Cornmeal Apple Cake

I developed this recipe for a recipe contest back in fall, and now that I know that I didn’t win (sad, I know!), I’m still excited to share this recipe here with you!  This recipe is the perfect little snacking cake, combining some of my favorite flavors, apples and sweet cornbread.  One of the apples is grated before adding, leading to a perfectly moist crumb as it cooks into the cake.  I left the other apple as large chunks to provide some textural contrast, and to really highlight the apple flavor every bite or so.

Added bonus of this recipe – it’s an olive oil cake!  Olive oil cakes are probably my favorite classification of cakes, because they come together so easily and result in super moist, very flavorful cakes.  This recipe comes together in one bowl and bakes up in 45 minutes, so you can have a delightful snacking cake or light dessert in under an hour.  What’s better than that?

The final part of this recipe that I (and especially Chris) really love is the top sugar coating, which forms a crispy little sugary crust on the top of the cake that basically serves as a built-in icing.  You may even find yourself picking off little pieces of the sugary top on the remaining cake, it’s very addicting and super tasty.  If you want a lower-sugar version of the cake, this part can be skipped, although I would strongly encourage you to go for the sugary top!

I hope you give this cake recipe a try!  This recipe makes enough to get 8 good slices of cake, so good for a crowd or entertaining.  Recipe down below, photo up top! 


  • ½ cup of olive oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup sugar, plus ⅓ cup for top
  • 1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 apples, one grated, one chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 375F.  Prepare an 8-inch round cake pan by brushing with a thin layer of olive oil, set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, add the olive oil, eggs, buttermilk, and ½ cup of sugar.  Whisk to combine until a homogeneous mixture is formed.
  3. Add the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt, and gently whisk until just combined.  Do not overmix, as this would cause the batter to become overworked and the cake to become too tough.
  4. Using the large holes on a box grater, grate one whole apple (working around the core) into large shreds.  Add the grated apple to the batter, and fold to combine using a spatula.
  5. Remove the core and stem from the second apple and chop into bite-sized pieces.  Add the apple pieces to the batter, and fold to combine using a spatula.
  6. Pour batter out into the prepared cake pan, and smooth the batter to form an even layer.  Sprinkle the remaining ⅓ cup of sugar in an even layer around the entire top of the cake batter.
  7. Put the cake pan in the oven and bake at 375F for 45 minutes.  Check that the cake is done by inserting a small knife, cake tester, or tooth pick into the center – if the tester comes out clean with no crumbs, the cake should be ready to take out.
  8. Allow the cake to cool for about 20 minutes before removing from the pan.  Allow the cake to cool completely (about 2 hours) before serving.


4 comments on “Cornmeal Apple Cake”
  1. Sandy McClaskey says:

    Y electric oven bakes a great cake at 350° and every time I try a recipe on Pinterest that calls for baking a cake at 375° the cake is over baked, this was no different I’m sorry to say.


    1. aucellc says:

      Hi Sandy, so sorry to hear this! Perhaps try baking at a lower temperature and start checking at an earlier time than the recipe states next time, it sounds like your oven runs hot!


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