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Baked apple breakfast cake looks golden and is ready to be served.

Apple Breakfast Cake

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This apple breakfast cake contains oil instead of butter yielding a moist cake that can easily be prepared without a mixer. Packed with apples, walnuts and raisins, this cake is perfect for breakfast or any time of the day! I like to use oats in this recipe for a chewy texture with a wonderful crunchy and crumbly crust. But if you don’t have oats on hand, no worries! It will still be delightful!

Baked apple breakfast cake looks golden and is ready to be served.
Apple breakfast cake with oats

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Delicious: I’ve made this cake at least 5 times in the past two weeks and my kids still rush to eat it!
  • Customizable: Pick whatever apples you like (sweet or tart) and add as much or as little walnuts and raisins as you like. You can also play around with the spices. I’m using only cinnamon to keep it simple but feel free to add ginger, nutmeg, all spice etc.
  • Easy to make: Using oil instead of butter really simplifies the process. There is no need for a mixer. Simply whisk the wet ingredients in a bowl and the dry ingredients in another. Combine the wet and dry ingredients then add the apples, nuts and raisins. That simple!
  • Stores very well: This cake doesn’t get dry at all when stored. In fact, it gets even better with time as the flavors develop.
Slice of apple breakfast cake on small white plate.
Slice of apple oatmeal cake

Ingredients

Dry ingredients

  • Flour: You’ll need all-purpose flour to give structure to the cake.
  • Oats: I like to replace part of the flour with oats, for a slightly healthier take and a chewy texture. It’s best to use quick oats which don’t need to be soaked in liquid. You can simply mix them with the dry ingredients. Replacing part of the flour with oats makes the cake more delicate and crumblier since less gluten is formed. If you don’t want to use oats, you can increase the amount of all-purpose flour used (as explained in the recipe notes).
  • Baking soda: For rise. Baking soda will start to react as soon as the wet ingredients are added. So once you combine the wet and dry ingredients, you want to quickly place the cake in the oven.
  • Cinnamon: I like using a generous amount of ground cinnamon. Feel free to use less or add even more spices!
  • Salt: A little bit of salt, to bring out all the flavors.

Wet ingredients

  • Egg: For structure and flavor.
  • Sugar: You’ll need white granulated sugar for sweetness and to give the cake the wonderful crunchy top. I wouldn’t recommend reducing this amount. If the cake is sweeter than you’d like, it’s best to use tart apples (instead of sweet) to balance out the sweetness.
  • Oil: It’s best to use a neutral vegetable oil. The oil will make the cake very moist even once chilled.
  • Vanilla extract: For even more flavor.
Apple oatmeal cake ready to be served.

Other ingredients

  • Apples: Use whatever apples you like. I buy sweet apples but you can use a combination of sweet and tart apples if you prefer. Firm apples are generally recommended for baking such as Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Golden Delicious, Gala, Pink Lady, Braeburn. If making this cake for kids however, they might prefer the soft kind which almost melts into the batter! I will generally dice the apples as late as possible to prevent browning. A good time to do this is just before combining the wet and dry ingredients.
  • Walnuts: Chop the walnuts into smaller chunks so they are evenly dispersed in the cake. I don’t bother toasting them first as baking the cake for almost an hour gives the walnuts a nice flavor anyway.
  • Raisins: The raisins will add a little more sweetness to the cake so use as much as you like depending on the desired result.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  • Place the oven tray in the middle position and preheat the oven to 170°C (340°F, conventional setting). Grease the bottom and sides of a 20 cm (8 inch) springform pan with butter. Optional: Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and grease once more. This will make it easier to transfer the cake to a serving dish if you are worried about scratching the springform pan.

Preparing the batter

  • Dry ingredients: Whisk together the flour, oats, cinnamon, salt and baking soda in a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.
  • Wet ingredients: In a large bowl, briefly whisk the egg then add the sugar. Whisk for about a minute until pale in color.
  • Mix in the oil, vanilla extract and orange zest (if using).
  • Add the dry ingredients and fold with a rubber spatula just until combined. Don’t overmix.
  • Add the diced apples, walnuts and raisins and briefly toss with the spatula until evenly dispersed.

Baking the cake

  • Scrape the batter evenly into prepared pan and smooth the top with the back of a large spoon.
  • Bake for about 55 minutes until the surface is golden and crunchy.
  • Cool on a wire rack (in the pan) for at least 1 hour so it doesn’t fall apart when you unmold it.
  • To unmold, remove the sides of the springform pan. If needed, run a spatula along the edges of the cake before unmolding.

