How to Make an Apple Stack Cake

While learning how to make an apple stack cake recipe, I realized that there are many versions to this recipe. Although the Appalachian area of this country has popularized the apple stack cake name, it seems their original recipe came from Pennsylvania. The history of the people of Pennsylvania will lead us to Germany. Now, this is where I get my history of the apple stack cake recipe. 

How to Make an Apple Stack CakeHow to Make an Apple Stack Cake

Pancakes, flapjacks and griddlecakes were all a part of my ancestry. Dad, through his German heritage, loved a huge stack of flapjacks for breakfast. He would often spread homemade applesauce, apple butter or cooked dried apples between these layers of thin cakes. On top of this stack, Dad would pour good fresh maple syrup. Add a few fresh cooked sausages with this stack and Dad thought he had a breakfast for a king. My idea is that the apple stack cake goes back for centuries to most places where apples were grown. 

As I said, while learning how to make an apple stack cake recipe I found so many different recipes for this cake. The most common which I have found from the Appalachian area usually have eight thin layers and made with dried apples. It makes sense that this might be the oldest of the recipes due to these two facts. Years ago drying was the only way of preserving. The thin layers made it easier to cook over the open fire. I would also think that wherever the original cake was made, it was made with different ground grains.

When I first wanted to learn how to make an apple stack cake, I was young and still in Ohio. Several of my first recipes came from Kentucky. They were given to me by ladies who had moved to Ohio from Kentucky. In all of these, the recipes were very important to their families. These recipes were made for all important occasions and holidays. It was almost always used as a wedding cake instead of what we know today as a typical “wedding cake”. Just as a note, fruit cakes are typically used as wedding cakes in many countries of the world. For this reason, I can understand why this would be used as a wedding cake and why it might have had European “roots”.

As I mentioned before, I have found many versions since I first learned how to make an apple stack cake recipe. Today I have recipes using different batters for the cakes, different numbers of layers (From 4 to 12), different fillings and different toppings (Or no topping). Apples used still might be dried cooked apples or fresh or in the form of apple butter or apple sauce. The “apple” could be infused in the batter or used in the filling between layers. Some cake layers are even made with meringue and then filled with apples. Other ingredients you might find in the newer recipes could be various nuts. Some flavors like caramel and rum go well with apples so I have often found these in newer recipes.


Many years ago the following apple stack cake recipe was given to me by a neighbor. It was handed down through their family. When I learned how to make an apple stack cake recipe, this was the first one I tried.

  • 2 Cups sugar
  • 1 Cup softened butter
  • 2 Eggs
  • 6 Cups flour
  • 1 Teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 Teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ Cup buttermilk

Apple Filling

  • 1 Pound dried apples
  • 1 Cup brown sugar
  • 1 Cup white sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ Teaspoon allspice

Preheat oven to 450F degrees.

Cream butter and 2 cups sugar together; add eggs beating well after each.

Sift flour, soda, baking powder and salt together.

 Add dry ingredients alternating with buttermilk to creamed mixture.

Blend in vanilla; chill for a few hours.

Divide dough into seven equal balls; roll each dough ball out into about 8 inch equal circles.

Bake circles on cookie sheets for 10 to 15 minutes or until slightly brown.

TO MAKE TOPPING wash dried apples; cover with water; cook until tender.

Mash apples thoroughly; add remaining topping ingredients; COOL

Spread each layer with dried apple filling; DO NOT PUT FILLING ON TOP LAYER.

Cover or place in covered container for at least 12 hours before cutting. 


Learn how to make an apple stack cake recipe flavored with molasses and filled with applesauce.

  • 1 Cup molasses
  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 3 Eggs
  • ½ Cup vegetable oil
  • 1 Cup buttermilk
  • 2 Teaspoons ginger
  • 1 Teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 Teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ Teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ to 2 Cups thick applesauce
  • Flour

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Combine molasses, sugar, eggs and oil in large mixing bowl; beat well.

