clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Close up of cake on plate with fork.

Apple Layer Cake

  • Author: Theresa | Quiet Baking Day
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cooling Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours, 25 minutes
  • Yield: 8 Slices
  • Category: Cakes
  • Method: Intermediate
  • Cuisine: American


Perfect for apple season, this Apple Layer Cake serves up moist apple butter cake layers with a spiced apple compote and cinnamon buttercream.



Apple Compote

  • 4 cups 1/2″ diced Granny Smith apples, peeled and cores removed (about 4 apples)
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon or whiskey (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt

Apple Cake

  • 210g cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 100g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 225g granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 90g (1/4 cup) apple butter (homemade or store-bought)

Cinnamon Buttercream


  • Apple Compote: Combine all compote ingredients into a small saucepan. Simmer on medium-low until apples are softened, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Cool completely.
  • Apple Cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and line 3-6″ pans with parchment paper. Sift together cake flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. 
  • In the bowl of a stand-mixer with a paddle attachment, or a large mixing bowl, whip together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Add oil.
  • Add eggs one and a time, then vanilla. 
  • Alternating between the dry ingredient mixture and milk, add 1/3 of the dry, then 1/2 of the milk, waiting for the previous ingredient to be almost incorporated before adding the next. 
  • Stir in apple butter. Divide evenly between prepared pans. Tap once on countertop to release any large air bubbles. Bake for 25-29 minutes, until cake starts to pull away from pans and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool enough to touch before transferring to a cooling rack. Cool completely before icing. 
  • Cinnamon Buttercream: Add cinnamon to prepared buttercream.
  • Create Layer Cake: Trim top of cake layers to create a flat layer with long serrated knife. Place a layer of buttercream on the first cake layer. Using a piping bag or Ziplock bag, pipe a 1/2″ border of buttercream around the outer edge of the cake. Fill with compote to the top of the border, pressing down slightly to create a sturdy layer. Repeat with second layer.
  • Top with final layer of cake. Cover outside in buttercream. Decorate using apple slices, pecans, or dusted cinnamon as desired. 


  • Cakes can be baked the day before and wrapped tightly once cooled completely.
  • Baked, unfilled cakes, can be wrapped tightly and frozen for up to 3 months. 
  • Store layer cake in airtight container in fridge. Allow to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Keywords: apple season, fall baking

Let's talk about cake.

Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest recipes and baking tips