Kirbie's Cravings

4 Ingredient Apple Cake

This easy apple cake is just four ingredients and tastes like a French apple cake. There is no butter or oil or baking powder needed. The end result is a fluffy and moist cake full of apple pieces. It’s perfect to make for a party.

photo of a slice of apple cake on a plate


Here is an easy cake recipe now that apples are in season – right now, it’s the perfect time to make this easy apple cake.

I love serving apple desserts for Thanksgiving, so if you’re looking for ideas this recipe is great. In the past, I’ve made Invisible Apple Cake, Apple Rose Tarts, and Apples Pies Baked in Apples. This cake tastes very similar to classic French apple cakes I’ve made in the past but with a simplified ingredient list.


  • Honeycrisp apples
  • Room temperature eggs
  • Light brown sugar
  • All-purpose flour

Just four ingredients – that’s all you need.

How to Make a 4 Ingredient Apple Cake

The key to this cake rising and having a fluffy texture is beating the eggs. The eggs and sugar are beaten for about eight minutes on high speed until the batter turns pale and thick.

I’ve used a similar technique for my 3 Ingredient Flourless Peanut Butter cake and 2 Ingredient Flourless Nutella cake.

photo of the eggs and sugar beaten together

Once the eggs have reached the desired consistency, the flour is gently folded in with a spatula. Make sure to use a spatula and gently fold in. If you stir too vigorously, you will deflate the eggs too much and your cake will not rise properly.

Finally, the apples are lightly folded in. This cake is baked in a springform pan and takes just over an hour to bake at 350°F.


I think this cake tastes great on its own. Even though it only has a few ingredients, it still has a good flavor to it. However, if you wish to add even more flavor, you can add some cinnamon and nutmeg to the batter. Both spices pair well with apples.

You can also change the apple variety for more flavor contrast. I used sweet Honeycrisp apples but you could replace them with granny smith for something a little tarter.

I do recommend sticking with brown sugar even though most apple cakes use white sugar. Brown sugar adds a caramelized flavor to the apple cake, which is why it tastes so flavorful even with just four ingredients.

photo of an apple cake with two slices removed

When you take a bite of the cake it’s hard to believe it’s made with so few ingredients. It’s fluffy and each bite has fresh apples. It is the perfect cake for the fall season.

overhead photo of an apple cake on a platter

More Easy Recipes with Apples

slice of an apple cake

4 Ingredient Apple Cake

Servings: 12 slices
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
This easy apple cake is just 4 ingredients. No oil, butter, or baking powder is used. The cake comes out light, fluffy and very moist. It's an easy dessert to make for your next party.
4.85 from 19 votes


  • 3 medium honeycrisp apples about 6 oz each
  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp all purpose flour


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of an 8 inch springform pan with parchment paper and grease the sides of the pan.
  • Peel apples and remove cores. Slice apples to 1/2 inch cubes.
  • Add eggs and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, beat on highest speed for about 8 minutes or until mixture turns a very pale brown and is very thick.
  • Add in flour and gently fold in with a spatula until just mixed.
  • Add in apples and gently fold in so that they are evenly spread out in the batter.
  • Pour batter into prepared springform pan. Bake for about 1 hour 10 minutes in the middle row of the oven or until cake is done. Top will be dark brown and toothpick inserted should come out clean.
  • Let the cake cool for about 20-30 minutes before dusting top with powdered sugar and slicing and serving.


  • Recipe slightly adapted from Food52.
  • Make sure to the beat the eggs long enough as they are the key to the cake rising.
  • Make sure to gently fold in the flour and apples. If you mix too hard, you will deflate the egg structure and your cake will not rise or be fluffy.
  • I recommend sticking with brown sugar as it adds more depth of flavor to the cake
  • You can change the apple variety, like using granny smith for a more tart flavor
  • You can also add nutmeg and cinnamon to the cake as the spices will pair well with the apples


Serving: 1slice, Calories: 156kcal, Carbohydrates: 33g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 26mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 23g, NET CARBS: 32

The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.

Did you make this recipe?I'd love to see it! Mention @KirbieCravings and tag #kirbiecravings!

