Easy Whole Wheat Apple Cake

Simple Apple Cake

Simple Apple Cake

No cinnamon? That's right. I prefer it without cinnamon so I can taste the apples but add some if you like. Dice the apples into small pieces (1/4 to 1/2-inch) so they cook completely. (THIS RECIPE ALSO WORKS WITH HALF ALL PURPOSE + HALF WHOLE WHEAT PASTRY FLOUR as originally posted). - Jenny Jones

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Makes: 8 servings

Simple Apple Cake


  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups diced apple, 1/4-1/2-inch pieces (3/4 pound / 2 LARGE Granny Smith apples)
  • (Topping: 2 Tablespoons sugar)


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan.
  3. In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Set aside.
  5. Peel, core, and chop apples into small pieces, no bigger than 1/2-inch.
  6. By hand, gently stir buttermilk mixture into flour mixture. Do not over-mix.
  7. Gently fold in diced apples.
  8. Spread batter into cake pan and sprinkle 2 Tbsp. sugar over the top.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes.

Note: There's more on this recipe in my blog. Click here.
No Buttermilk? See "Substitutions" in my blog.

61 Comments on "Simple Apple Cake"

  1. Greg

    Hi Jenny – l was out of apples but had a bumper crop of Colorado peaches this year so l thought l would try it – delicious!! I hate to substitute in recipes but l really didn’t want to run to the store – you are an inspiration and funny! Best to you and yours🌸

  2. Anjali

    HI Jenny,

    I love your cake recipes specially the chocolate cake. Is there a way to replace egg in this recipe?


    • Mahina

      Ener-g egg replacer works great. You can find it in stores like Whole Foods, MOMS, etc and online.

  3. Susan

    This apple cake turned out perfectly. I used two large pink lady apples.
    I also used yogurt for the milk/vinegar liquid. It is a moist, flavourful, but not too sweet cake. The topping of sugar makes it a perfect coffee cake or a family favourite!

  4. Gina

    I feel so fortunate to have found her recipes, this cake is so tasty. I’ve mastered her bread recipes and am working through more. Thank you Jenny

  5. Jeanine

    I think your the best,i was wondering where i could find you and now i have and all your amazing recipes. thank you for making them available to all of us,cant wait to try this apple cake and post a pic

  6. bandon lori

    liked the texture of this cake because it was more dense of a batter.

    baked time required but the apples from our tree did not cook soft.
    wonder why.

    first i have said this. baked the cake three days ago.

    • Nikki

      Hi Bandon Lori,
      Did you cut the apples small or in thin slices? That could be a factor. Also, what variety of apple is your tree? That could might be another reason.

  7. bandon lori

    liked the texture of this cake because it was more dense of a batter.

    baked time required but the apples from our tree did not cook soft.
    wonder why.


  8. Dianna S

    I love to take regular oatmeal and grind it into oat flour. I never switch more than 1/3 of the regular flour out. Add a slight nutty flour. But so good!

  9. Fifi

    Are there any recipes that I use a Duncan Hines mix ? I would like use a mix and make a delicious apple cake ,? is this possible,?

  10. Linda A

    Can’t use dairy, can this be made with coconut milk and add the 1 tbs lemon juice to this milk?

  11. Carrie

    Ok so I have some strawberries that need to be used asap, and I’m going to use this recipe with the strawberries and a few thawed ones to make 3 cups. I think I’ll add powdered sugar to the top too.

  12. Lisa N.

    Thank you for this great, simple recipe. The cake came out beautifully. It is moist and very tasty. I added .5 tsp of cinnamon for extra flavor. As suggested, I made my own buttermilk using whole milk and a TBSP of lemon juice. I have added yet another “Jenny Can Cook” recipe to my favorite recipes list. Thanks so much!

    • Ranch Girl

      Her cakes so easy yet very tasty
      I think I might try using canned sliced apples.

  13. Lisa N.

    Thank you for this great, simple recipe. The cake came out beautifully. It is moist and very tasty. As suggested, I made my own buttermilk using whole milk and a TBSP of lemon juice. I have added yet another “Jenny Can Cook” recipe to my favorite recipes list. Thanks so much!

  14. Barb

    That’s a wonderful cake! My only problem was that the cake was a bit wet in the middle. Was wondering if anyone knows why that might be. Everyone loved the cake, and I will be making it again. I made it exactly according to the directions.

    • Jan Aalberg

      Why is the apple cake still wet in the middle – Please advise thank you

  15. pattig

    Hello- can I substitute vanilla yogurt for the buttermilk?

  16. Jenny Can Cook

    I made this cake with 100% all purpose flour and it came out beautifully! ❤️ Loved it! (but the whole wheat version is healthier… ?)

