Hood River Fresh Apple Cake is a moist, nutty cake served with vanilla ice cream, or served warm with a brown butter sauce drizzled on top. 

serving of Hood River Fresh Apple Cake

Friends, if you’re driving by any farm stands this fall, you may want to stop for fresh apples! I grew up with this cake, as it’s from the Taste of Oregon cookbook, a favorite if you live in our state.

Hood River Fresh Apple Cake

I have many memories eating this cake plain, or warm out of the oven, or even better topped with whipped cream. You an also try our Apple Pear Crumble without Oats or Spelt Cinnamon Apple Cake recipes.

fresh baked apple cake

You may also recognize this cake from your mother or grandmother :) It’s super moist, and is a great cake to bring to a potluck. We do love a fun potluck this time of year, or just eating on our back patio in the warm fall sunshine. We also love to bring this cake camping. It’s also great for an apple Thanksgiving dessert, for any non-pumpkin lovers, and everyone loves it.

ingredients for Hood River Fresh Apple Cake

Ingredients for Fresh Apple Cake

Let’s get started with these simple ingredients:

The original recipe from years ago uses shortening, but of course in today’s world, we use butter.

  • Sugar
  • Butter
  • Flour
  • Baking soda
  • Cinnamon
  • Salt
  • Apples (we use Granny Smith)
  • Nuts (optional, but really make the cake good)

drizzling caramel sauce on cake

What’s in the brown butter sauce?

  • Brown sugar (make it richer with dark brown sugar)
  • Sugar
  • Butter
  • Whipping cream
  • Vanilla

how to make Hood River Fresh Apple Cake

How do you make apple cake?

  1. Cream together the sugar, butter, and eggs. Sift the dry ingredients and add to the butter mixture.
  2. Add chopped nuts and apples.
  3. Pour into a prepared 9×13 cake pan. Bake and serve!

It’s that easy!

Hood River Fresh Apple Cake

Make the brown butter sauce

  1. In a small pan, combine sugars, butter and whipping cream. Bring to a boil and then add vanilla.
  2. Drizzle the sauce over individual servings of warm cake.

I love how this cake caramelizes on the sides, and is a little crunchy on top (with the brown sugar and nut combo). Your guests will not be disappointed.

cutting a piece of Hood River Fresh Apple Cake

Where is Hood River, Oregon?

The city of Hood River is a port on the Columbia River, and is named for the nearby Hood River. I live in Bend, Oregon, so Hood River is about 120 miles away. I always think of their apples and this cake when I bake this recipe! But again, the pacific northwest is full of delicious apples this time of year!

apple cake with powdered sugar

Tips and substitutions:

Substitute many varieties of pears with any recipe that calls for apples.

Feel free to use pecans, walnuts, pecans, or even hazelnuts.

You can halve the recipe, in an 8×8 pan, but will need to cook for less time.

We have not tried this cake in a bundt pan, so if you do, please come back and tell us.

Add cardamom for a “spin” on the flavor.

Serve with maple or bourbon vanilla ice cream.

September and October are the peak months for apple season in North America!

A little info I found on the WWW: Today, 7,500 varieties of apple are grown around the world; 2,500 total varieties are grown in the U.S. (about 100 varieties grown commercially).

An unpeeled apple contains about 100 calories, full of fiber and antioxidants! 

Finally, serve this cake warm or cold, but it is particularly good warm!

ENJOY!

piece of apple cake

More apple desserts to try:

Sweet Spiced Apple Butter

Apple Pie in a Jar Filling

Prosciutto Wrapped Apple Bites

For breakfast, these Apple Pie Pancakes

drizzling caramel sauce on cake
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Get the Recipe:

Hood River Fresh Apple Cake

from Taste of Oregon Cookbook
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Total Time: 1 hr

Ingredients
 

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups chopped cooking apples, we use Granny Smith
  • 1 cup chopped nuts

Sauce

  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions
 

  • Preset oven to 350°F. Prepare a 9x13 cake pan with cooking spray or butter.
  • In a large bowl, cream together sugar, butter, and eggs. Sift the dry ingredients and add to the creamy mixture. Add in the chopped nuts and apples. Pour the mixture into the cake pan.
  • Bake for 45 minutes, or until done.
  • Make the sauce: In a small pan combine sugars, butter and whipping cream. Bring to a boil and then add vanilla. Stir well.
  • Pour sauce over individual servings of cake. Serve warm or cold, but it is particularly good warm.
Cuisine: American
Course: Dessert
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Hood River Apple Cake