Welcome, September. It's still very hot where I live. Fall won't arrive in any real way for another month or two. Although the weather still screams summer, my heart is ready for all the fall baking. I feel like the day after labor day is close enough to start sending out all the fall baking recipes! This maple apple loaf cake is full of all the wonderful flavors and textures of autumn. With its spiced and fragrant cake, to the tart apples, crunchy brown sugar walnut streusel and buttery maple glaze, this cake is made for early autumn.
In a few words, this apple loaf cake is
- Full of tart baking apples
- If I could make this cake into a candle it would be called "autumn bakes"
- Perfect for breakfast with a cup of coffee.
- Just as perfect as a simple dessert.
- The perfect way to set the mood for fall baking. Make sure to check out my Maple Donuts for another perfect for fall mapled based treat!
What ingredients do I need to make this maple apple loaf cake?
- All purpose flour
- Maple or light brown sugar
- Chai spice, pumpkin spice, apple pie spice or ground cinnamon
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Vanilla extract
- Maple extract
- Baking apples such as Jonagold, Honeycrisp, Braeburn, Mutsu, Winesap or Pink Lady
- Powdered sugar
- Maple syrup
From these ingredients you will make the brown sugar walnut streusel, maple apple loaf cake and the brown butter maple glaze.
Do I need any special kitchen tools to make this cake?
- 9X5 loaf pan
- Other possible pans would include:
- 9 inch (23 cm) cake pan
- 9 x 9 (23 x 23 x 5 cm)
- 9 inch springform pan
- 2- 3 (6 inch) or (8 inch) cake pans
- 12 ct. muffin pan
- Other possible pans would include:
- Medium sauce pan for making the brown butter.
- Heat safe bowl for cooling the brown butter.
- Parchment paper to line the loaf pan.
- Stand mixer with paddle attachment or electric hand mixer with beaters to make the cake batter.
- Various bowls for the streusel, glaze and cake batter.
- Vegetable peeler or small knife for peeling and chopping apples.
- Food thermometer
- This a good way to check the doneness of the cake.
What is brown butter?
Brown butter is just was the name suggests- it's regular butter that has been cooked just long enough to toast the milk solids found in the butter. By doing this, the butter becomes very fragrant, with a nutty flavor. When added to baked goods, the butter gives a layer of nutty, almost caramelized flavor. It's an easy and delicious way to add more flavor to your baked goods.
Is there a faster way to make brown butter?
Yes, it's called "batch browning." At least that's what I like to call it. I love browning a batch of butter to have on hand for a couple of weeks at time. Brown butter is wonderful in sweet and savory dishes or even spread onto toast!
Batch browning butter: It’s worth it to brown at least 2 pounds of butter at the same time. To do this, simply brown the butter and cool to room temperature in a heat proof bowl. Once the brown butter has cooled, pour the butter into an airtight container and store in the fridge. When you are ready to bake with the butter, bring it to room temperature the same way you would regular unsalted butter. By using a food scale, you can make a big batch of brown butter and slice off/measure the amount chilled and reformed butter you need for the recipe.
To brown just enough butter for this recipe, you will need a TOTAL of 1 c ( 16 tbsp, 226g) regular unsalted butter. When the butter is browned, it will lose some water weight, leaving the total weight AFTER browning around 3/4 c ( 12 tbsp, 170g). This will then be divided into 1/2 c (113g) and 4 tbsp (57g) browned butter.
DIY chai and pumpkin spice
At the beginning of the fall baking season, I make a big batch of my favorite spice blends: chai and pumpkin spice!
Pumpkin spice blend:
- 1/3 c ground cinnamon (32 g)
- 2 1/2 tbsp ground ginger (15 g)
- 2 1/2 tbsp ground ginger (15 g)
- 1 tsp ground allspice (4g)
- 2 tsp ground nutmeg (4g)
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamon (1g)
- Mix all ingredients together in a small mixing bowl until well combined.
- Store in an airtight container such as spice jar or small glass mason jar.
Chai spice blend:
- 3 tbsp ground ginger (16g)
- 2 tbsp ground cinnamon (15g)
- 1 tbsp ground allspice (6g)
- 1 tbsp ground cardamon (6g)
- 1.5 tsp ground nutmeg (3.5g)
- 1.5 tsp ground cloves (3.5g)
- Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well to combine.
- Store in a spice jar or small mason jar.
Tips for the best and tastiest apple loaf cake:
- Use a metal baking pan if possible.
- Baking times and overall outcome of the cake depends on the type of pan used. This is a great article for learning more about baking pans.
- Line the bottom (and long sides) with parchment paper.
- Bring all cold ingredients to room temperature.
- Fully preheat the oven. Most need about 30 minutes to fully preheat.
- Don’t over mix the batter.
- Use fresh baking soda and baking powder. If its older than 6 months, it's time to get a new batch.
