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Stewed Apple and Cinnamon Cake (Tray Bake)

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Moist apple and cinnamon cake with stewed apples. Probably your new favorite apple traybake cake recipe.

Stewed Apple Cake

moist apple cake stewed apples

Prajitura cu mere – a deliciously tender European apple cake, easily made and loved by everyone.

When it comes to apple cakes, I think you really have a choice on Where Is My Spoon. Several Romanian apple cakes, some German ones, some really quick and easy ones, muffins, desserts, and so on.

The Softest Apple Cake

European Apple Cake

And we love each of these cakes! I make so many apple cakes because my kids love them in any form and are always happy when I am baking with apples. Of course, they would refuse the best chocolate cake (my son), but they would never say no to a nice piece of apple traybake cake.

And as you see, although all full of apples, they are so different; I could not say that two of the apple cakes I make taste the same; they all have their particular flavor and consistency, something that sets them apart from the rest.

And what sets this moist apple and cinnamon cake apart from the rest? Its tenderness. It is unbelievably soft and tender, sweet and full of stewed apples, comforting and satisfying.

The Softest Apple Cake

What is the best apple for apple cake?

  • I used winter apples, the sort stored in the cellar for a while before being ready for cooking and baking; they are the best sort for this apple traybake cake recipe, as they are not very juicy.
  • These cellar or winter apples are also called cooking apples, meaning they are used primarily for cooking and are not so suitable to be eaten raw.
  • They are the kind of apples coming from somebody’s garden apple tree, somebody who happened to plant an apple tree once without checking the sort of apple they were growing… The result: apples that nobody wants to eat, apples that are only used to make compote, cakes, or desserts.
  • They are a bit floury and sour and don’t release much liquid when stewed.
  • If you use fresher, juicier apples, increase the stewing time until most of the released cooking liquid has evaporated.

What can you do with old cooking apples?

  • Apple sauce: Homemade apple sauce is the best kind, as it allows you to choose how much sugar you add. I make a rather large batch of apple sauce every autumn and freeze the jars; over the years, I concluded that that is the best way to keep apple sauce fresh and delicious.
  • Apple butter: Making it will allow you to use many older apples.
  • Spicy apple jam: Apple jam is not for everyone; it can be rather bland, but if you choose the right sort and spices, you will get a delicious apple jam. Try adding cloves, cinnamon, allspice, and ground ginger.
  • Baked apples: You can fill them with nuts and spices before baking or leave them plain and serve them sprinkled with some sugar or drizzled with honey. Add whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, or vanilla sauce for a real treat.
  • Desserts: Make an apple crumble; it is probably the best apple dessert ever! Here is a variation, a Rhubarb Apple Crumble, but you can leave out the rhubarb and only use apples. You can also make apple pancakes, apple compote for serving with regular pancakes or crepes, apple crisp, French toast with apples, and so on.

Recipe ingredients

listed ingredients in bowls for making stewed apple cake.
  • Apples: Preferably cooking, lightly mealy ones. However, fresh apples are fine; just increase the stewing time accordingly; the liquid released by the fruit should be almost completely evaporated (See images).
  • Wet ingredients: Large eggs, milk, and neutral-tasting oil like canola (at room temperature).
  • Dry ingredients: All-purpose flour, baking powder, cinnamon, granulated sugar, and icing sugar (confectioners/ powdered sugar) for sprinkling over the dessert before serving.

How to make apple traybake cake?

This is a Romanian or European apple cake very similar to those my great-grandmother and my great-aunts used to make. So, if you feel like having one of the most delightful cakes on Earth this weekend, don’t hesitate to try this moist apple traybake cake recipe.

The recipe makes a large baking tray, but it is easily halved.

Prepare the apples

  • Peel, core them, and process them coarsely, in batches, in the food processor. You could grate them coarsely, but it takes much longer.
  • Stew apples: Place them in a wide pan, and add the granulated sugar (1). Stew the apples gently until they are soft and almost all the released liquid is evaporated (2).
  • It took me about 15 minutes, but you might need a bit longer if your apples are juicier. Add the cinnamon and the cloves (if you like cloves) and stir well. Leave to cool while you prepare the rest.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Line a rectangular baking tray with parchment paper.
collage of two pictures of stewing apples with sugar and cinnamon in a saucepan.