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4.85 from 19 votes

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Recipe Rating

97 comments on “4 Ingredient Apple Cake”

  1. What a brilliant cake! I looove apple cakes and never imagined I would be able to make something like this as a beginner baker, let alone with so few ingredients! Thanks for creating this recipe 🙂

    I dusted the top with icing sugar, do you have any better ideas for a low calorie simple topping for the cake?

    • Hm, maybe a drizzle of fruit syrup like you’d use for pancakes? There are lower-calorie/sugar-free ones available.

  2. Would this recipe work with rhubarb instead of apples do you think?

  3. Thank you ! Im always trying to use everything , my mom used everything, nothing got thrown out. These are fantastic ideas.

  4. Thank you Kirbiecraving for sharing this recipe. I tried a few times and love it. The first time I forgot I had to beat the eggs for 8 minutes and the cake came out flat. (Learn from mistakes! ?)

    Today I added 1 mashed riped banana, vanilla and collagen powder. It worked great, almost gone. Forgot to mention, I doubled your original recipe. Thank you again! We all love it

  5. Wondering if I can add walnuts?

    • We haven’t tried it, but it should work! We recommend chopping them up, so they don’t sink to the bottom of the cake.

  6. My apples all fell to the bottom and the bottom was really soggy. The cake itself was very good!!! A do over for sure! Any idea why that happened? I had to use a 9 inch spring form and cooked for 45 minutes. Maybe I should dust the apples in flour first??? 

    • How big were your apple pieces? We recommend dicing them into 1/2″ pieces – if they are bigger they could sink into the cake like you experienced.

  7. I don’t have a mixer at present. Can I whip the brown sugar and eggs in my blender?

    • We haven’t tried that and can’t say how it will work. It might be hard to achieve the right consistency, which will change the texture of the cake. Let us know if you try it and how it works!

  8. I just made this for a quick Thanksgiving dessert, and it is quite good. My husband liked it too, and he’s pretty picky 😉 So nice to find a recipe with few ingredients, and I was out of baking powder, so this was perfect.
    Thanks for the recipe! I will def make again!

  9. Was really good for a fast and easy cake. I made mine in a 9 inch pan and it was done in 45 minutes.  Will definitely make it again.

  10. I have made this cake multiple times, my only question is: “Why do you bake it for 1 hour 10 minutes, mine is usually done in 40 minutes.

  11. I made this cake on Sunday. My family loved it so much that I made another one today. I did add about a teaspoon of cinnamon to the recipe, which made it just perfect.

  12. Can you substitute almond flour?

  13. Is it possible to make this cake with 1:1 GF flour e.g. Pamelas?
    It looks delicious but I am wheat intolerant (NOT gluten)

    • You can try using a 1:1 gluten-free flour, but we haven’t tested it and can’t say for sure how it will work.

  14. This is a jewel of recipe – cake not using butter nor oil. My adult daughter made it and it was so good I asked her for the website. I have not made it yet but will be doing so OFTEN

  15. This cake is lovely and light, I make it quite often and sometimes add raspberries.

  16. I’m looking forward to trying this cake. 

    Should the brown sugar be packed?

  17. Kirbie,

    Regarding the apples for the 4 ingredient apple cake, what affect do you suspect unpeeled apples will have as the skins are high in pectin? Also, what vendors do you know sell pre-cut parchment 8 inch rounds for the bottom of the spring form baking pan?

    • We haven’t tried the cake with unpeeled apples, so can’t say for sure how that might affect the cake. Guessing there won’t be much of a change of the texture, but can’t say for sure. As far as the precut rounds – we get ours on Amazon

  18. I don’t have a hand mixer, either…can this high speed whisking be done in my Ninja NutriBlender?

    • Without trying it, not sure how the eggs would whip up in a blender. Sorry, wish we had a better recommendation!

  19. I don’t have a stand mixer…advice?

  20. Very nice cake as is including the grated cinnamon and nutmeg! Bravo!

  21. Would a tart pan work?

    • It depends on how deep it is – some tart pans are shallow which will not hold all of the batter while the cake bakes. If your pan is as deep as a standard 8-inch springform pan it may work.

