Aleta’s Apple Cake

As I turned into my driveway this morning, I realized that all of a sudden fall is actually upon us.  Being from Texas, where fall means temperatures in the low 90s and trees turning all shades of brown, I am fascinated by all of the gorgeous colors popping up in the hills of Tennessee!

I’ve been meaning to share this recipe for some time, and what better season than fall…when the taste and smell of anything Apple compliments the crisp, cool air.

I got this recipe in 2004 from my friend in Ohio, Aleta.  Although I haven’t physically laid eyes on her in years, Aleta will always hold a sweet spot in my heart.  She was my partner in crime, my fishing buddy and my baking mentor back when my mashed potatoes were barely edible.  She always had something delicious baked and ready for all those times I barged into her house unannounced.  Aleta was my friend through a very confusing part of my life-journey…she never ever judged me and always, always made me laugh.  I will forever be grateful to her for that…And for this recipe!

So here it is…one of our favorites.  It’s great any season, but I seem to make it weekly during the fall, for  Jay and Oliver especially.  It’s their favorite.  You’ll love the cake and you’ll love how warm and cozy it makes your house smell.   It’s not fancy or overly sweet.  It’s just good, moist, bread-like, completely delicious apple cake.

So from our kitchen to yours,  Aleta’s Apple Cake.


  • 1 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/2 c butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2/3 c unsweetened, natural apple sauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 c flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 cups chopped Granny Smith apples
  • 1 Tbs sugar and 1/2 tsp cinnamon for topping

1.  Grease and flour an 8 or 9 in springform pan.

2.  Beat sugar, butter, vanilla and apple sauce until well blended.  I use vanilla paste instead of exctract because I love, love, love the flavor.  But exctract works just fine too.

3.  Add eggs and beat until blended.

4.  Add flour and baking powder and 1 tsp cinnamon.

5.  Aleta’s original recipe calls for just 3 cups of chopped, peeled apples. We prefer 4 cups, chopped, not peeled, and we like Granny Smith.  The tartness compliments the sweet very well and they hold their consistency.  Whichever and however much you chose, stir them in.  🙂

We have also added 1/2 cup of raisins several times. Its really good too!

6.  Spread that thick, lumpy batter evenly into your pan.

7.  Sprinkle with remaining cinnamon and sugar.  This is the magic.  The sweet cinnamonny crust that forms over top is the perfect crunchy bite on this moist cake.

8.  Bake for approximately 1 hour at 350 degrees until the cake just starts to pull away from the sides of the pan.

9.  Let the cake cool for 30 minutes and then remove the sides of the pan.

10.  Serve it warm or cold; with coffee for breakfast or with ice cream for dessert.  You will love it any which way….promise 🙂

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