Apple Cake with Caramel Frosting

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Apple, cinnamon & caramel come together for the perfect fall treat. This moist apple cake with caramel frosting is filled with warm, comforting flavors and makes for the perfect dessert.

 

A slice of apple cake with caramel frosting topped with apple slices

 

Today we’re embracing fall and making the perfect apple cake recipe. I’m not quite ready for pumpkin recipes yet – I’m definitely ready for some caramel apple goodness. And that’s exactly what we’re making.

This apple cake with caramel frosting combines 3 of my favorite fall flavors – fresh apples, warm cinnamon, and a little salted caramel. The apple cake is moist, flavorful, and filled with little bites of apple. Then it’s topped with a sweet caramel frosting that takes this fall treat to the next level.

Apple Cake Recipe

 

Moist apple spice cake topped with creamy caramel frosting

 

What you’ll love about this apple cake is that it’s oh so moist and packed with flavor. It’s a little denser in texture to support the chunks of apple, and the crumb is tender and soft. The amazing texture is because we’re using oil to keep the crumb soft, eggs for tenderness, and a little sour cream for moisture. Then the cake is filled with sooooo much flavor thanks to the brown sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon and apples.

 

What Kind of Apples for Apple Cake?

For this apple cake – I definitely recommend using a tart baking apple, such as Granny Smith. The apple will sweeten as it bakes and the flavor will mellow. For this recipe it’s really important to cut the apple into very small pieces, otherwise, the cake can kind of fall apart when you go to cut into it.

How to Make Caramel Frosting

Overhead shot of fluffy caramel frosting on an apple spice cake

 

Ok – let’s talk about this caramel frosting. It’s sweet, it’s delicious, and it’s perfect if you’re the type of person who could eat caramel sauce out of the jar. Here’s what to do:

  1. In a saucepan over low-medium heat, melt the butter.
  2. Add in the brown sugar and cream. Melt everything together while whisking gently.
  3. After it’s melted, bring to a gentle boil for 3 minutes while whisking.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat, and pour the mixture into a large bowl. Cool for at least 15 minutes.
  5. Add in the vanilla extract & salt.
  6. Then beat in the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, alternating with 1 tablespoon of heavy cream until the desired consistency & sweetness is reached.

I love the salty sweetness of the caramel frosting – but it’s definitely sweet. So you won’t need a really thick layer on the cake. But if frosting isn’t really your thing at all, this cake is super delicious on its own or with a scoop of ice cream.

 

A slice of apple spice cake with caramel frosting.

 

This apple cake with caramel frosting is such a delicious fall treat. The combo of apples, cinnamon & delicious caramel combines 3 of my favorite flavors into one delicious cake. And if you’re looking for an apple treat for fall – then this apple cake with caramel frosting is definitely your recipe!

Apple Cake with Caramel Frosting

Apple Cake with Caramel Frosting

Apple, cinnamon & caramel come together for the perfect fall treat. This moist apple cake with caramel frosting is filled with warm, comforting flavors and makes for the perfect dessert

Ingredients:

Apple Cake

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

3 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/3 cup sour cream

2 cups chopped apples, peel first then cut into very small pieces

Caramel Frosting

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1 cup packed brown sugar

6 tablespoons cream, divided

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt (use 1/4 teaspoon if you prefer a less salted caramel flavor)

2-3 cups powdered sugar

 

Directions:

Apple Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Grease and flour a 9×13 inch cake pan.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda & salt.
  3. In a large bowl beat together the oil, sugars, eggs & vanilla extract until no lumps remain. Then beat in the sour cream.
  4. With the mixer on low speed, beat the flour mixture into the wet ingredients about 1/2 at a time. Turn down the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  5. Carefully fold in the chopped apple using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 28-34 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Cool fully before frosting

Caramel Frosting

  1. In a medium saucepan over low-medium heat, melt the butter.
  2. Add in the brown sugar and 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) cream.
  3. Melt everything together while whisking.
  4. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil for 3 minutes while whisking constantly.
  5. Remove from the heat and pour the mixture into a heatproof bowl.
  6. Cool for 15 minutes.
  7. Add in the vanilla extract & salt. Then beat in the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, alternating with 1 tablespoon of heavy cream until the desired sweetness & consistency is reached.
  8. Frost the cooled cake and slice into pieces.
All images and text ©Fiona Dowling for Oh Sweet Basil.

A slice of apple cake with caramel frosting topped with apple slices

Apple Cheesecake Bars

If you love cinnamon & apples – then try these apple cheesecake bars. They have a delicious apple blondie base, creamy cheesecake, and apple pie topping. A slice of apple cheesecake bars topped with cinnamon sugar apples and whipped cream

Apple Bread

This moist apple bread is filled with brown sugar, spices & tons of apple pieces. Then it’s topped with cream cheese glaze for the perfect apple treat. This moist apple bread is filled with brown sugar, spices & tons of apple pieces. Then it's topped with cream cheese glaze for the perfect apple treat. 

 

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Fiona Dowling

Hi! My name's Fiona and I love to bake and blog. I share homemade, mainly from scratch recipes for desserts & sweet treats including cakes, cupcakes, cookies and more.

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9 comments on “Apple Cake with Caramel Frosting”

  1. the cake directions say to add salt, but there is no salt mentioned in the list of cake ingredients. how much salt goes into the cake?

  2. Pingback: Apple Pie Cheesecake - Will Cook For Smiles

  3. Pingback: foodffs: APPLE CAKE WITH CARAMEL FROSTINGFollow for recipesIs… |

  4. Love caramel and apples together…such a perfect combination idea for cake!! 🙂

  5. Pingback: Apple Cake with Caramel Frosting - Just so Tasty

  6. This cake looks amazing! I have 1 question do you use kosher salt or table salt in the frosting? Thanks for the awesome recipe.