Beat in buttermilk; add ginger, soda, baking powder and salt; blend well.

Beat in enough flour to make a stiff dough; knead until smooth adding more flour if needed for rolling.

Roll dough out thin like pie crust; lay 8 inch plate on dough and cut around. (CUT 12 to 14 layers).

Place 2 at a time on baking sheets for 10 to 12 minutes; cool.

Spread each cake layer except for the top layer with applesauce; stack.

Wrap cake tightly and store in refrigerator; flavor improves after several hours.


I found many of my recipes so similar since I learned how to make an apple stack cake recipe. The following is MUCH LIKE THE ABOVE RECIPE but I thought you might like the little difference in ingredients. This one has margarine instead of oil, more leavening and more spices.

  • 1 Cup margarine
  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 1 Cup molasses
  • 1 Cup buttermilk
  • 3 Beaten eggs
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Teaspoon allspice
  • 1 Teaspoon cloves
  • 1 Teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 Teaspoon ginger
  • 2 Tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 Teaspoons soda
  • 6 Cups flour



How to Make an Apple Stack CakeHow to Make an Apple Stack Cake
How to Make an Apple Stack CakeHow to Make an Apple Stack Cake


  • 4-5 Pounds favorite apples (Half slice very thin/ half dice)
  • 1 Cup brown sugar
  • ½ Teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ Sliced lemon
  • NO liquid

Combine all ingredients in heavy pan; cover and bring to a boil over medium.

NOTE: Because there is no liquid stir often until apples make liquid.

Reduce heat, UNCOVER and simmer until apples are tender and thickened about.

NOTE: Cook about 25 to 30 minutes STIRRING OFTEN to prevent burning.

Remove lemon slices; set off to cool.


  • 1 Cup softened butter
  • 2 Cups sugar
  • 5 Large eggs
  • 1 ½ Teaspoons apple pie spice
  • 3 Cups flour (Divided)
  • 1 Cup buttermilk
  • 1 Teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 Cup chopped toasted pecans
  • 1 Cup apple butter

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Grease six 8 inch cake pans; line with parchment paper, grease again well and dust with flour.

NOTE: I keep 6 disposable pans for cakes like this; it is easier to divide the batter evenly.

Disposable 8 Inch Baking PansDisposable 8 Inch Baking Pans

Cream butter and sugar until light; add eggs and beat until fluffy.

Combine 2 ¾ cups of flour and apple pie spice; set aside.

Combine ¼ cup of the flour with toasted pecans; set aside.

Stir baking soda into buttermilk; set aside.

Beat the apple butter into the creamed mixture

Add the buttermilk alternately with flour spice mixture to creamed mixture.

Blend batter well; by hand stir the nut flour mixture into the batter.

Divide batter evenly among the 6 prepared pans (ABOUT 1 ½ cups (SCANT) batter per pan.

Bake until pick comes out clean about 20 to 25 minutes. (I bake 3 cakes at a time).

Cool cakes to warm; remove from pans, remove parchment paper and cool completely.

Place 1 layer on cake plate; spread out to edges with cooked apples.

Top with another cake layer pressing down slightly.

Continue with the layers and spreading with apples; DO NOT spread apples on top.

NOTE: I do reserve some of the apples for top garnish.

Prepare apple glaze and drizzle over the top; garnish.

NOTE: This cake slices better and taste best after refrigerating overnight. Sometimes I add the glaze before refrigerating and sometimes just before serving.

Apple Glaze

  • 1 Cup sugar
  • ½ Cup apple cider
  • ½ Cup butter
  • 1 Tablespoon light corn syrup
  • OPTIONAL: 1 Tablespoon apple brandy or rum
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla

Combine sugar, apple cider, butter, corn syrup and brandy or rum if desired in a heavy saucepan.

Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat; cook for 4 minutes.

Set off heat and stir in the vanilla; let set until warm stirring occasionally.

Drizzle over the stack cake.

Drizzle with GlazeDrizzle with Glaze


Learn how to make an apple stack cake recipe like is made in Kentucky.

