Mrs. Paxton’s Raw Apple Cake

When it’s apple season here in Northern California, we are picking and processing daily from our trees (3 trees, 15 varieties). Of the many apple recipes we have on the site, this is one of my favorites. You simply cannot go wrong with this raw apple cake. The ingredients of coconut and the apples ensure that the cake will be moist and flavorful.

Mrs. Paxton’s Raw Apple Cake Recipe

Preparation time: 20 minutes to prepare, 1 hour to cook, 30 minutes to cool.

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil (we use grapeseed oil)
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 3 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 3 cups of white flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 cups chopped, peeled apples (varieties that are good for baking - i.e. Granny Smith, Gravenstein, Fuji)
  • 1 cup of coconut (the sweetened fresh grated, not the dried. If you use dried, soak first in water.)
  • 1 cup of chopped nuts - walnuts or pecans


Glaze:

  • 1/2 stick sweet butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk

Method

1 Preheat oven to 350 degree F.

2 Beat together the sugar and oil. Add the eggs. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add dry ingredients to oil sugar eggs mixture in thirds, beating to incorporate after each addition. Mix in the vanilla, apples, coconut, and chopped nuts.

3 Bake in a greased and floured bundt cake pan about 1 hour. Test around the centers with a long thin bamboo skewer or toothpick to make sure the cake is done.

4 When cool enough to handle, gently remove from pan. Let sit on a rack to cool completely. If the dough has raised substantially around the middle areas of the bundt ring, you may need to use a bread knife to gently level off the cake so that it sits even.

5 Blend glaze ingredients and cook until melted. Place the cake on its serving dish. Prick all around the top of the cake with a fork so that when the glaze is applied it easily seeps into the cake. Use a pastry brush to apply the glaze liberally around the surface areas of the cake, or use a spoon to dribble the glaze on the cake.

Many thanks to my dear friend Marjorie for passing along this wonderful cake recipe from Mrs. Paxton of Lexington, Virginia.

28 Comments

  1. Lisa

    Do you think the cake can be made without the coconut? If not, is there something that could be substituted? I would love to try this cake recipe, but my kids would not go for the coconut.

    Hi Lisa, you can make the cake without coconut, but I do advise using the coconut. You can’t really make out the taste, and it’s important for the texture of the cake. ~Elise

  2. S

    Elise,
    This cake was Wonderful. I made it this morning and my family could not leave it alone. I had to take a few slice to the neighbors. Thank you for this great recipe!
    S

  3. Lisa

    Hi Elise,
    I tried it without the coconut, and it turned out perfect (well as good as can be without the coconut). Kind of puts you in the mood for autumn. Recommend with a cup of coffee and a few good friends.

  4. FRED RICH

    I have made this cake using about 3 times the cinammon and it is good. I love the taste of apples and walnuts together, coupled with spice.

  5. christine

    I made this cake yesterday, leaving out the coconut, because I didn’t have any. I added a little extra apple to make up for the lack of coconut. It was very good. My children, aged 2 and 4, thought it was great too.

  6. Brent Hill

    I made this cake a few weeks back for my coworkers and they loved it, and now I am making it for my neighbours (they let me borrow their lawnmower…)and my partner is insisting I make a second one for the house!

    I can’t find coconut here in Denmark, but an extra apple fills the quota. And I have never seen such a thick cake batter in my life–I’m still triple-checking the ingredient list to make certain I have not missed something…

  7. Brent Hill

    The cake for the neighbours was a resounding success–she said that she ‘…had no idea a man could bake so well!’ Thanks for the recipes–have you ever thought of putting them all in a book? I’d be first in line if you did…

  8. diya

    Would I have to adjust the baking times or temperature if I used a normal round cake tin?

    I imagine that the baking times would be less, though I do not know by how much. If you do try it, please let us know what you find. ~Elise

  9. Allyson

    I have baked a version of this cake several times and it’s just delicious! And very easy. I never thought of adding coconut, but since I love coconut, I will try that next time I make this. The brown sugar glaze is amazing, but this cake is also wonderful with a cream cheese icing. I have even made it without nuts and added more apple. It’s a very forgiving recipe, and always reminds me of autumn.

  10. Lillianne

    Do you squeeze the water out of the coconut? How long to soak? I haven’t seen a real coconut in years.

    I’ve noticed that there are a few types of packaged shredded coconut you can buy. The most accessible is sweetened, and is somewhat moist. If you use this kind you don’t need to do anything to the coconut. Some shredded coconut you can buy is quite dry; for that, you would want to soak it in water until it plumps up a bit, then squeeze out the excess moisture. ~Elise

  11. Allyson

    Can I bake it in a loaf pan and if so, how much should I adjust the baking time by?

    I would imagine that yes, you could bake this in a loaf pan, but not having done this myself, I don’t know how you would adjust the baking time. ~Elise

  12. Mark Boxshus

    Hello Elise

    Long time no chat. I love this recipe idea. Incorporating coconut must surely accentuate the apple flavor and add another dimension altogether. I recently started sneaking coconut into my chocolate chip cookies, and my friends are still trying to figure out what change I made to enhance the cookies even more. I can’t wait to try this! Thanks for posting this….Time to start chopping apples.

    “Doc”

  13. Susanne

    This looks wonderful! I’ll make it this weekend. However, I’m stuck on one thing that is itching my brain — you have 3 trees and 15 varieties of applies?

