Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Icing Recipe - A Delicious Dessert from the USA

Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Icing

Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Icing Recipe - A Delicious Dessert from the USA
Region / culture: USA | Preparation time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 1 hour and 30 minutes | Servings: 10-12


Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Icing
Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Icing

This Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Icing is a delightful dessert that combines the sweet and tangy flavors of apples with the rich, caramel-like taste of brown sugar icing. Perfect for any occasion, this cake is not only delicious but also brings a touch of elegance to your table. The moist and tender crumb, packed with chunks of fresh apples and crunchy pecans, is perfectly complemented by the smooth and creamy icing. Whether you're a seasoned baker or new to the kitchen, this recipe is straightforward and sure to impress.


The tradition of apple cake dates back centuries, with variations found in many cultures around the world. This particular recipe, with its brown sugar icing, is a modern twist on classic American apple cakes. It reflects the abundance of apples in the American diet and the innovation in using local ingredients to create desserts that are both comforting and indulgent. The addition of brown sugar icing adds a depth of flavor that elevates the humble apple cake to a dessert that is both nostalgic and sophisticated.


For the Cake

For the Brown Sugar Icing

How to prepare

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan. (Do not mistake a 10-inch tube pan for a Bundt pan; this recipe will overflow a Bundt pan.)
  2. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir well and set aside.
  3. Combine the oil, eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Beat at medium speed for 3 minutes.
  4. Add the dry ingredients at low speed. The batter will be thick. Add the pecans and apples at low speed.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared tube pan and bake at 350°F for 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean when inserted in the center of the cake.
  6. Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert it onto a serving plate and remove the pan.
  7. Drizzle the Brown Sugar Icing over the warm cake.
  8. Brown Sugar Icing:
  9. Combine the butter, brown sugar, and milk in a heavy saucepan. Over medium-high heat, bring the mixture to a full boil. Cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes.
  10. Let the icing cool to lukewarm.


  • Substitute walnuts for pecans for a different nutty flavor.
  • Add spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, or allspice to the batter for added warmth and depth.
  • Use a cream cheese icing instead of brown sugar icing for a tangy contrast to the sweet cake.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure your Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Icing turns out perfectly, consider the following tips:

- Use a variety of apples for a more complex flavor. Mixing tart and sweet apples can enhance the taste of your cake.

- Make sure your ingredients, especially eggs and butter, are at room temperature to ensure a smooth batter.

- Do not overmix the batter once the flour is added; mix just until the ingredients are combined to keep the cake tender.

- Test the cake for doneness by inserting a skewer or toothpick into the center. It should come out clean or with a few moist crumbs.

- Allow the cake to cool in the pan for the recommended time before inverting it. This helps prevent the cake from breaking.

Serving Suggestions

This cake is delightful on its own but can be served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream for an extra indulgent treat. A cup of coffee or tea makes the perfect accompaniment.

Cooking Techniques

This recipe involves several key cooking techniques, including creaming (beating together oil, eggs, and sugar), dry ingredient mixing, and the creation of a caramel icing through boiling and constant stirring.

Ingredient Substitutions

For a healthier version, substitute half of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour.

- Use applesauce in place of some of the oil to reduce the fat content.

- Brown sugar can be substituted with coconut sugar for a slightly different flavor profile.

Make Ahead Tips

The cake can be baked a day in advance and kept tightly wrapped at room temperature. Prepare the icing just before serving to ensure it has the right consistency for drizzling.

Presentation Ideas

Serve slices of the cake on plates drizzled with extra brown sugar icing. Garnish with a sprinkle of chopped pecans and a thin apple slice for an elegant finish.

Pairing Recommendations

This cake pairs beautifully with a sweet dessert wine, such as a Riesling or a Moscato. For a non-alcoholic option, a spiced apple cider complements the flavors of the cake wonderfully.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store leftover cake covered at room temperature for up to 2 days or refrigerated for up to 5 days. The cake can be enjoyed cold or gently reheated in a microwave for a few seconds.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A single serving of this Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Icing contains approximately 500 calories. The majority of these calories come from the fats and carbohydrates in the recipe.


A single serving of this Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Icing contains approximately 60 grams of carbohydrates. The primary sources of carbohydrates in this recipe are the sugar and all-purpose flour, which provide the cake's structure and sweetness. Apples also contribute natural sugars and dietary fiber.


