Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Amy Burke
Total Time
2 Hours
Makes 12 to 15 servings

Thinly sliced apples create rich, moist layers of fruit within this cake recipe.


How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through.

Step 2

Stir together butter and next 3 ingredients in a large bowl until blended.

Step 3

Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; add to butter mixture, stirring until blended. Stir in apples and 1 cup pecans. (Batter will be very thick, similar to a cookie dough.) Spread batter into a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch pan.

Step 4

Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack (about 45 minutes). Spread your choice of frosting over top of cake; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup pecans.

Chef's Notes

Note: Total time does not include preparing frosting.

Ratings & Reviews

Bethy33's Review

October 31, 2011
When I was putting this batter into the pan, I thought I must have done something wrong...just so many apples and it didn't seem like there was enough batter. Turned out I didn't do anything wrong...just everything right in making this delicious cake! I did end up baking about 5 minutes longer than suggested. I made a nice cream cheese frosting for it. My guy couldn't stop moaning when he was eating this! It's an excellent recipe - I highly recommend this delicous, moist and unique cake - it's amazing!

mossie's Review

November 12, 2011
This cake is wonderful. As other reviewers recommended, we reduced the sugar in the batter by 75% and did not use any frosting. A quarter of the recipe makes four good sized servings at 200 calories a piece (baked in a 5 x 7-inch ceramic dish until a wooden pick inserted in center came out clean or approximately 30-35 minutes).

handnthekitchen's Review

December 30, 2010
I've been making this SL recipe for years. The biggest problem with it is once you make it for someone they want it again and again... Guess it's a tradition in my house now! I substituted toasted walnuts for the pecans and, I also find that whatever icing you use (I definitely use cream cheese) can easily be cut in half. The cake alone is delicious. Don't let the 'lack of batter' fool you-- it is exactly right!

JLG2009's Review

October 21, 2010
This is the best Fresh Apple Cake ever.Easy and quick. I used 1 1/2 cups of sugar instead of 2cups and made 1/2 of the Cream Cheese Icing.The toasted pecans make the difference. You will love this cake.

Jewel29's Review

October 01, 2010
This cake is AMAZING!!!! I used all Granny Smith apples, which I thought was perfect to offset the sweetness of the(most amazing brown butter) frosting.I brought it to a gettogether, and everyone LOVED it! I might suggest, if you're not a huge fan of thick frosting, start with half the amount. It is very rich(but wonderful!).

nikkiadams's Review

September 27, 2010
Made this with the cream cheese frosting. My eggs were small so the batter was too dry. I added an extra egg and it came out great. I feel this recipe should be made a day ahead because it just gets better after sitting in the frig. It's a very rich dessert and great for gatherings. It was a hit with all my dinner guests.

PattyC's Review

September 21, 2010
Personally, I haven't tasted this recipe. I made it for my husband's office and it was rated the highest ever of all the great recipes I have made for them. Will have to make it again so I can have some. I made the recipe as given, except that I used half granny smith and half macintosh apples. I am not the biggest fan of granny smiths for baking, but my husband said the cake was great, especially with the browned butter frosting. To speed things up, after I browned the butter, I put it in the freezer for a short while till it was half solidified. I recommend this recipe highly! Also, the batter is very thick and when I mixed in the apples, there was hardly any batter. Don't works out great.

clbear96's Review

January 31, 2014
YUMMO! This was fantastic with browned butter frosting! A new staple in our house! This would be fantastic with no icing and just some good vanilla ice cream as well!

Dorothyjeter's Review

September 24, 2012
I make this for my son to share at work. He says that it makes grown men cry it is so good.

LaVonneB's Review

September 15, 2012
Made this for my in laws 60th Anniversary...big hit.