It’s peak apple season, so we turned to our friend Elizabeth Mayhew, the baking maven, and asked her to share her favorite apple recipe, her grandmother's secret apple cake.

Meet: Elizabeth Mayhew

Founder and baker behind The Dutchy (an artisanal bakery in Dutchess County, New York.) You may recognize Elizabeth from her regular appearances on NBC's Today Show as a contributing editor or her monthly column in The Washington Post. And it doesn't stop there; Elizabeth is also a decorator and the author of FLIP! for Decorating (Ballantine). She has worked for several publications, including Real Simple, House Beautiful, Southern Living, and Woman's Day. A native of Louisville, Kentucky, and a graduate of Georgetown University, she now divides her time between New York City and Millbrook, New York. 


Elizabeth Grandmother's Apple Cake Recipe


For topping:

  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • ¾ cup chopped walnuts

For cake:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups chopped apples, cores removed, skin left on

For serving:

Confectioners' Sugar



  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and adjust rack to lower-middle position. Spray a large bundt pan with cooking spray.
  2. Prepare the topping: In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Remove from heat and stir in cinnamon, brown sugar, and walnuts. Combine until butter is absorbed. Set aside.
  3. Prepare the cake batter: In a bowl, cream butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Add vanilla.
  4. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add dry ingredients alternating with sour cream, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Fold in chopped apples.
  5. Pour the batter into the bundt pan and smooth top. Evenly disperse the topping over cake batter and lightly press into place.
  6. Put cake on a cookie sheet and bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in cake comes out clean.
  7. Allow to cool for 5 minutes in pan. Invert onto rack and let cool completely.
  8. Dust with confectioners' sugar and transfer to a serving plate.

If you are interested in something more savory, this recipe for Pastry Wrapped Baked Brie with Maple Butter Roasted Apples might be for you.