Apple Cake with Cinnamon Frosting is moist, flavorful, and loaded with apples. It’s so easy using a spice cake mix and pie filling; it’s fall perfection.

If you like this easy fall cake recipe, you should try out our Pumpkin Coffee Cake, Pumpkin Dump Cake, and Spiced Pumpkin Bars With Brown Butter Frosting.

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slice of cake on a plate with a fork in the cake and cinnamon sticks. Red apples and cinnamon in the background.

Why We Love A Simple Apple Cake From Box Mix

Prepare to “Fall” in love! An easy apple cake recipe is effortless, using a spice cake mix and apple pie filling. It’s going to wow your socks off. Who knew something this good would be so easy?

  • Quick & Convenient – A warm spiced apple cake can be whipped up and in the oven in just 15 minutes.
  • Anytime Apple Cake – It’s perfect for fall, but it can be enjoyed any season during the year.
  • Stress Reducing – Keeping a spiced cake mix and a can of apple pie filling on the shelf means no mad dash for on-demand easy dessert recipes.
  • Sweetness & Spice – It’s the ideal balance between a spice cake mix’s warm, spiced notes and the sweet-tart blend of apple pie filling.
  • Dynamic Duo – The delectable cinnamon frosting rounds out each bite with a creamy cinnamon-infused contrast.
apple cake ingredients on a counter

Apple Cake And Cinnamon Buttercream Recipe Ingredients

Apple cake is a classic dessert loved for its moist, flavorful texture and sweet and tart apple flavor. This easy apple cake recipe is made with just a few simple ingredients, and you’ll find many occasions where it hits the spot.

For specific amounts, please refer to the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.

Cake Ingredients

  • Spice Cake Mix – Pre-measured dry ingredients from flour to baking soda in a cake mix are convenient for making a delicious apple cake. 
  • Apple Pie Filling –  prepared (cooked) tender apple chunks or slices with thickeners and cinnamon in sweet syrup. 
  • Large Eggs, Room Temp – Eggs provide structure and moisture to the cake. Be sure to use room-temperature eggs for the best results.
  • Sugar
  • Ground Cinnamon – enhances the spiced element of the cake mix and adds to the warm, woodsy notes of the spice cake.

Frosting Ingredients

  • Butter – needs to be softened, not melted, to the point that it can dissolve the sugars for a rich and creamy texture.
  • Light Brown Sugar – gives the frosting a sweet and caramel-like flavor with hints of molasses.
  • Ground Cinnamon 
  • Vanilla Extract – adds depth and fully rounds out the complexity of the sweet flavors in cinnamon frosting. Use pure vanilla extract (store-bought or homemade) for the best flavor.
  • Powdered Sugar – smooth, silky sweetness with an almost icy texture that thickens the frosting and gives it structure.
  • Heavy Cream – is to thin the buttercream mixture and help to get the creamy consistency you prefer.

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How To Make Easy Apple Cake With Cinnamon Frosting

Tools Needed:

When you are making this recipe, you’ll want to use the full recipe at the bottom of the page.

Get started by greasing a 9×13-inch metal cake pan with non-stick spray and preheating the oven.

  1. Beat dry cake mix, apple pie filling, and eggs on low speed for 2 minutes. (Batter will be thick & chunky.)
  2. Layer half the cake batter in the pan, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, and cover with the remaining apple cake batter. 
  3. Bake for 32-40 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean from the center. Let it cool completely before frosting.

Cinnamon Frosting:

  1. Cream butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla until fluffy.
  2. Slowly add powdered sugar, then heavy cream a little at a time until your cinnamon buttercream is the consistency you like.
  3. Frost the cooled cake and garnish with ground cinnamon or apple pie spice mix sprinkled on top.

Recipe Notes And Tips

  • Opt for shiny, light-colored metal pans when baking cakes; they heat up rapidly and retain less heat, ensuring even browning. These pans also cool down quickly after removal from the heat source.
  • For the best results and outstanding cakes, consider using high-grade aluminum pans for baking, a go-to for professional bakers. 
  • If you can’t find a spice cake mix, a quick sub-in is a white cake mix with 1 ½ teaspoons of apple pie spice mix added.
  • Achieve a smooth texture in your cinnamon frosting by thoroughly blending the sugars into the butter until it dissolves, eliminating any lumps, and is light and fluffy.
  • Adjust the frosting consistency by adding more powdered sugar for thickness or a bit more cream for a lighter touch.
  • For a delightful twist, skip the frosting and create a crunchy cinnamon and sugar topping.
slice of cake on a plate. Red apples in the background.

How To Store This Recipe

Store your spiced apple cake on the counter for up to 3 days. If you plan to make an extra cake or freeze portions, hold off on slathering it with the cinnamon buttercream until after you’ve thawed it out.


If you want to extend the time to enjoy your apple cake with cinnamon frosting, wrap it and pop it in the fridge for up to 5 days.


Apple cake will freeze well, but you’ll want to relish every morsel within 3 months. Portion and wrap the cake tightly, then place it in an airtight container for the best results.

Thaw – in the fridge or on the counter. I like to warm it slightly in the microwave to release all that apple pie aroma and heighten the flavors.

frosted cake in a metal pan dusted with ground cinnamon

Recipe FAQs

What can I do when apple pie filling is too runny?

If you open a can of apple pie filling and it’s too watery, you can simmer it until it cooks down. If that doesn’t do the job, add a slurry of water, flour, or cornstarch to thicken the filling.