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Apple Breakfast Cake with Oats

Apple Breakfast Cake with Oats

Recipe by Tanya
0 from 0 votes

This apple breakfast cake contains oil instead of butter yielding a moist cake that can easily be prepared without a mixer. Packed with apples, walnuts and raisins, this cake is perfect for breakfast or any time of the day! The oats give the cake a chewy texture with a crunchy, crumbly crust. If you don’t want to use oats, increase the amount of all-purpose flour to 170 g (6 oz., 1 and 1/3 cups).

Course: DessertCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
Yield

8

inch cake
Prep time

30

minutes
Cook time

55

minutes
Rest time

1

hour 

Ingredients

  • 130 g all-purpose flour (4.6 oz., 1 cup)

  • 60 g quick oats (2.1 oz., 1/2 cup)

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1 large egg, at room temperature (50 g/1.8 oz. without the shell)

  • 200 g white granulated sugar (7.1 oz., 1 cup)

  • 140 g neutral vegetable oil (4.9 oz., 2/3 cup)

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • zest of 1 medium orange (about a teaspoon), optional

  • 200 g peeled, cored and diced apples (7.1 oz., 2 small apples)

  • 60 g walnuts (2.1 oz., 1/2 cup), coarsely chopped

  • 50 g raisins (1.8 oz., 1/3 cup)

Directions

  • Place the oven tray in the middle position and preheat the oven to 170°C (340°F, conventional setting). Grease the bottom and sides of a 20 cm (8 inch) springform pan with butter. Optional: Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and grease once more. This will make it easier to transfer the cake to a serving dish if you are worried about scratching the springform pan.
  • Dry ingredients: Whisk together the flour, oats, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.
  • Wet ingredients: In a large bowl, briefly whisk the egg then add the sugar. Whisk for about a minute until pale in color. Mix in the oil, vanilla extract and orange zest (if using).
  • Add the dry ingredients and fold with a rubber spatula just until combined. Don’t overmix.
  • Add the diced apples, walnuts and raisins and briefly toss with the spatula until evenly dispersed.
  • Scrape the batter evenly into prepared pan and smooth the top with the back of a large spoon.
  • Bake for about 55 minutes or until the surface is golden and crunchy and a digital thermometer inserted in the center of the cake (without touching the bottom) registers about 93°C (200°F). Tip: It’s best to check for doneness with a thermometer rather than a toothpick. This cake is very moist and a toothpick test won’t come out clean unless the cake is completely overbaked (and dry).
  • Cool on a wire rack (in the pan) for at least 1 hour so it doesn’t fall apart when you unmold it.
  • To unmold, remove the sides of the springform pan. If needed, run a spatula along the edges of the cake before unmolding. Enjoy! Tip: If you’d like to transfer the cake to a serving dish, remove the sides of the pan. Place a plate over the cake and invert. Peel off the parchment paper then invert again onto the serving dish to keep the crunchy side up.

Notes

  • Make-ahead tips: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for about 3 days. Since this cake contains oil instead of butter, it will stay moist even when chilled.
  • Oats: It’s best to use quick oats which don’t need to be soaked in liquid. You can simply mix them with the dry ingredients. Replacing part of the flour with oats makes the cake more delicate and crumblier since less gluten is formed. If using only all-purpose flour (170 g, 1 and 1/3 cups), the cake will be slightly fluffier and smoother.
  • Apples: Use whatever apples you like. I buy sweet apples but you can use a combination of sweet and tart apples if you prefer. Firm apples are generally recommended for baking such as Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Golden Delicious, Gala, Pink Lady, Braeburn. If making this cake for kids however, they might prefer the soft kind which almost melts into the batter! I will generally dice the apples as late as possible so they don’t brown. A good time to do this is just before combining the wet and dry ingredients, step 4 (the cake contains baking soda so we have to bake the cake shortly after mixing everything together).
  • Sugar: The sugar contributes to the wonderful crunchy top. I wouldn’t recommend reducing this amount. If the cake is sweeter than you’d like, it’s best to use tart apples (instead of sweet) to balance out the sweetness.
  • Orange zest: It adds a wonderful flavor and smell to the cake. Just note that it might distract from the apple flavor. You can skip it if you want a more traditional apple cake.
  • Oven tray: It’s best to place the springform pan on an oven tray (rather than a rack) in case there is any spillage during baking.
  • Cupcake pan: If you’d like to make a smaller portion (or individual cakes), you can use a cupcake pan lined with cupcake liners. You can make half a portion for example by dividing all the amounts by two. For the egg, mix it with a fork in a small cup then use 25 g (0.9 oz.). Bake at 180°C (356°F) for 24-28 minutes. A full portion will make about 16 cupcakes filled 3/4 of the way. It’s best to chill the cupcakes before unwrapping them so that the paper comes off easily.
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