This Southern Orchard Apple Cake Recipe Is Perfect For Fall Baking

This Southern Orchard Apple Cake Recipe Is Perfect For Fall Baking

by Esme Addison

My mother collects old cookbooks and recipes from family and friends. She’s done it for as long as I can remember. And today, I’m sharing one of the oldest.

We’ve had this apple cake recipe in our family for over 40 years, given to her by a co-worker name Frances Mallard. It’s the traditional southern-style apple cake baked in a square pan and topped with decadent cream cheese frosting. We make this at least once during the fall.

I think this is the perfect way to make use of all those apples picked at the orchard this fall. And if you canned apples for future use, this is a great time to open up one of those sweet smelling jars.

When I make this cake, I use this recipe as a base but employ a few tweaks. This recipe doesn’t specify how to chop the apples, but I like to keep my apples chunky, I use refined coconut oil or salted butter. Butter just makes everything taste better, doesn’t it? And the salt brightens the flavors of the cinnamon and nutmeg.

Unsalted butter is fine too. Some people don’t like salted butter in recipe which is fin! If this is you, unsalted butter works just add a pinch of salt to the batter. Nuts (the type is not specified in the recipe) are in this recipe. Pecans are in season in the fall in North Carolina, and are a perfect complement to the apples so pecans are my choice for this cake. Although, walnuts would also work.

I lightly toast my pecans to add a little complexity to the flavor profile before adding them to the batter. You can also spice or find pre-spiced pecans with cinnamon, nutmeg, etc which can take this cake to another level. It’s your choice.

Lastly, I always use all natural organic ingredients for the best result. You can also make this cake in round layers if you desire. But the look of the flat sheet cake provides a nice rustic, down-home esthetic to this autumn-licious cake.

Southern Orchard Apple Cake

Serving Size:
1 cake
45-60 mins


  • 1 cup of refined coconut oil or salted butter
  • 1 1/2 cup of sugar (brown sugar or maple syrup is a nice sub)
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups self rising flour
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon ( I love spice)
  • 1 pinch of nutmeg
  • 4 cups of chopped apple (I prefer sweet, crisp Fuji apples and I like my cake supper-apple-y and moist)
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla
  • 1 cup of pecans (optional)
  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Coat a 9X13 pan with coconut oil
  3. Combine apples and pecans with cinnamon, nutmeg and a bit of the 2 cups of sugar to taste
  4. In a large bowl cream butter, sugar and eggs. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, ground cinnamon, salt, and ground nutmeg
  5. Add spiced and sweetened apples and pecans. Mix all with the mixer. Fold in nuts.
  6. Bake in a 9 x 13 inch pan sprayed with cooking spray at 350 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes. (Depends on your oven.)
  7. Allow to cool.
  8. Frost your cake – Whip all frosting ingredients together with mixer until smooth and of spreading consistency.

How do you eat your apple cake? In my home, the kids get milk and the grownups have coffee.

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