- When it comes to spices, use the one you like! Pretty much every "fall" spice works with apples, brown butter and maple syrup so you really can't go wrong.
- Use a good "baking" apple. The last thing you want it a mushy, bland apple! For this recipe I like to use Jonagold, Honeycrisp, Braeburn, Mutsu, Winesap or Pink Lady apples.
- This loaf cake is tasty as is, but the streusel and maple glaze really elevates the cake to new heights!
more apple recipes to try!
- Apple Cobbler from Cake Mix
- Apple Spice Cake
- Apple Cupcakes with Tahini Buttercream
- Easy Autumn Skillet Hash (vegan)
- Apple Tahini Crisp (vegan)
- Mini Apple Dutch Pancakes
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maple apple loaf cake
- medium sauce pan
- large heat safe bowl
- 9X5 loaf pan
- parchment paper
- stand mixer with paddle or hand mixer with beaters
- food thermometer and/or toothpicks
brown sugar walnut streusel
- 1/2 c (60g) all purpose flour
- 1/4 c (50g) maple or light brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp chai or pumpkin spice or ground cinnamon
- 1/2 c (75g) chopped raw or toasted walnuts
- 4 tbsp (57g) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
spiced apple loaf cake
- 2 c (240g) all purpose flour
- 2-3 tsp chai or pumpkin spice or ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 c (113g) browned butter, softened to room temperature see notes
- 1 c (170g) maple sugar or 1 c (200g) light brown sugar
- 2 (106-114g) large eggs, room temperature
- 1/3 c (79ml) buttermilk see notes
- 1 tsp (5ml) vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp (2.5ml) maple extract, optional and recommended
- 2 c (~236g) peeled and chopped baking apples Jonagold, Honeycrisp, Braeburn, Mutsu, Winesap, Pink Lady
brown butter maple glaze
- 1 c (125g) powdered sugar, sifted
- 4 tbsp (57g) browned butter, melted see notes
- 3-4 tbsp (45-60ml) room temperature maple syrup, as needed to taste
- Make the brown butter: Make brown butter the day before or about two hours before you plan to bake the loaf. It will need 60-120 minutes to cool enough to become the texture of softened butter. To make the brown butter, melt butter in a clear heavy bottom sauce pan. Once the butter starts to foam, whisk continuously until brown bits start to form. Remove from heat, pour into clean bowl and cool 30 minutes to room temperature and transfer to the fridge for an additonal 60-90 minutes.
- Line 9×5 loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving 1-2 in. overhang on the sides. Preheat oven to 350F (177C).If making your own buttermilk, add 1 tsp lemon juice to the 1/3 c whole milk now. It needs about 10 minutes to curdle.
- Whisk together the dry ingredients for the streusel topping in a small mixing bowl. Work in the cubes of butter until the mixture comes together into coarse pieces of sand, with some larger pieces mixed in. Set the bowl in the fridge to chill while preparing the loaf cake.
- Whisk the flours, baking powder, baking soda, chai (or pumpkin) spice and salt together until well combined.
- Beat the softened brown butter and sugar until well combined, about 2-3 minutes on low-medium speed.
- On low, beat in the eggs, vanilla and maple extracts. Beat for each about 20 seconds before adding the next. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Beat on low for an additional 30-60 seconds or until well combined.
- In this order (dry ingredients, buttermilk, dry, buttermilk, dry), add dry ingredients to the wet alternating with the buttermilk. Slowly beat each time until JUST combined. A few flour streaks is okay!
- Clean, peel and chop (or grate) the apples. Make sure to measure the final amount in a measuring cup. Fold in the apples into the cake batter by hand using a spoon or scilicone spatula.
- Evenly scoop 1/2 the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Evenly smooth into the corners and along the sides. Scoop the remaining 1/2 batter into the pan and repeat. Top with the walnut struesel.
- Bake at 350F (177C) for 50 minutes. Using a toothpick and/or internal food thermometer, check the doneness of the loaf cake. If needed, return to the oven for 10-20 minutes, checking for doneness every 5 minutes (55-65 minutes total). When a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, its done. The edges of the cake will pull slightly from the edges of the pan. The internal temperature of the center of the cake should read 200 F (94C).
- Cool in pan for 20 minutes. While the cake cools, make the brown butter maple glaze.
- While the cake is cooling, prepare the glaze. If the remaining brown butter has cooled, remelt in the microwave in 10 second intervals until melted and warm to the touch. Sift sugar directly into the bowl with the warm brown butter. Mix until mostly combined. Add maple syrup by the tablespoon (15ml), as needed to create the glaze consistency you want.
- Pour the warm brown butter maple glaze on the apple loaf cake while it is still in the warm pan. After the cake has cooled in the pan for no longer than 30 minutes, gently run a knife on any part of the cake that is on the unlined part of the pan. Lift the cake out of the loaf pan to cool to room temperature on a cooling rack.
- Slice and enjoy warm or at room temperature.