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  • Brianna Rhodes, RD, CD

Cinnamon Apple Cake

Embrace the flavors of fall with this amazing Cinnamon Apple Cake. This simple, made-from-scratch cake is delicious, bursting with fresh apples, pecans and cinnamon. This just might become your new favorite Fall tradition!

I don’t often post dessert recipes, so let’s talk dessert today. I do enjoy a good dessert. I don’t often make it—it really is a special occasion kind of thing in my home. The truth is we feel sluggish and crappy when we eat too much sugar--tummy aches and sugar-rush headaches and such. Too much of anything is too much.

That being said, when I do make dessert, I want it to be a really good one. I rarely try to modify my cake and cookie recipes. Who wants to eat cake that’s almost good, because you tried to “healthify” it?

Accept the fact that desserts are high in sugar, high in fat, and high in calories. There’s not a whole lot you can do to change that without marked sacrifice or artificial ingredients. So be intentional about eating sweets. When you eat it, savor it and really enjoy it. DO NOT feel guilty about it. If you give way to guilt for eating dessert, you’ll put yourself into a “Last Supper” mindset, thinking “I better eat as much of this while I can because I really shouldn’t ever have it again.” That is a slippery slope, and always leads to a skewed relationship with food.

Wanting to eat a cookie, or have a piece of cake is not a terrible thing. However eating half a batch of cookies in 2 days is a bit much. One thing I’ve started to do is to modify the recipe size.

With cookies, I portion out small cookie dough balls and bake 1 tray at a time. The rest of the cookie dough goes into the freezer for the next time we have a hankering for cookies. Fifteen cookies at a time is a lot more manageable than 54.

With cake mixes, I divide the box in thirds. Most cake mix recipes call for 3 eggs, so thirds is a convenient division. Use your food scale to measure out 1/3 of the cake mix at a time. You’ll have plenty to enjoy and satisfy the desire for cake, and you won’t be stuck trying to eat a 9x13 pan of cake in 2-3 days before it dries out and goes bad.

Back to the Cinnamon Apple Cake--this recipe is a half batch. I made it for a family member’s birthday. We were not having a large birthday gathering so it just was not necessary to make a full size 9x13 cake. I used a 8x10 pan that I like, but this batch would fit just fine in a standard 8x8 pan—it would just be a little taller. In the end, we will have 9 servings instead of 18. And that’s plenty!

I know I said I don’t usually modify the recipes, but this particular recipe I did cut back on the sugar a little. The original recipe would have had 23 grams of added sugar per serving, which is a lot (about 6 teaspoons). I cut back just a tad and the recipe below will have 16 grams of sugar per serving (just over 1 Tbsp per slice). It still tastes plenty sweet though! In fact, I probably shouldn’t have even mentioned it, because you would have never guessed!

For a fun Fall themed dessert this week, give this apple cake a try. And here's my confession--I ate a piece of cake with my egg for breakfast this morning. And it was delicious.



Cinnamon Apple Cake

Serving size: 1 piece

Servings per Recipe: 9


  • ¼ cup butter (softened)

  • ¼ cup brown sugar (packed)

  • 1/3 cup sugar

  • 1 egg

  • 1 cup + 2 Tbsp flour

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • ¼ tsp salt

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • ¼ tsp nutmeg

  • ½ cup buttermilk

  • 2 apples (peeled, cored, diced)


  • 1 Tbsp sugar

  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar

  • 1/3 cup pecans (chopped)

  • ¾ tsp cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly spray an 8x8 baking dish. Cream the butter and sugars in an electric mixer. Add egg and beat well, 2-3 minutes.

  2. In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients together and stir to combine. Turn the mixer to low speed and gradually add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture. Add buttermilk and apples and stir to combine. Pour into the baking dish.

  3. In a small bowl, combine topping ingredients. Sprinkle evenly over the cake batter in the baking dish. Bake at 350º for 40-45 minutes. Allow to cool before serving.


Nutrition Facts Label for Entire Meal:

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