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Originally published in 2014, this deliciously moist and spiced apple Bundt cake is smothered in a buttery brown sugar glaze. Use your favorite apple variety such as Granny Smith or Honeycrisp. It’s like a denser, more cinnamon-y (technical terms!) version of this fresh apple cake.

overhead image of apple bundt cake on a wood slice cake stand

I love old-fashioned desserts. The kinds of desserts grandmas make so well, often memorized in their heads. Like buttery caramel corn, banana bread, and apple pie. Or peach cobbler, cornbread, and teeth-rotting sweet chocolate fudge. Yum.

Today’s recipe is just that. It’s like a big, sweet hug from grandma’s kitchen.

If you’re a regular reader, you know what my favorite dessert is. Do I talk about it all the time? Probably too much. Apple pie, apple pie, apple pie. And I’ve even written extensively about the pie crust that accompanies this holy grail of desserts.

apple bundt cake cut into slices on a wood slice cake stand

Let me continue. Today’s apple Bundt cake was inspired by my Brown Sugar Glazed Apple Bread recipe in my cookbook. The first recipe in my cookbook because it’s the best. Soft, dense, and absolutely packed with apples. It’s the kind of bread you bake on lazy Sundays not only because it’s so good but because it makes your house smell so good.

And this cake is exactly like it. It’s a combination between buttery pound cake and apple pie. It is, simply put, the quintessential recipe to make in the fall season. Sweetened mostly with brown sugar, this cake will melt in your mouth. Cinnamon spice and apple chunks are in every bite. Seriously, I do not skimp on apple chunks in my apple dessert recipes. They’re the best part, yes? The cascade of brown sugar glaze was an afterthought, but might just be the best decision I’ve ever made.

Because the Bundt cake is so large, it will take a good amount of time in the oven. Larger recipes like this have bake times that vary greatly between ovens, but I find 1 hour and 10 minutes is the perfect number. Your bake time may be higher or lower and that’s normal, so don’t get discouraged as you watch the clock.

apple bundt cake in a bundt pan after baking
Pouring brown sugar glaze onto apple bundt cake
slice of glazed apple bundt cake on a silver plate

What Kind of Apples to Use in Apple Bundt Cake?

You can use your favorite apple variety in this apple Bundt cake. Some friends and I went to the apple orchard a couple weeks ago and picked some juicy Jonagolds and Granny Smiths. If they had Honeycrisps available that day, I would absolutely have made this cake with those. All hail the Honeycrisps!

Enjoy, my fellow apple dessert lovers. See all my apple recipes.

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overhead image of apple bundt cake on a wood slice cake stand

Glazed Apple Bundt Cake

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: serves 1012 1x
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Tender and moist homemade apple Bundt cake smothered in a buttery brown sugar glaze. Your new favorite cake for the crisp fall weather.


Ingredients

Scale

Apple Bundt Cake

  • 3 cups (375g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 1/4 cups (300ml) vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup (120g) plain yogurt or sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1 and 1/4 cups (250g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract (yes, 1 full Tablespoon)
  • 3 cups (360g) peeled and chopped apples, about 2–3 large apples 

Brown Sugar Glaze

  • 1 cup (200g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick or 57g) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup (60g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Spray a 10-12 cup Bundt pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt together in a large bowl until combined. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the oil, yogurt, brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, and vanilla together until combined and creamy. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and slowly whisk until no large lumps remain. Try to avoid over-mixing. Carefully fold in the apple chunks. If you feel 3 large apples is too much, feel free to cut down to 2 apples. I like a lot of apple chunks in my cake!
  3. Spoon/pour the thick batter into the prepared bundt pan. Bake for 55–75 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean. The baking times may vary depending on your oven, if you used a 10 cup bundt pan or 12 cup, or if you used less apple chunks. Keep your eye on the cake after 55 minutes. Feel free to cover the cake loosely with aluminum foil about halfway through to prevent heavy browning on top. Allow the cake to cool in the pan set on a wire rack, then invert onto a serving plate once cooled and ready to serve.
  4. Make the glaze: As the cake cools, prepare the brown sugar glaze. Combine the butter, brown sugar, and heavy cream in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly until the butter has melted, and then stop stirring and let the mixture come to a rapid boil. Boil for 1 minute. Turn the heat down to low, give it a quick stir, and let simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat and whisk in the sifted confectioners’ sugar. Allow glaze to cool and slightly thicken for at least 10 minutes. Spoon glaze over the cake right before serving. (Cake can still be warm when glazing.) If your glaze thickened up too much as it cooled, warm in the microwave for 15 seconds and stir until smooth.
  5. I like this cake warm, at room temperature, and even cold. Cover leftovers and store at room temperature for 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Flavor is outstanding on day 2!

