As a new reader of Bon Appétit, I must confess my love.  There wasn’t any particular reason why I had never picked up a copy before July but I’m so glad I did!  I’m not and haven’t really ever been a subscriber to any magazine (other than old-school Seventeen and Cosmo as well as the New England-based magazine that has the same name as my favorite baseball team that continues to send me bi-monthly issues even though I canceled my subscription over a year ago…not that I’m complaining or anything…) but Bon Appétit has changed my mind.  I’ve made and enjoyed a few recipes from the past couple of issues but this one is hands down the best yet. And ironically, it comes from Dorie Greenspan, one of my favorite baking gurus  (although it isn’t found in Baking: From My Home to Yours).  This apple cake was chocked full of all the spices associated with fall baking and seriously knocked the socks off of me and all of my co-workers.  It was perfectly moist and provided you use firm apples (like Fuji or Gala as the recipe suggests) they will retain their shape during baking. And don’t even get me started on the frosting. Best.creamcheesefrosting.EVER.  The only changes I made to the recipe was to omit the nuts in order to swap in cinnamon chips (which kind of got lost in the final product and thus wouldn’t use again here) and make it a Bundt cake rather than a layer cake; my changes are below and the original recipe is linked as well.

Needless to say, I’m now a subscriber.



Love apples like I do? Check out a few more of my favorite recipes…

Apple Crostata

Apple Crisp



Fuji Apple Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
source: adapted from Dorie Greenspan via Bon Appétit, October 2009
For the cake
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg or ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon, apple brandy, or rum (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 medium Fuji or Gala apples (13 to 14 ounces total), peeled, halved, cored, cut into 1/3-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup cinnamon chips
For the frosting:

  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 cups powdered sugar (measured, then sifted)
  • Ground cinnamon (for garnish)
To make the cake:
  1. Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 325°F. Butter and flour a Bundt cake pan. Whisk first 7 ingredients in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat 1 cup butter in large bowl until fluffy. Add both sugars and beat until smooth. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla, then bourbon, if desired (mixture may look curdled). Add flour mixture to egg mixture in 3 additions alternately with applesauce in 2 additions, beating until blended after each addition. Stir in apples and cinnamon chips. Pour the batter into the Bundt cake pan and smooth the top.
  2. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Transfer cake to racks and cool in pan 15 minutes.  Invert cake onto rack.  Cool completely. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Wrap cake in plastic and store at room temperature.
To make the frosting:
  1. Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl until smooth. Beat in vanilla extract and pinch of salt. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating until frosting is smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes.
  2. Drop frosting by spoonfuls onto top of cake and spread it slightly over the edges of the cake, swirling and creating peaks, if desired, while leaving sides of cake plain. Let cake stand at room temperature 1 hour to allow frosting to set slightly. Sprinkle with cinnamon before serving. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with cake dome and refrigerate. Let cake stand at room temperature at least 2 hours before serving.


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Leave a Comment

  • October 20, 2009 at 3:36 PM

    YUM, this looks terrific. I’m in love with everything Bon Appetit, I can’t wait until I get my magazine subscription!!

  • October 20, 2009 at 4:41 PM

    Oh yum! It looks like a big fat cinnamon bun!

  • October 20, 2009 at 8:10 PM

    I’m so glad you liked the cake. I had fun creating that series of apple desserts for Bon Appetit.

    • smellslikehome
      October 28, 2009 at 9:37 PM

      Thanks so much for visiting and commenting on my post, Dorie! It’s truly an honor to have you stop by!! I have a few of the other apple recipes from your series bookmarked as well and can’t wait to try them out.

  • Annie
    October 21, 2009 at 9:33 AM

    I agree the most recent Bon Appetit was a fantastic issue, and I definitely think Dorie had a big part in that 🙂 I’m dying to try some of the recipe from the issue (I think I have them all bookmarked) and this one looks great!

  • October 21, 2009 at 1:07 PM

    This looks wonderful! All the spices with the cream cheese icing sound amazing. I will have to try this one.

  • November 6, 2009 at 2:15 AM

    I’ve never tried spices with a cake before, should be a very interesting recipe to try, looks delicious though!

  • jackie
    December 3, 2009 at 11:56 PM


    I was wondering if I add 11/2 cups of cinnamon chips instead of the 11/2 cups of nuts as in the original recipe specify, would I be able to taste the cinnamon chips in the cake.

    • smellslikehome
      December 6, 2009 at 7:28 PM

      i would hope so! i found that texture-wise the cinnamon chips were a little lost but the cinnamon flavor was definitely there. hope that helps! 🙂

  • Jackie
    December 2, 2021 at 1:22 AM

    Ok you say next time you make this cake, you won’t use the cinnamon chips again. Would you replace them with anything else.

    • Tara
      December 18, 2021 at 6:42 PM

      Hi Jackie, For the times I’ve made this recipe since I first shared it, I’ve simply skipped the cinnamon chips and didn’t replace them with anything.