An easy to make 8-inch square cake, typically unfrosted, is what my family would consider a snacking cake when I was growing up. This easy-to-make apple cake can definitely qualify as a snacking cake because it stands on its own as a delicious cake, unfrosted. BUT…if you add the silky cream cheese frosting, then you have yourself something a little more special. This cake could easily appear at a Thanksgiving meal and upstage the pies.
I used fresh puréed apples that I picked recently when I went apple picking. If you don’t have fresh apples on hand, you can substitute with unsweetened applesauce.* I used French vanilla compound, which gives it an exceptionally lovely flavor, but you can also use vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract.
Apple Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
A soft, moist apple cake with silky cream cheese frosting.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF (177ºC). Line the bottom of an 8-inch square cake pan** with parchment paper. Grease and flour the insides.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.
In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, sugar, eggs, vegetable oil, and vanilla until well combined. Stir in the puréed apples until incorporated. Stir in the flour mixture just until combined.
Transfer the batter to the prepared cake pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 28-33 minutes
Cream Cheese Frosting
In a large bowl, stir the cream cheese with a spatula until smooth. Beat in the butter, with an electric mixer on low speed, until smooth and well combined.
Beat in the powdered sugar, vanilla, salt and heavy cream until smooth and well combined. Stir slowly with a spatula to smooth the frosting and remove bubbles.
*If you're using applesauce and your applesauce is watery, drain off excess water before measuring.
**To find my favorite 8-inch square cake pan, click here.