I want to get something out in the open right out of the gate. This Super Easy Apple and Ricotta Cake is made super easily because of a major hack. The hack being a box of complete pancake mix. Now hear me out. Before you look down upon me for using a store-bought convenience, I have to tell you, I grew up with pancake mix pancakes and they have a distinctive taste to them. This cake is the type of cake you make when you want something sweet (but without being too sweet) or when you need a dessert fast. Of course, you can always just make a homemade pancake batter, but sometimes even that is too much of an effort. The great thing is that you can easily switch up the flavor or toppings, making it unique to you and/or unique to what you have on hand.
In a large bowl, whisk together the pancake mix, 2 1/2 cups water, apple pie spice, vanilla and maple syrup until smooth. Make sure not to over-mix the batter or you’ll end up with a dense and dry cake.
**Note: Make sure you use complete pancake mix, the kind that only requires water. If you have a different type of pancake mix, just make sure to make it according to the package directions!**
Add the diced apples and fold in gently. Pour the batter into a 9×13 baking pan that has been greased with cooking spray and smooth out as evenly as possible.
**Tip: There is no need to peel the apples. Just core them and then dice. I want this cake to be as simple as possible. The apples help keep the cake moist but you can omit them if you want.**
Dollop the apple butter and ricotta on top spacing them out evenly. Then use a butter knife or a long skewer to swirl everything together.
**Tip: I just used store-bought apple butter for this. But it would also be great with a spiced pumpkin butter or pumpkin spread would be delicious.**
Bake until golden brown and a toothpick, inserted in the middle, comes out clean, about 35 to 40 minutes. Make sure to keep a close eye on it. It’s dependent on what type of pancake mix you use.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 15 minutes before slicing. Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream and a drizzle of maple syrup.
The cake itself is naturally dense because it’s just pancake batter, but I’m not mad at a slightly dense cake. The apples inside and the ice cream and maple syrup on top definitely helps. A powdered sugar glaze would also be delicious if you want to bypass the ice cream.
I love it because the cake itself isn’t overly or sickly sweet. It’s perfect for pancake lovers or people who don’t have a huge sweet tooth (like me).
Next time you have a box of pancake mix in your pantry, I hope you’ll give this a try. But it would honestly also be great with your favorite homemade pancake recipe. It’s a super easy cake that you can whip up without much effort. Let me know what you think below and as always, thank you so much for reading and following along. You’re the best!
Super Easy Apple and Ricotta Cake
- Mixing Bowl
- 9×13 Baking Pan
- 4 cups complete pancake mix
- 1 teaspoon apple pie spice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup maple syrup plus more for serving
- 2 medium apples cored and diced
- 3/4 cup apple butter
- 3/4 cup smooth ricotta cheese
- Vanilla ice cream for serving
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9×13-inch baking pan and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the pancake mix, 2 1/2 cups water, apple pie spice, vanilla and maple syrup until smooth. Fold in the apples. Pour into the prepared baking pan and smooth out as evenly as possible.
- Dollop the apple butter and ricotta on top spacing them out evenly. Then use a butter knife or a long skewer to swirl everything together. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick, inserted in the middle, comes out clean, about 35 to 40 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 15 minutes before slicing. Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream and a drizzle of maple syrup. Enjoy!
The way the ice cream is photographed on this looks so delicious!