If we add fruit to our cakes, that makes them healthy, right? Right?? Let’s all just lie to ourselves this once. This spiced apple walnut bundt cake is worth lying to yourself about. What I love most about this cake is that it’s not too sweet. It’s actually perfect on the sugar-level, so much so that the frosting is totally optional. You could leave it out completely and still enjoy this cake. Maybe you just want a light dusting of powdered sugar. Or, you could go all out and douse this baby in some rich homemade salted caramel. I was originally gonna go that route, but I decided something a little creamy would satisfy my craving.
I love just about any desert that combines warm fall spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger, etc. with seasonal fruit, and toasty nuts. It hits every single note that I’m searching for and more. This apple walnut cake is ridiculously easy to make, and comes together very quickly. Just make sure you take your eggs out the fridge a good half-hour before you even start. But hey, sometimes we forget to do these things (I totally did), so check the recipe notes for a quick way to bring your eggs down a notch on the chill-scale.
My preference is to toast my nuts (heh) over the stove. It’s faster, but it’s also a little more dangerous because they get toasted FAST. You cannot walk away from this. If you’re too nervous to do this, simply pop them in the oven.
Feel free to use a variety of apples!
This cake is delicious AF! I made it on a Sunday, and it was gone by Tuesday. We’re a bunch of fatties, I swear.
If you want, you could shred the apples on a box grater. I actually may try that next time. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the apple chunks, but because I like to try different things to see which I like better, they’re getting grated next time. Pears almost made it into this cake, but I didn’t feel like working with them because they tend to release a lot of liquid, and I didn’t want a soupy cake. Take note of that in case you get the idea of adding pears or using all pears. Hell, it might work, give it a try and let me know.
- 3 large eggs, room temperature (SEE NOTES)
- 1 cup shelled walnuts, toasted and chopped
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 4 large tart apples (4 cups), diced
- 1¼ cups vegetable or canola oil
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract'
- 4 ounces (half a package) cream cheese, room temperature
- ½ stick unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar, plus more if desired
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon maple extract
- *heavy cream or half and half to loosen to desired consistency (SEE NOTES)
- pinch of sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- Prepare a 12-cup capacity bundt pan with baking spray and set aside.
- Either toast the walnuts in a dry skillet over medium-high heat, constantly swirling to prevent burns. You’ll know they’re ready when they become fragrant, about 3 minutes. Alternatively, spread the walnuts evenly on a cookie sheet and bake for 5-7 minutes. Let the nuts cool completely and chop medium coarse.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ground ginger.
- Peel, core, and cut the apples into ⅛ to ¼ inch dice.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a flat beater, add the eggs, oil, white and brown sugars, and the vanilla. Blend on medium speed for about a minute, or until fully combined.
- Add the spiced flour mixture and beat on low speed for 20 seconds, just until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and fold any leftover pockets of flour into the batter.
- Detach the bowl from the stand and with a large spoon/spatula, stir in the apples and walnuts. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a cake tester, wooden skewer, or long toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the center.
- Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. If using a straight sided pan, run a metal spatula between the sides of the pan and the cake. Invert the cake onto a wire rack that has been lightly coated with nonstick cooking spray and cool completely for about 1½ hours.
- Beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl until smooth.
- Add powdered sugar, syrup, vanilla and maple extract; beat until smooth.
- Pour in half and half, or heavy cream to loosen to desired consistency (if you want). Add a pinch of salt to bring out the flavors. Pour or spread the frosting onto the completely cooled cake. You may have some frosting leftover, depending on how much coverage you want. If so, freeze the leftovers for another cake.
- Enjoy! This cake stays moist 5 days at room temperature, up to 10 days refrigerated. Because it is made with oil, it can be enjoyed at room temperature or cold.
Use heavy cream or half and half to loosen your frosting if it's not as fluid as you'd like. As long as it tastes good, it really doesn't matter how it looks.