whole food ~ well made

Anytime Apple Snack Cake is Easier Than Pie

Make this one-bowl apple snack cake–with rye and brown sugar–for any occasion and for a treat any time of day.

My kids refuse to eat any apple that is less than tooth-snappingly crisp. So, this baked apple pancake is handy. Plus, it prevents “bad” apples from ending up in the compost.

As apples rained down from our apple tree, I had an abundance of too-soft apples this year. And then friends offered me more apples.

I could not refuse.

With such an exceptional apple year I had lots of opportunities for practicing my own version of an apple snack cake.

And I tested several versions until I found one that was just sweet enough, moist with plenty of apple chunks.

Apple Cake in a Pie Plate

At this time of year, it’s hard not to think about an apple pie. But why not use my pie plate to make a fruity dessert that really is easier than pie?

This one-bowl apple snack cake is a quick dessert when a pie feels beyond your reach. To make the flavors a bit more complex, I added rye flour to the batter.

Like all my favorite fruit desserts, it is lightly sweetened with brown sugar to keep the focus on fruit. The apples get tossed with coarse sugar called turbinado, that also gilds the top of the cake for crunch.

You arrange the apples like you’re making a tart and press them into the batter.

The apples soften just enough during the baking time into delicious mouthfuls spiced with cinnamon and allspice with a crunchy turbinado sugar topping.

An Easy, Anytime Bake

I love any cake that I can mix up in the same time it takes my oven to preheat. This apple snack cake is quick and easy enough to bake with your kids over the holidays and to eat at anytime.

Enjoy it warm as is. Or, dress it up with whipped cream, ice cream, such as this coconut ice cream.

I think my favorite way to eat it, however, is as a late morning snack with plain yogurt and a cup of strong coffee.


and become a forager

What are you making with the abundance of apples? Let me know in the comments below or tag a photo #lynnesforage on Instagram or Facebook.

Apple Snack Cake with Brown Sugar & Rye

This easy one-bowl cake is made with a touch of rye flour and brown sugar. (See Recipe Notes for subsitutions.) Serve it for a snack cake on its own or with plain yogurt. Or dress it up for a holiday dessert with whipped cream or ice cream. This moist cake keeps for several days.
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword apple snack cake
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 8 people
Author Lynne Curry


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup rye flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled pastured
  • 1/2 cup milk, any type
  • 2 large eggs pastured
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 medium apples. peeled, cored and quartered
  • 1/4 cup turbinado sugar (coarse brown sugar)


  • Preheat oven to 350°F with the rack in the middle position and lightly grease a 9-inch pie plate.
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk the all-purpose and rye flours, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a measuring cup, whisk the butter, milk, eggs and vanilla to blend. Add the liquids to the dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Transfer the mixture into the prepared pie plate.
  • Cut each apple quarter in thirds to make 24 wedges and add to the same bowl. Toss the apples with turbinado sugar to coat. Press them into the batter in a circle and sprinkle any of the loose sugar over the batter.
  • Bake until the cake is well risen and springy and a cake tester comes out clean, 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.


GF: Replace the all-purpose flour with gluten-free flour and the rye with a whole-grain gluten-free flour.
Butter: Replace with vegetable oil or coconut oil.
Milk: Replace with nut, soy or coconut milk.

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