Easy Apple Cake with Brown Butter Icing

Easy Apple Cake With Brown Butter Icing

Who’s in the mood for easy?

This morning, I crossed an important item off my life bucket list: stand up paddleboarding, or SUP, as it’s known to the cooler masses. It felt really good to face my terror and prevail. More on that in a moment.

I figure that as long as I continue to face the challenges that scare me, it’s okay to ease up in other parts of life. Baking has always been that place of respite for me, and this apple cake is no exception. It’s quick, simple, and slathered in an unbelievable brown butter icing.

Easy Apple Cake with Brown Butter Icing

A couple of years ago, I started seeing pictures of celebrities in my trashy magazines doing something that looked like so much fun. It was SUP, only I didn’t know anything about it at the time. It just seemed so peaceful: standing up on a board with an oar, bonding with nature or the water or whatever. I didn’t really think it through much more, since I figured it was one of those things that people in L.A. do that people in D.C. don’t have access to.

Last summer, I learned that SUP lessons were available right off the Key Bridge in Georgetown, which is a very frou-frou area of the city. Georgetown is full of expensive shops including, of course, the famous Georgetown Cupcake. Want a hint from a local? Next time you’re in town, head toward Baked and Wired instead. It’s also in Georgetown, and it’s worth the trip.

Easy Apple Cake with Brown Butter Icing

Anyway, this summer I bit the bullet (or paddleboard) and signed Kenny and me both up for a lesson. We were supposed to go a month ago, but then we had a traumatic tubing incident and my body was too sore to do any SUP action just a couple of days later. Our lesson date was moved to September, and I tried not to think too much about the terror.

Easy Apple Cake with Brown Butter Icing

Good thing too, guys. I didn’t fully allow myself to realize the horror of our situation until we were on the water, leashed onto the board, being told to stand up and look at the horizon. I had two choices: stay on my knees and whimper, or just woman up and do it. Guess which one I picked?

Easy Apple Cake with Brown Butter Icing

You’ll be happy to learn that over the course of the two hours on the water, I got up and down several times without falling over once. It was scary, and I’m not going to lie. It was very, very far from being relaxing. But it was worth it, and I’m so glad I did it. I’m also so glad that there was apple cake to come home to.

Easy Apple Cake with Brown Butter Icing

This cake mixes up in one bowl, and it’s absolutely no-fail. To dress it up a little, I added the icing, which just required some brown butter for flair. To make brown butter, cook the butter in a saucepan over low-medium heat, swirling the butter often, for anywhere between five and 10 minutes, depending on how much butter is in the pan. When the butter starts to darken in color and smell nutty, it’s done.

Not everything in life can be so simple, but baking should not be a place where you feel any stress. Save it for the open water as you’re wobbling around on a SUP. That’s where you can face the real fears!


Easy Apple Cake with Brown Butter Icing


21-oz. can apple pie filling
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 tablespoons brown butter (see post for instructions)
2 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
6-8 tablespoons milk


  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Coat a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray.
  2. Mix all the cake ingredients together in one bowl, stirring until well combined. Pour the cake batter into the pan.
  3. Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown and set (test the doneness with a toothpick). Let the cake cool completely before icing.
  4. To make the icing, mix brown butter with the powdered sugar and vanilla. Add the milk gradually until the glaze becomes thick but spreadable.
  5. Pour the glaze over the cake and spread evenly over the surface. Let the glaze set.
  6. Cut into squares. Store covered.


I fulfill many roles in life: wife, mother, teacher, everlasting learner. This site is dedicated to one role that expresses my creativity in ways that I find consistently challenging and rewarding: baker. Inventing new ways to enhance food, especially if that food involves chocolate or peanut butter (or both!), is a passion of mine. I look forward to sharing my ideas with you.

This Post Has 32 Comments

  1. Sues

    SUP sounds so fun! And I love that you call it that 🙂 And this cake looks deliciousss- so happy about apples being in season 🙂
    Sues recently posted…Raspberry Kiwi Sangria PopsiclesMy Profile

    1. Mir

      It’s fun, but it takes a lot of concentration not to fall over! I’m happy about the caramel apples coming in soon. I love those!

  2. Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy

    SUP is amazing, isn’t it. I did it for the first time in Thailand a couple of months ago and it was SO much easier than I thought it would be. I didn’t fall off once.

    And Yay for apple cake. I am so excited for all the apple bakes this Autumn.
    Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy recently posted…Comment on Quinoa Sushi by DanniiMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Thailand would have been much cooler. I’m so stoked that you didn’t fall off, either! It takes some effort to stay up there!

  3. Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom

    Stand up paddle boarding?! Wow, you go Mir! I’d like to think I’m pretty fearless and will try anything but I totally shy away from activities in the water. . besides swimming. . so I think it’s totally amazing that you did this! and you didn’t fall! AND there’s apple cake!!! Hooray! Maybe one day I will try SUP! 😛
    Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom recently posted…Coconut Almond Flaxseed Granola Bars + A FitBit Giveaway!My Profile

    1. Mir

      I was super terrified, Alice. But after a scary experience a few years back, I decided to scare myself on purpose from time to time. Keeps me appreciative of great things like dry land that doesn’t move. 🙂

  4. Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice

    Congrats, Mir! I’ve always wanted to be able to do a stand-up paddle board. One of these days! Does the cake look good! I love the brown butter icing, sounds like the perfect touch!
    Gayle @ Pumpkin ‘N Spice recently posted…Pretzel Ice Cream BitesMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Try it, Gayle! It’s not as easy as some people told me, but it’s totally doable!

