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a slice of Apple rum cake with a golden crunchy pecan topping next to another slice on a sheet of white parchment paper in the sunlight

Easy Apple Rum Cake with Pecan Crunch

Cinnamon and apples have always made sense, but adding a little rum, vanilla bean, and a buttery pecan-crunch topping adds a whole new dimension to this apple-licious dessert. This homemade apple cake recipe is bakery-level good and almost as easy as a boxed mix. It’s incredibly moist and full of crisp autumn apples with a nutty, sugary pecan crunch surprise in every bite. For anyone who may be new to baking, we’ve included step-by-step recipe photos at the end of the post. 

Apples, Spice & Everything Nice

When I choose dessert, an apple-cinnamon variety is never my first choice. I’m usually a chocolate, strawberry, lemon-lime, Biscoff, peanut butter kinda gal.  Which is why when I tell you how delicious this cake is (and how much I love it), you know it’s good. We just received our local fruit and veggie crate with some of the best-tasting fall apples as part of the mix. I wasn’t yet ready to make an apple pie (which I’ll do for the holidays) and decided to make this quick buttery rum apple cake instead. I use a little leftover rum from topping up my homemade vanilla extract and I’ll put pecans on just about anything. I wanted a soft, fluffy cake that would highlight the natural flavor of these delicious apples and this recipe does just that. And it’s a great excuse to go apple-picking this weekend. 

Apple Rum Cake with Pecan Crunch Ingredients

Cake Ingredients

  • 11 ounces tart golden or red apples, peeled and diced (about 2 large apples) (315g)
  • 1 cup all-purpose or 00 flour (135g)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (4g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt (or another salt)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature (85g)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (28g)
  • 2/3 cup sugar (150g)
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature (100g)
  • 2 tablespoons white rum (or dark rum) (28g)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (4g)
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean powder (optional but recommended)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon)
  • Freshly grated nutmeg to taste (about 25 quick bursts on a Microplane) *do not use pre-ground powdered nutmeg

Pecan Crunch Topping Ingredients

  • 2 ounces raw pecans (60g)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (28g)
  • 2 tablespoons raw turbinado sugar (28g)
  • 2 pinches of salt

How to make Apple Rum Cake with Pecan Crunch

  1. Preheat oven 350°F/176°C. & prepare the cake pan.  Butter a 9 or 10-inch springform pan and line it with parchment paper on the bottom and sides.
  2. Make the pecan crunch topping. In a small bowl, mix the melted butter, pecans, coarse raw sugar, and a couple of pinches of salt until well combined.
  3. Prepare the apples. Peel and dice the apples and place them into a bowl of water with a few squeezes of lemon juice and leave for about 5 minutes. Strain the apples, dry them on a clean tea towel, and set them aside while you finish mixing the cake batter. *see notes
  4. Mix the dry ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, freshly grated nutmeg, and pumpkin pie spice.
  5. Cream the butter, oil, and sugar.  Using an electric or stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the butter, oil, and sugar for 3 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, rum, vanilla extract, and vanilla bean powder and mix just until combined. Add the apples and toss gently with a rubber spatula to combine.
  6. Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Add the flour mixture to the apple mixture using a rubber spatula and gently combine the mixture just until no flour streaks remain.
  7. Decorate the top + bake. Sprinkle the Pecan Crunch evenly over the top of the cake batter and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean. Remove the cake to a wire rack and allow it to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, remove the ring and the parchment paper from the sides of the springform pan. Carefully invert the cake, remove the parchment paper and place it right side up on a serving platter. Serve warm or at room temperature by itself or with a dollop of whipped cream or scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and Enjoy!

Let’s get started!

⇓ Look at All the Vanilla Bean Seeds ⇓

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a slice of Apple rum cake with a golden crunchy pecan topping next to another slice on a sheet of white parchment paper in the sunlight

Easy Apple Rum Cake with Pecan Crunch


  • Author: Kelly
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Crisp Autumn apples, rum, warm spices, vanilla bean, and a buttery crunchy pecan topping put this tender apple-licious cake over the top. This cake is good enough to be served in a bakery but easy enough kiddos can help make it. It’s the best excuse to go apple-picking this year.