Notes

  1. Freezing Instructions: Cake freezes well up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature before serving.
  2. Special Tools: Glass Mixing Bowls, Rainbow Whisk, Spatula, Bundt Pan, Cooling Rack, and Saucepan
  3. Nuts: For some texture, add 1 cup of your favorite chopped nuts like pecans or walnuts.
  4. Yogurt: I prefer plain Greek yogurt here, but regular plain yogurt or sour cream works as well.
  5. Apples: Use your favorite variety of apple. I prefer a mix of tart and sweet in my apple dessert recipes. Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Jonagold, Fuji, etc.
  6. Sheet Cake or Cupcakes: Try my similar recipes for apple cake or apple spice cupcakes.

Keywords: apple bundt cake

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Hi! I’ve made this recipe and it came out great! I used 2 apples and a pear, reduced the sugar to 200 grams instead of 350, and added chopped pecans! Delicious! However the cake was a bit too oily, next time I’ll substitute a part of the oil for applesauce.

    1. Hi Ana! Glad you enjoyed it. Reducing the sugar will alter the texture of the cake. Let us know how it goes with your modifications!

    2. Hi Ana, This is a very old recipe. I reduced the oil to 1 1/8 cups many years ago because it was too much. No need for the added sour cream either. It’s perfect with the 1 1/8 cups.

  2. This recipe was a hit with family from the age of 4 to 67! We served it warm with a scoop of our favorite cinnamon ice cream on the side. I’m currently waiting for my second cake to come out of the oven for a cookout tomorrow!

  3. Hi! My kids loved this cake! It is absolutely fabulous, but I always seem to be bad about getting bundt cakes *intact* out of a Bundt pan… Could I turn these into cupcakes? How low would you suggest baking this cake in cupcake form? Thank you for your amazing recipes!

      1. Omg this is so good. I added a healthy pinch of salt to the glaze so it’s kind of a salted caramel. Note I want to put the glaze over popcorn!!

    1. Hi Emily,
      After spraying the Bundt pan, use your fingers to move the spray all around the pan and into all the crevices. I’ve found that just spraying leaves tiny spaces of untreated surface, allowing the cake to stick. Hope this helps! Works for me!

  4. Hello Sally, I love your recipes and have made many – all successes! I haven’t tried this recipe yet because I wondered if it can be made into two loaf sized pans instead of a whole bundt pan? Also, can I substitute half and half for the heavy cream in the glaze? Thank you in advance!

    1. Hi Debbie, yes, you can use two 9×5 loaf pans for this recipe (or you might enjoy this apple cinnamon bread, too). We’re unsure of the exact bake time. Half and half will work in a pinch for the glaze. Enjoy!

      1. Hi Sally, can I substitute some applesauce for the oil? I have delicious homemade applesauce I could use. Thanks

        Sandy

      2. Hi Sandy, We haven’t tested replacing half the oil with applesauce, but the texture could change significantly. Let us know if you give it a try!

  5. We just Loved this recipe! I added 1-Cup of raisins and 1-Cup of Coconut,along with 1- Cup of toasted pecans. My family loves this recipe! Thanks for sharing your wonderful recipe with us!

  6. oh this is divine ! moist fragrant and just plain yummy !made this as a thank you gift and made one for my family rave reviews…another hit thank you sally.. cindy

  7. I just want to make sure that it’s perfectly ok to freeze this cake with the glaze and not have to wait until it’s defrosted to add it? One thing-among many-that I do love about your instructions is that they are always very clear and specific (so important when baking!) so I’m sure you would have mentioned it; just double checking.

    1. Hi Andy, for absolute best texture, we would add the glaze after freezing and thawing.

    1. Hi M, we don’t recommend puréing the apples as it will add too much moisture to the batter. You could chop them smaller, or use less apples if preferred.

  8. This is wonderful. Just made it into five 3×5 little loaf cakes. I added some wild black walnuts that I bought at the farmers market last week. To the tops, I added a mixture of minced black walnuts, sugar and cinnamon. Definitely making this again.

  9. love your recipes. making the apple cake. i don’t want to add the glaze. will it still taste good

  10. Delish ! Taste like the farm apple donuts. Used olive oil . Came out great ! I’m sure my 89 year old dad is going to love it too. Thank you for this recipe .

