Apple Cake with Browned Butter Icing
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This moist cake is chock-full of cinnamon-spiced apple chunks and chopped walnuts, and topped with a rich browned butter frosting. It's pure fall bliss in every bite!
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 9
Apple Cake
  • 2 cups roughly chopped peeled apples
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
Brown Butter Icing
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups sifted icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2-4 tbsp milk
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour an 8x8 inch square pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, toss apples with cinnamon and ½ cup sugar until evenly coated, and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together the oil, buttermilk, egg and vanilla until combined. Sift in the flour, remaining ½ cup sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt, and stir until a thick batter comes together. Fold in the seasoned apples and chopped walnuts.
  4. Scrape batter into the prepared pan and smooth out into an even layer.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 50-55 minutes, or until top is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out with a moist crumb. Set on a wire rack to cool completely before icing.
  1. In a small heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, cook the butter, stirring constantly, for about 6 to 8 minutes or until butter starts to turn nutty golden brown in colour. Remove from heat immediately.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the melted butter with icing sugar, vanilla extract and 2 tbsp milk until smooth; if the icing looks too thick, add the remaining milk, one tablespoon at a time, until it smooths out. Let cool for about 5 minutes, then smooth onto the top of the cooled cake. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts, if desired.
Recipe by Crumb: A Food Blog at