My snickerdoodle cake is a fall favorite in our household, each bite bursting with aromatic spice and the sweet surprise of bits of apples. This easy recipe for snickerdoodle cake uses notes of brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and apples, creating a perfectly rich and buttery cake for cutting into thick squares to enjoy as an afternoon treat!
A Cake with Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice
Moist, rich, dense cakes scented with spices, brown sugar and vanilla are an utterly comfy-cozy treat during the fall season, and just the kind that I love to take my sweet time lovingly preparing and baking up.
The aroma of a cake such as my snickerdoodle cake topped with cinnamon sugar and dotted with small bits of tangy-sweet apples is absolutely intoxicating as it bakes to golden perfection, filling not only our kitchen but our entire home with the inviting scent of sweetness and spice and everything nice.
Our noses tell us long before the cake has finished baking that good things are about to emerge from our oven!
I love fall baking, love using spices and seasonal ingredients to make life a little sweeter and richer, and filled with joy.
And this scrumptious snickerdoodle cake recipe has all of our favorite flavor notes when it comes to a fun and yummy seasonal cake, and the best kind of indulgence to enjoy on a crisp, autumn afternoon with coffee or tea.
My Recipe for Snickerdoodle Cake with Apples and Cinnamon Sugar
Soft, warm snickerdoodle cookies are so delicious, and these are the flavor inspiration behind my snickerdoodle cake.
As if the flavors of brown sugar, cinnamon and butter weren't enough, I've gone ahead and added in a combination of finely diced and quickly-sauteed Honeycrisp and Granny Smith apples for bright, tangy-sweet notes, and a little surprise in every mouthwatering bite.
To me, the flavor of this snickerdoodle cake is almost like a cinnamon sugar donut, with a warmth and spicy sweetness that we love to experience in fall desserts. And who can resist that?
Easy to mix together in just a few minutes with a handful of pantry staples, this cake is a treat you’ll surely find yourself craving and baking up throughout the entire fall season!
Here's a peek at my snickerdoodle cake recipe: (or just jump to the full recipe...)
- To get started, I give my diced Honeycrisp and Granny Smith apples a quick saute with some butter and set those aside to cool for a few minutes.
- Meanwhile, I mix my cake ingredients together, and then fold the cooled apples into the batter.
- Next, I mix up my cinnamon sugar topping in a ramekin, and set it aside.
- I spoon my batter into my prepared 9 by 13 inch pan, chill for 15 minutes, then top with my cinnamon sugar topping, and bake for 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Finally, I allow the snickerdoodle cake to cool before slicing into squares for enjoying.
by Ingrid Beer
This snickerdoodle cake is a moist and delicious fall dessert bursting with bits of apple and the flavors of cinnamon and brown sugar!
Yield: 15 slices
Nutrition Info: 278 calories per serving
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
Total time: 50 minutes
Snickerdoodle Cake Ingredients:
- 1 tablespoon, plus 1 cup, unsalted butter, room temp, divided use
- 1 large granny smith apple, peeled and diced finely
- 1 large Honeycrisp apple, peeled and diced finely
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2 eggs, room temp
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Cinnamon Sugar Topping Ingredients:
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Begin by gathering and prepping all of your cake ingredients according to the ingredient list above to have ready and organized for use.
- Place a large, non-stick pan over medium-high heat, and add in the 1 tablespoon of butter. Once melted, add in the diced apples, and cook them for about 5-7 minutes just until softened but not mushy.
- Transfer the cooked apples onto a paper towel-lined bowl or plate, and allow them to completely cool, expediting things by placing into the fridge while you prepare your cake batter.
- Line a 9 by 13 inch baking pan with a piece of parchment that overhangs, and lightly mist with cooking spray.
- Next, add your flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, ground cinnamon and salt to a bowl, and whisk to combine. Set aside for a moment.
- To prepare your batter, add the 1 cup of room temperature butter to a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, along with the brown and granulated sugars. Mix together on medium for about 2 minutes, until fluffy and light.
- Add in the eggs, one at a time, to incorporate. Then, add in the vanilla, and mix to blend.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl if necessary, and slowly, in increments, add in your dry ingredients until combined, taking care not to over-mix. Next, add in the cooled, diced apples, and allow those to incorporate/mix in.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, and using a small offset spatula, spread the batter so that it is as even as possible in the pan. Place the batter into the freezer to chill for 15 minutes.
- While the batter chills, mix together your cinnamon sugar topping ingredients in a small ramekin, and set aside.
- Preheat your oven to 350°.
- Once the batter is chilled, sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar topping, and bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Allow to completely cool before cutting into squares and enjoying.
Tips & Tidbits for my Snickerdoodle Cake recipe:
- Two kinds of apples for sweet-tangy flavor: The combo of both Honeycrisp and Granny Smith apples work terrific in this cake, as one is sweet-tangy and the other more tart. However, feel free to use all Honeycrisp or all Granny Smith apples depending on what you prefer, or even substitute Gala apples or Jonagold...
- A quick saute to soften the apples: I like to saute the diced apples in a touch of butter for about 5 minutes just until they soften a bit before adding them to the cake batter. You could add raw, diced apples, but sautéing the bits allow them to melt into the batter and becoming soft and juicy.
- Chill the batter before baking: Because of the slightly higher amount of butter in this recipe, I like to chill the batter in its baking pan for 15 minutes before baking. This allows the butter to melt more slowly and evenly into the batter, and just set up a little before hitting the hot oven.
- Cool thoroughly before cutting into squares: Since this snickerdoodle cake is so moist and dense, and quite delicate right after baking, allowing it to cool completely before cutting it into squares helps it to set up a bit. You can enjoy this cake warm, but it's best to first cool it completely before cutting, and then heat gently if desired.
Cook's Note: This recipe was originally published in 2014, and has been updated with even more love!