  11. Delicious! Made the cake recipe as is, added toasted walnuts and topped with a slightly simpler glaze. Everything about the cake was perfect!

  12. I followed the recipe exactly, baked for only 55 minutes, and the cake came out dry. I am baffled based on all the wonderful reviews. The glaze is divine, however, but not enough to salvage the cake. We ate a piece and threw the rest away. I’m a big fan of Sally’s recipes but this one did not turn out well.

    1. Thank you for giving this recipe a try! Perhaps your oven runs a bit hot and with a long bake time it added up to a dry cake – we always recommend using an in-oven thermometer to ensure your oven is the correct temperature. Also, how are you measuring your flour? Make sure to spoon and level instead of scooping to avoid packing in too much flour (which will lead to dry cake).

  13. Could I substitute your salted caramel sauce as the glaze which I happen to have ready to go from another recipe?

    1. Hi Ronnie, absolutely! Simply drizzle the cooled cake with the salted caramel instead.

    1. Hi Sandy, We haven’t tested replacing half the oil with applesauce, but the texture could change significantly. Let us know if you give it a try!

  14. Hi Sally, can I stack this Bundt cake on top of another Bundt cake? I basically want to make a pumpkin out of two Bundt cakes..I want to do one layer with this cake and another with a pumpkin spice cake.

    1. Hi Nomchin, that should work just fine. The cakes will be a bit heavy, so you may want to use some cake dowels for support (see our homemade wedding cake post for more information on cake dowels). Sounds fun!

  15. I made the cake recipe exactly, and it was a hit at our meeting tonight. I used the full amount of apples and everything.
    I did change the glaze a bit because I didn’t have any cream, so I used fresh whole milk instead, and cut it down to a 1/3 cup. It worked out well, it probably wasn’t as rich, but we all liked it just the same. I also don’t keep brown sugar in the house, so I always use a combination of sugar and molasses. It wasn’t grainy at all. It was nice and smooth, and delicious.
    Thanks again, Sally, for a delicious recipe. Even though this was the first time I tried this recipe, it did not disappoint.

  16. I made this beautiful cake a couple of days ago and my family loved it. With 3 apples, I only needed 55mins for baking time. I also modified by adding chopped pecans as well as a splash of bourbon to the glaze. 3 days later, this cake still tastes amazing. I can always count on your recipes being reliable. Thank you for this!

  17. Delicious cake, flavors in glaze are exceptional. I let sit close to 20 min to let it thicken and gave a quick stir. Poured over cake- consistency still a bit thin and I noted bits of what I think is crystallized powdered sugar. Suggestions?

  18. This cake was incredible. I can’t wait to have a reason to make it again! I let my guests take a lot of the leftovers, which I absolutely regretted because it tasted even better on day 2!

  19. I’ve tried some of your other recipes and they have all been fantastic. I’d like to make mini-bundts of this recipe. What would the baking time and temp be?

    1. Hi Laura! We’re unsure exactly how long mini Bundt cakes would take to bake. We would start checking on them around 20 minutes in, depending on how large your pans are. Use the toothpick test to check for doneness. Enjoy!

  20. Hi there! I’m going to make this cake for Thanksgiving— it sounds scrumptious! Can we sub coconut oil for the vegetable oil? Thanks!

    1. You can use melted coconut oil, yes. Make sure all of the cold ingredients are room temperature, otherwise you will solidify the coconut oil during the mixing process.

  21. This cake is delicious and got rave reviews when I made it last week. However….I made the glaze exactly as directed (sifted sugar, timing, etc.) but like a commenter above, it was pretty thin and it had lots of crystallized sugar bits in it. Any tips on how to get a smooth and thicker glaze?

    1. Hi Lynn, some brands of confectioners’ sugar have a tendency to “clump” more than others and may be contributing to the less smooth consistency. The glaze should thicken considerably as it cools, but you can try adding a very small bit of extra confectioners’ sugar to help thicken it up if needed. We’re glad the cake was still a hit!

  22. Made this for Friendsgiving this weekend, and it was a big hit! Followed the recipe exactly, and it turned out perfectly. (Took about 60 minutes in my oven, and I used the full amount of apple.) I made it on Friday, refrigerated it for Sunday, and then let it come to room temperature before serving. It was still moist, fresh, and incredibly delicious! Perfect fall recipe 🙂

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