How do you keep a cake from sticking to the pan?

Grease the cake pan generously with professional non-stick spray to ensure easy cake removal. If you’ve got a stubborn cake pan, line it with parchment paper and leave enough overhang to serve as handles to lift the cake out, or simply invert the cake pan and peel away.

Is it possible to make this cake without frosting?

Absolutely! You can skip the frosting and enjoy an apple cake with a crunchy cinnamon and sugar topping, a dusting of powdered sugar, or serve it plain.

Can I use a different cake mix flavor instead of spice cake for this recipe?

No problem; get creative!  You can certainly try out other cake mix flavors if you don’t have a boxed spice cake mix on hand. Spice cake and apple are a classic combo, but yellow cake mix or even carrot cake mix would be delicious, too.

A serving of apple cake on a plate. Red apples in the background.

Serving Suggestions

  • For a special occasion or when entertaining, drizzle the cake with caramel sauce or maple syrup over the cinnamon frosting and serve with Twinkle Champagne Cocktails.
  • Top warmed apple cake with a scoop of cinnamon or vanilla ice cream for a delightful dessert combination. (Butter pecan, anyone?) This combo pairs with a Vanilla Bailey’s Martini.
  • Delight everyone with an Expresso Martini and a lighter version of apple cake, serving it with whipped cream instead of frosting.
  • Of course, a simple cup of your favorite brew always does the trick. 
  • Want something warm and relaxing to sip on with apple cake? Butterscotch Spiked Hot Chocolate or Bailey’s Irish Coffee Cocktail.

Featured Product 9×13 Non-Stick Cake Pan

This baking pan can be used to bake brownies, bar cookies, casseroles, and more. Add the plastic cover, then bring them to a picnic, party, or family gathering!

Recipe Substitutions & Additions

  • Add 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts or pecans to the batter for a nutty flavor and add crunch.
  • Sprinkle toasted pecans over cinnamon buttercream for a buttery-sweet nut flavor and textural contrast.
  • Raisins or dried cranberries blend well with apple cake, creating a chewy texture and fruity twist.
  • Give a nod to fall flavors with a drizzle of caramel sauce or maple syrup over the cinnamon frosting before serving.
  • Experiment with different cake mix flavors for varied flavor combinations.
  • Sprinkle toasted coconut flakes on top for that little something extra.
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract to the batter for a hint of almond flavor.
apple cake in a pan and slices on plates

Like This Recipe?

I’d love to hear what you think! Leave a review below and let me know how you liked the recipe!

slice of cake on a plate. Red apples in the background.

Easy Apple Cake With Cinnamon Buttercream

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 32 minutes
Total Time: 47 minutes

Fall for the delightful flavors of Apple Cake with Cinnamon Frosting! This moist and flavorful dessert is made effortlessly with a spice cake mix and apple pie filling – the essence of autumn in every bite.


Apple Cake:

  • 1 (15.25 oz box) Spice Cake Mix
  • 1 (21-ounce can) apple pie filling
  • 3 large eggs, room temp
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Cinnamon Frosting:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a 9x13-inch metal cake pan with non-stick spray and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, with an electric mixer beat dry cake mix, pie filling, and eggs on low speed for 2 minutes. The batter will be thick with apple chunks.
  3. Spread half of the cake batter in the prepared pan.
  4. Mix cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle over the batter in the pan. Spread the remaining batter over top. *see notes
  5. Place the cake on the center rack in the preheated oven. Bake for 32-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before frosting.
  6. FOR FROSTING (see notes): In a large bowl with an electric mixer cream butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla on medium-high until fluffy (2-3 minutes).
  7. Mixing on low-speed slowly add powdered sugar until combined (about 30-60 seconds). Add 1 teaspoon of heavy cream at a time until you reach your desired consistency.
  8. Frost the cooled cake and garnish with ground cinnamon or apple pie spice mix sprinkled on top of the frosting.



Store your spiced apple cake covered on the counter for up to 3 days, or 5 days wrapped in the refrigerator.

To Freeze: Wrap unfrosted cake tightly, then place it in an airtight container and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Frost after thawing.

  • Shiny, light-colored metal pans are ideal for baking a cake, as they heat up quickly and will retain less heat, which leads to an even, browned result. Furthermore, metal pans cool down quickly once removed from the heat source. Professional bakers often select high-grade aluminum pans to achieve the best results when baking cakes.
  • If you can’t find a spice cake mix, you can use a white cake mix with 1 ½ teaspoons of apple pie spice mix.
  • To achieve a smooth texture in frosting with brown sugar, it is important to thoroughly blend the butter and brown sugar until the sugar is completely incorporated and there are no lumps remaining.
  • If the frosting is too thin, add more powdered sugar, if it’s too thick add a little more creamy until you get the desired consistency.
  • Skip the frosting and make a second batch of the cinnamon and sugar mixture to sprinkle on top of the second layer of cake batter. This will yield a crunchy cinnamon and sugar topping. Serve with a scoop of ice cream and caramel syrup. SO good, you’ll never miss the frosting!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 536Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 90mgSodium: 482mgCarbohydrates: 87gFiber: 1gSugar: 67gProtein: 4g

Nutrition information is estimated based on the ingredients and cooking instructions as described in each recipe and is intended to be used for informational purposes only. Please note that nutrition details may vary based on methods of preparation, origin, and freshness of ingredients used and are just estimates. We encourage, especially if these numbers are important to you, to calculate these on your own for most accurate results.

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