Fresh Cocoa Apple Cake


I planted 2 apple trees in my garden about 10 years ago that are thankfully producing a fair amount of apples.  However, I could have made a few more fresh apple cakes this week if I didn’t have to share my apples with the birds, it’s kind of sad to reach for a beautiful red colored apple in the tree only to realize that the half you can’t see  from the ground has been chewed off.  I also found 2 strawberries hiding in the garden that for some reason the birds didn’t eat, maybe they felt bad and wanted to share with us(?)  Anyway, I put the strawberries in a fruit smoothie that I made for breakfast this morning and made this fresh cocoa apple cake with my share of the apples.  I’ve made many simple apple cakes over the years, I like the ones with good sized chunks of apples and coarsely chopped walnuts stirred into  a thick batter.  I also like adding a healthy dose of fragrant spices like cinnamon, nutmeg or cardamom to my apple cakes.  For the first time I decided to take a traditional apple cake recipe and make it chocolatey by adding cocoa powder to the dry ingredients.  It received rave review from one of my ‘littles’ who rolled his eyes back when he took a bite and said, ‘This is really good’!  My husband also gave it the thumbs up, so I think this adapted fresh apple cake recipe is a keeper.

Fresh Cocoa Apple Cake

Yield: 12 pieces of cake

Adapted from All Cakes Considered by Melissa Gray.


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla bean paste
  • 1 & 1/4 cups canola oil
  • 1 & 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup spelt flour
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, I used King Arthurs all purpose baking cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon apple pie spice, I used Penzeys
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 cups peeled and diced Granny Smith Apples, I used slightly tart apples from my own apple tree
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Prepare a 9 x 13 baking pan with baking spray.
  3. In the bowl of a standing mixer on medium speed beat together the sugar, eggs, vanilla, and oil until smooth.
  4. In a separate medium bowl whisk together the flours, cocoa powder, baking soda, spices and salt.
  5. Turn the mixer to low and gradually add the flour mixture.
  6. Stop the mixer and remove the bowl, stir in the apples and walnuts with a wooden spoon.
  7. Turn the thick apple filled batter into the prepared pan, using your wooden spoon and a spatula to scrape the mixing bowl.
  8. Bake for 60-70 minutes or until the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan and a tooth pick inserted in the cake comes away with a few crumbs.
  9. Cool on a metal rack, the middle will sink slightly as it cools.

I’m linking my fresh cocoa apple cake to the Chocolate Party Page.

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  1. We planted apple trees a year before we moved, so this would have been the first year with fruit :( Thinking about planting them again in this house. I love going out to a tree and picking fruit! This cake looks delicious, love all the apples peaking out.

  2. Yum, Patty! This merges my family’s love of chocolate cake with my love of apple cake!!! Beautifully done!

  3. I love apple cakes, adding chocolate and walnuts is a perfect new spin on a classic!

  4. Mmmmm…. I haven’t try apple with cocoa but I ‘d love to !
    I like that you used spelt flour.

  5. Wow, an apple tree? Do they get those beautiful apple blossoms in the Spring?

    I’m dying to try this cake!!! Are those apple chunks dotting the cake? So beautiful! Can’t wit to try…Bookmarking now…

  6. How cute that your grandbaby rolled his eyes back! We planted a few apple trees this year and hope we can get some apples in the years to come too since we have to share everything with the critters around here too. Your cake looks fabulous and I know I would love the chocolate version since I’m a chocoholic. Have a great week Patty.

  7. Those birds have been the foil of many of the apples and pears on the trees at my parents house.
    Apples, cocoa, cake = yum!

  8. Patty, this cake looks amazing! And oh how jealous I am of your apple trees!

  9. Patty, the cake looks so good and moist that I almost thought it’s a brownie with apples if I didn’t read the title first. Well done!

  10. Oh my goodness, this looks absolutely fabulous, Patty! The combination is perfect!

  11. I’m with you. I have a pear tree and a cheery tree for a couple of years now and the only thing I got out of them was a pear.
    They are still too small so even the deer gets to them and eats the fruit :(
    This cake sounds fantastic Patty! I love good chunks of fruit in my cakes as well and yours is definitely made by my own heard.
    Thanks for accepting my invitation to share the love for chocolate!

  12. woww… have never thought of the combination of apples and cocoa.. and frankly i dont know why.. because this looks soo soo good.. am pinning it!!!

  13. Lora @cakeduchess says:

    You’re so lucky! We really enjoy our mango and papaya trees. I adore apple desserts and this cake looks wonderful, Patty:)

  14. What a beautiful cake! Love all of these apple delights that you are making. Hope you had a great golf game and a wonderful labor day weekend!! :-)

  15. Oh Patty, Chocolate and apples sound absolutely wonderful together! This dessert looks perfect!

  16. Oh Patty! This cake looks delicious, I never had the combination of cocoa and apple…but I will definitely try this. Beautiful pictures Patty, and hope you are having a wonderful week :)

  17. I am envious of your apple tree! Apple picking brings me so much joy. I bet this cake would as well.

  18. I wanted to get fruit trees in my back yard and wondering how long it takes to get fruits – yours about 10 years? I better start thinking about planting then. We have all kinds of wild animals so I’m hesitant to try anything that grows low (has to be high up). Your apple cake with the cocoa sounds wonderful! It’s kind of cold today and the look of this cake warmed me up (just by imagining it). Of course I wish this exists in front of me…then that would make my day, totally!!!

  19. I´m pinning this recipe right now, it sounds fantastic! I just love pears and apples with chocolate.

  20. Oh, I know what you’re talking about because we used to have a couple of apple trees. It was a fight to get them before the birds and deer did. Your cake sounds delicious. I don’t think I’ve ever had a chocolatey apple cake. Thanks for the recipe!

  21. I love chocolate cake but it can get a bit boring for me sometimes since my family are all chocolate and brownie lovers. I love chocolate banana cake and other recipes that combine chocolate with fruit. I am so glad I found a new way to use my over abundance of apples. Thanks!


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