By a long shot, my most popular post of all time on this blog has been my Cinnamon Roll Cake. It is a quick, 9×13 cake, with all the tastes of a cinnamon roll, but with so much less work. It is the perfect special occasion breakfast, and it is wildly popular, in spite of my embarrassingly amateurish photos.
I should really re-take those pictures.
I had planned to re-take them today, actually, but then I spied two lonely Granny Smith apples sitting on my counter, and a light bulb went off, and I absolutely had to make this cake with apple pie filling added.
It was worth it. The apples add a moisture and texture and apple flavor that really kicks it up a notch. I daresay I prefer this version to the old.
I can always make more plain cinnamon roll cake for pictures. Everybody loves that cake.
But I think I like this one better.
2 medium granny smith apples, diced small, and mixed with:
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 c. butter, softened
1 c. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
3 c. flour
1 c. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 c. milk
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. butter, melted
2 c. powdered sugar
5 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
Grease a 9×13 inch pan (I like to line it with a parchment paper sling as well) and preheat the oven to 350°.
Make your apple mixture: Dice the apples and mix them with the cinnamon and sugar. Set aside.
Make your cinnamon topping: With a spoon, mix together the butter, sugar, flour, and cinnamon together until smooth. The consistency of this will be like a paste. Set aside.
Make your cake batter: Mix together flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, milk, eggs and vanilla until smooth. Slowly stir in the melted butter until combined. Gently mix in the apple mixture. Spread into the prepared pan.
[I’ve received so many questions on this recipe regarding the consistency the topping is supposed to be that I made it again myself and have edited on 10/4/17 to make it more clear]
Take your cinnamon topping and drop it by spoonful evenly over your cake. Swirl the topping through the cake batter with a knife. It will look like this:
Bake for 35-45 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Mix together glaze ingredients until smooth and spread over warm cake. Let sit at least 20 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!
132 thoughts on “Apple Cinnamon Roll Cake”
HI Shannon! Thanks so much for this delicious recipe! It was incredible, especially when I was in search of a delicious recipe using simple ingredients I had on hand. Question: do you think i could cut out miniature bit size ‘cakes’ with a cookie cutter after this finishes baking and serve as bite size rounds at a cozy holiday function I’m attending? Or go you think that would compromise the cake?
I have never replied to a recipe before but this one i had to its the best thing i have ever made i did double the apples but otherwise perfect
Am I reading the recipe right? Is there really three sticks of butter? It sounds delicious, but just want to be sure. Thank you!
Yep! So much butter!
Can I use a stand mixed to mix ingredients?
It tastes really good, however, I did cook it for longer than suggested and still the bottom of the cake didn’t seem to get cooked through. I did the toothpick check and it came out clean, so I would just suggest to cook it longer to ensure it is thoroughly cooked. It’s such a shame that it is falling apart 😦
I love this recipe so does my family super easy and delicious! I really think you could after it sits a little while. Love to hear how it turns out!
I saw this on Pinterest and the picture made me drool. I made as written but did not put the confectioners’ icing on. OMG! Who would need icing. I love, love, love this. I had to eat a piece while it was hot! Great recipe, thank you so much.
I’m at home on my y
Hiya I’m from the UK and I been looking for a recipe like this. When you say flour I’m guessing you mean plain/all purpose flour?
Hi Bernadette, yes! All purpose flour.
Wow!! I just baked this yesterday and it was amazing!! I am living in Ukraine with my husband and his family and my Ukrainian mother-in-law LOVED this(she has quite the sweet tooth:)) It turned out moist and sweet, but not overly sweet and I was just happy to be able to find all the ingredients here. I made a few adjustments….I swapped a banana and a few tablespoons of sunflower oil for the butter in the cake part. I was running out of butter and wanted to save what I had for the topping part. I also added an extra apple because I like more fruit in my baked goods and used regular sugar in place of the brown sugar because you cant find brown sugar in Ukraine:) Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe!
Make your own brown sugar. Mix sugar and molasses. Store in covered container. I make my own all the time.
what is the ratio, thank you
I don’t have fresh apples on hand. Do you think a can of apple pie filling would work instead?
What is the filling ingredients?
I think there might be some confusion with the way the instructions are worded. When you say to drop filling evenly over cake are you actually referring to the topping?
Yes, that’s a typo. Thanks for catching it. Swirl the apple filling through the cake, and then sprinkle with the topping. Hope that helps!
I only saw 1 1/2 total of butter, where did someone get 3 c of butter. That kinda threw me off. I definitely want to make this but I would like to get an answer about the butter first . Thank you. 😋
When do you put the topping on? Will it burn if I put it on before it’s baked, or should I wait until the last few minutes of cooking time? Maybe I missed it in the directions – sorry :(.
