Easy One Bowl Apple Cake

Millions of years ago when the Southern husband and I were young and crazy, we tended to go out a lot more than we do now.  As in, we left the house in the evening to go to things that actually went on past, oh, 9:30 at night.  (Somewhere out there the Southern daughter is shaking her head in disbelief, but honey?  Daddy and I were wild and crazy back in the day.  We WERE!)  Anyway, I hate going to parties empty-handed, and so I tended to make a lot of this rich, moist, sweet and spicy apple cake.  It mixes up in one bowl, it is very portable, and if you show up with this cake and some caramel sauce you are pretty much going to be the life of the party.

Now one thing that I should confess right up front…this cake does not include fresh apples.  Don’t get me wrong, I am as big a fresh apple fan as the next girl, but sometimes you aren’t in the mood for standing around for ages peeling and coring and slicing a bunch of these.

These are the times when it is perfectly, perfectly acceptable to reach for a can of this.

And for this particular cake, apple pie filling adds that element of je ne sais quoi that makes it that much more delicious.  I’m seriously not kidding here.

Anyway, this recipe is as simple as tossing that filling into a mixing bowl with some flour, sugar, canola oil, a couple of eggs, a generous amount of cinnamon, and some walnuts and raisins.  Stir it all up, pour it into a buttered round pan, and bake it until it is a deep golden brown.  (This is one of those cakes that MUST be tested with a toothpick…make sure you poke it right into the center, and it needs to come out pretty clean.)

Once it is cooled, cut yourself a generous slice…

And please don’t skimp on the caramel sauce.  Click here for a look at my favorite caramel sauce of all time.  I could easily eat it straight out of the jar – just me and my spoon.  But it’s also pretty dang good on the apple cake.

This concludes my trip down memory lane, wherein I owned multiple pairs of leg warmers and Laura Ashley dresses and this was my favorite song and I routinely stayed up past midnight and made this cake about a million times.  (I still love that song and I still love this cake.  No idea where the Laura Ashleys and the leg warmers got to, and I think it’s just about my bedtime!)


Easy One Bowl Apple Cake
Serves: 8-10 servings
  • One 21 ounce can apple pie filling
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  1. Grease a 9 inch round casserole or cake pan and preheat oven to 350.
  2. Mix together all ingredients except raisins and nuts until well-combined. Stir in nuts and raisins and transfer mixture to baking dish.
  3. Bake until deep golden brown, about an hour and 15 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center of the cake should come out almost clean - start testing after cake has baked for an hour.
  4. Let cool, and serve with caramel sauce.


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  1. Rachel says

    Love one bowl cakes. What is in that can? Just sliced stewed apples – what would it take to replicate it with fresh apples?

    • Kate says

      H Rachel – here are the can ingredients: APPLES, LIQUID SUGAR (NATURAL SUGAR, WATER), WATER, FOOD STARCH-MODIFIED, NATURAL FLAVOR, SPICES, ERYTHORBIC ACID (TO PROMOTE COLOR RETENTION), CITRIC ACID. So it looks like apples that have been cooked in sugar, maybe with some cinnamon?

  2. Karen Nelson says

    Bang, Bang, Bang on the door… Love Shack! Baby Love Shack!
    Oh my gosh … LOVE THIS SONG…an all time fav!
    Pretty hard to sit still listening to it. Wasn’t sure when I hit the link what I was going to hear!
    Therefore, I will have to make this beautiful cake, listen to Love Shack at a semi-respectable level
    and dance with wreck less abandon… you know.. like nobody is watching:-)!
    Thanks for the big smile Kate, and Happy Hearts Day to you and your Southern Hubby!!<3

  3. Steph says

    That is a great cake! Thanks for the post! I love quick cake recipes that don’t involve me peeling and cutting apples!!!!

      • Sharen Eskridge says

        Hi Kate, Remember you from days past in Saddle River when Ira B and I were always together. Canning is easy and the easiest thing to can is tomatoes because they are easy to peel, process and achieve a good product with little effort.

  4. says

    I seriously just tried to lick that caramel sauce off my computer screen. So sad it didn’t work. You are invited to my apartment ANY TIME. So long as this cake is in tow. 😛

  5. ColleenB. says

    Looks Yummy! Think I gained a couple pounds just seeing this recipe but will be making this for sure as hubby has quitye the sweet tooth.
    Instead of canned apple pie filling; about how many fresh apples would be required ?
    I have an apple peeler so doesn’t take long at all to peel and core an apple.
    Thank you

    • Kate says

      Hi Colleen! The can has 21 ounces of apples in it, which looks to be about two cups. They are definitely cooked, so you would want to saute your peeled and sliced apples in a little water and brown sugar before you put them in the mixture, I think (I’ve never tried this recipe with fresh apples so I’m just guessing here!) I would think 5 or 6 apples would do it?

      • ColleenB. says

        thank you.
        I had made this over the weekend and my hubby Loved it. I had no fresh apples so did end up using canned but did drizzle with Smuckers Marshmallow topping as well as the caramel and DH thought it was wonderful and went back for a second piece….only bigger slice second time around. :}
        Recipe is keeper for sure but do think the next time I will use fresh apples

  6. says

    Hi, lol, I am still laughing at Joanne licking the computer screen !
    We are moving back to the US in about 3-4weeks and I keep dreaming of the foods that I will eat again. Apple pies are up there on the list, now apple cake has been added too.
    Besos, Candice

  7. ruthie says

    I used to make big batches of peach pie filling – everything you would put in the mixture when you make pie, thickener and all – put it in one pie-size freezer bags and stack them up in the freezer. I’m not sure how this would work for apples – you might need to add lemon juice so they don’t discolor – but seems like it might work. So, those of you who prefer fresh apples could give that a try in apple season, and you, Kate, still wouldn’t have to can! 😉

    I have Comstock Apple Pie Filling on my grocery list. Ahem. I think I will make this in small pans to freeze, since we aren’t real big on sweets here. But a nice warm slice of this will some caramel sauce sounds like heaven.

  8. ry says

    made it! ate it! i say that’s success! thanks again. will wait with bated breath for the peach cake recipe!

  9. Kathy says

    My friend and I love to get together and cook. It can be difficult at times because our husbands are so picky My turn last night. I chose the Lasagna Soup and the Easy One Bowl Apple Cake. First the Main dish. I have never heard my friends rave so much about a bowl of soup! It was a huge hit. I always hate it when people tell you how they changed this and they change that to the point it is not even the same recipe. The only thing I added was fresh garlic. The Apple Cake was just as big of a hit. I also love fresh apples, but that just would be the same here. It turned out perfect! Wouldn’t change a thing. Both to easy to make! Thanks so much!

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