While this is a cake for consumption all year, it is just even better in autumn, when the apples are fresh from the trees. This Apple Bundt Cake is a culmination of having made many, many apple Bundt cake recipes over the years. For me, I wanted my Apple Bundt Cake to be moist. I mean, really, really moist. This cake more than achieves that, having a consistency that is almost pudding-like.
I was planning on a glaze for this cake, but every time I made it, we all enjoyed it so much on its own and found that a glaze almost takes away from the fabulousness of the cake. If you want to pretty it up further, just sift some confectioner’s sugar on top. Easy and delish!
What’s a Bundt Pan?
Before we get into making this Apple Bundt Cake, let’s talk about Bundt pans. A Bundt pan is a shaped pan, usually with a hollow middle, which, when the cake is flipped out of it, has distinctive designs due to the impressions and shape of the Bundt pan.
There are all kinds of Bundt pans out there, and for good reason. They make gorgeous cakes! A standard Bundt pan will hold 10-12 cups, which means to the rim of the pan. (The diameter is generally 10½ inches.) Remember, when we bake a cake, we need to leave room for the cake to rise in the pan. Therefore, you only want approximately 6 cups worth of batter in a standard Bundt pan.
A couple pointers for baking an apple cake (or any cake) with a Bundt pan:
First, grease it really, really well. The worst feeling is when you go to flip your cake out of the pan, and half of it sticks to the pan. Most modern Bundt pans are non-stick, but that does not mean you should not grease it. Always grease a Bundt pan. Repeat. Always grease a Bundt pan. I like to grease mine with butter which helps the edges brown a bit and gives the cake crust more flavor. But I do not stop there. Once buttered, I generously spray the pan with non-stick spray, and I do this just before pouring the batter into the pan to minimize the non-stick spray from dripping to the bottom of the pan.
Second, once the cake is done and out of the oven, allow it to cool on a wire rack for 5-10 minutes before flipping it over. You want the cake to still be hot, as there is more potential for it to stick to the pan as it cools.
The pan I used in the photos here is Nordic Ware’s Anniversary Pan. I am obsessed with this pan. I have several other Nordic Ware Bundt pans, but this is my go-to. I have never had a cake stick to it, and every cake I have made in it flips out to be a stunning beauty.
How to Make Apple Bundt Cake
This is one of the best Apple Bundt Cake recipes because it is so darn easy to make! Plus, baking a cake in a Bundt pan guarantees an effortless, pretty presentation. Win/win!
1. Whisk Dry Ingredients
In a small bowl, whisk all the dry ingredients. How easy was that!? Listen, if you prefer a different spice combination, then go for it! The spice formula I used in this Apple Bundt Cake recipe caters to my personal tastes. If you don’t like nutmeg, skip it! Maybe add a touch (I would say ⅛ teaspoon) of cloves for some added warmth. Maybe some cardamom. When it comes to spices, you do you.
2. Whisk Wet Ingredients
In a large bowl, whisk the sugar together with all the remaining ingredients, except the apples. To avoid having to wash too many utensils, use the same whisk that you used in the dry ingredients.
3. Cut the Apples
I like to have the dry and wet ingredients ready to go, in their separate bowls, before I cut the apples. Why? Once you cut the apples and expose them to the air, they will start to oxidize and turn brown. It’s not the end of the world, but by leaving this step to the end, I minimize that oxidation without the need for adding something like lemon juice to the apples which would prevent that quick oxidation.
4. Mix it All Up
In three batches, whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Add the second batch before the the first batch is fully incorporated, and add the third batch before the second batch is fully incorporated. Mix in the third batch just until the dry ingredients are no longer visible, but be sure to use a spatula to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl to be certain you have mixed in all the dry ingredients. Mix in the apples, spray your Bundt pan with non-stick spray, and spread the batter in the pan.
5. Bake the Apple Bundt Cake
The Apple Bundt Cake will need to bake at least an hour and could take another 15-20 minutes. The sides should have slightly pulled away from the pan, and a toothpick inserted should come out dry. That said, the best way to know if your cake is done is to take its temperature. The internal temperature should be at least 200° F, and ideally around 205° F. Do not let it rise above 212° F, as that is the boiling point of water, which means that moisture in your cake will steam out of the cake, rendering a less moist cake. The ideal thermometer for taking cake temperature (or any baked or cooked item) is a Thermapen, which I can not recommend enough. (I own three!)
Frequently Asked Questions About Making Apple Bundt Cake
What size Bundt pan should I use for an Apple Bundt Cake?
A standard size Bundt pan is ideal. Generally, a standard Bundt pan has a 10-12 cup capacity, meaning it holds 10-12 cups to its rim. The diameter is generally 10½ inches. These numbers can vary, however, depending on the shape of your Bundt pan.
What types of apples should I use in an Apple Bundt Cake?
Use apples that tend to hold their shape when they bake. I like to use Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, Gala and/or Pink Lady. I never bake an Apple Bundt Cake (or a pie) with just one variety of apple. I find I achieve a better taste using several different apples.
Can Apple Bundt Cake be made dairy free?
Yes. I recommend using a plant based milk instead of buttermilk. Oat milk would be my first choice.
Apple Bundt Cake
- 360 grams all-purpose flour (3 cups)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 188 grams unsweetened apple sauce (¾ cup)
- 164 grams neutral oil such as vegetable, canola, or any seed oil (¾ cup)
- 121 grams buttermilk (½ cup)
- 275 grams brown sugar (1¼ cups packed)
- 100 grams sugar (½ cup)
- 3 large eggs
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla
- 4 medium apples (peeled and chopped into small pieces, approximately ¼ of an inch thick (Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, Gala, or Pink Lady are all good choices))
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Grease a standard size a 10-inch Bundt pan (10-12 cup capacity). I like to butter the pan, fully prepare the cake batter, and then, just before pouring the batter into the pan, spray the pan with non-stick spray.
- In a small bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients.
- In a large bowl, whisk all the remaining ingredients, except the apples.
- Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in three batches, adding the second and third just before all the flour is mixed in from the prior batch. Be careful not to overmix once all the dry ingredients are added, mixing just until the dry ingredients are no longer visible.
- Gently fold in the apple pieces.
- Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 60-75 minutes.
- Cool on wire rack for 10-15 minutes. Flip the cake out of the pan and allow to cool completely on wire rack.
- A 10-12 cup Bundt pan means that the pan’s capacity is 10 cups or 12 cups, which is the ideal size for a batter of approximately 6-8 cups. The pan’s capacity is measured to the rim of the pan. However, when we bake in a pan, we need to leave room for the cake to rise in the pan.
- Use unsweetened applesauce to avoid the cake from being overly sweet.
- If you prefer less apples, use three apples instead of four. I like having lots of apple chunks, and I use at least three different varieties of apples when I make this cake.
- For dairy free, use oat milk or another plant based milk instead of buttermilk.
- The cake will keep fresh in an airtight container (or plastic wrap) at room temperature for at least 5 days. It will stay even longer if stored (still in an airtight container) in the refrigerator. Oh, and it also tastes delicious cold.