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Apple Fritter Cake and UFOs

Dang, was this recipe was an evolution!  I just set out to adapt a recipe that used cake mix but make it without cake mix.  I did it, the cake part itself turned out great!  I was really proud of myself but overall I thought the cake was too sweet.  However, I loved the glaze on it!  It was just like a donut glaze, and since the overall effect of the cake was that of a coffee cake and I had just bought a butt load (yes, I said butt load) of apples, I thought I’d make an Apple Fritter Cake!  Also, because I wanted to cut down on the overall sugar content I changed my base recipe and decided to start my adaption from my all time fave Joy the Baker.  She has this awesome Strawberry Coffee Cake that is a big hit in this house.  It is one of my husband’s favorites, so I know it is good.

The tart apples cut the sweetness a bit.  Cinnamon just makes it better.  It really tastes like an apple fritter!

Before we get into anything else, is anyone else completely overwhelmed by the season yet?  Not just the holidays necessarily but for my kids the end of soccer season and the beginning of performance team is coming up.  The end of the year party and playoffs are stuck into the days that the girls don’t have practice or dance.  O yeah, dance.  My girls love to perform so I sign them up to be on performance team where they go to local festivities and dance.  We have those coming up.  There are two parades they are in starting today.  Plus Angela insisted on trying to make a classmates birthday party right after the parade…we’ll see.  Man o man, it is all coming up: Thanksgiving, a birthday party for three family members at once a few days later, three dance performances, two days of playoffs, dance Christmas show and party, soccer party, school parties, Christmas, Robert’s third birthday, then New Year’s, then vacation (which is never vacation for a mom, right?).  I just need to breathe and make lists and I should be OK but I need to keep remembering that!  Breathe and make lists!  Breathe and make lists!  Seriously, just listing everything coming up has made me feel better, thanks!

My GeekyLink for this week is something I discovered last week but had to wait because The Hunger Games trailer was released before I could share it with you. Army vs. UFO (1942; Los Angeles), I had never heard about this.  Now I don’t even remember how I came across it but I found it completely intriguing especially growing up in Southern California and being a longtime lover and follower of UFO lore.  Eyewitness to History is one of the links under the video and I really liked it because it sets the stage for the things that went on during that time.  Air raid drills and blackouts and anti-aircraft target practice late into the night set the stage during a World War II era UFO sighting that was either nothing that went way too far or something that just gave up after us firing at it for two hours.  Anyways, I thought it was pretty cool.

Apple Fritter Cake

inspired by Serve at Once and Joy the Baker


For Filling:

1 heaping cup of sliced apples (I cored and quartered and then sliced)

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

small pinch freshly grated nutmeg

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 teaspoons water


1/2 cup brown sugar (I used a 1/4 cup each of dark and light)

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

For Cake:

1/3 cup butter

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup applesauce

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs

2 1/4 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup greek yogurt (you could use plain yogurt as well or sour cream)

For Glaze:

2 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

6 tablespoons milk


For filling:  Make your filling by combining apples, sugar, water, cinnamon and cornstarch in a small saucepan.  Cook on low heat for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring constantly until the sauce is thickend and the apples are a bit soft.  Set aside to cool.  In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together until well combined and set aside.

For Cake:  Preheat oven to 350°.  Grease and flour a 9×13 baking dish.  Set aside.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add applesauce and vanilla and mix till combined.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Sift the dry ingredients together.  Add the dry ingredients to the batter in three parts alternating with the yogurt in two parts, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Beat until just combined.

Spoon half of the batter into the prepared pan.  Spoon the cooled apple mixture over the batter carefully and spread as evenly as possible.  Sprinkle 2/3 of brown sugar cinnamon mixture over apples and cover with the rest of the batter.  Sprinkle the rest of the brown sugar cinnamon mixture over the top.

Bake for 45-55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

For Glaze:  While the cake is baking, make the glaze.  In a bowl, mix the powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk until the glaze is desired consistency.  When the cake comes out of the oven, immediately but carefully pour onto hot cake.  Try to pour as evenly as possible.  You might have to pick up the cake and tilt it to spread the glaze evenly.  I even poured some out that pooled at the corners and repoured that over the top.  Let the cake sit for awhile for the glaze to set.

Dig in!

About NerdyBaker

My name is Celina. I am a wife and mother of three. I love to bake, go to the movies, read when I can and I am kind of a great big nerd. Just don't tell my husband.

156 responses »

  1. The ‘Plus’ is the brown sugar/cinnamon (streusel) that goes over the top?
    I’m new to baking and was a little unsure because of the Plus word.

  2. Luann Justice

    I use make a really special different kind of cake using a cake mix. The cake mix got discontinued. I finally came across this recipe. It was great and a substitute for that special cake mix but better. Loved it

  3. I loved this cake! Yes, it’s very sweet, but so are apple fritters, and it really does taste just like the donut!

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  6. Pingback: Apple Fritter Cake

  7. A Thanksgiving day masterpiece! Super moist and delicious and loved by all! I also doubled the apples which made it perfect. Thank you for a new family tradition!

