Chinese Five Spice Apple Cake
This simple apple cake was baked by my great-grandmother on a wood stove over 100 years ago, and I’m happy to still be cooking it today. This recipe is timeless, rustic and highlights the flavors of both the apples and the spice. This old family recipe was one of the first that I adapted to experiment with the amazing world of spices and I’m thrilled to share it.
- 1 cup vegetable oil or coconut oil
- 3 eggs
- 1 vanilla bean, scraped
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons ground Chinese Five Spice
- 3 cups chopped apples
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- Mix sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla.
- Combine dry ingredients.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and mix thoroughly.
- Fold in apples and nuts.
- Bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees in a greased 9" x 13" pan.
um … how much sugar?
Thanks for the fast heads-up! There are two cups of sugar. Happy Cooking!
I just made this and substituted Poudre Forte for the Chinese Five Spice. It might be the best apple cake I’ve ever eaten–the pepper makes a stunning complement to the sweet apples. What a simple, elegant recipe this is! Thank you!
This really is a delicious apple spice cake! Thanks for sharing!!
I cut back on the sugar (1 1/2 cups) and used 1 tablespoon five spice powder.
regards from Greece 🙂
Me and my dad made this cake today and it was the best cake EVER. we made a cream cheese frosting for the top and it is the most decadent spicy moist cake. I can’t wait to make this for Christmas! Thanks for the recipe.
Thank you. And doesn’t cream cheese frosting make any cake taste better? Glad you enjoyed it.
Could I use thus recipie for cupcakes ?
You could. You would just have to adjust the baking time. (When you stick a toothpick in the center, it should come out clean, if the cake (or cupcakes) are done.)
I made roasted Butternut Squash tonight with Chinese 5 Spice and Maple Syrup and it was so good. I got to thinking about how this spice would be really good in an Apple Cake. I started researching and I found this recipe. I can not wait to make this. As a chef, I like to think outside the box. I’m thinking a Maple Spiced glaze would be ideal for this dense and moist style of cake. Thanks for the ideas and Happy Holidays!
That sounds amazing! We love playing with recipes, too (obviously). Maple would go good with this cake. Let us know how it tastes.
I just had a slice:) I love the 5spice in this recipe! Much better than regular spice cake!
mmm sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing. Simon
You are welcome! Enjoy!
Added kiwi, and uses 1 cup Brown sugar and 1 cup stevia. Love the licorice taste!
Sounds delicious! We’ll have to try that…
I don’t like walnuts, but I would still like to use nuts. Would pecans be a tasty substitute? Or what other nuts might work well?
Pecans would be delicious, as would pepitas (pumpkin seeds) or pistachios. Chopped or sliced almonds would be good, too!
Pecans were absolutely delicious! I had a bunch of Chinese Five Spice to use up. I bought it for a recipe my kid wanted to make. Neither one of us really likes anise, but I didn’t check before I bought it. So I made this cake with pecans and cream cheese frosting. So delicious! My kid said it was the best cake I’ve ever made. We couldn’t stop eating it. And she still doesn’t know I used the Chinese Five Spice that we don’t like! Ha ha
Glad to hear it!
Is this recipe new or an old one???
Hello – the date on the original recipe is November 29th, 2012. It’s a family recipe.
fantastic.. i made this last night (without nuts) and it was great but i feel like it tasted better today. I took it to work and it ended up in the fridge for a while and maybe the time and cold made it just fantastic. ten times better the second day. Literally every person that tried some came back for a second piece, i may drizzle homemade caramel sauce on top next time or try making it with pears.
What can be substituted for five spice powder?
Any cinnamon-based blend would be good, or just use cinnamon. Advieh or Kashmiri Garam Masala would be delicious, too.