This recipe is relatively high in fats, with a single serving containing about 28 grams of fat. The fats come from the canola oil, eggs, and butter used in the cake and icing. While fats are essential for a moist and tender crumb, moderation is key.


Each serving of the Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Icing provides approximately 5 grams of protein. The protein in this dessert comes mainly from the eggs and to a lesser extent from the flour and pecans.

Vitamins and minerals

This cake is a source of several vitamins and minerals, primarily from the apples and pecans. Apples provide vitamin C and potassium, while pecans offer magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc. However, this dessert should be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrient-rich foods.


This recipe contains common allergens such as wheat (gluten), eggs, and tree nuts (pecans). Individuals with allergies or sensitivities to these ingredients should avoid this dessert or consider suitable substitutions.


While delicious, the Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Icing is a treat that should be enjoyed in moderation due to its high calorie, fat, and sugar content. It provides some nutritional benefits from the apples and pecans but is best enjoyed as part of a balanced diet.


The Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Icing is a delightful dessert that combines the classic flavors of apple and caramel with a moist, tender crumb. While indulgent, it can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet and offers some nutritional benefits from the apples and pecans. With its elegant presentation and rich flavor, this cake is sure to be a hit at any gathering.

How did I get this recipe?

The first time I saw this recipe, I was drawn to it like a moth to a flame. It was a crisp autumn day, the leaves were turning shades of red and gold, and the smell of cinnamon filled the air. I was visiting my dear friend Margaret, who was known for her delicious apple desserts. As soon as I walked into her cozy kitchen, I was greeted by the sight of a beautiful apple cake cooling on the counter, topped with a luscious brown sugar icing.

Margaret greeted me with a warm smile and a hug, knowing that I had a weakness for anything sweet. She poured me a cup of tea and we sat down at her kitchen table, surrounded by the comforting aroma of baked apples and spices. I couldn't help but ask her for the recipe, my mouth watering in anticipation.

Margaret chuckled and handed me a tattered old recipe card, stained with years of use. "This apple cake with brown sugar icing has been in my family for generations," she explained. "My grandmother used to make it for special occasions, and it's always been a hit."

I eagerly studied the recipe, taking note of the simple ingredients and straightforward instructions. The cake itself was made with fresh apples, cinnamon, and nutmeg, giving it a warm and comforting flavor. The brown sugar icing was a combination of butter, brown sugar, and a splash of cream, creating a rich and decadent topping that perfectly complemented the moist cake.

As Margaret shared stories of her grandmother baking in the old farmhouse kitchen, I couldn't help but feel a sense of nostalgia. I remembered my own grandmother, a talented cook who had passed down her recipes to me with love and pride. I knew that I had to add this apple cake with brown sugar icing to my collection of cherished recipes.

I thanked Margaret for sharing the recipe with me and promised to bake it for my family soon. She smiled and insisted that I stay for a slice of the cake, still warm from the oven. As I took my first bite, I was transported to a place of comfort and joy, surrounded by the love of friends and family.

When I returned home, I wasted no time in gathering the ingredients to make the apple cake. I carefully peeled and chopped the apples, savoring the sweet and tart aroma that filled my kitchen. The scent of cinnamon and nutmeg wafted through the air, reminding me of crisp autumn days and cozy evenings by the fire.

I mixed the batter together, watching as the apples disappeared into the golden mixture. The cake baked in the oven, filling my home with the tantalizing scent of baked apples and spices. I couldn't wait to drizzle the brown sugar icing over the top, adding a touch of sweetness to the already delicious dessert.

As I pulled the cake out of the oven, I could hardly contain my excitement. The golden brown crust crackled as it cooled, and the aroma of warm apples and cinnamon filled the air. I carefully spread the brown sugar icing over the top, watching as it melted into a glossy glaze that shimmered in the light.

I couldn't resist taking a bite before the cake had fully cooled, and I was instantly transported back to Margaret's kitchen, surrounded by the warmth and love of friends. The apple cake with brown sugar icing was everything I had hoped for and more – moist, flavorful, and utterly irresistible.

As I sat down to enjoy a slice of the cake with a cup of tea, I felt a sense of contentment wash over me. I knew that this recipe would become a staple in my own collection, passed down to future generations with the same love and pride that Margaret had shared with me.

And so, every time I bake this apple cake with brown sugar icing, I am reminded of the friendships and memories that have shaped my love for cooking. Each bite is a taste of tradition and history, a reminder of the simple joys that can be found in a warm slice of homemade dessert.


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