Batter

  • Beat eggs and sugar until pale and frothy. Add the oil and incorporate it (3).
  • In another bowl, mix flour and baking powder.
  • Add the flour mixture and the milk to the egg mixture; alternating, start with the flour and finish with the milk. The batter will be pretty runny, so don’t worry about it (4).
collage of two pictures of beating batter for cake in a large bowl.
  • Pour half the mixture onto the prepared baking tray (5) and bake for 10 minutes or until lightly golden (6).
  • Remove from the oven.
collage of two pictures of unbaked and baked cake batter on a baking sheet.
  • At this point, I prefer using a baking frame because my baking tray is very shallow (Amazon affiliate link). If your baking tray is a bit deeper, you will not need the frame; otherwise, I recommend using it to ensure your batter will not end up all over the place.
  • Spread the stew onto the cake (7), even them nicely, and pour the remaining batter on top (8). Even it very lightly and continue baking the cake at the same temperature for about 40 minutes or until nicely browned.
  • Leave to cool completely, then slice and dust with icing sugar before serving.
collage of two pictures of adding apples stew and cake batter to a baking sheet.

Expert Tips

  • Always use a digital kitchen scale in baking; it guarantees for best results (Amazon affiliate link).
  • Ensure that the ingredients (eggs, oil, milk) are at room temperature.
  • Baking powder: Some people have wondered if the required 2 tablespoons are right. Yes, the recipe is correct; that’s exactly how much you need.
  • Stewed apples cooking time: Older, mealy cooking apples will not release much juice, so they will need to be stewed for about 15 minutes. Fresher, juicier apples are juicy; increase the stewing time until most of the released cooking liquid has evaporated.
  • Baking frame: You will need one if the rim of your baking sheet is very low, less than 2 inches/ 5 cm. My baking sheet’s rim is only about 0.5/ 1 cm tall, so I need a frame to prevent the batter from running off the tray (Amazon affiliate link).
  • Serve the apple traybake cake with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Recipe FAQ

What to do with stewed apples?

If you have a glut of apples, make a larger batch of stewed apples. The leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container or a jar for 2-3 days, or you can freeze them in airtight containers or freezer bags for up to 3 months.
Serve them with oatmeal, porridge, over pancakes, rice pudding, or with serve them hot with vanilla ice cream. Use them to make other apple cakes or muffins.

How to store?

Refrigerate the stewed apple cake in an airtight container for about 3 days.
Freeze for up to 2 months and defrost in the fridge.

The Softest Apple Cake

More apple cakes

Do you like this recipe?

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apple tray bake cake with cinnamon

Stewed Apple and Cinnamon Cake Recipe

Moist apple and cinnamon cake with stewed apples. Probably your new favorite apple traybake cake recipe.
4.56 from 70 votes
Print Pin Share Grow Rate
Course: Cakes
Cuisine: Romanian
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings: 20 -24 pieces
Calories: 217kcal
Author: Adina

Ingredients 

Stewed apples:

  • 2 kg apples 4.5 lbs, Note 2
  • 150 g granulated sugar 5.5 oz/ 3/4 cup
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves optional

Batter:

  • 4 eggs large, room temperature
  • 200 g granulated sugar 7 oz/ 1 cup
  • 175 ml vegetable oil 6 oz/ ¾ cup, room temperature
  • 250 g all-purpose flour 9 oz/ 2 cups + 1 tablespoon
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 175 ml milk 6 oz/ ¾ cups, room temperature
  • icing sugar for dusting

Instructions

Stewed apples:

  • Peel and core 2 kg/ 4.5 lbs apples and process them coarsely, in batches, in the food processor. You could grate them coarsely, but it takes longer.
  • Cook apples: Place them into a wide pan, add 150 g/ ¾ cup sugar and cook gently until the apples are soft and almost all the released liquid is evaporated.
    It took me about 15 minutes, but you might need a bit longer if your apples are juicier. Add 2 teaspoons cinnamon and the cloves and stir well. Leave to cool until you prepare the rest.
  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius/ 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a rectangular baking tray with baking paper.