  22. Can i make this cake gluten free please? If yes what flour can i use please?

    • You can try using a 1 to 1 gluten-free flour, but we haven’t tested it and can’t say for sure how it will work.

  23. This cake was: Easy to make, smelled really good baking in the oven and tasted even better after we let it cool off and had some for dessert tonight!

  24. This cake is amazing! I added 3/4 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 tsp nutmeg and used a bundt pan. I baked it for approximately 50 minutes. It came out light, fluffy, moist and delicious. I shared it with friends and everyone loved it and was surprised by how few ingredients. This recipe is a definite keeper. Just to add, I did not sprinkle it with the confectionery sugar, it was sweet enough on its own.

  25. I love the fact that this is easy and has only 4 ingredients. However, it does not make a big batch at all. I ended up making one tray of muffins out of it.

  26. What can I use if I don’t have a springfoam pan?

  27. This cake came out great. I only cooked mine for an hour and it was done. 

  28. I only have 2 apples in the fridge. Do u think I can add some applesauce to the apples?

    • The recipe will work with two apples, it just won’t have as many pieces spread throughout the cake. We don’t recommend adding applesauce because that will change how the cake turns out – the batter could be too wet and the cake won’t bake properly.

  29. Havent made ot yet. I dont have a sponge pan can i use a 8 inch glass dish?

    • You can try an 8″ round cake pan. If you use a glass baking dish, you may need to adjust the baking time.

  30. Can you substitute apples with frozen peaches

    • We haven’t tried that but if you do we recommend the following: Thaw the peaches first and then pat them dry with a paper towel. They will have a lot of excess moisture and can make the cake wet if you don’t dry them. Chop them into smaller pieces and then add them to the batter.

  31. Can you tell me why we don’t need baking powder ?

    • The eggs are what gives this cake its lift so you don’t need baking powder. The key is to whip them long enough to make them light and airy – hope that helps!

  32. Looks wonderful. Has anyone tried making it gluten free? I would think a small amount of xanthan gum might work since it has 3 eggs to help with the rise.

  33. I don’t have an 8 inch pan. How long would it take to bake in a 9 inch one?

  34. Can you make it lower in sugar by substituting some of the brown sugar with truvia?

  35. Thank you for this!
    it was lovely, so easy to make and helpful due to lockdown restriction’s of ingredients!
    will make again, only thing mine was done well before the hour and 10..i had on right temp, ,any ideas?
    but i do have gas cooker.

    • I’m not sure why yours was done so fast. Maybe because it is a gas cooker? I haven’t worked with one before. Or if you used a wider pan, that could also cause it to cook faster

  36. I live @ elevation 7450′, would you extra flour as in other recipes?

  37. LOVE LOVE this receipe! Definetely a keeper! Simple yet so good!! Thank you!!

  38. I made this with Sukrin sugar-free brown sugar and add a teaspoon of apple pie spice – AWESOME! at only 84 calories a slice I can really enjoy. It does sorta dry out after day 2 but 15 seconds in the microwave brought it right back and the crust was still flacky. Really satisfied my fall baked goods cravings,

  39. This is a winner! 
    Have shared with family & friends. Perfect with tea & coffee, as a dessert,snack, anytime!!
    Healthy, low calorie & delicious!
    A perfect gift for someone special, too!

  40. Made this so many times now and absolutely love it….thanks for sharing

  41. Can u substitute the apples for applesauce

  42. I have made this cake oh so many times now and absolutely love it… easy, simple and tastes great. Thank you for sharing.

  43. The cake is on the oven!!! Looks delicious, fingers crossed. 

  44. Loved it! So moist and light. I sprinkled the diced apples with cinnamon/sugar/nutmeg blend and it added just the right hint of cinnamon to the cake.

  45. I wonder how a good gluten free flour would work? Probably not, but I might try it.

  46. what size cake pan did you use?

  47. Can I use whole what flour/and or all purpose?

  48. No salt?
    Also how much cinnamon & nutmeg would you suggest?