Put the topping on before baking. 🙂 Enjoy!
It seems like a lot of butter in the streusel topping. Are the measurements correct? 1cup? Mine did not streusel, it was cinnamon butter!
Hi Jaime, yes it’s correct! It is a lot like cinnamon butter and it sort of sinks into the cake. 😊
Hi! Could I make this a day ahead of when I want to serve it? Thanks!
This was delicious…a keeper! I used an extra apple I had on hand…worked out fine. Thank you!
This looks lovely. Any chance to use apple pie filling since that is what I have at hand? If so, what quantity more or less?
Sure, Ruth- I’d drain as much of the liquid as possible and use about a cup and a half – good luck!
My topping was never crumbly. Is was thick like a paste. Is it really 1 cup?!?!
I am having the same problem as Holli. I did gently mix it together with my fingers and it was never a crumbly consistency. Any other suggestions? I am just frustrated, I have made the cake and filling without issues, but this is the second time I have made the topping and can’t get it right. Thinking I am just going to have to throw the whole thing out. 😦
Hi Amy, I’ve received so many questions about this that I re-baked this for myself last night. Instructions have been edited, I hope they are clearer. It will never crumble. Sorry for the confusion.
Pls, what dose the c stand for? I never came across this system of measuring before, what is it in grams or ounces? I would dearly love to make this cake, I love anything to do with apples! Thankyou in advance.
Cups! 8oz! 😊
One cup is correct! It will not crumble, spread it over the top of the cake by spoonful and then swirl through the cake with a knife.
This is delicious! I love a recipe when I don’t have to go buy 20 ingredients- everything is already in my kitchen! I don’t change a thing- it’s perfect.
Made this once and everyone loved it. I want to make it for Thanksgiving but was wondering if anyone has mixed chopped pecans in yet and how it would taste.
Chopped pecans would be fantastic
Can’t wait to make this for Thanksgiving but can it be made the day before or do you recommend day of?
Day of is best, day before will work but not quite as fresh, Happy turkey day!
I loved and so did the people that were around. They wanted more of the dark topping on top as well, so I’ll remember for next time. And maybe I’ll also add pecans crushed 😍 Thank you!!
So glad you liked this!
Hi I was curious if you could just use a yellow cake mix instead?
Hi Kristy- the taste and texture would be super different with a cake mix. It might come out okay, but it would definitely be different. 🙂 Hope that helps.
I would suggest two small changes to the wording of the recipe…Refer to the filling as “Apple Filling” and the topping as “Cinnamon Topping”. I made it today. I also added chopped pecans to the top….yummy Thanks for sharing your recipe…..
Made this last night and took it to work today. Every one loved it. Plan on making again and taking to the next event I have. It looks good but tastes even better. Thank you for this awesome recipe.
I think I somehow screwed with up is it suppose to appear runny when done?
Hi Amber- Definitely shouldn’t be runny.
Do you peel the apples?
Hubby’s Birthday today and I was going through apple cakes, he loves anything apple, came upon your site and decided to make your cake…he loves it! 🙂 Thanks for sharing.
Hands down the best cake I have ever made! Rave reviews by all that ate it 😁. I cannot wait to make it again. (I converted cups to grams for the butter and used a 3/4 tin of pie apples in place of fresh ) – what a perfect outcome. I left the cake in the cake tin (9x 13” casserole dish) rather than trying to turn it out. Thank you for this amazingly delicious recipe!!!!
i don’t usually comment but this is an outstanding recipe!!!! served my bridge group this cake and they all went nuts over it…could have added nuts but didn’t…might try it next. i did, however, after reading comments…used 3 apples, diced fine….also used lemon juice on apples too (about 2 tablespoons). for the topping i used 1 1/4 sticks of butter not 2 sticks. i only made 1/2 the glaze and that was great…not too sweet. i can’t tell ya how great this was….you’ll have to make it…you won’t be sorry!!!
Thanks so much for this, Shannon! I made it for my wife and she loved it
Just made this awesome cake this morning and huge thumbs up!!! Love this!!! Adding it to my repoitoire 👍
Love this cake! So easy to make! My husband and family really love it . This is a keeper!!! Thank u so much
Does this cake freeze well? Wondering if I could prepare and bake, then freeze and ice after defrosting? Thanks…. looks delicious!
Is the batter supposed to be liquid like?
Hi Robin, no- the batter shouldn’t be that thin. Best I can describe it is like a blondie batter- just slightly less thick than a cookie dough.
Hi! This looked amazing, so of course I had to try it, but now it just doesn’t want to bake. It’s been in the oven for almost twice the recommended time, and the knife still doesn’t come out clean (and everything is swimming in butter). Is this normal?
