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Tasty Cinnamon Apple Swirl Cake

A fabulous snack cake filled with a cinnamon apple swirl. Perfect for snacking, dessert or even lunches.
A slice of apple cake on a white plate.

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With the arrival of the fall season or its imminent arrival anyway, there’s no better way to celebrate the abundance of fresh apples than by baking a delectable Cinnamon Apple Cake. This delightful treat is perfect for those cozy autumn days when there’s a chill in the air. And it’s a great way to make use of the apples you’ve picked during a fun apple-picking trip to an orchard.

A slice of apple cake on a white plate.

Fresh Cinnamon Apple Cake

Easy to make, full of warm spices and juicy apple goodness, it’s the perfect way to welcome the changing season and create lasting memories with family and friends.

A slice of apple cake on a plate.

Easy to make Apple Cake

One of the best things about this Cinnamon Apple Cake is its ease of preparation. In just 12 minutes of prep time and 40 minutes of baking, you can have a mouthwatering dessert ready to impress your family and friends.

The recipe yields either nine larger servings or twelve smaller servings, making it ideal for gatherings or a sweet snack throughout the week. Can you say perfect for lunch boxes? And back to school!

A delectable slice of apple cake.

Be sure to pick the right apples for baking

Choosing the right apples for baking is so crucial to the success of this cake. And to be honest, most baked goods that contain apples. Certain apples excel in baking due to their flavor and texture.

When choosing apples, opt for a firm, crisp texture that won’t be mushy during baking. Popular choices include Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, or Braeburn apples. These varieties balance sweetness and tartness, enhancing the overall taste of the cake.

An apple cinnamon roll cake slice on a plate.

If you choose soft apples, they’ll likely bake down into a mushy mess. And you’re going to regret that choice. If they’re the ONLY apples you have, use them and know that they’ll turn to mush. But I’d rather have a cake with apple mush in it than not have cake at all.

A slice of apple cinnamon roll cake on a plate with a gold fork.

All about the swirl!

One of the highlights of this recipe is the Apple Cinnamon Swirl. The combination of butter, brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon, creates a heavenly mixture that coats the chopped apples. Almost like a streusel, but not quite!

A slice of apple cake.

As the cake bakes, the aroma of cinnamon and apples fills your kitchen, creating an irresistible anticipation for the final result. Some of the cake batter rises over the apples, creating a beautiful marbled effect that enhances the visual appeal of the dessert.

A slice of apple cinnamon cake on a plate with a fork.

A simple glaze is prepared using powdered sugar, milk, and optional vanilla to complete this delightful apple cake. The glaze adds a touch of sweetness and an attractive drizzle over the cake, making it even more inviting. And the apples add a pleasant tartness and juicy burst with every bite. This easy cake is simply stunning.

A slice of apple cake on a plate.

Cinnamon Apple isn’t just for dessert!

This Cinnamon Apple Cake is not just a dessert but a fantastic snacking cake. Its portable nature and the perfect balance of flavors make it an excellent choice for packed lunches, picnics, or a comforting treat alongside your favorite hot beverage. And lunch boxes! Sense a theme here??

A slice of apple cake on a white plate.

Cinnamon Apple Cake

5 from 33 votes
A fabulous snack cake filled with a cinnamon apple swirl. Perfect for snacking, dessert or even lunches.
Servings: 9 Servings
Author: Laura
Print Recipe


Apple Cinnamon Swirl:

  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1-2 apples cored, and chopped (1 ½ cups total)


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs


  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon milk
  • 1 few drops of vanilla optional


  • Preheat oven to 350º
  • Make the cinnamon swirl by creaming butter, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and lemon juice together
  • Add apples and stir to combine and coat apples
  • Set aside
  • To make the cake, combine flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside
  • Beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy
  • Beat in sour cream, vanilla, and eggs until fully combined
  • Stir in flour mixture
  • Spread into a greased or parchment lined 8×8 inch baking pan
  • Top with apple cinnamon mixture, and use a butterknife to swirl apples into cake batter. You want to encourage some of the batter to rise over the apples
  • Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes, until the edges are golden, and the center doesn’t jiggle. If you can, use the toothpick test (insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, it’s done), but this may be difficult because of the apple swirl
  • Remove from oven and let cool
  • While cake cool, whisk icing ingredients together, and drizzle icing over cake
laura sampson

About Laura

Laura is on a mission to teach modern family oriented women how to make old-fashioned foods new again. A wife and mom of 3 boys, Laura understands the struggles of trying to serve a home-cooked meal each night. She provides recipes and cooking hacks for busy moms to create dishes they may think take more time or skill than they have to make. Read more...

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