Ingredients

Scale

Cake Ingredients

  • 11 ounces tart golden or red apples, peeled and diced (about 2 large apples) (315g)
  • 1 cup all-purpose or 00 flour (135g)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (4g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt (or another salt)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature (85g)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (28g)
  • 2/3 cup sugar (150g)
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature (100g)
  • 2 tablespoons white rum (or dark rum) (28g)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (4g)
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean powder (optional but recommended)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon)
  • Freshly grated nutmeg to taste (about 25 quick bursts on a Microplane) *do not use pre-ground powdered nutmeg

Pecan Crunch Topping Ingredients

  • 2 ounces raw pecans (60g)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (28g)
  • 2 tablespoons raw turbinado sugar (28g)
  • 2 pinches of salt


Instructions

  1. Preheat oven 350°F/176°C. + prepare the cake pan.  Butter a 9 or 10-inch springform pan and line it with parchment paper on the bottom and sides.
  2. Make the pecan crunch topping. In a small bowl, mix the melted butter, pecans, coarse raw sugar, and a couple of pinches of salt until well combined.
  3. Prepare the apples. Peel and dice the apples and place them into a bowl of water with a few squeezes of lemon juice and leave for about 5 minutes. Strain the apples, dry them on a clean tea towel, and set them aside while you finish mixing the cake batter. *see notes
  4. Mix the dry ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, freshly grated nutmeg, and pumpkin pie spice.
  5. Cream the butter, oil, and sugar.  Using an electric or stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the butter, oil, and sugar for 3 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, rum, vanilla extract, and vanilla bean powder and mix just until combined. Add the apples and toss gently with a rubber spatula to combine.
  6. Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Add the flour mixture to the apple mixture using a rubber spatula and gently combine the mixture just until no flour streaks remain.
  7. Decorate the top + bake. Sprinkle the Pecan Crunch evenly over the top of the cake batter and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean. Remove the cake to a wire rack and allow it to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, remove the ring and the parchment paper from the sides of the springform pan. Carefully invert the cake, remove the parchment paper and place it right side up on a serving platter. Serve warm or at room temperature by itself or with a dollop of whipped cream or scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and Enjoy!

Notes

  • Different size cake pans require different baking times.
    • 10-inch cake pan (bake for 30 minutes)
    • 9-inch cake pan (bake for 40 minutes)
    • 8-inch cake pan (bake for 40-45 minutes)
    • Muffin tin (bake for 20-25 minutes)
  • If using King Arthur all-purpose flour, 1 cup may weigh closer to 121g.  Since I’m in Italy, I’m using a 00 flour and 1 cup usually weighs a little more which has to do with the flour absorption potential and the humidity in the environment. Just use the level and scoop method and it’ll be great every time.
  • Do not leave the apples in the lemon water for too long. Giving the apples a quick soak in lemon water will keep them from browning (oxidizing). But it’s important to not leave tasty apples soaking in water too long. Doing so may take away some of that bright delicious apple flavor.
  • You may use a spiced rum or dark rum, which is most likely delicious, but this recipe was made with clear rum.
  • For a taller cake, use a smaller 8 or 9-inch springform or another lined cake pan but be sure to adjust the baking time as it may need 5-10 minutes longer in the oven. I used a 10-inch springform pan which makes a slightly thinner cake that’s perfect with coffee or tea in the morning.
  • Make ahead and freeze. Once cooled, this cake can be frozen for up to 3 months wrapped in 100% recyclable plastic wrap, or in wax paper wrapped tightly inside aluminum foil. Thaw overnight in the fridge or place it on the countertop to thaw at least 1 hour before serving.
  • Store the cake at room temperature for up to 2 days, or in the fridge for up to 1 week sealed in an airtight container.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Cakes + Tortes
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 slice

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Apple Rum Cake with Pecan Crunch recipe step-by-step photos

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