This Caramel Apple Cake dessert captures the essence of fall with every bite, marrying the natural sweetness of apples with a rich homemade caramel drizzle. Whether you're hosting a cozy get-together or just indulging on a chilly evening, this cake is a go-to comforting dessert!
As the autumn leaves begin to fall, there's no better way to embrace the season than with a dessert made with fresh apples. Apples, with their crisp texture and natural sweetness, make them an ideal ingredient for autumn desserts. Their rich flavor profile, which deepens when cooked, complements the warm spices and comforting flavors. Fresh apples are used in this easy apple cake recipe with caramel drizzle!
Whipping up this Caramel Apple Cake is a breeze, even for those new to baking! Start by mixing freshly chopped apples with aromatic spices and basic cake ingredients, forming a rich, flavorful batter. This mixture is then poured into a greased pan and baked until golden brown. As it cools, a homemade caramel sauce is quickly whipped up on the stovetop, ready to be generously drizzled over each slice for the finishing touch.
Making a cake with seasonal apples is one of the best ways to celebrate fall. From casual autumn family gatherings to elegant Thanksgiving feasts, this caramel apple cake will earn a spot on your dessert table!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- The aroma of baking apples and cinnamon will transform your kitchen into a cozy fall space, which makes it even easier to enjoy.
- The velvety homemade caramel sauce adds a luxurious touch with simple ingredients and instructions that are easy to follow.
- A great way to use freshly picked apples during the fall months.
- Perfect for both special occasions and everyday treats, caramel apple cake is the quintessential fall dessert!
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Baking Soda - Acts as a leavening agent, ensuring the cake rises properly and achieves a soft, fluffy texture.
- Salt - Enhances the flavors of the other ingredients, providing a balanced contrast to the sweetness.
- All Purpose Flour - Serves as the primary structure of the cake, giving it form and substance.
- Apples - Contribute natural sweetness, moisture, and a fruity bite, which are the star features of this dessert.
- Eggs - Bind the ingredients together and add richness, ensuring the cake has a stable yet tender crumb.
- Cinnamon - Imparts a warm, aromatic spice that complements the apples.
- Vegetable Oil - Provides moisture to the cake, ensuring a soft and moist texture throughout.
- Sugar - Sweetens the cake and enhances the flavor profiles of the other ingredients.
- Vanilla Extract - Adds a delicate, aromatic depth, complementing the other flavors and adding a touch of warmth.
- Brown Sugar & Granulated Sugar - Offer a deep, caramelized sweetness, with brown sugar adding rich molasses, notes essential for the sauce.
- Heavy Cream - Gives the caramel its velvety, creamy texture and rich taste.
- Butter - Adds a smooth richness to the sauce, deepening its flavor and enhancing its glossy finish.
- Flour - Acts as a thickening agent, ensuring the caramel sauce achieves a perfect drizzling consistency.
- Vanilla Extract - Elevates the caramel flavor with its warm undertones, rounding out the sauce beautifully.
How To Make Apple Cake with Caramel Drizzle
Prepare for baking: Preheat oven to 350℉. Grease a 9x13-inch pan and set aside.
Assemble the apple mixture: In a large mixing bowl, add the chopped apples and eggs. Stir until the apples are coated in egg. Next, add both sugars, cinnamon, oil, and vanilla. Mix until well combined.
Add the dry ingredients: Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda in a separate bowl. Slowly add the flour mixture to the apple mixture and mix until everything is well blended without overworking.
Bake and cool: Pour the batter into the greased pans. Make sure the batter is evenly spread out in the pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes. The cake is finished when you can poke a toothpick into the center of the cake, and it comes out clean. Once the cake is done, remove it from the oven and set it aside to cool completely.
Make the caramel sauce: Add butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar to a saucepan over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add the heavy cream, vanilla, and flour. Turn up the heat to high and whisk the sauce until it starts to boil. Once it has boiled, remove the sauce from the heat and cool for 5 minutes.
Garnish and serve: Once the cake is fully cooled, slice the cake and drizzle the caramel sauce on top. Top with a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream. Enjoy!
- Opt for tart apple varieties like Granny Smith or Honeycrisp; their acidity contrasts beautifully with the sweetness of the caramel, creating a more balanced flavor profile.
