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Let’s talk about this scrumptious Mini Apple Cake. Ideal for satisfying those cake cravings without going overboard, this small batch recipe is everything you adore about small apple cake but in a petite, personal-sized version. Simple ingredients, simple steps, and you’ll have a flavorful apple cake that’s perfect for you or a couple of friends!

This small apple cake recipe is the perfect way to enjoy a delicious and comforting dessert for one or two people. It’s made with simple ingredients and takes just a few minutes to prepare. The cake is moist and buttery, with a nice crisp crust and filled with sweet bits of apples.

Craving more delightful small apple desserts? Check out our luscious Apple Butter, tempting Baked Apples, crunchy Apple Granola, and scrumptious Apple Fritters. These recipes are perfect for anyone who loves the sweet and tangy taste of apples in a variety of textures and flavors.

Why You’ll Love This Apple Cake Recipe

  • Simplicity: This mini apple cake is easy to make.
  • Versatile: This cake can be enjoyed on its own or served with a variety of toppings, such as ice cream, whipped cream, or caramel sauce.
  • Homemade Flavor: A buttery, moist interior paired with a crisp crust delivers a homemade taste that can’t be beaten.
  • Minimal Cleanup: Made in a 5×5-inch baking dish, the cleanup is as minimal as the ingredient list!
a small apple cake in a red baking dish on a silver tray.

Ingredients

apple cake ingredients on a kitchen counter.

If you have any ingredients leftover from this small cake recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder.

  • Salted Butter: Provides both richness and a touch of salt to balance out the flavors. If you only have unsalted butter, go ahead and add an extra dash of salt to your mix.
  • Granulated Sugar: This is your primary sweetening agent. No fancy sugars needed, good old granulated does the trick.
  • Egg: Crucial for binding all the ingredients together and adding moisture to the cake.
  • Lemon Juice: Introduces a hint of acidity, brightening up the apple flavors.
  • Vanilla: For that classic, warm depth of flavor. No substitutions recommended here; pure vanilla extract is the best choice.
  • Flour: The foundation of the cake. For a gluten-free option, try a 1-to-1 gluten-free flour blend.
  • Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and Salt: These spices and seasoning enhance the apple flavor and give the cake its signature warmth. You can omit the salt if you prefer.
  • Baking Powder: Helps your cake rise. Make sure it’s not expired for optimal lift.
  • Milk: Adds moisture and tenderness to the cake. Regular cow’s milk is the standard, but almond or oat milk can be used for a dairy-free option.
  • Apples (1 cup, chopped): The star ingredient! You can use any type of apples in this recipe, such as Granny Smith apples, Honeycrisp apples, or Golden Delicious apples. Got an extra apple or two? Use them to make a small batch of Morning Glory Muffins or an Apple Crisp.
  • Powdered Sugar (for dusting): Gives your cake that picturesque, finished look. While it’s optional, it certainly adds an aesthetic and sweet touch.

This is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why I used them. For the full recipe please scroll down to the recipe box at the bottom of the post.

Recipe Variations

Ready to jazz up your apple cake a bit? Here are some fun variations to consider.

  • Spiced Up: Add a pinch of cloves or cardamom to your dry ingredients for a unique take on the classic apple cake flavor.
  • Tropical Twist: Switch out the apples for an equal amount of diced pineapples to give your cake a tropical flair. You might also add 1/4 teaspoon of coconut extract to the batter.
  • Zesty Lemon: Incorporate the zest of one lemon into the batter along with the lemon juice for a more intense citrus flavor.
  • Apple and Pear Combo: Use a half cup each of chopped apples and pears for a fruity variation that offers different textures and flavors.
  • Chocolate Chip Add-in: For the chocolate lovers, fold in 2 tablespoons of mini chocolate chips or cinnamon chips into the batter before baking.
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How To Make An Apple Cake

These step-by-step photos and instructions help you visualize how to make a mini apple cake. See the recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.