  8. I haven’t made this yet! but I am going to.I don’t like cook apples and I just might like them cooked after I make this I know my Family will .Thank you MaryAlton !

  9. I got here by luck. Had too many apple left over from taking kids to the apple orchard.Looked on pinterest and here you are and there I went and baked up a storm thank you !

  10. What are your thoughts on making this the night before and baking the next Morning?

    • It’s definitely worth a shot. I’d say keep the batter & filling separate till morning. Then in the morning assemble in your pan and bake. That’s probably your best bet. Let me know how it goes!

  11. Found this via Pinterest as I was looking for a way to use up a few extra apples. This looks so yummy – the search is over. I’m totally making this today!

  12. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. It was delicious! I knew my family would like a lot of apples so I used 3 cups and added extra cinnamon but kept the sugar amount the same since you mentioned it was a pretty sweet cake. Next time I think I’ll even use 4 cups of apples since I’m always trying to use up apples. Your detailed instructions and comments make it easy to adjust the recipe to your personal preferences. The cake is perfect, still very sweet and yummy. We tried subbing the vanilla in the glaze for a good quality maple extract and that was heavenly too. Thanks again!

  13. This is such a great recipe. I just put it in the oven for dinner tonight. I have made it before and it’s in my Top Ten cake recipes — and I’m a real cake snob! Thanks for sharing.

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  15. This was outstanding!!!! I read and re-read the amount of apples…it didn’t seem like enough. I probably put in 1 1/2 cups. Next time I would put in at least 2 heaping cups if not 3. That’s the only change I’d make – it was absolute perfection! Used Krusteaz gluten free flour and it’s hard to believe it’s gluten free! Thank you!

  16. This is one of THE BEST cakes I have ever made! It really did taste close to an apple fritter–yummy! Definitely a keeper. And I even had to use coconut Greek yogurt, because that’s all I had on hand. lol It didn’t taste like coconut at all, & worked really well. I can’t wait to make this again! 🙂

  17. Thank you for posting – it sounds really delicious! Great recipe for Fall.

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  21. I have a friend that can not have eggs. What can I use to substitute the eggs?

    • You could use 1/4 cup applesauce or 1Tablespoon ground flax seeds simmered in 3Tablespoons water for each egg. These are only a couple of egg replacements I have used, not in this recipe in particular but just in general. There are several other options for egg replacements. Good luck and have fun!

  22. I was wondering if I could use 2 8×8 pans in stead of the 9×13 they would be a little thinner and I thought if I baked them a little less time if they would work. Also, thought it would be great to make them in a couple loaf pans?

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  24. From the pictures, I can tell this cake will be AWESOME. But I’m curious how close the taste & texture is to an actual apple fritter donut. Almost identical? Close, but different? Great taste, but different texture? Etc.

  25. Glaze will not get firm,it seems to melt into the cake.,what to do?

  26. Would it work to use canned apple pie filling?

  27. Hello, great recipe! I wanted to tell you someone is using your photo and recipe, claiming it as their own. (They also took text directly from another blog that HAD linked this recipe & photo back to you.) I figured you might want to know- here’s the link:

    • Thanks, you know, the site used to link back so even though it used my pic I let it go. But it looks like it was republished just recently and doesn’t link anymore and I wouldn’t have known if not for you. So thank you.

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  30. I made it…it’s so easy to make and it’s deliciosssss!!! For sure it’s now one of my favorite recipes. Thank you for a tasty desert!

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  33. Made this tonight and it was awesome!!!!

  34. Would a box spice cake mix work instead of your recipe from scratch? Only asking because, I’m not a baker and therefore not stocked up on all the dry ingredients required for frequent cake baking! Just thought I’d try this out for my dads bday cake… He loves apple fritters!

  35. How thick should the cake mix be? Feels too thick

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  37. Looking forward to making this in the morning 🙂 Can’t wait to try it and give a review on my blog Night Owl Kitchen. My son and I absolutely love apple fritters and I’m always looking for various ways to simplify our favorites in the kitchen!

  38. I’m having a party for 30 and plan on making this for dessert (it’s a cowboy theme party). Do you suggest I double or triple the recipe?

  39. What kind of apples do you recommend?

  40. Making this, in the oven RIGHT NOW!!!! Taking it to someone who loves apple bread for dessert every morning as a gift. Maybe they’ll share or not notice a missing spoonful from the corner…? Wowie, can’t wait for the results!!

  41. This sounds delicious!!

  42. This was so delicious!!!

  43. Just made this tonight and it was delicious!!! Came out perfect!! I did do 4 cups apples and added extra amounts of cinnamon however. Thanks for the recipe!! 🙂


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