- Ensure that the apples are uniformly chopped; this promotes even baking and guarantees a consistent texture with every bite.
- The cake batter should be relatively thick due to the moisture from the apples; don't be alarmed if it appears denser than other cake batter.
- Insert a toothpick or thin skewer into the center of the cake; if it comes out clean or with a few crumbs clinging, the cake is done.
- Keep a close eye on the caramel sauce as it boils; it can quickly go from perfectly smooth to burnt, altering the taste dramatically.
- Make sure to whisk the flour thoroughly into the caramel sauce to prevent any lumps, ensuring a silky smooth consistency.
- For added texture and a nutty flavor, fold in chopped walnuts or pecans into the batter before baking.
- Swap out the cinnamon for ground nutmeg, allspice, or even a pinch of ground cloves or pumpkin pie spice to give a different kick of warming spices.
- Pears can be used in place of or combined with apples for a different fruity note and a touch of extra juiciness.
- If you're looking for a healthier oil alternative, coconut oil or olive oil can replace the vegetable oil, imparting a slight change in flavor.
- For those with gluten sensitivities, use a gluten-free flour blend in place of all-purpose flour, ensuring it has xanthan gum for best results.
- Substitute eggs with flaxseed eggs (1 tbsp ground flaxseed mixed with 2.5 tbsp water per egg) and use vegan butter and a plant-based cream for the caramel sauce. Note that this recipe has not been tested with vegan ingredients.
- Add a touch of citrus by incorporating the zest of one lemon or orange into the batter, which will provide a refreshing brightness amidst the deep caramel tones.
Storing & Freezing
Storing: Once cooled, this cake can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days, covered tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. If you prefer to extend its shelf life a bit further, place the cake in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days. Before serving, let it come to room temperature to enhance its flavor and texture. It's best to store any leftover caramel sauce separately in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Gently reheat it in a saucepan over low heat or in the microwave in short bursts, stirring frequently until it's pourable.
Freezing: Before freezing, ensure the cake has cooled completely. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, followed by a layer of aluminum foil. This double layer helps prevent freezer burn. Freeze the cake for up to 3 months.
If you've already drizzled the sauce over the entire cake, it's still freezable. Simply follow the same wrapping method mentioned above. However, note that the texture of the caramel might change slightly upon thawing.
To enjoy your frozen cake, transfer it to the refrigerator and allow it to thaw overnight. For a quicker method, you can leave it on the countertop at room temperature for several hours.
While homemade caramel sauce offers a unique depth of flavor, a good-quality store-bought version can save time and still be delicious. Just ensure you choose one that has a rich, full-bodied flavor to complement the cake.
Yes, you can. However, the baking time might vary depending on the size and type of the dish. A deeper pan may require a longer baking time, while shallow pans might bake more quickly, so keep an eye on the cake and test for doneness accordingly.
This cake batter is typically denser due to the moisture from the apples. As long as you've followed the ingredient measurements accurately, the thickness is expected, and the final result should still be moist and delicious.
More Easy Dessert Recipes
- Strawberry and Blueberry Poundcake Trifle
- Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars
- Cherry Turnovers with Puff Pastry
- Easy Fruit Pizza
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Caramel Apple Cake
Carmel Apple Cake
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- ¾ cup butter
- 1½ tbsp flour
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350℉. Grease a 9 X 13-inch pan and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the chopped apples, and eggs. Stir until the apples are coated in egg.
- Next, add both sugars, cinnamon, oil, and vanilla. Mix well.
- Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda in a separate bowl.
- Slowly add the flour mixture to the apple mixture and mix until everything is well blended.
- Pour the batter into the greased pans. Make sure the batter is evenly spread out in the pan.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes, until you can poke a toothpick into the center of the cake and it comes out clean. Once the cake is done remove it from the oven and set it aside to cook completely.
- Add butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar to a saucepan over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add the heavy cream, vanilla, and flour.
- Turn up the heat to high and whisk the sauce until it starts to boil. Once it has boiled removed the sauce from the heat and cool for 5 minutes.
- Pour the sauce over a slice of apple cake and top with whipped cream. Serve and enjoy!
*All nutrition information provided is automatically calculated and is an estimate and will vary based on ingredients, brands, and changes in cooking methods listed in the recipe. If you need exact numbers on your ingredients, I would recommend calculating them with your prefered nutrition calculator.