Apple Skillet Cake

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Recipe photo
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: Yield: 10" cake, 8 to 10 servings.

Recipe photo

This easy, buttery cake is marbled with sweet-and-spicy apple slices.

Read our blog about this cake, with additional photos, at Bakers' Banter.

Apple Skillet Cake

star rating (53) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: Yield: 10" cake, 8 to 10 servings.
Published: 01/01/2010



  • 4 or 5 large tart green apples (such as Granny Smith), cored and sliced (about 1 1/2 pounds); about 18 ounces prepared, about 5 1/2 to 6 cups
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons boiled cider
  • 1 teaspoon Apple Pie Spice, or your favorite combination of sweet spices
  • ¼ teaspoon salt



see this recipe's blog »

1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9 ½" to 10" (2" deep) cast-iron skillet; or a 9" square cake pan.

2) Combine the apples with the brown sugar, boiled cider, spices, and salt. Set aside.

3) Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

4) Mix the warm milk, egg, melted butter, and vanilla. Add to the flour mixture, stirring to combine. Pour into the prepared skillet.

5) Spoon the apple mixture onto the batter. For the best appearance, make sure the apples are distributed a little more heavily towards the edges of the pan. Sprinkle with coarse sparkling sugar, if desired.

6) Bake the cake for about 50 to 60 minutes, till it's light brown and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

7) Remove from the oven, and cool for about 5 minutes. Loosen the edges of the cake from the pan, and cool for another 20 minutes or so.

8) If you haven't sprinkled with coarse sparkling sugar, dust with confectioners' or glazing sugar, and serve with whipped or iced cream, right from the pan.

Yield: 10" cake, 8 to 10 servings.


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  • star rating 10/06/2014
  • Susan from NJ
  • I'm actually a little surprised at how poorly written this recipe is. If I were a less experienced baker, the cake would have been a disaster. So, inexperienced bakers: Cool the melted butter before you mix it in with the other ingredients, and particularly before you add the egg, which the butter will cook if it's too hot. And slice your apples thin (1/4 inch max) if you want them to be soft throughout. Otherwise, pretty good, with some adaptations based on previous reviews. I doubled the spices on the apple mixture, and added another teaspoon of spice mix to the cake itself, which sounded to me like it might be a little bland otherwise. I also browned the butter in the cake (and COOLED it!) to add some depth of flavor. The cake took forever to get really brown on top--over an hour. The results were good, though. Next time I'll try previous poster's recommendation of mixing a little sugar in with the butter in the pan--sounds good! You are definitely an experienced baker to be able to adapt the directions to your style of baking! I am glad you enjoyed it in the end. Thank you for your feedback. Laurie@KAF
  • star rating 09/22/2014
  • Samantha from MA
  • The cake was just ok. I was a bit bummed out with the final product. There are much better recipes on this site whereas I won't be making this again. Once I popped it in the oven I started reading the reviews and noticed many had issues with the cake not coming through the apples, so I quickly pushed them down, which I believe helped. It definately was more "apple pudding" like. Like I said, alright but not worth the time. I much rather prefer the KA apple cinnamon scones, apple crisp, apple pie, etc to this.
  • star rating 09/15/2014
  • Norina from Dracut
  • Recipe is well written...easy to Follow! Males a great presentation with very little work. I'll surely add this one to my favorites. It filled A #8 cast iron skillet. I used Paula Reds, they held their shape nicely. After mixing the sugar and boiled cider with the apples, there was a lot of juice at the bottom of the bowl, I wasn't quite sure what to do with it, so just drizzled it over the top before baking. Hubby wanted me to skip the sugar crystals on top, but in the end I sprinkled about a tablespoon on top, I think it added to the presentation.
  • star rating 11/17/2012
  • LuLu from Jacksconville, FL
  • I followed the recipe exactly, but had the same experience of many previous chefs on this forum- the cake did not rise through the apples at all. In the end, I was left with more of a tart--thin dense bread-like dough, covered with some dry apple slices. This was a LOT of work coring, peeling, slicing for a rather non-spectacular dessert.
  • star rating 12/16/2011
  • Michelle Bee from KAF Community
  • Flavorful, moist cake, loaded with apples! (I might have used a cup more apples than called for because they were already cut and ready to go.)
  • star rating 09/18/2011
  • psantini from KAF Community
  • I love the idea of this cake however it did not have the texture of a cake and lacked enough spice to carry the apples. I followed the directions and baked in a cast iron skillet but I did use less apples (3 medium) and found they they did not cook completely but the cake was almost overdone. My slices were not too large; I used a standard apple corer which makes about 14 pieces from each apple. I may try again with some adaptions putting the apples on the bottom of the pan rather than dispersing into the batter...more like an upside-down cake.
  • star rating 04/02/2011
  • epruss from KAF Community
  • I have made this recipe a few times, each time with the following addition... Before putting the batter in the skillet, I heat it on the stove top and melt about 3TBs of vermont cultured unsalted butter and then add about 1/4cup of muscovado sugar and mix together. After baking, this makes a really sweet, flavourful bottom to the cake, similar to a pineapple upside down cake has (not that I flip this upside down when done! LOL) Each time I did it, I tried different fruits - I never used granny smith apples - I don't like them for pies and cakes and they are too tart for my liking. The first time I made this, I used three varieties of apples that were available at the time - golden delicious, fuji and gala. Came out wonderfully and everyone loved it. The second time I Bosc pears and I liked it better than with Apples (but I always loved pears more than apples anyhow). The third time I mixed half fuji apples and half bosc pears and added some sultanas. The third time I used bosc pears with added blackcurrants and sultanas. Wonderful! I plan to try blackberries, raspberries, cranberries and so on and will try more varieties of pears and apples. It's a really easy recipe and very open to experimentation with different fruits.
  • star rating 02/28/2011
  • shadow1760 from KAF Community
  • Followed recipe exactly - big disappointment. Tossed in garbage. Very gluteny/rubbery.
    Our test kitchen helps avoid these disasters by extensive recipe testing before we publish them. We hate tossing food that you spend both time and ingredients on. We'd love to problem solve with you to determine what went wrong. Our bakers are here to help at 802-649-3717 (direct number for the Baker's Hotline) or through the Live Chat option on our website. Irene @ KAF
  • star rating 12/30/2010
  • rtmartin4554 from KAF Community
  • I was so disappointed when I made this cake. I followed the instructions precisely, but it didn't turn out ANYTHING like the picture. The picture is beautiful! I used GS apples & piled them on top, concentrating them more around the edges, as suggested. However, the cake didn't rise thru the apples, like the picture led me to believe would happen. When it was done baking, it looked exactly the same as it did when I put it in the oven, only the apples were really dry looking. The cake part tasted good, but we couldn't choke down the dry, wilted apples. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, as it must have been something I did. I don't see anyone else saying they had the same experience. Thank you!
    I am sorry to hear of your difficulty. It sounds like the apples may have been a little mealy and dry to start with. If the apples don't shine with juice after peeling and slicing, you might try adding more boiled cider or the juice of 1/2 a lemon. Frank @ KAF.
  • star rating 11/14/2010
  • from
  • My husband said this is like an apple pie with a cake crust. He said it is his favorite. I made it in a 9x9 pan. I felt the recipe was not sweet enough for our taste so I prepared a sugar syrup while the cake was baking and brushed it on the cake as soon as it came out of the oven. I fell it made a big difference because the apple slices seemed a bit dried-out. I will be making this cake on a regular basis
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