Apple Dapple Cake

Apple dapple, I think I love you.

I’d never heard of this charming cake until a nice reader, Helen, sent it to me declaring it her favorite childhood dessert (so much so that she requested large batches of it to be made and served at her wedding reception the week before Christmas). Of course, with that kind of recommendation I had to try it.

In all honesty, though, I wondered if the lightly spiced apple cake could really woo me. And no offense to Miss Apple Dapple, but I put off making it for a little while. Finally, last Sunday we tried it. And it was definitely one of those moments where I was berating myself (and my family was berating me) for waiting so long to make it. I felt very berated.

apple dapple1

It is amazing. Amazing and simple and wonderful. The cake alone is this fabulous concoction of lightly spiced cake batter plum full of juicy apple – when baked, it puffs into the softest, most tender cake to ever meet these cake-loving lips. On top of that (literally), the warm vanilla cream sauce drizzled lightly over the cake puts this into other-worldly spheres. Served warm, it is like the most comforting perfect dessert ever.


There were two pieces left over, swimming in extra cream sauce in the fridge, and when clean-out-the-fridge-for-dinner-night rolled around that week, the entire family was literally throwing elbows for the privilege of this cake. We all managed a bite or two of the left overs while I told my family how lucky they were I didn’t do what I was now regretting: eat the leftovers days ago for breakfast. Lesson learned.

P.S. The winner of the Artisan Pizza Oven and Outdoor Stove has been announced HERE. Also, remember that you can continue to use the code MKC25 to receive 25% off any Camp Chef product until December 2!

One Year Ago: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fudge
Two Years Ago: Spicy {Or Not} Chicken and Sweet Potato Soup
Three Years Ago: Pumpkin Cobbler

Apple Dapple Cake with Warm Vanilla Cream Sauce

Yield: Makes 9-12 servings

Apple Dapple Cake with Warm Vanilla Cream Sauce

I use the large holes of my box grater to shred the apple. Also, if you think you are on the saucier end of the spectrum, you might consider doubling the cream sauce. I thought the recipe as written was the perfect amount of sauce to drizzle lightly over each piece of cake but if you want to all out drench the cake...then go ahead and increase the sauce.


  • 8 tablespoons butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 4 cups peeled, cored and grated/shredded apple (about 5 large apples) plus any accumulated juice
  • Cream Sauce:
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9X13-inch baking pan and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until well-combined. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until light and creamy.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add the dry ingredients to the wet batter and mix until just combined and a few dry streaks remain. The batter will be very stiff but will thin out after the apples are stirred in.
  4. Stir in the grated apple with any accumulated juice and mix until combined. No need to overmix, just stir until the apples are incorporated.
  5. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Bake for about 30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. For the cream sauce, while the cake is baking, combine the butter, cream and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a low simmer and stir until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is combined. Simmer gently for 10 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat, stir in the vanilla and keep warm until ready to serve.
  7. Cut the warm cake into pieces and drizzle with the warm cream sauce.

Recipe Source: adapted from Helen C., a MKC reader (I cut down the sugar in the cake batter and added vanilla to the halved cream sauce recipe)

65 Responses to Apple Dapple Cake with Warm Vanilla Cream Sauce

  1. Lindsey says:

    Another winner of a recipe Mel! I made this for a cold, rainy Mother’s Day and it was a hit!

  2. Sarah says:

    This cake is so good. I’ve also used this recipe as a starting point for healthy-ish muffins by replacing most of the AP flour with whole wheat, cutting back on the sugar, and omitting the sauce–they were delicious and a huge hit with my five year old. I used only about a half cup sugar, but my apples were fairly sweet (and I used a bit more than four cups rather than wasting the extra I had shredded).

  3. Debbie says:

    This has been floating around my desk for a year. Finally made it tonight (my kids were shocked — I never serve desserts!). It was fabulous! I ran out of sugar (I know — crazy, right?). So I made the sauce with brown sugar. I’ll make it as written next time but I don’t know how it could be beat!

  4. Amanda C says:

    This is my husband’s favorite cake. He requests it every birthday. We make the sauce with a tsp of rum extract instead of vanilla. Yummy!

  5. Raquel says:

    I pinned this last fall, but just got around to making it last night. I’m sorry I waited so long because this was so delicious! Thanks for sharing the great recipe!

  6. MIRIAM BARLOW says:


  7. Kathleen says:

    Hi! This looks delicious. Do you think it would hold up as a layer cake – or is it too sticky or fluffy or anything else that would make it not stack well? Thanks!

