Irresistible Whole Grain Apple Cake

posted by Andrea | 10/15/2019

a piece of whole grain apple cake with yogurt whipped cream

It’s October, which in West Michigan, is synonymous with “apple season” — and what’s better than a from-scratch, WHOLE GRAIN apple cake with homemade cinnamon yogurt whipped cream?

Not much!  

Our family LOVES apples and we are fortunate to have several amazing orchards within a short drive from our house (one of which has a bakery with amazing donuts!)

We hit up these orchards several times every fall (we were just there last week for James’ school field trip) and we make lots and lots of foods with apples this time of year. 

Many years ago, I shared our favorite Apple Cake recipe — but over the past 16-18 months of transitioning into eating lots and lots of whole grains, I’ve majorly updated that recipe to not only be 100% whole grain but to also have significantly less sugar! 

It’s super delicious and could be served as a dessert or even on a brunch menu. 

And it’s easy enough that the kids can help! 

little girl helping to mix batter

If you need a new apple recipe to try this Fall, give my 100% whole grain apple cake a try!

The oat + pecan topping really adds a nice crunch and the cinnamon yogurt whipped cream has just the right amount of “tang” to perfectly finish off this dish.

Seriously, I’m hungry now!

two slices of whole grain apple cake with yogurt whipped cream

Yield: 10-12

Whole Grain Apple Cake

Whole Grain Apple Cake

If you need a new apple recipe to try this Fall, give my 100% whole grain apple cake a try!

The oat + pecan topping really adds a nice crunch and the cinnamon yogurt whipped cream has just the right amount of "tang" to perfectly finish off this dish. It's also a great dish for the kids to help with!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes


  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 c. applesauce (or vegetable oil)
  • 2/3 c. buttermilk (or milk)
  • 2/3 c. honey (or brown sugar)
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 c. flour (I use 220 grams of freshly ground soft wheat or oats)
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/4 t. ground ginger
  • 2 c. apples; peeled and diced
  • 1/4 c. oats
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. chopped pecans (or additional oats)
  • 1/4 c. cold butter
  • 1 T. flour
  • dash of salt
  • 1/2 c. plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1/4 c. whipping cream
  • 1 T. brown sugar
  • 1/2 t. cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 350ΒΊF. Grease a 9" round or rectangular pan. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl combine eggs, applesauce, buttermilk, honey/sugar, and vanilla
  3. Add in all dry ingredients (flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and ginger. Stir, just until combined.
  4. Add in diced apples and pour the mixture into prepared pan.
  5. To make the oat topping, mix oats, brown sugar, pecans, flour and salt in the same bowl you just mixed the cake batter in.
  6. Grate cold butter into oat mixture and combine until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  7. Sprinkle topping over cake batter and bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes or until center is set.
  8. While cake is baking, combine yogurt, cream, brown sugar, and cinnamon in the same bowl. Whip until thick and fluffy. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 294 Total Fat 6g Saturated Fat 2g Trans Fat 0g Unsaturated Fat 3g Cholesterol 47mg Sodium 210mg Carbohydrates 54g Net Carbohydrates 0g Fiber 2g Sugar 30g Sugar Alcohols 0g Protein 8g
Nutritional information is approximate and does not account for additional ingredients or added toppings.

ingredients for whole grain apple cake

mixing batter for whole grain apple cake

chopping apples for whole grain apple cake

pour the apple batter into a greased pan

apple cake batter in pan

ingredients for crunchy oat topping on whole grain apple cake

NOTE: I use a cheese grater to grate cold butter into my topping. It requires less butter this way and it’s easier to quickly mix together. 

whole grain apple cake with crunchy oat topping

whole grain apple cake, fresh out of the oven

I wait to make the yogurt whipped topping until shortly before I will serve the cake so it stays fluffy. If I do need to mix it up ahead of time, I simply add in a 1/2 t. corn starch and that does the trick.

ingredients for cinnamon yogurt whipped cream

a bowl of cinnamon yogurt whipped cream

cutting a slice of whole grain apple cake

two slices of whole grain apple cake with yogurt whipped cream

Since I have access to really great apples year-round, this whole-grain apple cake has been my go-to dessert for the past 12-16 months… always getting rave reviews whenever I take it places or serve it to guests! 

I’ve also made it in mini bread loaf pans and given it as gifts with other festive fall treats. 

It stays “fresh-tasting” for several days (in my opinion) so you can definitely make it a day ahead if necessary. My only suggestion with this is that you leave it UNCOVERED so the topping doesn’t get soggy! 

washing apples in the kitchen sink

slicing, peeling, and coring apples

A Few More of My Apple Recipes: 

Is your mouth watering yet? 

That ought to give you a few reasons to buy apples this week!! 

What are your favorite apple recipes? 

Visit my virtual recipe box for more simple, delicious, family-friendly recipes!

whole grain apple cake with yogurt whipped cream


Filed under: FoodWhole Grains

Leave a comment


  1. Diana


    Yes, that is one reason I like your recipes πŸ™‚


    Andrea Reply:

    thanks so much Diana!


  2. Diana


    This was tasty! I didn’t have pecans so used walnuts πŸ™‚ I realized my pan was 8X8 so I scooped some out and baked it in a separate dish to make sure it baked all the way through. I didn’t end up making a whipped topping and it was fine without!


    Andrea Reply:

    yes, definitely! I always try to share recipes that can be tweaked and altered a bit based on what individuals have in the house! no need to run out to buy a last-minute ingredient!
    Glad you enjoyed it!!


  3. Melissa


    Question: do you think it could be assembled the night before and baked in the morning? Curious if you have tried it that way before. And if so, how it alters the bake time/temperature.

    Thanks for great content!


    Andrea Reply:

    yes I do think you could make it in advance — just don’t put the crumble topping on until right before you back it. I would mix the crumble topping together and keep it in the fridge (so the butter stays cold) and then crumble it over the cake batter right before you put it in the oven.


  4. Kari


    My mind was blown when I got to the picture of you grating the cold butter! I’ve never thought to do that, but will definitely be giving it a try!


    Andrea Reply:

    haha — it’s such a SIMPLE tip! And works really well!


  5. Kate


    Have you made this with only oat flour? Or do you usually combine oat and wheat flours?


    Andrea Reply:

    I have not, but I think it would turn out just fine. You don’t really need gluten to make this recipe work, so I’d say give it a try!


    Kate Reply:

    I tried it on Saturday with oat flour only- AMAZING!! I will definitely be making this cake again. Thanks for yet another great recipe!


    Andrea Reply:

    oh yay — thanks so much for sharing your experience! It really is delicious!!


  6. Chris




  7. Cherry


    Thanks for sharing this recipe. I would like to make it tonight! How much butter will I need? I didn’t see it on the ingredient list. Thanks!


    Andrea Reply:

    sorry, I missed that — just added it to the recipe!

    It’s 1/4 c. of butter πŸ™‚


    Cherry Reply:

    Thank you! I’m glad it’s not the whole stick I saw there!


    Andrea Reply:

    definitely not the whole stick! You could probably get away with only 2-3 T. if you wanted to cut the fat!