  5. Harriet Emily

    SUP sounds amazing!! Well done for standing up on the board Mir, I’d love to be able to do that! I’ll have to find out if there are any classes available near where I live. This cake looks beautiful too, nothing beats apple cake!
    Harriet Emily recently posted…BANANA BREAD DONUTSMy Profile

    1. Mir

      You could do it, Harriet Emily! Just don’t look down. That will make you fall over faster than anything!

  6. Jen | Baked by an Introvert

    I’ve always wanted to try paddle boarding. It looks challenging. Maybe some day. This cake looks great! I love apple desserts and I bet the brown butter icing makes the cake irresistible.
    Jen | Baked by an Introvert recently posted…Pumpkin CheesecakeMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Definitely a fun challenge, Jen. I recommend giving it a try. Why not? 🙂

  7. Danielle

    I’ve never been stand up paddle boarding, I’m afraid I would be horrible at it! It’s great that you faced your fear and did it though. This apple cake also looks great, I love quick and easy recipes! That icing on top looks so perfect too.
    Danielle recently posted…Caramel Apple Upside-Down CakeMy Profile

    1. Mir

      You wouldn’t be horrible, Danielle. I thought I was going to be falling over right and left, and it was fine. Except I kept lagging behind my group! I’m very slow. 🙂

  8. Medha @ Whisk & Shout

    Whoa that’s awesome that you tried SUP! And yes, baked and wired is where it is AT 🙂 Love this cake and the thick layer of frosting 🙂
    Medha @ Whisk & Shout recently posted…Autumn Kale Salad with Tart Green Apples, Shaved Fennel, and BalsamicMy Profile

    1. Mir

      I friggin’ love that place beyond words. I was five minutes away yesterday and didn’t have time to stop in. Cue sad face.

  9. Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust

    I’ve done it once but didn’t stand up. I was not in the mood to fall in the water, lol. I want to go again and be more brave!! This cake – love that brown butter!
    Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust recently posted…Caramel Apple SmoothieMy Profile

    1. Mir

      I really did NOT want to stand up, Dorothy. But I swore to myself that I would. Hey, you went surfing! That seems much harder to me. Thanks!

  10. Amanda

    I definitely need to go paddleboarding one of these days. I do have to admit, though, that the idea of being shackled to the board freaks me out a little.

    This cake looks incredible! That brown butter icing looks decadent and easy to get hooked on. I’m a frosting girl through and through.
    Amanda recently posted…Pumpkin Spice latteMy Profile

    1. Mir

      That idea freaked me out, too. But there’s a lot of give in the leg leash, and you definitely want to be connected to the board if you fall over. Then you can just climb right back on, like you’re in a pool!

  11. Manali @ CookWithManali

    That’s awesome Mir! Maybe I will gather enough courage to do it one day! The cake looks fantastic, brown butter makes everything better!
    Manali @ CookWithManali recently posted…Pumpkin Scones with Coffee GlazeMy Profile

    1. Mir

      I try to scare myself sometimes, Manali. But we all have different fears! My friend did SUP and didn’t find it scary at all.

  12. Michele @ Two Raspberries

    YES please!!! that icing like YUM looks incredible! and apple cake sounds so good! 😉

    1. Mir

      Thanks, Michele! It’s so easy to make!

  13. Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary

    I have been wanting to try SUP! I’ve heard it’s a great calorie burn! I am proud of you for conquering your fears and standing up, not one, but MULTIPLE times! YOU GO GIRL! Doesn’t hurt that you had THIS cake to come home to as motivation! Seriously, this looks super moist and those chunks of apples look fantastic! PLUS that Brown Butter Icing? OMG, I want to slather that all over my body! 🙂 Pinned! Cheers, girlfriend! <3
    Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary recently posted…Fluffy Corn, Goat Cheese & Chive Omelettes with Slow Roasted TomatoesMy Profile

    1. Mir

      It might be a great calorie burn, but you wouldn’t notice that since it’s not a lot of cardio. So that means it’s more strength, which I’m down with! Thanks for the props. I needed to try it!

  14. Mira

    Stand up paddle boarding has been challenging to me, but maybe because I never took lessons, just tried it on my own 🙂 It was fun though! So glad you got to try it, too 🙂 The cake looks delicious, just in time for fall!
    Mira recently posted…Fettuccine With Homemade Red Pasta Sauce And Fontinella CheeseMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Awesome that you tried it on your own, Mira! I’m not that brave. I needed a teacher to tell me what to do!

  15. Stacey @ Bake.Eat.Repeat.

    I tried stand up paddle boarding briefly in Mexico this year and I definitely want to try it again! Although there’s not a lot of places to do it in Alberta, but on vacations I suppose! That cake looks fantastic, especially the brown butter icing!
    Stacey @ Bake.Eat.Repeat. recently posted…Cinnamon ChallahMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Alberta would be WAY too cold for that! But you should totally do it again. It’s really fun!

  16. Anu-My Ginger Garlic Kitchen

    SUP sounds awesome, Mir!! May be I would be to stand up on the board one day. And this cake looks divine. Apple cakes are always yum, but that brown butter icing is just to die for! YUM! 🙂
    Anu-My Ginger Garlic Kitchen recently posted…Whole-wheat Peach Mushroom Pizza with Feta and Fresh BasilMy Profile

    1. Mir

      You would. It’s not as hard as it looks, Anu!

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