  1. Preheat the Oven: Set your oven to 350°F (177°C). Lightly grease a 5×5-inch baking dish with butter and place it on a rimmed baking sheet to catch any overflow. Keep it aside for now.
  2. Cream the Butter and Sugar: In a medium mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to blend the butter and sugar until creamy and well-incorporated, which takes about 2 to 3 minutes.
butter and sugar in a mixing bowl.
  1. Add Wet Ingredients: Mix in the egg, followed by the lemon juice and vanilla extract. Beat until well combined.
egg, vanilla, butter and sugar mixed together in a large bowl.
  1. Prepare Dry Ingredients: In another small bowl, whisk the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, and salt together.
flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a small mixing bowl.
  1. Combine Wet and Dry Mixtures: Add the dry ingredients to the wet butter and sugar mix. Blend until just combined.
apple cake batter in a mixing bowl.
  1. Incorporate Milk: Pour in the milk and blend on medium speed until you achieve a smooth batter.
batter for an apple cake in a medium sized mixing bowl.
  1. Fold in the Apples: Using a rubber spatula, gently incorporate the chopped apples into the batter.
pieces of apple in a cake batter.
  1. Transfer to Baking Dish: Spoon your batter into the pre-greased baking dish, smoothing the top as you go. Ensure that the apple pieces are evenly distributed throughout the batter.
apple cake batter in a square red baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet.
  1. Bake the Cake: Place the baking dish in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes. Your cake is done when the top turns golden and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. It usually takes about 45 minutes for the cake to bake in my experience.
a baked apple cake on a silver tray next to a jar of powdered sugar.
  1. Cool and Serve: Let the cake rest in the baking dish for 10 minutes before inverting it onto a serving plate. Finish off with a dusting of powdered sugar and enjoy!

By following these simple steps, you’re on your way to enjoying a mouth-watering, homemade mini apple cake that’s perfect for any occasion!

Expert Tips

  • Use Real Butter: For the best flavor and texture, stick to real butter instead of margarine.
  • Softened Butter is Key: To check if your butter is at the right consistency, press it with your finger. If it’s easy to make an indentation but the butter still holds its shape, you’re good to go.
  • Cream for Texture: Blend the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. This step is crucial for achieving that smooth, velvety texture. Aim for 2-3 minutes of beating, depending on your mixer’s speed.
  • Measure Flour Correctly: Avoid scooping flour directly with a measuring cup. Instead, fluff the flour first, spoon it into a dry measuring cup, and level it off with a flat-edged knife.
  • Calibrate Oven Temperature: Ensure your oven is at the correct temperature for consistent results. Ovens can often run hotter or cooler than the set temperature, so investing in an oven thermometer is a wise choice.

Frequently Asked Questions

What baking dish should I use to make a small apple cake?

The size of your baking dish can make or break this recipe.
5×5-inch dish with a depth of 1 3/4 inches is ideal, as it holds about 1.5 cups and has a 25-square-inch base area.
A 4×6-inch dish with a 24-square-inch area is a good alternative.
You can also use two 10-ounce ramekins or mini loaf pans for this recipe.
If you would like additional information on the cooking and baking dishes I use in our “recipes for one”, please visit our FAQ page.
For examples of the dishes used at One Dish Kitchen, please visit our Store page.

How do I store leftover apple cake?

It’s best to store an apple cake at room temperature with an airtight cover. It will remain fresh for 4-5 days at room temperature.

Can I freeze apple cake?

Yes, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for up to a month.

What type of apple is best when making an apple cake?

You can use any type of apple in this recipe.

a slice of apple cake on a white plate with the bits of apples showing through.

Serving Suggestions

Alright, your cake is out of the oven and it’s time to make it even more spectacular. Consider these pairing options to take your small apple cake to the next level.

  • Vanilla Ice Cream: A classic pairing that can never go wrong. The creamy, cool vanilla contrasts beautifully with the warm and spiced cake.
  • Caramel Sauce: Drizzle some store-bought caramel sauce over the cake for an extra layer of decadence.
  • Fresh Berries: Add a burst of color and natural sweetness by garnishing the cake with fresh berries like raspberries or blueberries.
  • Whipped Cream: Light and airy, a dollop of whipped cream can add a luxurious touch to your dessert.
  • Nut Crunch: For texture enthusiasts, consider adding a sprinkle of chopped walnuts or pecans for a crunch that complements the soft cake.