  8. Tiffany says:

    What is the consistency supposed to be like when the cake is done baking? I have made it 3 times now, it is absolutely amazing! But each time I feel like I’m baking it for over an hour, it has an almost “Apple jelly” in it after 45 minutes. I was just wondering if that’s how it’s supposed to be? Thank you so much!

    • Mel says:

      Hey Tiffany, the texture of this when I make it is definitely cakey – but pretty soft. I don’t think I’ve gotten the same apple jelly texture you’re describing. You might try adding just a bit more flour if you want the texture more cake-like.

  9. Jennie says:

    Do you know if this cake freezes well? Without the sauce of course. Can’t wait to try it! Thanks!

  10. Nell says:

    Hello Mel
    When I made your cinnamon rolls and white chocolate brownies I thought those were the best desserts I’ve ever eaten. But words can’t explain how good this Apple Dabble was. This is my favorite dessert. My husband and I actually played rock, paper scissors for the last piece(I won). Thank you for you wonderful recipes.

  11. Jamie says:

    If my apples are crisp, I use one of those apple peeler/corer/ slicers then chop the rings up into small chunks. I prefer chunks to grating the apple. I also add the sugar to the apples and let them stand for a while to pull the liquid out of the apples. If you let them stand a long time, they get very liquidy, and your batter is runnier. However, the final product turns out the same.

    • Jamie says:

      I guess my tried and true recipe is very slightly different. I never make the sauce. With no sauce and substituting applesauce for part of the oil, it is a pretty low-fat cake!

  12. Camie says:

    Could I use a bundt cake pan for this recipe and if so do you know if I would vary the cook time or temp? I love your website and all of the yummy recipes! Thank you!!

    • Mel says:

      Camie – That’s a good question – I haven’t tried it and am not sure how the quantity of batter would adjust to a bundt pan but it’s worth a try if you don’t mind experimenting. For a 2/3 to 3/4 full bundt pan, a cake usually needs to cook upwards of 45 or so minutes. Good luck!

  13. Deidre says:

    I made this tonight and it was good but it was a little bit “clammy”. The apples had a lot of juice and I added all of the apples AND juice. Should I cut back on some of the juice when making again?

    • Mel says:

      Deidre – I’m not really sure what you mean by clammy but I guess if the texture seemed a little off then maybe reducing the apple juice might help. Good luck if you try it again!

  14. Joan says:

    What do you think about pouring the sauce over this cake and storing it that way, versus keeping the sauce separate? It is a moist, delicious cake.

    • Mel says:

      Joan – as long as you are ok with super soft cakes, it would be fine (it would probably become kind of the texture of a tres leches cake that’s been soaked in milk).

  15. Jocy says:

    Hi Mel, I was wondering could this work in cupcake form too?

  16. Stephanie says:

    Yummy!! not a show stopper but boy is SURE tastes AMAZING!! Everyone kept asking for the recipe!!

  17. Sally says:

    The sauce is good on bread pudding, too.

  18. Ruth says:

    Mel, I was using IE . I will give one of the other browsers a try. Thanks for you help!

  19. padnerual says:

    I have to say, I’ve made this twice in the past 72 hours: once for a potluck Christmas Party and once for my mil (belated) birthday. Both times BIG HITS. And both times, I didn’t even bother peeling the apples. I threw them in my Ninja (think cuisinart) and chomped them up that way. Turned out GREAT! Served with the sauce and a dollop of whipped cream/cool whip…yummo!!! Thank you for this fabulous delight!!!!

  20. Ruth says:

    Mel, the print feature on this recipe is not working. When I click on “print” it goes to a blank page. If you get a chance, please work your magic! Thanks.

    • Mel says:

      Hi Ruth – are you using internet explorer? Unfortunately, IE doesn’t play nice with many parts of my website (this is a trend all over the internet). I’m working to get the functionality back to print in IE but it might take a while. In the meantime, I’m encouraging readers to switch to another browser like Safari, Firefox or Chrome. Any of those have less bugs than IE. Sorry for any inconvenience!

  21. Carrie says:

    I made this for Thanksgiving and it got rave reviews. The middle of my cake was a bit soggy, so next time I’ll aim for a scant 4 cups of apples. I used granny smith. The sauce is to die for- next time I’m going to try the extra sauce for dipping fruit into or maybe over ice cream. Cream and sugar on cream and sugar can’t be bad! Thanks!