I made this cake yesterday as part of our Christmas brunch and it was delicious! It took maybe 10 minutes more to bake than the recipe called for and the finished product was wonderful! It looked just like the picture and so easy to make. I used 3 gala apples because that’s all I had and increased the cinnamon just a little and it came out nice. Planning on making this again for work one morning.
This was amazing, so moist and good. Everyone at my house loved it! Thank you
Can you use a box cake mix.
Making this tonite! Are the apples supposed to be peeled? I’m assuming yes, and will just go ahead and do so if I don’t get a response back fairly soon, but thought I’d double check. 🙂
This was really good! I didn’t have apples but had apple pie filling which worked out really well still and I added oatmeal to the brown sugar mix just because we love coffee cake like that. Soooo good!!!
Has anyone tried this in a bundt pan?
I made this cake today.. OMG it is sooooo good.
Was afraid it wouldn’t turn out well because I melted my butter to speed up the process of the cinnamon swell. It was runny vs past consistency but it was delicious! My family LOVED it! Said it was better than any apple dessert they’ve had in a restaurant and they’re tough dessert critics. Will definitely make again!
Thank you for creating/sharing this delicious apple cake! I baked it up today with a few changes based on reducing sugar. Here’s what I did:
I replaced regular sugar with “Swerve” sugar replacement in the apple mixture. I used a bit less then the 3 tbsp as well, and increased the cinnamon just a bit.
In the cake batter itself I switched out Stevia for the sugar, again, using a bit less then the recipe’s required 1 c.
I also used low fat milk and found it to work wonderfully.
I skipped the glaze due to not having the right sugar replacement for powdered sugar in the house. I did try to grind up some Swerve granular but it just didn’t come out powdery enough to make the glaze so I just skipped it. Next time I’ll have the Swerve powder to try.
The end result was a wonderful cake that tasted no different then a cake made with real sugar.
I found the process of making the cake easy. Actually, alot easier then how the recipe reads.
I’ll make this again…. and again.
Once more, THANK YOU for sharing.
Can this be made in a bundt pan? I prefer bundt cakes and was wondering, and if so how long would you bake?
I will be using frozen apples. What would be the correct measurement? Will it be as good?
Did this recipe yesterday and we all loved it. Thanks for sharing !!!
Do you use green or red apples?
Are use green apples. Granny Smith to be exact
Looks delicious! How long does this bake for?
This apple cake is the BEST apple cake I’ve ever made. Absolutely incredible Thank you
I have mine in the oven now. ice world the cake topping through it however I’m noticing it looks like a pool of butter on top of my cake I’m going to hope that when the cake batter Cooks this is all going to melt then and be good but I’m a little worried we’ll see how it turns out
Should say I swirled not ice world
Turned out delicious. Worried for nothing. Will make again and again
This recipe turned out perfectly! I didnt change a thing!! Definitely gonna use this again. 🤤 Thanks so much!
Hi Shannon if you mix the apples in the cake batter how come the apples are on top of your cake, do you mix them in batter or spread on top of batter. Do they rise to the top of the baked cake.
Hi Sandra, when you mix them in, there will be some apples towards the top, some in the middle, and some on the bottom. They’ll move a bit while baking.
I made this cake today,best apple cake i have ever made and moist but i too reduced the amount of sugar i will be making this cake again.Thanks
didn’t say if flour used is all purpose or self rising I would assume that it is all purpose since you use baking powder and salt but you never know so I would like to confirm the flour used
A/P flour 😊
Hi Shannon, my name is Sandra but I am not Sandra Miller hope you can make the right correction to inform Ms. Miller about her question on the flour. Sincerely, Sandra
Sent from Mail for Windows 10
My favorite thing that I have baked good since quarantine! Thanks so much!
In your write up you talk about adding canned apples as well to the batter which sounded good to me to moisten.. .but I dont see it in the ingredients list?
Is that a different receipe?
Thanks in advance
Hi— you can used can apple pie filling in place of the “apple mixture.” Hope that helps.
Would cake flour be ok to use ? Can’t find all purpose flour anywhere right now.
Yes, that would be just fine.
Hi Shannon! Thank you for sharing this easy to make and delicious recipe. I the glac made it last night to share with my coworkers and everyone loved it! I just made my second batch for my teenager son and a couple of friends! I followed the recipe to the t, except I used 3 gala apples instead of 2, and drizzled a little caramel on top! Very yummy!!😍😍
bonjour Shannon,je suis du Canada -Québec j,aimerais bien savoir pour la question de la quantité des ingrédients,c,est écrit 3 c de farine ,beaucoup d,ingrédients c,est écrit C pour la quantité,pour nous c,est cuillère,mais dans ta recette il n,y a surement pas que 3 cuillère de farine pour un gateau,alors c,est quoi les quantités en ml-ou en gramme,merci
Is the cinnamon topping paste still wet afterccake is baked and can the cake be put back to dry out
Hi Shannon, I made this morning and was absolutely delicious! The directions were easy to follow and it came out perfect! Only modification I made was to add more apples (simply because I had them on hand and needed to use them). Thank you so much for sharing!
