With one bite of this old fashioned dessert from the Southern Appalachian Mountains, you will be instantly reminded of fall! The buttery cake layers combined with delicious layers of apple filling create a dessert that will impress your guests at any entertaining event this fall. The dessert is best when made the day before and refrigerated over night. This is perfect for  host who wants to plan ahead and have dessert prepared the day before the event. When ready to serve, you can top your cake with powdered sugar or whipped cream.

Apple Stack Cake

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: 1 7-layer cake

Apple Stack Cake


    For the stack cake:
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature (plus extra for pans)
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour (plus extra for pans)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup unsulphured molasses
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon orange extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mace
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • For the dried apple filling:
  • 8 cups dried apple rings, chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground mace
  • For the apple simple syrup:
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Confectioners sugar and whipped cream for garnish, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour seven 7-inch cake pans. (You may use disposable aluminum pans or bake cake in batches if you do not have seven cake pans). Set pans aside.
  2. In bowl of electric mixer, cream butter on medium speed until soft. Add sugar and mix well. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add molasses. Scrape down the sides of mixer and mix batter on medium speed until molasses blended into batter. Add vanilla, almond and orange extracts. Mix on low speed until blended into batter.
  3. In large bowl, add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon and mace. Stir flour mixture until well blended. Alternate adding flour mixture and buttermilk to batter, mixing well after each addition.
  4. Divide batter equally between 7 pans. Use knife or offset spatula to spread batter out to edges of each pan. Bake cakes, 3 or 4 pans at a time, for 15 minutes. Remove cakes from oven and cool on wire racks. Remove cakes from pans and set on wire rack. Set aside.
  5. While cakes are baking, place dried apples into large sauce pan or stock pot. Cover apples with 1 1/2 inches of water. Bring water to boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook apples, covered for 30 minutes, or until they are very soft. Remove lid and raise heat to medium high. Cook apples, stirring frequently, until apple mixture is consistency of thick applesauce. Turn off heat and add brown sugar, butter, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, salt and mace to apple mixture. Stir apple mixture until well blended. Remove apples from heat and set aside to cool until lukewarm.
  6. While apples are cooling, make apple simple syrup. Place apple juice and sugar into medium sauce pan. Over high heat, stirring constantly, cook apple juice until sugar is dissolved. Reduce heat to medium and reduce syrup by 1/3. Turn off heat and add vanilla to syrup. Set syrup aside.
  7. To assemble stack cake, brush cake layer with apple syrup and set on cake plate syrup side up. Top cake layer with 1/6 of apple mixture and spread evenly over top of cake layer. Repeat process of brushing next cake layer with syrup and topping with apple filling until all cake layers are stacked. Top final layer of cake with apple simple syrup. Wrap cake and chill in refrigerator over night. Garnish cake with confectioners sugar, and serve with whipped cream, if desired.

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