Spiced Apple-Walnut Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

Big chunks of green apple keep maple-sweetened fruit-and-nut cake moist and tender. Since it's made with oil rather than butter, this cake is a good choice for any vegan diners (just leave off the cream cheese icing).


Spiced Apple-Walnut Cake with Cream Cheese Icing



Prep Time

15 minutes

Cook Time

55 minutes




Giada De Laurentiis

Image of Spiced Apple-Walnut Cake with Cream Cheese Icing


  • Butter (for greasing the pan)
  • Flour (for dusting)
  • For The Cake:

  • 3 medium green apples (such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored, and diced into ¼ to ½-inch pieces)
  • 1½ cups maple syrup
  • 3 eggs (at room temperature)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • For The Icing:

  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 4 ounces cream cheese (at room temperature)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


  1. For the cake: Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Liberally butter and flour a 10-inch fluted tube or Bundt pan. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the apples, maple syrup, eggs, sugar, oil, and vanilla. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt. In batches, mix  the dry ingredients into the apple mixture. Stir in the walnuts.
  3. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 55 to 60 minutes until a cake tester or skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes and invert onto a wire rack to cool completely, about 1 hour.
  4. For the icing: In a food processor, combine the confectioners' sugar, heavy cream, cream cheese, 3 tablespoons water, and vanilla. Process until smooth, adding more water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until the icing is pourable. Spoon the icing over the cake and allow to set for 20 minutes before slicing.
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