    All apples we eat come from grafted apple varieties. If you plant a Granny Smith seed, you will definitely not get a tree that produces Granny Smith apples. Most likely you will get a tree that produces inedible apples. Apple varieties are propagated by grafts. Weird, eh? But that’s how it works. On our tree, every branch comes from a graft. Almost every season we try out new apple varieties by grafting on a scion to one of the branches. In our climate, and on our trees, the Granny Smith, Fuji, Pink Lady, and Gravenstein do the best. ~Elise

  14. Chris Huck

    WOW! I made this and a chocolate yoghurt recipe Friday. I used that recipes raw sugar in this cake recipe, angel flaked bagged coconut and Fuji apples. OUTSTANDING!! Lots of flavor and very moist. No real coconut flavor but it did build the texture beautifully. I recommend using it even if you don’t normally like coconut flavor. Best bundt cake I’ve ever made. Thanks Elise!

  15. Hillary

    How come everyone else managed this cake with flying colors and mine was a disaster?

    Although I’m not known for being a very good baker, I don’t usually mess things up as badly as I messed up this cake. I have no idea what went wrong. When I took the cake out of the oven, the outside was done but when I turned it upside down on my cooling rack, the insides fell out. It was goopy, soggy, and totally raw. So I scooped the raw part up into a cupcake pan and re-baked it.

    Before I took the cake out, I did the toothpick test and it came out clean (I swear). I think because the top of the cake was sort of crispy, as I pulled the toothpick out all of the gooey batter stuck to the inside of the top.

    I live at altitude (around 6800 feet) so maybe that’s what caused my mess? I don’t usually adjust for altitude. And I cooked it in a convection oven, but that should make it finish faster, not slower, right?

    My kids and I did eat the finished edge of the cake and it was delicious!

  16. Amber

    I got six pounds of apples in my farm share last week, so this recipe came just in time. Thank you! I made the apple cake for my birthday party last night, and it was a huge success. For the woman who asked about cutting back on sugar, I cut back to 1 1/2 cups in my recipe (I do not have a killer sweet tooth and 2 cups seemed like a lot) and I only ended up using about 2/3 of the glaze because it seemed plenty moist to me at that point, and it was still so good, people were asking to take leftovers with them for breakfast today. Fantastic recipe, Elise–thanks for posting!

  17. Althea

    Fantastic cake! I just made this as a sheet cake and it is wonderful. I did change the glaze a bit — by subbing evaporated milk for the regular milk, cutting the brown sugar back to 2/3 cup and adding the juice of one lemon it makes a tart/sweet glaze that I think complements the cake nicely. Even if you don’t like coconut, you should leave it in, since it adds more texture than flavor to the cake. Wonderful recipe!

  18. Cherie

    This is a wonderful cake!…so moist and tasty! Easy too! My late mother use to make this and it was certainly popular! Thanks for bringing back some great memories and reminding me to bake this cake with the abundant fresh apples right now! Cheers!

  19. Rajesh

    Hi Elise,
    Can I use real coconut, shredded by myself?

    You can try it. If you do, let us know how it turns out. The main purpose of the coconut is for texture. The packaged shredded coconut is moist and sweetened, and works great with this recipe. I’ve never made the cake with freshly shredded coconut. ~Elise

  20. Tabitha from Toledo

    WOW-this cake turned out to be incredibly delicious! The coconut is very subtle for those who are worried. Because there are only two of us at home, my husband and I each took some to work-a huge hit at our jobs. The cake we saved at home seemed to get better each day and stayed very moist. Polished the last of it off tonight:( I will be making this again FOR SURE, maybe even for Thanksgiving, our families will LOVE it. Thank you for such wonderful recipes!

  21. Mark Boxshus

    Elise

    I finally did make this masterpiece and have shared it with my online friends. It is out of this world. Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe. It will wind up in my “keeper” files.

    “Doc”

  22. ACM

    I don’t have a bundt pan so I used a loaf pan for half the batter and put the rest in an oversized-muffin (or popover) pan. The loaf had one of the problems described above — the top got done while the inside was still mooshy — but the muffins came out fantastic! Next time I will probably just make all muffins.

    I made a lemon glaze (juice of 1 lemon + 1 3/4 c. of confectioner’s sugar) and used that instead of the listed glaze — I liked the extra tang from the lemon. And then sprinkled more conf. sugar on top for presentation. This recipe is great!

  23. Valentin

    I can’t say how delicious the cake is! I just made it, and it is wonderful. I didn’t make the glaze, ‘cos 1 more cup of sugar, and it’s going to be too sweet. Thanks for the recipe. :)

  24. Sandra

    This cake is above and beyond extraordinary! I used fresh apples from the farm. The addition of coconut and nuts really brings the cake to another level! So easy to prepare (although batter is super thick!!). The hardest part though, is waiting to eat it! Can’t wait to make it again :)

  25. Todd

    I made this cake for Thanksgiving, and it was a real hit, The only change I made was to use 3 tsp of cinnamon because I love cinnamon and apple together. Everyone loved it, my son and daughter in law have asked me to make it twice since then. You have a great website and I have never been let down by any of your recipes, will be making this for the next work carry in, thanks.

  26. Jesica

    My Dad gave me a bag of apples from his tree at home so I had to figure out what to do with them. This recipe looked amazing so I tailored it a bit, I did not have coconut or any nuts at home so I omitted them, made 24 muffins instead of one bundt cake, and did not make the glaze. The results were awesome, my boyfriend ate 4 last night, and took two for breakfast and my co-worker said they were amazing.

  27. Tricia T.

    I made this today and boy is this a great recipe! It reminded me of a carrot cake I love to eat that has shredded coconut, pecans, and pineapple. Somehow this was extremely similar-tasting with half the ingredients. I love the sugary glaze crust that forms. It is just the right amount of sweet. This is a keeper. Btw- I used Granny Smith apples in this.

I apologize for the inconvenience, but comments are closed. You can share your thoughts on our Facebook page ~ Elise.