Batter:

  • Beat 4 eggs and 200 g/ 1 cup sugar until pale and frothy. Add 175 ml/ ¾ cup oil and incorporate it.
  • Mix 250 g/ 9 oz flour and 2 tablespoons baking powder in another bowl. Add the flour and 175 ml/ ¾ cup milk to the egg mixture, alternating, start with the flour and finish with milk. The batter will be pretty runny.
  • Bake: Pour half the mixture into the prepared baking tray and bake for 10 minutes or until lightly golden. Take the tray out of the oven.
    At this point, I prefer using a baking frame because my baking tray is very shallow. If your baking tray is deeper, you will not need the frame; otherwise, I recommend using it just to make sure your batter will not end up all over the place (Note 3).
  • Top and bake: Spread the apples on the cake, level nicely and pour the remaining batter on top. Level very lightly and continue baking the cake at the same temperature for about 40 minutes or until nicely browned.
  • Leave to cool completely, then slice and dust with icing sugar just before serving.

Notes

  1. Always use a digital kitchen scale in baking; it ensures the best results (Amazon affiliate link).
  2. Apples: I used winter apples, which are stored in the cellar for a while before being ready for eating and baking. They are a bit floury and sour and don’t release a lot of liquid when stewed. If you use fresher, juicier apples, increase the stewing time until most of the released cooking liquid has evaporated.
  3. Baking frame: You will need one if the rim of your baking sheet is very low, less than 2 inches/ 5 cm. My baking sheet’s rim is only about 0.5/ 1 cm tall, so I need a frame to prevent the batter from running off the tray (Amazon affiliate link).

Nutrition

Serving: 1square | Calories: 217kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 32mg | Sodium: 139mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 24g
Tried this Recipe? Pin it for Later!Mention @adinabeck or tag #WhereIsMySpoon!

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Recipe Rating




Margie

Sunday 2nd of October 2022

I would so like to make this recipe, but need an American pan size. What is a baking tray and what is a baking frame? What American size pan should I use and what should the depth be? Thank you.

Adina

Monday 3rd of October 2022

Hi Margie. My baking tray/ sheet is 12x16 inches; use something similar in size. A baking frame is like the ring of a springform but of rectangular shape and adjustable, you can make it smaller or larger as needed. If you don't have one, it's better to use a baking sheet that's a bit deeper, about 2-3 inches.

Katie Brown

Sunday 24th of October 2021

Eggs - I only had 3 medium-large eggs, I beat them really well and the recipe worked very well.

Adina

Monday 25th of October 2021

Glad to hear it, Katie.

Patricia Davis

Monday 4th of October 2021

Do you really mean 2 tablespoons od baking powder...ir should it be teaspoons?

Mlan

Monday 6th of December 2021

@Adina, Well, now I'm REALLY confused! So what's the correct measurement for the baking powder?? It sure would help if all dry ingredients weights were also given in grams or something which can be measured universally. If I had not read all the comments I would never have guessed that you used "soup spoons" to measure the powder. I, along with most people, have no idea what your "soup spoon" holds as there are many "soup spoons" out there varying in sizes, lol... It's just as frustrating as those old recipes from my mom which say "se adaugă făină cît cuprinde", which means what exactly? Or "un pahar de apă" umm.. what size is the phar exactly??? I believe you know what I mean since you mentioned having that same frustration with old recipes passed down from parents and grandparents. So back to this wonderful recipe of yours, how much baking powder exactly is needed? Thank you!

Adina

Tuesday 5th of October 2021

Hi Patricia. Tablespoons. However, I must say I don't use the regular American measuring tablespoon when baking this cake; I use a regular soup tablespoon.

Olivia

Sunday 1st of November 2020

This cake was easily the best I have made! I've made it three times and each time was perfect! A little longer in the oven to get the perfect consistency. I also used sliced eating apple on the top of the cake (and bottom!) which turned out lovely - just reduced the sugar a little in the main recipe. I thought it was really easy to follow and a lovely dessert for autumn/winter :)

Adina

Sunday 1st of November 2020

Thank you very much for the great feedback, Olivia. I love to hear it when people like my recipes.

Penny

Thursday 24th of October 2019

YUMMY!!! This is sooooo good!! I used apples from my Aunt's tree..granny smith...and DELICIOUS!! I love that it isnt a heavy or rich cake! I didnt quite know how to measure 4lbs of apples but I clearly only made half of what your recipe said..will definately make again with double the stewed apples! I am trying the mock puff pastry and apples recipe Friday. I am also i spired to try the stewed apples for other tasty treats as well. I have a new staple..stewed apples.... which shall be incorporated into many other recipes! THANK YOU!

Adina

Thursday 24th of October 2019

Oh Penny, reading this makes me really happy! So glad you liked it!