This Cinnamon Roll Apple Cake tastes like you mixed an apple cake with cinnamon rolls for the perfect moist, melt-in-your-mouth dessert.
The flavor is rich, buttery, a little nutty, and memorable. The apple chunks are delicious and it takes ten minutes to put together!
Apple Cinnamon Roll Cake – Scrumptious and easy to make!
If you’re wanting a fun and unique dessert that’s extremely easy to make (and easily customizable!), you’ll love this simple cinnamon roll apple cake.
We love it because it’s perfect for serving at almost any get-together, or even for special occasions like Christmas morning breakfast!
The best part is because it uses a cake mix, you can whip it up literally in minutes and have it in the oven before your day starts.
- Apples – Use any kind you prefer or have on hand.
- Cake Mix – I used Betty Crockers Butter Pecan Cake Mix because the flavors are awesome and the nuts are an added flavor bonus. You could also use a spice cake mix as well.
- Brown Sugar – Brown sugar is white sugar mixed with molasses and gives a greater depth of flavor to the cake.
- Greek Yogurt – Excellent addition for adding moistness to the cake! I used vanilla for extra flavor.
- Oil – A neutral-tasting oil is perfect. Vegetable oil, avocado oil, etc.
- Spices and/or Apple Pie Spice Blend
- Icing sugar – This is for making the glaze.
- Milk – Also for the glaze.
How to make the cake
Start by peeling and dicing the apples. You can do this by hand with a knife or get an apple peeler. I really recommend you get one if you are thinking of making applesauce, like my Instant Pot Spiced Apple Butter, at all in the future.
I generally don’t take the peels off the apples because I like the color, and I think the peel holds a lot of extra flavor but sometimes they just have to go. These peelers make life so much easier, especially if you have an apple tree in your yard!
So, in a bowl combine the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Sprinkle a tablespoon of this over the apples and mix, and let this sit while you work on your cake mix.
Take your cake mix and add in eggs, oil, vanilla extract, and the rest of the sugar mixture to give you a sweet spiced cake batter base. Mix in the Greek yogurt to add a bit of tang and to help increase the rise of your cake.
Gently fold in your apples until well combined then pour into a cake pan. You can add a layer of parchment paper to the bottom of the pan if you like to make cleaning up easy and remove the cake from the pan easier.
Bake your cake until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center. This should take about 35 to 40 minutes.
Icing your apple cinnamon cake
To make your glaze you can mix together 2 cups of icing sugar, half and half, vanilla extract, and apple pie spice to add a bit of a kick to the classic cinnamon roll icing.
Drizzle your icing over your cake, or slice and drizzle over individual slices of cake after cutting to encourage the icing to drip down the sides like a classic cinnamon roll.
Substitutions and storage tips and tricks
While the butter pecan cake mix really makes this cake shine you can really get away with using almost any cake mix. This recipe lends itself well to a classic yellow cake or spice cake mix if that is what you have in the house.
If you go this route, swap out the oil for melted butter to help replace that amazing butter flavor.
If you prefer, you can use sour cream for a more tart flavor to your end result. I personally prefer vanilla Greek yogurt for the extra vanilla and sweetness. The added protein doesn’t hurt either when making a sweet treat.
If you do not have apple piece spice you can substitute with cinnamon, nutmeg, and a tiny pinch of ground cloves to get the same flavor balance using spices you do have on hand. If you want to make a larger amount for keeping on hand, this recipe for Apple Pie Spice from Simply Stacie will fit the bill perfectly.
You can take the topping up a notch by adding in some chopped pecans on top of your icing as well.
This apple cake will store really well on the counter if you just cover it using a cake container, or simply placing some plastic wrap overtop for about two days. To keep it up to 5-6 days, store it in the fridge the same way.
As for freezing, this apple cinnamon roll cake will hold nicely for up to a month if you use a freezer-safe container. To thaw, leave on the counter overnight.
Serve this delicious cake with a side of butter pecan ice cream, or a dollop of fresh whipped cream. For something a little extra special, try warming it in the microwave for 30 seconds before serving while you get your cup of coffee going!
Looking for more apple recipes?
I hope that you give this recipe a try and when you do, please let me know what you think by leaving a ***STAR RATING*** and comment below, or shoot me an email at Joanne@thesaltypot.com.
- 2 Apples, peeled and diced
- 1 cup Vanilla Greek Yogurt
- ¾ cup Oil
- ½ cup Brown sugar
- 1 ½ Tablespoons cinnamon
- 4 Eggs
- 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 box Butter Pecan Cake Mix (see notes)
- 2 cups Icing Sugar
- 2 Tablespoon Half and Half
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 teaspoon Apple Pie Spice (see notes)
- Preheat the oven to 350 and grease/spray a 9 x 13 cake pan.
- In a bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Sprinkle a tablespoon or two over the peeled apples and mix. Set apples aside for now.
- In another bowl, mix the cake mix, eggs, oil, remaining sugar mixture, and vanilla. Mix well to incorporate.
- Mix in the vanilla yogurt until well combined.
- Fold in the apples gently and then pour the mixture into the prepared cake pan.
- Bake for approximately 35 - 40 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Let cool completely.
- Mix together the icing sugar, half and half, vanilla, and apple pie spice. Drizzle the mixture over the cake.
- Alternatively, you can drizzle the glaze over each individual piece instead of the entire cake.
For the glaze, the apple pie spice can be replaced with ¾ teaspoon cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon nutmeg.
Use apples such as Gala or Granny smith that hold up well to baking.
Let the cake cool completely before adding the glaze or it will melt into the cake.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 475Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 68mgSodium: 362mgCarbohydrates: 72gFiber: 2gSugar: 52gProtein: 6g
All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.