Recipe Review

Apple Fritter Cake Is Fall’s Best Dessert Mash-Up

published Oct 25, 2022
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Credit: Grace Elkus

I’d say 99 percent of my annual apple consumption occurs between September and November. It’s not just that I love the flavor (apples taste so much better when they’re in season), but swimming in apples also makes me really feel like it’s fall. 

Of course, just like butternut squash in the winter and zucchini in the summer, I always overdo it (I may or may not have just ordered 22 pounds). And when I can’t quite dip another apple slice in peanut butter, I search for a way to bake with them. 

This year, my search ended quickly: I came across King Arthur Baking’s Apple Fritter Cake on Instagram and knew I had to make it. Described as “apple fritters without a fryer,” it was everything I dreamed of in an apple dessert: Easy to make, easy to share, and jam-packed with apples. Plus, it looked to be one of their most popular posts of all time, which gave me hope that the cake was a reader favorite. 

I gathered my ingredients (all of which I already had on hand), read through the recipe (and all of the IG comments), and got started. Here’s my honest review. 

Credit: Grace Elkus

How to Make King Arthur Baking’s Apple Fritter Cake 

The first step is choosing your pan. The recipe gives options for a tea loaf pan (which I don’t own), a standard loaf pan (with a few caveats), or an 8-inch square pan. I opted for the square pan, as that’s what was used in the swoon-worthy IG post.

After lining the pan with parchment, you’ll need to dice your apples. The recipe’s accompanying blog post suggests a mix of green and red, so I opted for one peeled Granny Smith and two unpeeled SweeTango. Toss them with brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour. 

To make the cake, you’ll use the reverse creaming method, which gives it a sturdier (but not dense) crumb. Combine the dry ingredients — flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and allspice or nutmeg — in the bowl of a stand mixer, then add the butter and mix until sandy. Beat in the eggs, vanilla, and milk, and mix for one minute more. Easy!

Spread half the batter in the prepared pan, pile half the apples over the top, then repeat with the remaining batter and apples. Bake until a knife comes out clean, let cool, then drizzle with a simple powdered sugar glaze. 

Credit: Grace Elkus

My Honest Review of King Arthur Baking’s Apple Fritter Cake

Unsurprisingly, this cake was sensational. The cake itself is tender and moist, reminiscent of a vanilla-scented coffee cake or a fluffy cake doughnut. The apple chunks are perfectly sweetened and spiced, and I love that they’re scattered both inside and on top of the cake. The drizzle of glaze is the perfect sugary finish, and really adds to the apple fritter vibes.  

But my favorite part might be how tall this cake is. Due to its double-decker nature, each slice is thick and substantial — meaning you get lots and lots of cake with every forkful. You might think you can’t eat the full piece, but trust me, you can (yes, this is now a challenge). 

Did I mention you can eat it any time of day? We love a snacking cake here at Kitchn — one that comes together without a trip to the store, can be enjoyed morning or night, and keeps on the counter for days on end. This one absolutely fits the bill, and is worth having in your kitchen all season long. 

Credit: Grace Elkus

If You’re Making King Arthur Baking’s Apple Fritter Cake, a Few Tips

  1. Use a mix of apple varieties. Using a mix of sweet and tart apples adds more flavor and texture to the cake. Leave any red ones unpeeled; their rosy hue adds to the cake’s visual appeal. 
  2. Don’t prep the apples in advance. I let my apples sit in the sugar while I waited for my butter to soften, which resulted in a pool of juices at the bottom of the bowl. Nervous this would result in a soggy cake, I used a slotted spoon to transfer the apples to the batter — but I know I missed out on some of their delicious flavor. Next time, I’ll work more quickly — or simmer the juice until it’s reduced and drizzle it over the top. 
  3. Use freshly grated nutmeg. The recipe gives the option to use allspice or nutmeg. If you have it, freshly grated nutmeg will really drive home the doughnut-shop vibes. 
  4. Adjust the cake to your preferences. Reading through this recipe’s Instagram comments informed me that it can be made successfully with gluten-free flour and also tastes great with nuts mixed in. You do you, and have fun with it! 

Have you tried King Arthur Baking’s Apple Fritter Cake? Let us know in the comments!