  22. Viktoriya says:

    Can I possibly substitute half & half for the whipping cream?

  23. Karen P says:

    I am so glad I made this cake instead of an apple pie for thanksgiving. It is so good! And way easier than an apple pie.

  24. Laurie says:

    Have to have someone to blame for not being able to lose weight. It might as well be you. This cake is so good. Especially the next day. So moist!

  25. Need to make it, I like the sauce 🙂 It must taste amazing. We should all thank to your lovely reader.

  26. Gina says:

    How much did you decrease the sugar? What kind of apples? CamNt wait to try this.

  27. Hey Mel, this sounds yummy, could you tell us what kind of apples did you use or recommend? tart (granny smith) or sweet (like fuji, gala, honey crisp, etc.)??

  28. Anna says:

    Sorry Mel – I found the triple cake post on Facebook. I got the sites mixed up 🙂
    And the Apple Dapple looks wonderful! I’m planning to make it for my out of town family for breakfast on Thanksgiving weekend. I’m sure this will solidify my “favorite relative” status!

  29. Lien says:

    I used leftover red delicious and it turned out wonderfully! I think melted vanilla ice cream would be so good on this, or even a scoop of ice cream. The sauce was a tad on the sweet side, so you don’t need much.

  30. Tyler H says:

    Hi Mel, just wondering…what kind of apples are you using? Tart granny smith, or a sweeter apple… Jonathan gold, fuji, golden delicious, etc.

  31. Melissa says:

    Tried this tonight and just came back to tell you it was delicious! My mil loved the cake on it’s own, but I think the sauce definitely takes it to another level 🙂 Thank you for another great recipe!

  32. Katie says:

    Made this tonight…Holy yum! That sauce is amazing!! I halved the recipe and baked it in an 8×8…so glad I didn’t half the sauce. My husband and I polished off the leftovers with spoons standing over the stove!

  33. Christine says:

    I made applesauce this fall and wondered if that would work if I just measured out 5 cups. I didn’t add anything to my applesauce and it is smooth, not chunky.

    • Mel says:

      Christine – I personally think this cake shines because of the texture from the shredded apples. I’m afraid the applesauce may not make it quite as light. Good luck if you try it!

  34. Anna says:

    I might be going crazy but I swear I saw a recipe on here earlier today that was three layers of cake with pie baked in each layer….with a strange name name that had ‘pumple’ in it. Did you have a post like that?

  35. Shannon says:

    I made this for an after dinner treat, and wow, it was so moist and perfectly comforting for a snowed-in day! Thanks for this recipe, it’s officially going in my “favorite recipes” box!

    P.S. I didn’t even bother coring the apples. I just used a grater and turned the apple as I went, shredding until I reached the core area of the apples. It cut down the prep time and worked perfectly.

  36. Helen says:

    Oh Mel, I’m so glad you made and loved and shared “Apple Dapple” my kiddos are all gathered around the computer feeling excited to see a family favorite posted right here on your blog… We love you… and Apple Dapple!!!

  37. Kate says:

    What can I say, I saw it and just had to have it! Haha. My daughters have been begging for another piece all day- I think they will finish their dinner for it 😉

  38. Sally says:

    I’m rarely tempted by dessert recipes. This one is tempting me. I’m pretty sure it will be made before Thanksgiving, though I’ll probably cut it in half. Except for the sauce. I’ll make all the sauce.

  39. Lien4424 says:

    I’m making this tonight! Thanks for sharing!

  40. Tahny says:

    I need a straw for that sauce please! Delish!

  41. Melynda says:

    It is the sauce! We have eaten a cake very much like that one for years, but there was no sauce or frosting. And while the cake is delicious, that sauce makes it dessert!

  42. Oh dear. I think I may need some Apple Dapple in my life right about now. I have all of the ingredients to hand… and I’m hungry 😉

  43. I’m thinking breakfast. Extra vanilla cream sauce.

  44. Kate says:

    I woke up and saw this and just had to have it… Luckily I happened to have everything I needed and made it. So delicious! My whole family enjoyed it! Thanks for the recipe 🙂

  45. Kelly says:

    I love this. We actually have it every year at thanksgiving instead of, I mean, in addition to pumpkin pie. Our family’s favorite tradition. We call it apple pudding cake. Yum, thanks for sharing.

  46. I’ve heard of it, but have never made it. Will try it soon!

  47. Kim in MD says:

    I love apple cake! I have never had Apple Dapple cake, but it looks delicious!

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