  • 1 Cup solid vegetable shortening
  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Cup sorghum molasses
  • 3 Cups flour
  • 1 Teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 Teaspoon ginger
  • ½ Teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk


  • 1 Pound dried apples
  • 6 ½ Cups water
  • 1 Cup sugar
  • ½ Cup brown sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ Teaspoon allspice
  • ¼ Teaspoon cloves
  • ¼ Teaspoon mace
  • Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Grease, line with parchment and grease again 2 nine inch cake pans.

TO MAKE THE CAKE cream shortening and sugar on medium speed for 7 minutes.

Add egg and molasses; beat well.

Combine flour, baking soda, ginger and salt.

On low speed beat in flour mixture alternating with buttermilk just to blend.

Divide batter evenly between 2 prepared pans; bake 25 to 30 minutes until pick comes out clean.

Transfer pans to rack to cool completely; turn cakes out of pans and wrap with plastic wrap.

Let cakes stand at room temperature overnight.

TO PREPARE FILLING combine apples with 6 cups of water in large Dutch oven.

Simmer uncovered 35 to 45 minutes until water is completely absorbed and apples are tender.

NOTE: Stir occasionally to keep from scorching; if needed add a little more water.

Mash apples with potato masher until lumpy; stir in sugars, butter, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and mace.

Cook apples mixture 5 minutes longer; remove from heat and cool.

Dump in airtight container and refrigerate overnight.

TO ASSEMBLE CAKE spread apple filling between layers and on the top.

Dust top with powdered sugar; keep wrapped and store in refrigerator.


Learn how to make an apple stack cake recipe with black walnuts.

  • 6 Eggs (Separated)
  • ¾ Cup sugar (Divided)
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 Cup finely chopped apples
  • 1/3 Cup fine dry breadcrumbs
  • 1 ¼ Cups ground black walnuts (Divided)
  • 2 Cups whipping cream
  • 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 Cup sliced cooked apples

Preheat oven to 325F degrees.

Grease, line with parchment and grease again 3 eight inch cake pans.

Combine egg yolks and ½ cup of the sugar in a large mixing bowl.

Beat egg mixture on high speed for 3 minutes until thick and pale.

Add flour, breadcrumbs, apples and 2/3 cup of the black walnuts; beat on low until blended.

Beat egg whites on high speed until foamy; gradually add sugar while beating on high.

Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; gently fold egg whites into egg yolk mixture 

Divide batter among the 3 prepared pans; bake about 15 minutes until pick comes out clean.

Cool in pans 10 minutes; turn out on rack to cool completely.

Beat whipping cream until foamy; gradually add sugar and vanilla beating to stiff peaks.

Spread between layers, on top and sides of cake; spread remaining black walnuts onto sides of cake.


Learn how to make an apple stack cake recipe with creamy apple filling.

  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 1 Cup softened butter
  • 1 Cup molasses
  • ¼ Cup buttermilk
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 Tablespoon vinegar
  • ½ Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ Teaspoon ginger
  • ¼ Teaspoon nutmeg
  • 4 Cups flour


  • 4 Cups dried apples
  • ½ Cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 to ¾ Cup powdered sugar PLUS more for dusting top

Preheat oven to 350F degrees; grease 6 eight inch cake pans.

Cream together butter and sugar; blend in molasses, egg and buttermilk.

Combine the vinegar and baking soda; add to the butter mixture.

Combine flour, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg; add to the butter mixture and mix well.

Divide dough into 6 parts; press each into a prepared pan; bake 15 to 20 minutes until lightly browned.

Remove cakes from pans while still warm; cool completely.

TO MAKE FILLING combine apples in saucepan with 2 cups of water; cook until soft.

Drain apples thoroughly; mash together with cream to a smooth paste.

Add a little powdered sugar if needed for spreading; spread between cake layers (Not top).

Dust top with sifted powdered sugar; refrigerate cake at least 12 hours before serving.