  17. vonHolley

    Since I didn’t have buttermilk i substituted 1 tbsp lemon juice and added 2% milk to make a total of 1 cup then used the recipe amount. Also only had all purpose flour (what I have at the moment). Another winner from Jenny thank you!

  18. Dilsh

    Made this cake several times exactly as stated. So good. Today I made it with 100% organic WW flour ( Bob’s Red Mill). Took a little longer than 30 minutes of baking time, but so worth it. It was FABULOUS! Thank you Jenny ?

  19. Bruno DeMarco

    I tried cinnamon and added walnuts ….smells great in oven right now also added walnuts, cinnamon and sugar to top
    Of cake before baking!
    I also replaced the sugar in apples and in cake with monk fruit hold. Lets see how it goes ….

  20. Tabby

    Thank you for all these wonderful recipes. Your simple, easy & clear delivery of them are most appreciated.
    P.S Your patience is well noted?. The few negative comments coming after they completely change your recipes is to me hysterical, to me if I was you ? Stay well, Stay safe❤

  21. Destiny

    Could I use pears in place of apples?

  22. Sherri

    This is such a delish cake! Not too sweet or heavy, just perfect, mixes up fast and easy. — Gone that quickly too, thanks Jenny!

  23. Gerri

    Not sure what happened –
    Maybe I didn’t use the right apples.
    Was really looking forward to trying it.
    Not worth making again!
    Oh well!

    • April

      Hi! I hope you tried this apple cake again and have been enjoying it!
      I tried it with gluten free and regular all purpose flour…with minor adjustments to suit my taste. I’m super pleased with the results with using less oil and sugar compared to all other recipes.
      Only thing I changed. Hope it helps you in changing your mind in trying this recipe again!
      1 TBS lemon juice fill to measure 1 cup of milk allowing to curdle.
      3/4 tsp cinnamon
      3/4 tsp vanilla
      1/3 cup white sugar
      1/3 cup brown sugar

      (this is still 1/3 to 1 1/3 cup less sugar than all other recipes call for and 2/3 cups less oil – and way better than other recipes!)

      My grandkids love it and love to help me make it!

      Thanks Jeni can cook for another great, easy to follow, scrumptious recipe!!!

  24. Aimee

    Love this! It was so good. My son and I made it together. We added cinnamon (I’m a fan) and used 1c ap flour, 1/2c regular whole wheat flour. Turned out delicious! Then we proceeded to eat half of it together fresh out of the oven.
    Thank you so much! Love your YouTube channel! Love your food! Thanks for teaching me how bake and cook while making recipes a little bit healthier.

  25. Aimee

    Love this! It was so good. My son and I made it together. Then we proceeded to eat half of it together fresh out of the oven.
    Love you! Love your YouTube channel! Love your food! Thanks for teaching me how bake and cook.

  26. Helene

    I made the cake, it was very tasty, I used only white flour, no cinnamon,
    everybody in the family loved it, next time I will use a very little salt,
    I will make it again and again, thank you

  27. Terry

    Did make cake, delicious, , and most of all, so easy, did use the Demerara sugar,on top, as Sue recommended, it did indeed come nice and shiny with a crispy top, I thank her for her input, will use it more often we love the lemon blueberry muffins and bread, , will put this sugar on top, you were very spot on for amount of apples, you are earning your stripes in retirement, thank you for the great recipe healthy recipes?

  28. Jennie

    This one is a must try! Thank you for sharing!!

  29. Hilary T

    Mmm. That hit the spot! Just made this cake and boy is it yummy. Simple, wholesome cooking. I mixed apples and rhubarb and used Sugar In The Raw on top. Great easy recipe that came together quickly.

  30. Jere

    could you use regular flour and forget the cake flour? I have found an all purpose gluten free flour which does very well with my baked items and wondered how important the cake flour is to the recipe. Thank you for any comments. Jere

    • Jenny Can Cook

      There is no cake flour in this recipe. I have only made the cake the way it is posted.

  31. Steve

    Love your sense of humor and love your recipes and style of cooking.

    As a Polish guy from New Jersey that now lives in Oregon I miss the old style Polish cooking. You’re now my Polish connection to New Jersey. Thank you Jenny.

  32. Jacqueline Homsy


    Miss Jenny saw your video the dark chocolate brownie it looks sooo good and yummy to my tummy. The person that wrote those comments about you saying you suck, or something that you do not know how to cook. rude and arrogant you do not suck at all. Because some people have nothing better to do but insult others. There is a way to talk to people.

  33. Rose

    This cake looks very moist and delicious. Could a individual possibly use unsweetened applesauce in place of vegetable oil as a substitute? Thank you for this lovely cake. Apples are my favorite. Be Blessed.

    • Holly G.

      Hi Rose,
      I just made the recipe with applesauce instead of oil. Will let you know how it turns out. Should be tasty, applesauce and apples…mmm.

