maple apple cake recipe

Apples tend to find their way into many of our desserts, savory dishes and drinks during this time of year. One of my personal favorites is apple cake. In this maple apple cake recipe, the cake is almost the consistency of a crumb or coffee cake. The top is soaked in pure local maple syrup and the apples are tender and sweet. Buttermilk in the cake cuts the sweetness of the maple syrup and adds a tangy flavor to the dessert. This cake is best eaten the day it is baked.

It’s the end of apple season here in the beautiful state of Michigan. The four seasons of our state provides the perfect climate for the growth of apples. There are more than 7.5 million apple trees in commercial production. These trees are responsible for more than 100 million dollars in economic growth for our state and the farmers. More than 950 farms make up the commercial apple growers. It is our most valuable fruit crop besides the cherry. The apple season stretches from late September to the first frost. There are over 18 varieties of apples grown in Michigan with Macintosh being a favorite of many Michiganders.

Maple syrup is another important commodity in Michigan. Michigan currently ranks 5th in the nation in production. Maple syrup is one of the few pure and natural products in commercial production. It contains no additives, no preservatives, and no colorings. It is simply sap gathered from our local trees that is then boiled and reduced into sweet amber syrup. We offer a local maple syrup from a Michigan based company, Droscha Farms, located in Mason, Michigan. They produce grade A amber syrup that is infused with our Tahitian vanilla beans. The result is a softly flavored vanilla maple syrup. Perfect in desserts, used as a glaze for pork, ham or chicken or poured straight onto a bowl of creamy vanilla bean ice cream.

Maple Apple Cake Recipe

Yields one 10 inch cake
Adapted from Food and Wine


  • 1 cup Pure Tahitian Vanilla Maple Syrup
  • 4 tart baking apples peeled, cut in half, cored and then sliced.
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 sticks salted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups maple sugar


Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a 10-inch round cake pan.

In a large saucepan, bring the maple syrup to a boil over high heat, then simmer over low heat until very thick and reduced to 3/4 cup, about 15-20 minutes. Be careful not to burn the syrup. Pour the thickened syrup into the cake pan. Arrange the apples in the pan in 2 concentric circles, overlapping them slightly. Finishing the center with 4-6 slices.

In a bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs with the buttermilk and vanilla. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the butter and maple sugar at medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the dry and wet ingredients in 3 alternating batches until the batter is smooth; scrape down the side of the bowl.

Scrape the batter over the apples and spread it in an even layer. Bake the cake for 45-50 minutes, until golden on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool on a rack for 45 minutes.

Place a plate on top of the cake and invert the cake onto the plate; tap lightly on the bottom to release the cake. Remove the pan. Let the cake cool slightly, and then cut into wedges. Serve with sweetened crème fraiche or vanilla whipped cream.