Got Crabapples? Bake this Crabapple Whiskey Cake!

A Crabapple Whiskey Cake is easy to make. But the crabapples make it seem so exotic!



If you had a banner crabapple year, this Crabapple Whiskey Cake recipe is for you. This cake is a great combination of sweet, tart, and boozy, and fills a 9-inch tube or Bundt pan or several smaller pans.

The Crabapple Whiskey Cake freezes like a dream, so I often make three or four small cakes. Then I freeze a couple of the cakes for when I’m feeling sad and lonely. And hungry.

crabapple whiskey cake is a homemade treatIn my story about winter foraging published here on, I went into detail about Foraging for Crabapples. So please read that story for more information. For this story about Crabapple Whiskey Cake, we’re jumping right into the recipe.

To make the crabapple sauce, you can either use your favorite applesauce recipe and substitute crabapples or do what I do. Just toss all your crabapples into a slow cooker with a little water and some sugar. Then after four to eight hours, when the crabapples are nice and soft, run them through a food mill.



  • 3 cups flour (all-purpose or a gluten-free flour blend will both work well)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup whiskey, divided in half
  • 2 cups crabapple sauce
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • confectioner’s sugar (optional)

crabapple whiskey cake is a delicious homemade dessert


Are you ready to make a delicious Crabapple Whiskey Cake? OK—here we go.

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon, then set the bowl aside.

With an electric mixer, beat the softened butter, brown sugar, and honey, until the mixture becomes light and fluffy. Continuing beating while you add the eggs and 1/3 cup whiskey. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients you set aside earlier, and beat until just combined. Finally, add the applesauce and combine well.

Use nonstick spray to coat your baking pan(s), then spoon the batter into the pan and smooth the top. Bake for 50 – 60 minutes (one large pan), 35 – 40 minutes (multiple small pans), or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. If you’re skipping the whiskey, check for doneness about five minutes earlier.

Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack to let it cool completely. While the cake is cooling, pour the remaining 1/3 cup of whiskey onto the top of the cake, working your way around the cake slowly and evenly. Dust with confectioner’s sugar or serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

Now it’s time to enjoy your Crabapple Whiskey Cake!


Ellen Zachos is the author of The Wildcrafted Cocktail and Backyard Foraging. Her website,, is filled with all kinds of great info. Also read Ellen’s Home Garden and Homestead story about making Dandelion Pesto

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