    • Holly G.

      The cake turned out beautifully. We had some this morning topped with fresh blueberries and a spoonful of plain yogurt. Really good!

  34. Terry

    My roommate will do the dicing, we have a deal, I cook and bake, but he is the Sou Chef, i have honey crisps now, love Granny Smiths for baking, worth the trip to market to get them, thanks so much for estimating how many I should buy I foolishly bought a pkg of Demerara Sugar, wonder if you would recommend this for a topping or should I use regular sugar, crystals too large for the topping???don’t want to mess up a good and easy recipe, I did finally get to make the butter, oil mixture, no
    More sprays for me, have been buying butter spread w canola oil forever

    • Sue

      I would use the demarara sugar as a topping. It will give it a nice crunchy texture and sparkly appearance. 🙂 I sometimes use raw turbinado sugar which only works for baking/cooking because it doesn’t dissolve in cold liquids. However when used in baking it’s fantastic!

  35. Del

    Thanks, Jenny. My husband loves apple cake and will definitely try it. Also, just got some fresh rhubarb, so will use that as well. You are so special! Love you. God bless.

  36. Cathy

    Yum ?, looks delicious I will give this a try.
    Thank you very much for bringing us new recipes.

  37. poopchi

    Hi Jenny it always feels like a gift came to the inbox, when I see your name come up , Jenny , I am in my early 70s ,I love new recipes, but I have to tell you this , I have been making pizza for a long time ,tried many , then I saw your deep dish pizza and I had to make it, WELL, WELL, WELL, my family and my very picky husband JUST LOVED IT GOSH , I tried it and this now will be my new cast iron recipe , its so easy I don’t have to roll any more dough, and I put the dough on med high, like you said,,on stove top then in the oven, and gosh, gosh, gosh , I guess by now you can see how happy I am, this is my recipe from now on ,I have made many of your recipes and I love the no knead bread also gosh , ty ty ty ty . your the best cook ever , I tried to get the cook book on your site, that you give for free, but it comes out to large and I cant get the print all on one sheet , but I copy all your recipes,,,, when I put this pizza on the table the girls said Jenny Right I always with a smile say YUP HEHEHE tyty ty ty again .

  38. Mary in South Dakota

    As an oldster, I really appreciate the fact your recipes are mostly bare bones and easily followed. i gave up “playing” with food long ago….Thank you Jennie!

  39. Phyllis

    Hi Jenny, The apple cake is fabulous and I must tell you that I have your
    “Look Good Feel Great Cookbook”. Have collected cookbooks for years
    (I am 85 yrs) and this is one of my treasures. Hope you will keep sending
    recipes to inspire your many fans. Love the videos and thank you!

  40. Renee

    What is pastry flour?

    • Sandra T.

      Pastry flour is made with “soft” flour, meaning it has much less protein content and produces less gluten.It produces lighter, fluffier baked items. It is worth shopping for!

    • Jenny Can Cook

      This recipe does not use regular “pastry flour,” in fact I never use it. It’s “whole wheat pastry flour.” You can learn about it in my Flour Basics: https://www.jennycancook.com/flour-basics/

  41. Brenda T.

    I can’t wait to try this! I love apple cake but many recipes I have tried you can’t taste the apples. This sounds easy and delicious! Thanks, Jenny!

  42. Sheila

    I really like that it is a one layer cake; a better size for 1-2 people. It also sounds yummy. I’m thinking of trying it with rhubarb.

    • Maggie B


      When I read your comment about trying with rhubarb, I had just put mine in the oven, using rhubarb. My thought was the “bite” of rhubarb would be similar to the bite of Granny Smith apples. And of course, I had 3 cups of rhubarb I wanted to use.
      I think it turned out great. It is warm as I am tasting it. I think it will be even better as it cools. I also used 1/2 C. whole wheat pastry flour, and used Bob’s Red Mill’s 1 TO 1 GF, instead of all purpose. And the taste of the rhubarb comes through beautifully.

      Next time I may use applesauce for the oil. I like that there is not much sugar.

      I look forward to trying the cake with apples. And it is a wonderful recipe for making as is, but also as a base for variations.
      Just what I have been looking for. Thank you Jenny!

  43. Geraldine

    Can you substitute the whole wheat flour with white flour?

  44. Leslie B.

    Summer fruits are coming soon. I’m thinking of peaches instead of apples. Waddya think?

  45. Ellen in Alabama

    Sounds wonderful! Can’t wait to try it. Thank you for posting!

  46. Susan M.

    Can you only use all purpose flour for this recipe.

  47. KMP

    Absolutely will be making! Thank you!

  48. Lisa P.

    It sounds yummy. I’m gonna try it without cinnamon and let you know.

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