This Apple Pumpkin Cake is perfect for Fall! Moist and delicious pumpkin cake layers with a tangy cream cheese frosting and apple pie filling.
It is officially FALL and man have we been feeling it. This week started out balmy but quickly turned to torrential rains and winds. Fall is like — Hi! You wanted me. I’m here now! — Not quite what I had in mind but I do love the cozy rainy weather.
Fall to me means apples and pumpkins and all things delicious. What better than to put them together in one delicious cake?! Truthfully the idea for this cake came around in a somewhat unique way.
I was chatting with my good friend Sara from Dinner at the Zoo and she was telling me about all these Fall scented soaps she got and how they all sound like delicious cake flavors. Apple Pumpkin was one of them and she insisted I needed to turn it into a cake. Who am I to disagree? It sounded delicious to me!
How to Make this Pumpkin Apple Cake
I used my favorite Pumpkin Cake recipe for this except I made it into a 6″ cake. This cake recipe is so simple! Two bowls (or one if you can’t be bothered) and no mixer required.
- Combine the wet ingredients
- Combine the dry ingredients
- Add dry to wet and mix until combined
Be sure to use pure canned pumpkin for this not pumpkin pie filling. Pumpkin pie filling has other ingredients added and it will affect the flavor and texture of the cake.
Homemade Apple Pie Filling
I’ve made this apple pie filling a few times before for my Apple Crisp Cake and Apple Crisp Cookie Cups. It’s also very easy to make, but you could just use store-bought apple pie filling if you prefer.
To make the apple pie filling, you toss everything except the apples into a pot, bring it to a boil and cook for 2mins. Then stir in the peeled & chopped apples and cook until they are tender.
I like to make the filling a few days in advance and keep it in the fridge once it cools. It will keep for about 2 weeks. Be sure to give it a good stir before using it in the cake.
Cream Cheese Frosting
Every time I make cream cheese frosting I swear it will be my last. No matter what combination or ratio of cream cheese to buttercream I try, the frosting is soft and difficult to work with. I can never frost a pretty cake with it. This one, in particular, was a huge pain in the butt.
I wanted to do a naked cake but I couldn’t get it to look good so I ended up doing a rustic frosting on the sides which takes so much longer than you’d think a rustic frosting should. It turned out “ok”.
I covered up a multitude of sins with some dried apple slices which, in hindsight, don’t look all too amazing themselves. It doesn’t matter though because the most important thing is how it tastes, right?? And let me tell you this cake is delicious. All of my taste testers agree!
The cake layers themselves are not super sweet, which goes so well with the sweet-tart apple pie filling and the sweet-tangy cream cheese frosting.
It is the perfect blend of Fall flavors. I hope you guys love this one as much as we did!
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I convert this recipe?
- The recipe as-is will also work in three 6″ pans. For three 8″ pans, 1.5x the recipe. Baking time may need to be adjusted.
- To make cupcakes, all you need to do is reduce the baking time — start checking at 15mins or so. The recipe will make 18-24 cupcakes depending on size.
- For other conversions go here.
Can I make it in advance?
- The cooled cake layers can be baked ahead of time, double wrapped in plastic wrap, and frozen for up to 3 months. Take out 2-3 hours before assembly.
- The frosting can be placed in an airtight container and refrigerated for 1 week for frozen for 3 months. Bring to room temp and rewhip before using.
- The apple pie filling can be made in advance. Transfer to a glass container, cool completely, cover, and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature and give it a good stir before using. Will keep for 2 weeks in the fridge.
- The finished cake (whole or sliced, stored airtight) can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Can I get the measurements by weight/grams?
- There is a Metric option in the recipe card. If you click it it will convert everything to grams.
- This conversion is done automatically and I cannot guarantee the accuracy but many readers have had success using the metric option on my recipes.
Looking for more Fall Cake recipes?
- Pecan Pie Cake
- Pumpkin Spice Latte Cake
- Apple Crisp Cake
- Pear & Walnut Cake with Honey Buttercream
- Chai Cake
Tips for making this Apple Pumpkin Cake
Apple Pumpkin Cake
Apple Pie Filling:
Cream Cheese Frosting:
- dried apple rings optional
- Preheat oven to 350F and grease & flour three 6" cake pans. Line with parchment.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a large bowl, whisk together sugars, oil, pumpkin, vanilla, and eggs.
- Add dry to wet and mix until just combined.
- Divide batter evenly between prepared pans and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean (approx. 30-35 mins).
- Cool in pans on wire rack for 10mins, then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.
Apple Pie Filling:
- Toss chopped apples and lemon juice in a large bowl, set aside.
- In a large saucepan, combine sugars, cornstarch, and spices. Pour in water and whisk.
- Cook over medium heat until boiling. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add apples, bring back to a boil. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until tender (10-15mins). Cool completely.*
Cream Cheese Frosting:
- Beat butter and cream cheese until pale and fluffy (2 mins). Add powdered sugar one cup at a time. Add vanilla and beat until fluffy.
- Place one layer of cake on a cake stand or serving plate. Top with about 1/2 cup of frosting and spread evenly.
- Pipe a border of frosting around the outside to hold in the apple pie filling. Fill with about 1/2 cup apple pie filling, spread evenly.** Repeat with next layer. Place final layer on top and do a thin crumb coat on the cake. Chill for 20mins.
- Frost the top and sides of the cake with remaining frosting in a rustic manner. Decorate with dried apple slices or cake crumbs if desired.