More Must-Try Mini Cake Recipes

If you loved making this Mini Apple Cake and are on the hunt for more petite yet scrumptious cakes, you’re in for a treat. Check out these other small cake recipes that are perfect for satisfying that cake craving without going overboard.

Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients

If you have any ingredients leftover from this small apple cake recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder or you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch recipes:

If you’ve tried this apple cake or any recipe on One Dish Kitchen please let me know how you liked it by rating the recipe and telling me about it in the comment section below.

If you take a picture please tag us on Instagram (@onedishkitchen) we’d love to see it!


Your Cooking For One Source
Because you’re worth it

Mini Apple Cake

5 from 8 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Bake up a delicious and easy mini apple cake today! This simple small cake recipe is perfect for one or two people, and it's perfect for enjoying as a snack or dessert.

Ingredients 
 

  • ¼ cup salted butter , plus ½ tablespoon more for greasing the baking dish
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • teaspoon baking powder
  • teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 cup chopped apples
  • powdered sugar, optional for topping

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Lightly grease a 5×5-inch baking dish with butter and place it on a rimmed baking sheet to catch any overflow. Set it aside.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to blend the butter and granulated sugar until creamy and well-incorporated, which takes about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Mix in the egg, followed by the lemon juice and vanilla extract. Beat until well combined.
  • In a separate small bowl, whisk the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, and salt together.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet butter and sugar mix. Blend until just combined.
  • Pour in the milk and blend on medium speed until you achieve a smooth batter.
  • Using a rubber spatula, gently incorporate the chopped apples into the batter.
  • Spoon your batter into the pre-greased baking dish, smoothing the top as you go. Ensure that the apple pieces are evenly distributed throughout the batter.
  • Place the baking dish in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes. Your cake is done when the top turns golden and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Let the cake rest in the baking dish for 10 minutes. You can either invert it onto a serving plate or enjoy it straight from the dish. Finish off with a dusting of powdered sugar and enjoy!

Notes

  • Use Real Butter: For the best flavor and texture, stick to real butter instead of margarine.
  • Softened Butter is Key: To check if your butter is at the right consistency, press it with your finger. If it’s easy to make an indentation but the butter still holds its shape, you’re good to go.
  • Cream for Texture: Blend the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. This step is crucial for achieving that smooth, velvety texture. Aim for 2-3 minutes of beating, depending on your mixer’s speed.
  • Measure Flour Correctly: Avoid scooping flour directly with a measuring cup. Instead, fluff the flour first, spoon it into a dry measuring cup, and level it off with a flat-edged knife.
  • Calibrate Oven Temperature: Ensure your oven is at the correct temperature for consistent results. Ovens can often run hotter or cooler than the set temperature, so investing in an oven thermometer is a wise choice.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 369kcal, Carbohydrates: 60g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 0.5g, Cholesterol: 77mg, Sodium: 202mg, Potassium: 73mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 41g, Vitamin A: 453IU, Vitamin C: 0.2mg, Calcium: 42mg, Iron: 1mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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7 Comments

  1. I made this for my husband and I. He loved this cake! His is very picky about apple desserts. Thank you for this recipe. I will be making this again.

  2. I made a double batch in an effort to use up some small bits and pieces of ingredients. My husband loves this one! It’s especially delicious warmed a bit in the oven or air fryer.

  3. Absolutely delicious! I used apples from a neighbor’s tree, which are firm & tart. Added a touch of dark brown sugar, cardamom, & cloves. The apartment smells like fall! Thanks for another hit, Joanie!

  4. This has got to be one of the best cakes I’ve made. I did substitute brown sugar( not packed) for 1 cup (I doubled the recipe) of the sugar. The top is crunchy, the cake itself is so moist and it is really delicious. I am now looking forward to trying more desserts from the website.
    Thank you!