This Apple Pecan Pound Cake is loaded with apples, pecans and coconut. It’s moist and tender and full of flavor. A perfect cake for fall.
I’ve been saving this recipe for several months, so I could share it during apple season. Jean, a Barbara Bakes reader, emailed me this family favorite recipe in May. She said “Barbara, I have a wonderful cake recipe that I believe would be a BIG hit. It is a winner. I would like for you to try it and if you agree, post it. It seems extra heavy with a lot of additions but I promise it will be wonderful.”
Jean’s good friend, Judith, gave her this recipe in 1966. “This is truly one of the best cake recipes that I have. Moist and full of flavor. It was my idea to use the Brandy flavoring and it really adds a special touch to this exceptional cake.”
Making An Apple Pecan Pound Cake
After an introduction like that, how could I not give it a try. I picked up some Honeycrisp apples that that were on sale, as well as a Granny Smith apple to use in the recipe. I like using a blend of apples for best results.
Toasting nuts before you use them helps to crisp them up and intensifies the flavor of the nuts. Spread them out in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake them for about 5 minutes in a 350º oven; then put them on a plate to cool before chopping and adding them to your batter.
I mixed the chopped pecans with the coconut before adding it to the batter so that there wouldn’t be clumps of coconut, and it would blend into the batter easier.
The recipe calls for a 10 cup tube pan. I used my 12 cup tube pan and it was just right. I use this pan quite a bit for coffee cakes.
Since I live at 5,000 feet, I made high altitude changes using this King Arthur Flour high altitude baking guide. My high altitude changes are listed at the bottom of the recipe.
I’m not a big fan of walnuts, so I switched the walnuts for pecans. If you love walnuts, give it a try with walnuts, or Jean even suggests using black walnuts.
It has a long cook time because of the high moisture content. So the outside of the cake is sweet and the top gets a little crumbly even though it doesn’t have a crumb topping.
I debated whether or not to add a glaze to the cake to dress it up for the pictures. In the end, I’m glad I didn’t because the cake is perfect just the way it is.
Jean was right, this is a fabulous fall cake. Thanks for sending me the recipe Jean. I hope you’ll give it a try too.
Apple Pecan Pound Cake
- 3 cups all purpose flour*
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups sugar*
- 1 ½ cups vegetable oil
- 3 large eggs room temperature*
- 2 teaspoons Brandy flavoring or vanilla extract
- 3 cups peeled cored, diced apples (about 3 large apples)
- 1 cup pecans or walnuts toasted and chopped
- 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
- 1. Preheat oven to 325º F. Grease and flour a 10 cup tube pan. (I used cooking spray with flour.)
- 2. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside
- 3. In a large mixing bowl combine oil, sugar, eggs, and Brandy flavoring (or vanilla if using). Mix at medium speed until well blended. Gradually beat in flour mixture. On low speed mix in apples, coconut, and nuts.
- 4. Spoon batter into prepared pan.
- 5. Bake for 80 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. DO NOT OPEN OVEN DURING BAKING. Cool for 10 minutes in pan on wire rack. Invert onto rack to cool completely.
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Wallace L Noble
I have had the delightful privilege to bake this pound cake three times. It tastes and looks better each time. I did three eggs this time instead of two. And each time I baked the cake, it needed an additional 7-10 minute baking time. I did not have any brandy this time but used my “RUM EMULSION.”
It is a favorite among my seniors at the church and in our household.
Thanks for sharing your changes Wallace – I’m glad it’s a big hit!
omg, here’s a lighter version : I reduced the following : flour (2cups), sugar (1 cup) and fat (125gr butter only) added half and half for the batter to be workable and used a large round baking pan of height 5cm, diam 26cm, thus reduced cooking time to only 40 minutes which resulted in a moist light vanilla coconutty cake ! Thanks for the recipe basis, we don’t get pecan christmas cakes here in France, thet’a nice substitute (my favorite being the collin street bakery cakes in Texas of course !)
would you add nutmeg or cinnamon….
Hi Zinnie – I don’t think it needs it, but you certainly could add both if you prefer. Perhaps 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg.
can i substute the oil if so what what? the oil gives the cake a smell.
I haven’t tried it, but generally, you can substitute butter or coconut oil for vegetable oil in cake.
I’ve frequently used applesauce
I made this cake earlier this morning, put it in the oven at 325° for 80 minutes. Still not done, additional 10 minutes, still not done. Now in for 15 minutes more with foil on too do it won’t burn. Hope this works.
Hi Jane – what pan are you cooking it in?
can i use cake flour? softsilk
I haven’t tried it with cake flour, but I assume it would work well.
I made this cake for Thanksgiving. It was wonderful! I’d like to make smaller ones for Christmas gifts at work. Would it work well in loaf pans or for cupcakes? How long would you bake it? Thanks so much!
Thanks Kay! I think the mini loaves would be awesome as Christmas gifts. I would try a similar time to this recipe https://www.barbarabakes.com/pumpkin-chocolate-chip-bread/ 35 minutes for the mini loaves.
Thanks so much!!
This is the perfect cake for fall!
Toni | Boulder Locavore
This was so good! My family loved it!
What a lovely flavor for pound cake! I’m a big fan.
This cake is looking amazing and it’s my favorite for this winter days. Thanks for the recipe.
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella
Ooh this sounds so wholesome and delicious and i love it when a cake has lots of bits in it! 😀 xxx
I love the reader’s recipes cuz their family favs! Thanks for sharing Barb!
If someone didn’t want coconut in their cake, there’s always choc chips or caramel chips, wte etc.
I hope your having a great week!
Barbara, What kind of apples would be best to use in this cake? It sounds and looks delicious!
Hi Linda – I used a combo of Honeycrisp and Granny Smith.
This cake looks delicious, however we have a coconut allergy in our family, so that removes all recipes with that ingredient. Is there something I could substitute for the coconut? I really want to try this.
Thanks Karen – I would just increase the nuts and leave out the coconut. Enjoy!
Hi…Ive made this cake plenty of times. Recipe handed down to me from my mom. Ive started useing can apples instead! I find the cake much more moist! ❤
Thanks for sharing Carmela – it would be a time saver as well.
What a perfect fall cake-and look at all the goodies packed inside. I have a pan that looks a lot like the one you used-I’ll have to measure it but I’m pretty sure it’s 12 cups. I’ve never used it- your photos of your coffee cakes make me wonder WHY I haven’t yet? I bet the brandy extract added a wonderful warm touch to the cake too. The orchards are loaded with apples-time for some fun fall baking! Thanks to you and Jean for sharing the recipe.