Table of Contents
  1. Harvest Apple Cake Recipe

Fall, apples. Apples, fall. The two just seem to go together right? This year, The Farm has been producing beautiful, bountiful apples. So many, in fact, that I can’t keep up with all the harvest! It’s been so idyllic to take bushel baskets out to the orchard and fill them to the brim with various varieties of fruit and envision new ways to enjoy their succulent flavors. Of course, the tried-and-true ways – apple sauce and canning apple pie filling – are always go-to staples. But on cooler days, baking with apples is too tempting to resist. And that’s why this harvest apple cake is the perfect answer!

Harvest apple cake topped with apples and blackberries sitting on a cake platter with small white pumpkin in background with a gray slate surface

Cornmeal gives this cake a different texture and rustic quality, while olive oil helps to add deep flavor. And for a truly unique option, a little basil adds a kick.

Plus, this homemade glaze is pretty much amazing. With simple ingredients and a little bit of pumpkin pie spice to really drive home that fall atmosphere, you could seriously drink the glaze by itself. Save yourself from a sugar coma, though, and pour it over the cake. The glaze softens the cake a bit and makes it even more enjoyable!

Piece of harvest apple cake sitting on a white plate with glaze drizzled over top with coffee cup in background on a gray slate surface

This harvest apple cake is an unusual mixture of flavors, but once you taste it, you’ll instantly be nostalgic for fall. Apples and cinnamon are essential for fall and for this recipe. Just think of this as your new go-to fall cake!

Once you make this recipe, make sure to leave me a comment and recipe rating so I know how much you loved it (’cause I’m positive you will)!

Harvest apple cake with bits of apple and blackberry dotting cake on cake stand with pumpkins and dark gray slate background

Harvest Apple Cake

5 from 1 vote
When it’s fall, it means apples are in season. This inverted harvest apple cake combines perfect autumnal flavors with the last bits of summer in the form of blackberries!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 54 minutes
Servings 8 slices


For the cake

  • 2 cups diced apples
  • ½ cup fresh blackberries
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tbsp basil freshly chopped
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs lightly beaten
  • ½ cup white granulated sugar
  • cup buttermilk
  • cup olive oil

For the glaze

  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


For the cake

  • Grease an 8-inch round cake pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper and grease the paper as well.
  • Place the apples and blackberries on the bottom of the cake pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon and set aside.
  • With an electric mixer or whisk, mix together eggs, sugar, lemon juice, buttermilk, and oil. Mix well.
  • Add flour, cornmeal, basil, baking powder, lemon zest, and salt and mix until just combined.
  • Pour mixture over the apples and blackberries. Spread evenly around the pan, lightly tapping the pan on the counter to set the batter.
  • Bake at 350°F for 30 to 40 minutes until the top is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake.
  • Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes before inverting from the pan. While the cake is cooling, make the glaze.

For the glaze

  • Combine all ingredients and drizzle over the entire cake. The glaze can also be reserved and poured over each individual slice of cake.
  • Garnish each slice with freshly sliced apples and a few leaves of basil.


Serving: 1sliceCalories: 334kcalCarbohydrates: 54.5gProtein: 4.8gFat: 11.6gSaturated Fat: 2.2gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 48.7mgSodium: 231.7mgFiber: 2.6gSugar: 32.6g
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Difficulty Intermediate
Method Baking
Piece of harvest apple cake sitting on a white plate with glaze drizzled over top with coffee cup in background on a gray slate surface
Harvest apple cake topped with apples and blackberries sitting on a cake platter with a gray slate surface

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I’m Kaleb! I'm not a chef, professional baker, landscaper, or designer, but I like to play each on Knollgate Farm. Come join me on my journey and let's learn together!

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