With all the wonderful fall flavors, you're guaranteed to love this apple cinnamon cake! Apples and pumpkin mixed with ground cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg topped with a creamy butter and spiced rum glaze, this is the best fall cake recipe!
This apple cinnamon cake is out-of-this-world delicious! Cake recipes made with apples and cinnamon are always a huge crowd pleaser! Cinnamon and sugar are great all year long in many types of recipes, like with this cherry apple pie and these homemade churro ice cream sandwiches. But if you're looking for a fall recipe that contains cinnamon and sugar, then this apple cinnamon cake is the only recipe you will need!
With so many savory fall recipes to indulge in, like this creamy tomato basil soup, these acorn squash muffins, and this roasted apple cider spatchcock chicken, this is the perfect dessert to finish off any good meal. Topped with a spiced butter rum glaze that really enhances all of those sweet autumn spices, this will quickly become your go-to cake recipe!
🛒 Ingredients You'll Need
For the apple cinnamon cake, you'll need:
- Evaporated Milk: use Carnation evaporated milk for best results. It contributes to the moisture and sweetness.
- Flour: a good quality all-purpose flour works best. Make sure your flour is fresh. Flour that has been sitting for awhile becomes stale and loses its effectiveness for baking.
- Vinegar: helps the cake rise and become fluffy. It will also balance out the sweetness.
- Eggs: a binding agent.
- Sugar: use white granulated sugar to provide the sweetness.
- Brown Sugar: use light brown sugar. Not only does this provide sweetness, but also adds depth of flavor and contributes to the moisture level.
- Apple: a key ingredient, make sure to shred the apple because it adds a lot moisture. The best apples to use are Honeycrisp, Jonathon, or Granny Smith.
- Pumpkin Puree: use a canned version to add sweetness, as well as additional moisture.
- Shortening: The key ingredient to making this a super moist cake is the oil. Melted shortening (Crisco) works best.
- Baking Soda: a leavening agent.
- Baking Powder: a leavening agent.
- Salt: helps balance the sweetness
- Spices: ground cinnamon, allspice, clove, and nutmeg add a depth or fall flavor in every bite.
- Vanilla Extract: a flavor enhancer.
For the butter rum glaze, you'll need:
- Butter: use unsalted butter.
- Powdered Sugar: ensures a smooth texture and added sweetness.
- Rum: use Captain Morgan Spiced Rum because the flavor pairs extremely well with all the spices.
- Hot Water: helps with the consistency to ensure the glaze does not become too thick.
Be sure to see the recipe card below for the full ingredients list & instructions!
- Oil: Instead of using shortening, trying substituting canola oil or olive oil. Both work really well and are a healthier choice.
- Cake Pans/Molds: I used a bundt cake mold, but you can use a rectangle pan or round pan for this recipe. You can also make muffins and a bread loaf using this recipe! Make sure to grease the pan, use cupcake holders, or use a non-stick mold.
- Glaze: Don't like glaze? Skip it. It's so flavorful that it actually tastes really good without any icing or glaze. You can also try sprinkling on powdered sugar and topping it with chopped pecans. Or, use a cream cheese icing, like the one I use in this red velvet cake.
- Gluten Free Flour: If you're gluten free, use a good quality gluten free flour. The measurements/ratios will remain the same as the recipe is written in the recipe card below.
📋 Step-by-Step Recipe Instructions
Step 1: Start by preheating the oven to 350°F. Then peel the apple and grate it with a box grater or food processor.
Step 2: Unlike most cake recipes, I don't mix the liquid ingredients separately before mixing the dry ingredients. I add all the ingredients to a large bowl. From there, use a standing or electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Then turn the speed up to medium-high and mix for 3 minutes.
Step 3: Pour the batter into a pan or mold. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 55-60 minutes, or until done. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Step 4: While the cake is cooling, make the butter rum glaze. For a thin, more liquid glaze, completely melt the butter and then mix it on a medium to low speed with the powdered sugar, rum, and hot water. The color will appear more clear than white.
For a thick, more solid glaze, make sure the butter is at room temperature. You want the butter to be soft, but still in a solid form. Add the soft butter, powdered sugar, hot water, and spiced rum and mix on a medium high speed until the glaze is white and thick. Make sure you don't add too much hot water as it will become more of a liquid consistency.
Once the cake has cooled, about 30 minutes, slowly drizzle on the butter rum glaze. While the apple cinnamon cake is the star of the show, the light rum glaze helps enhance the flavor with it's light buttery finish. The hint of spiced rum brings out the flavor, especially when you top it with powdered sugar!
This is probably the most moist cake I’ve ever had in my life and it's filled with the perfect amount of autumn spices and apples. Indulge in every single bite!
🙋🏼♀️ Recipe FAQs
For this recipe, yes. Peeling the apple helps ensure an overall smoothness and texture to the cake.
Yes! If you don't want to use fresh apples, add in ½ cup of applesauce.
💭 Expert Tips
- The key to making the butter rum glaze is using unsalted butter.
- You can store this covered on your counter for 3-4 days.
- Make sure your baking soda and baking powder have not expired.
- Don't over mix the batter. Mix just until the ingredients are combined. Over mixing can lead to a tougher texture in this finished cake.
- This cake freezes extremely well! Once the it completely cools, store in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months. To thaw, place in the refrigerator until completely thawed. Do not add the glaze if freezing. Always make a fresh batch.
🍰 More Cake Recipes To Try!
Apple Cinnamon Cake with Butter Rum Glaze
- 1 12 ounce can of Carnation evaporated milk
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 Tablespoon white vinegar
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup apple, shredded and peeled
- 8 ounces Libby's Pumpkin Puree
- ¾ cup packed brown sugar
- ⅔ cup shortening, melted Crisco
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon ground allspice
- ½ teaspoon ground clove
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Butter Rum Glaze Ingredients
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
- 2 Tablespoons Hot Water
For The Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Combine all cake ingredients in a bowl.
- Turn your standing or electric mixer on low for 30 seconds, then turn the speed up to medium-high and mix for 3 minutes.
- Pour your batter into the bundt cake mold.
- Cook for 55-60 minutes, until done. 👩🏼🍳 Expert Tip: To ensure the cake is done, insert a toothpick into the center and if it comes out clean, it's done.
For Butter Rum Glaze
- Heat the unsalted butter in a pan until melted.
- Stir in the powdered sugar and spiced rum.
- Whisk in the water and whisk until the consistency is of a thick syrup.
- Pour on top of the cake and serve.
- You can use any type of apple you want. Pink lady, gala, and honeycrisp are the best for this recipe.
- Don't mix the dry ingredients and then the wet ingredients. Dump all the ingredients in a bowl and mix it all together at once.
- I used a bundt mold, but you can use a rectangle pan or round pan for this recipe. I've actually made muffins and bread with this recipe and they are amazing! Make sure you grease the pan well or use a no stick mold.
- Don't like icing? Skip it. Sometimes, I like to just add on some powdered sugar and top it with chopped pecans.
- The key to making the butter rum glaze is using unsalted butter.
- Store any leftovers covered on your counter for 3-4 days.
- For a thin, more liquid glaze: Completely melt the butter and then mix it on a medium to low speed with the powdered sugar, rum, and hot water. The color will appear more clear than white.
- For a thick, more solid glaze: Make sure the butter is at room temperature. You want the butter to be soft, but still in a solid form. Add the soft butter, powdered sugar, hot water, and spiced rum and mix on a medium high speed until the glaze is white and thick. Make sure you don't add too much hot water as it will become more of a liquid consistency.