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Apple cake with custard frosting is the ultimate autumn dessert. This recipe includes simple ingredients and warm spices that deliver all the best flavours and have been loved for generations. Even though this treat screams comfort; this also can be a lovely centrepiece for your fall celebration.

There’s nothing quite like the comforting aroma of a freshly baked apple cake. This sweet treat will always remind me of one extraordinary woman who was a master at baking the best apple cakes in this world – my grandma.

Every autumn her kitchen will be filled with wonderful apple and cinnamon flavours. And the variations of this dessert were beyond imaginable. It was HER dessert. She did magic with those humble and lovely fruits.

Sometimes I feel mad at myself that I’ve never asked her to share the recipes with me of these wonderful cakes, but it always felt so unnatural to make my grandma’s cake by myself… without her… There is no way that any of my apple cakes could compare to hers, but for the rest of my life, my autumn will always start with my own interpretation of this dessert.

This apple cake with custard frosting is soft and moist, bursting with that sweet and slightly tangy apple goodness. I used some cinnamon and nutmeg to give it a warm, cosy flavour. But the real magic happens with the custard frosting. It’s like a creamy blanket of love on top of the cake, making it extra special.

Apple Cake with Custard Frosting

Apple Cake with Custard Frosting: Why You’ll Love this Recipe

Apple cake with custard frosting is a dessert that offers warmth, texture, sweetness, versatility, and a delightful taste of nostalgia – all reasons why I would absolutely love it!

  • Warm Comfort: There’s something deeply comforting about the sweet aroma of baked apples paired with the richness of custard frosting.
  • Texture Harmony: This dessert combines a medley of textures, from the tender, apple-studded sponge cake to the creamy custard frosting. The contrast of soft and creamy against light and crumbly is a delightful textural symphony that I can’t resist.
  • Sweet and Fruity Balance: Apples bring their natural sweetness to the cake, which is beautifully balanced by the custard frosting’s rich, creamy sweetness.
  • Versatile Delight: Whether it’s for a special occasion, a holiday gathering, or a simple weeknight dessert, this apple cake with custard frosting is versatile and fits any scenario
  • Nostalgia Factor: Apple desserts often carry a sense of nostalgia, reminding us of homemade treats from childhood or cherished family gatherings. The familiar, wholesome flavours of this dessert tap into the comforting nostalgia we all crave.
Apple Cake with Custard Frosting

Tips for Making Apple Cake with Custard Frosting

  • Achieving a light, tender sponge is key to this dessert’s success. When folding the dry ingredients into the egg-sugar mixture, do it gently to retain that airy texture.
  • The apple filling should be soft but not mushy. Heat the apple slices just until they start to soften, then stir in the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a touch of rum for that delightful apple pie-like aroma.
  • For the custard frosting, ensure that it’s silky smooth and free of lumps. Whisk the egg yolks, with cornstarch together until well combined before adding the heated milk. After you return the mixture to the heat stir it continuously to avoid curdling.
  • Use the room-temperature butter that you incorporate into the custard. This will allow us to achieve a silky and fluffy frosting texture.
  • Allow the sponge and apple filling to cool completely before applying the custard frosting. This ensures that the frosting holds its shape and doesn’t melt.
Apple Cake with Custard Frosting

Apple Cake with Custard Frosting: Recipe Variations

Apple cake is such a versatile dessert. It’s like the ultimate fall recipe. The moment you make your first apple cake you know that summer is over. To celebrate this absolute delight, I would like to share with you a couple of recipe variations:

  • Add a pinch of ground cloves or allspice to the apple filling for a warm, aromatic twist.
  • Sprinkle chopped toasted almonds or walnuts between the layers for extra texture and flavour.
  • Substitute rum with maple syrup for a different dimension of sweetness and a hint of maple flavour in the apple filling.
  • Experiment with different fruits in the filling, such as pears, berries, or even a mix of your favourites.
  • For a touch of chocolatey indulgence, drizzle a bit of melted chocolate over the custard frosting.

If you’re looking for delicious classic desserts, give these recipes a go:

Raspberry and Rhubarb Crumble Bars
Simple Brownie with Pecans
Linzer Cookies with Cranberry Jam
Banoffee Pie with Homemade Toffee
Bakewell Tart with Strawberry Jam

Apple Cake with Custard Frosting



40g ground almonds
100g plain flour
40g cornstarch
6 eggs
100g caster sugar
40g melted butter

Apple filling:
10g butter
3 apples (peeled, cored and thinly sliced)
40g brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
50ml rum
1 teaspoon cornstarch

100g caster sugar
150ml milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
50ml rum
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon cornstarch
200g room temperature butter


Make the sponge:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Line a cake form with baking paper.
  2. Heat the ground almonds in a pan until golden brown colour.
  3. Add roasted ground almonds together with plain flour and cornstarch. Whisk everything together.
  4. Separate egg whites and egg yolks into two different bowls.
  5. With an electric mixer beat the egg whites until the stiff peaks.
  6. Whisk the egg yolks together with the caster sugar until thick and very pale colour.
  7. Add the egg yolk mixture to the egg whites and gently mix together.
  8. Sift the dry ingredients into the egg mixture. Gently incorporate ingredients.
  9. Gently pour the melted butter. Fold a couple more times until everything comes together.
  10. Add the batter to the prepared pan and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes.
  11. After the cake is baked let it cool completely on a rack.

Make the Apple Filling:

  1. In a saucepan melt the butter.
  2. Add your sliced apples together with brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cook until soft and tender.
  3. Pour the rum together with cornstarch into the apple mixture. Keep cooking until it thickens.
  4. After the filling is cooked, let it cool down completely.

Make the frosting:

  1. Add the milk, sugar, rum and vanilla extract into a saucepan. Gently bring the mixture to a boil.
  2. In a large bowl whisk the egg yolks together with cornstarch.
  3. Take the milk mixture off the heat and very slowly, always whisking, pour this mixture into the eggs (this way you’ll avoid scrambled eggs).
  4. Pour the cream back into a saucepan and heat it for 5 minutes (always stirring) until it starts firming.
  5. Pour the cream through a sieve to remove any lumps. Let it cool completely.
  6. Using an electric mixer beat the room-temperature butter on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  7. Add the cooled custard to the fluffy butter and mix everything together.

Assemble the Cake:

  1. Cut the sponge cake into three equal layers.
  2. Place one of the layers on a serving plate and add 1/3 of the frosting on top of it. Spread it evenly.
  3. Place the second layer on top. Spread the apple filling evenly.
  4. Add the third layer on top of the apple filling. Spread the rest of the frosting on top of the cake and on the sides. Even it out with an offset spatula. Decorate any way you like it.
  5. Keep the cake in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving it.