipe. Thanks for putting it up!

  4. Oh that looks so good.

  5. Layla said:

    I have some apples I need to use up so I will try this, I also have to agree with Erin: I’m very glad that you made it full-fat!

  6. Looks absolutely perfect, and the photos are stunning. Did you use a dehydrator to make the dried apple slices?

  7. bookmarking this recipe! I love Fuji apples! I can almost smell the cinnamon just by looking at this glorious photo! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  8. It looks delicious and anything with cinnamon wins my heart easily.
    Love how you decorated it with that apple slice!

  9. bella said:

    All this time, I could never produce a cake that turns out the way it looks on the original recipe’s photos, but I’m surprised that when I try this recipe, my cake turns out to be just like what’s in your photos. The resemblance is uncanny!

  10. patsyk said:

    I’m so happy to see that it was a hit for you! It’s been our favorite apple cake since I first made it years ago. Your photos are beautiful!

  11. Fiona said:

    I just made this cake this morning. We are having guests, so I haven’t tried it, but it smells divine and the batter was really, really tasty (ahem).

    Best of all, it was easy. I’m not normally that wedded to easy cooking, but in this case I have so much else to do today that an easy cake was a very nice bonus.

    Thank you.

  12. Fiona said:

    Success! It was excellent. Many thanks.

  13. Julie said:

    It’s so pretty…I love the sparkly stuff on top!

  14. Sher said:

    Marvellous! your pictures make me drool!

  15. Irene said:

    Oh yum, looks delicious! And your photos, wow, gorgeous.

  16. brilynn said:

    I’m glad I found this, it’s just what I was looking for!

  17. Andrea said:

    Looks great and yummy!!!!

  18. edna lewis said:

    I’ve made this CL cake for years and it has always been a favorite. This is my “go to” recipe when I want something elegant, yet easy. The last time I made it, I served it as a brunch coffee-cake. It went over very well.

  19. Shari said:

    I love the dried apple on top! This sounds so good!

  20. gammypie said:

    Looks amazing! I would love that for breakfast. Mmm…

  21. Lately, I’ve been tiring of cakes with any type of frosting. I’m not sure why my body is suddenly rejecting heavy confections. A moist apple cake like this is exactly what I need!

  22. sharon said:

    Every now and again, it’s nice to take a break from chocolate. Eating a slice of this cake would certainly be one of those times!

  23. Carol said:

    I have made this cake atleast 5 is so moist and tasty – I also have added a few blueberries or rasberries..its a big crowd pleaser

  24. Justjill said:

    I have to say, I am not a huge ‘commenter’ but this was outstanding! I was putting all the ingredients in and thinking it did not look spectacular…kind of agreed with what you had thought. I am not a huge chocolate fan, but love cinnamon, had eveything in the house so thought what the heck….we ate the whole thing. Cannot wait to make it again!

    Thank you!

  25. Beth Smith said:

    I have made this countless times and EVERYONE raves. This Christmas I plan to experiment using pears and/or dried cranberries or cherries and different flavourings like almond and cherry.

  26. Vicki in GA said:

    This is a terrific recipe and so easy to make.
    I’ve also added almonds or pecans to the recipe for a nutty twist.
    I love pecans mixed with sugar and cinnamon then sprinkled on top.

    Of course, this is served with whipped cream, isn’t it?

  27. Asia Jo said:

    This recipe sounds really good and I like the idea of using cream cheese. Beautiful photographs too. Cheers!

  28. April said:

    This cake was originally made with margarine and fat free cream cheese. I’ve been making it for 13 yrs and I do use butter but do not use full fat cream cheese as it really loads on the calories. With fat free cream cheese and butter and using white whole wheat flour instead of all purpose the calories go down from the original 281 to 260 and the fiber goes up to 2g/slice (1/12 cake)

    It gets rave reviews everywhere I take it!

  29. Lisette said:

    I’ve been looking for this recipe forever…. MAKE THIS! It is incredible – it’s dense, it’s moist, it’s flavorful and perfect for the Holidays! If you’ve never tried something like this THIS is the one to try! THANK YOU for posting this and the pics make me know it’s The One!!! :) :) :)

  30. Jennifer said:

    Lisette, the poster above me, turned me on to this recipe, as she knows I’m a cook. One thing–I despise anything with cream cheese in it. Is there a substitution? Since a few folks said it resembles coffee cake, is sour cream an acceptable replacement? I know strained yogurt can be a good sub at times, so perhaps that is better? I will make it anyway, but I’d like to EAT it, too.

  31. Fiona said:

    Jennifer – I dunno whether they’re still answering posts here, but I think you could sub another similar cheese (like mascarpone) or you could sub full fat Greek yogurt that you strain (ie, put it in cheesecloth or a fine mesh and let it sit so some liquid drips out and it gets denser). It would be tangier, but I think that would be delicious.

  32. Lisette said:

    Now that you’ve mentioned the mascarpone, i think that would be a great substitute… the reason i think this cake is such a hit is because it is dense and moist – it sounds like the mascarpone would still be a perfect blend~~ Good luck on that one too, Jennifer – and what a great idea Fiona!

  33. Its really sound like yummy cake, I really I never eat it, so Still my mouth is melting to seen this delicious,thanks for share it.

  34. Jackie said:

    OMG!! I made this cake this morning and it is absolutely amazingggg… it was so warm an delicious.. mhmm amazing..

  35. xime said:

    Hi, Great Cake recipe! i made it for my family and they loved it!! except i used thickened cream instead cream cheese and an extra half a cup of milk… worked perfectly! thanks you. i must learn how to make those beautiful apple decorations…

  36. Jessica said:

    Could I bake this in a regular cake pan? I want something taller than what a springform pan produces, so I can frost (sorry) and decorate it

  37. DONNA g. said:


  38. DONNA g. said:

    I made this as a bundt cake

  39. ddk said:

    Our apple tree has gone crazy this summer and I just had to find something other than apple sauce or apple pie filling! This turned out to be a great recipe! It was so easy and we had everything that was needed. It’s the best apple cake I’ve every made and will make it again and again.
    I did add a bit of nutmeg to it and it was perfect.

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