Apple harvest bundt cake

A healthier version of an old-school harvest apple bundt cake. It’s loaded with apples and would go perfectly with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

I was browsing my cookbooks one weekend when I came across a church cookbook from my husband’s family. I can’t remember if his mom or aunt gave this to me one time during our visit. The cookbook was commemorating the church’s 25th anniversary and look like it was published in 2000.

The recipes contained some tried and true classics, and I was happy to see that most of the recipes were for desserts. Those are my kind of people!

While I was saddened to see that none of the recipes were from my husband’s family members, it was still neat to know that I held a piece of his family’s history in my hands. His relatives attended this church and knew many of the people who contributed to this cookbook, so it will be something that I always treasure. I found it funny that there was a recipe for “happy children” in the back which required “grassy fields” and “a dog or a cat.” Ha ha.

So what did we think about this apple cake? Well, I did lighten it up quite a bit by using applesauce instead of oil and decreased the sugar by half. The cake was still wonderful. It produced soft, tender crumbs, and the apple and pear chunks made each bite very exciting. Addie demolished her cake (and took the biggest slice, I might add), while my husband and I savored each bite.

I’m hoping to (re)discover some family favorite recipes in these church cookbooks to share with you.


Apple harvest bundt cake

A healthier version of an old-school harvest apple bundt cake.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 20 minutes
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Breakfast, Cake
Servings: 12
Author: Eva Bakes


  • 1 and 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar packed
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups apples and/or pears peeled, cored and diced


  • Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Generously grease a standard bundt pan and set aside.
  • In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, mix together the sugars and applesauce on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, until well incorporated. Add the vanilla extract.
  • Turn the mixer down to low and slowly add in the dry ingredients. Mix until everything just comes together. Turn the mixer off and fold in the apples and/or pears.
  • Transfer the batter to your prepared pan and bake in your preheated oven for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake rest for about 15 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack to finish cooling. Allow the cake to cool completely before serving.


Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
Source: Adapted from Barb Garling, via the First Lutheran Church "Family Favorites" Cookbook, circa 2000

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