Facebook Twitter Pinterest Instagram RSS Feed

Apple Surprise Cake with Hidden Rose Apples

We love a good surprise. And this Apple Surprise Cake has not one but two great surprises. First, you slice into it and you see a heart. And the heart turns out to be…an apple?… that’s red?!?! Yes! It’s all thanks to Hidden Rose Apples and some cookie-cutter trickery.

Apple Surprise Cake

Hidden Rose Apples

Hidden Rose Apples, which are native to Oregon, have a pale green skin and a naturally reddish-pink flesh. They’re one of several varieties of apples – generally found in the fall – with this pretty variation. Some other popular red-fleshed varieties include Pink Pearl, Mountain Rose, Redlove, Etter’s Blood, and Kissabel. You may find them in stores with a well-stocked produce section. If you don’t see them, check with your produce manager. (We got a Hidden Rose Apple to sample from Melissa’s Produce.)

Now we’ve seen surprise cakes that have different colors and shapes of cake on the inside, but we haven’t seen a surprise cake that has an actual apple inside. That’s why we were determined to try this cake with our favorite shockingly colored apple.

To make this cake, we sliced the apple into 1/4 inch slices (from top to bottom). Then we used a cookie cutter to cut out little heart shapes in each of the slices. We lined up the heart shapes in the batter, and – voila! We made a cake with a pretty little secret. Once you cut into a slice, you see an adorable red apple heart.

Here’s the recipe:

Apple Surprise Cake with Hidden Rose Apples

Apple Surprise Cake with Hidden Rose Apples

A tasty apple cake with a surprise inside - perfect little red apple hearts from Hidden Rose apples.

Course Breakfast or Snack, Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword apple, apple cake, breakfast, dessert, hidden rose apple, tea cake
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 10


  • 1 Hidden Rose apple
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 large apples, any kind, peeled and grated, yielding about 1 cup


  1. Prepare the apple hearts: Slice the Hidden Rose apple from top to bottom (no need to peel or core it) into thin 1/4 inch slices. Using a small (approximately 1 1/2 inch) heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut the apple into heart-shaped pieces, working gently around the core. (It's fine if some of the hearts have pieces of peel in them.) Set the heart pieces aside.

  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a small loaf pan (8 1/2" x 4 1/2") by greasing it and dusting it with a light coating of flour. Set aside.

  3. Beat oil and sugar together in an electric mixer. Add eggs and mix until creamy.

  4. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda. Stir the flour mixture into the egg mixture. Add vanilla and grated apples and stir gently to blend.

  5. Pour about 1/3 of the batter into the prepared loaf pan, making sure that it covers the bottom. Then gently place the hearts vertically lined up into the batter, making a complete row down the length of the pan. Pour the remaining batter over the top to cover the hearts.

  6. Bake for 1 hour 5 minutes or until golden brown, and a toothpick that is inserted comes out clean. Slice carefully to reveal the hearts.

Now here are some step-by-step tips on how to do it:

Get a 1/4 inch slice of the apple; make heart-shaped cut-outs. (Don’t worry about getting pieces of apple peel or pith in some of your slices.)

First, we cut the apple into 1/4-inch slices. Then we used a tiny heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut heart pieces. (Make sure you take out the seeds, but don’t worry about having skin or parts of the pith on some of the pieces. It’s OK if some are a little irregular.)

Then we made the cake batter and poured about 1/3 of it into the baking pan. Next, we took all of the heart cut-outs, lined them up together, and placed them into the pan on top of the layer of batter.

Look at that adorable row of hearts! (And notice how some of the edges are a little irregular or have pieces of skin on them? It’s fine – really!) Then we poured the rest of the batter on top and baked the cake.

And there you have it! What’s the only thing that’s more fun that slicing into it? Eating it, of course.

Like it? Pin it!
Apple Surprise Cake with Hidden Rose Apples

P.S. If you like Hidden Rose apples, check out these Hidden Rose Apple Roses.

P.P.S. If you like surprise cakes, check out our Heart Surprise Cake (with all natural colors). If you love pink or red apples, try this Hidden Rose apple tart.

Blogger disclosure: We received a Hidden Rose apple as a sample from Melissa’s Produce. We did not receive compensation for this post. All opinions expressed are our own. This post also contains affiliate links to our Amazon affiliate page.

, , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Recipe Rating