Will this cake work in a Bundt pan? I see people have asked in the past but no replies.
Hi Tania, I’ve never tried this in a Bundt pan. I’m not sure how evenly it would bake. If you try it, please let me know how it turns out!
Hello Tania, just wondering, did you made it on a Bundt pan? I want to bake it, but not sure how will it turn out.
Made this last week in a 9×13 pan. Was really good. Made it today in a bundt pan and it turned out fine. Baked through evenly. I prefer the 9×13, less fuss and better distribution of batter.
Thank you for the info!
Made two days ago. Didnt have grannies used 3 galas all else according to recipe. Oooey gooey appley buttery cinamoney goodness!! Hubs thought too sweet at first but keeps going back for more. I think better the next day. It seemed a tad granular at first but now 2 days and that texture is gone. Good for a special brunch after bacon and eggs. Might add another apple and cutback on butter and sugar in topping….but then again…maybe NOT. Thanks for recipe!
Have you prepared this the day before, refrigerated it and then baked the next morning?
Hi Connie, I’ve never tried that.
Are the apples peeled or not?
Where can I get a printable copy of this recipe?
At the very bottom of the recipe there is a ‘print’ icon. Just click on that and you’re good to go. if that doesn’t work, copy and paste, then print. Either is a winner as is the recipe!
I have some crimson delight apples that were given to me and was wondering if they would work in this recipe.
I have some crimson delight apples that were given to me that I need to use up. Do you think they would work in this recipe?
Made this today and it’s delicious. It was a lot putting everything together but so worth it. I always do half of the recipe when I’m baking something for the first time. I used monk sugar instead of cane sugar. Used coconut sugar instead of brown sugar. I fermented some apples and used those. Next time will add some walnuts. Love experimenting with recipes to try to make them healthier. I didn’t make the frosting. It was so good without it.
Gotta make this cake, sounds delicious!!
Any feedback on if this works with gluten free flour?
Is it just me or did it take everyone longer to bake? Mine almost took a hour or so?
I just posted how delicious the cinnamon roll cake is. One major point I forgot to cover is that I have to eat gluten free. I used Better Batter Gluten Free Flour, same amounts and the cake is so good.
I used unbleached flour, and I have a more liquid texture.. I’m not sure if that’s why. But, it’s in the oven now, so we’ll see how this turns out. 😬
Excellent cake. I double the amount of apple and it turns out brilliantly. Really delicious.
Can I freeze the cake after it is baked? Should I leave off the glaze until I am ready to serve?
Would it be ok to us a box cake mix?
First time making, hubby asked that it be added to the recipe file. I thought there would be a crumbly topping. Seems to have sunk to the bottom. Regardless, it was beyond delicious!!
Thanks for sharing.
Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe. I baked the first one in a 9×13 pan tasted how delicious this recipe was, then right away baked two 9in round pans to share with my cousins.
Your photos look fine and not at all Amateurish. I just came across this recipe and I can’t wait to try it. Your photos make my mouth water. Thanks for sharing it.
Should I mix the ingredients with an electric mixer or I could mix it with a whisk wow?
Hi! Could I make this a day ahead of when I want to serve it? Thanks!
There’s just my husband and I. Do you think if I cut everything in half….It would do good in a 8×8 pan.????
This looks wonderful. Can I bake it ahead of time and freeze it?
Is the 4 teaspoons of baking powder correct? Sounds like too much.
I used a bit less butter, and halved the sugar in the cake batter, left the glaze off. The cake came out with great consistency but the taste of the baking soda was rather strong, anyone else had this issue?
I am making the recipe the day before, should I put this in the refrigerator to keep until the next day? or is ok to leave out? Thanks! Can’t wait to try it!
I made this for a church pot luck today and it was outstanding, delicious, a huge hit! I used half the amount of topping only because I recently found out my cholesterol is high and I wanted to lessen my guilt just a bit 🤭😉. Nevertheless, it was wonderfully moist and tasty!
People keep commenting on how it needs to be baked longer than the directions. This sounds so good, want to try making it. Bake it how much longer? Thanks
I tried this, it was delicious.I want to make a light calorie nut banana bread,do you have one?
Made this as written. I wasn’t sure if my family would like it. It’s gone. I almost didn’t even get to taste it. They all liked it a lot.