Your new favorite fall dessert is here: A deliciously moist, classic spice cake filled with fresh apple and pumpkin flavors and finished with maple cream cheese frosting--all made from scratch! First posted September 2017. Last updated October 2021.
Since my college days, I've noticed there are a lot of people who despise the word "moist". If you are like that, I apologize in advance, because there is simply no better way to describe my pumpkin apple spice cake. It has the perfect moist and dense texture without being spongy and doesn't even need frosting. However, cake is not cake without frosting, in my humble opinion. So, I topped it with homemade maple cream cheese frosting. All the flavors come together so beautifully to make you wanna hop out of your chair and do a little dance. Ask me how I know. Start scrolling for all the delicious details to make this seasonal fall spice cake!
Looking for more sweet baking ideas for fall? Check these recipes out next.
So What is a Spice Cake?
Aside from the pumpkin and apple, this is a basic spice cake recipe. And what makes a spice cake...a spice cake? A combination of warm spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and clove creates the flavor profile, which is perfect for fall. You'll find similar flavor notes in my carrot cake recipes, which are essentially spice cakes with carrot, pineapple, nuts, etc. mixed into the batter. I debuted this pumpkin apple spice cake with maple cream cheese frosting as a Thanksgiving dessert idea year and it was a big hit with the whole family. Pro tip: Check out this guide to plan your whole Thanksgiving spread.
What You'll Need for this Recipe
I knew I wanted to make a moist pumpkin spice cake with apple and Sally's Baking Addiction came through with the perfect recommendation of shredding the apple and mixing it into the cake batter. What to add to cake to make it moist? You can add applesauce or pumpkin puree to make any cake more moist and these ingredients often take the place oil, butter, and/or eggs but what makes this cake so decadent is that I use melted butter in place of oil (per usual) and four eggs in addition to the pumpkin puree and shredded apple. Get into the rest of the ingredients below.
- Baking Powder
- Baking Soda
- Brown Sugar
- Pumpkin Puree
- Sea Salt
- Vanilla Extract
About that Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
Cream cheese frosting is the perfect balance of sweet and tangy and pairs perfectly on everything from red velvet cake to carrot cake. Fall desserts with cream cheese are I made a classic cream cheese frosting recipe a touch more autumnal and, therefore perfect for this cake by simply adding maple syrup. Wondering what else can you add to cream cheese frosting? Try my praline cream cheese frosting recipe next.
- Cream Cheese
- Maple Syrup
- Powdered Sugar
- Vanilla Extract
This is a simple recipe so you won't need any fancy tools. When I don't feel like pulling out my stand mixer, I can easily whip this up in a large mixing bowl with a whisk and a silicone spatula. You'll need a simple grater to grate the apple for your spice cake batter or you can use the shred disc in a food processor to get it done lightning-fast. And bake it up in a non-stick bundt pan.
Tips for Baking a Moist Spiced Pumpkin and Apple Cake
- Can I make this pumpkin apple cake vegan? I have made this recipe egg and butter free, using plant-based milk and and it came out well, although the texture was definitely not the same and it did not come out as moist. The vegan version of this cake is slightly tougher to cut through but still soft. As for the cream cheese frosting, using plant-based butter and cream cheese will give you a very similar effect. Check out this banana bread recipe for more information on baking with vegan butter.
- How to make sure my bundt cake doesn't stick? My top tip is the use a good non-stick bundt pan and prepare it with either butter or non-stick oil spray and flour, just in case. Here's a visual on how to grease and flour a bundt pan. Bake the cake on the middle rack and place a sheet pan underneath to catch any drips.
- What other kind of pan can I use to bake this cake? This recipe presents beautifully as a pumpkin spice bundt cake but you can also use an oblong pan or two round cake pans to bake it. The bundt cakes is easiest to frost in my opinion.
- How can I use the leftover pumpkin puree? This moist pumpkin spice & apple cake recipe calls for one cup of puree, which is about half of the 15-ounce cans you'll find at most grocery stores. For pumpkin dessert ideas, try your hand at baked pumpkin donuts or pumpkin kitchen sink cookies. And on the savory side, my pumpkin hatch chile salsa is a winner.
I hope you and your loved ones enjoy this cake all fall long. And sharing is caring so be sure to pin this apple pumpkin spice cake recipe from scratch over on Pinterest. Thanks for reading!
Watch Me Make this Cake!
I'm a visual learner, so I appreciate a good how-to video. Check this one out before you make the cake.
Spiced Pumpkin Apple Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
A deliciously moist spice cake with pumpkin and apples, topped with maple cream cheese frosting
- 2 ½ cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon clove
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 ¾ cup brown sugar packed
- ½ can pumpkin puree
- ¼ cup milk
- ¼ cup butter melted
- 4 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 small apple (about six inches in diameter)
- 1 ¼ cup powdered sugar sifted
- 6 ounces cream cheese softened
- 3 tablespoons butter melted
- 2 tablespoons Maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a bundt pan and set aside.
Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, clove, ginger, nutmeg, and sea salt and whisk together until uniform in appearance.
In another bowl, combine brown sugar, pumpkin puree, milk, butter, eggs, and vanilla extract until uniform.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until just combined and no dry pockets remain. Peel and shred apple then mix into cake batter.
Transfer batter to prepared bundt pan and bake on center oven rack for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into multiple parts of the cake comes out clean. Cool for about 10 minutes in pan then remove and allow to cool completely.
Meanwhile, beat powdered sugar, cream cheese, butter, maple syrup, and vanilla extract until fluffy, glossy, and uniform (about four minutes). Frost cooled cake as desired.
Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction's Super Moist Spice Cake