Apple Bundt Cake with Apple Cider Caramel Sauce
This past summer I finally got a bundt pan! I’m back and ready to share a fall-inspired bundt cake with you, and I couldn’t be more excited! Who loves apples?? I do, and I absolutely love baking with them! My mother-in-law sent us a box full of North Carolina apples and we’ve been whipping up homemade applesauce, muffins, oatmeal and this bundt cake. It’s sweet, perfectly spiced and topped with the most amazing apple cider caramel! Are you ready for a slice?! Grab a fork and let’s dig in!
I’m not going to lie, apples are tricky to bake with. They’re sweet, but don’t have a ton of flavor. What they do have is a ton of moisture. I made two versions of this bundt cake before finally settling on this recipe. The first was basically bread but baked in a bundt pan… it was also way too moist and mushy. The second was packed full of so many apples, there was hardly any cake. I was determined to come up with a recipe that had the texture of cake and tasted like apples. This one’s it!
It’s moist, fluffy and packed full of apples! My big secret is in the way you prepare the apples. Instead of chopping them both into chunks, I grated one and chopped the other into really fine chunks. That way each bite was bursting with apple goodness without having big squishy chunks popping out everywhere. I also used the method my mother-in-law uses in her sour cream bundt cake. She separates the eggs and beats the whites until they’re stiff. That helps give this cake an extra tender crumb.
You can whip the batter up in the bowl of a stand mixer or with a hand mixer. When it’s ready to go pour it into a large bundt pan that’s been sprayed with baking spray. That’ll help ensure a clean release. Bake the cake for about an hour, just know it may take 15-20 minutes more. Insert a cake tester into the center to test for doneness. While your bundt cake is baking you’ll want to make the caramel sauce to pour over top. It’s dang good and you definitely don’t want to skip it! Just add your apple cider to a saucepan and reduce it, then add in all of the other ingredients except for the vanilla and salt. When your caramel thickens remove it and stir those last ingredients in. It’ll thicken into that amazing golden goodness you see below as it cools.
When the cake has cooled enough, slice it and smother each piece in caramel. Enjoy with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream! P.S. if you want to double the caramel sauce, go for it! It’s great for dipping apples in or on ice cream, pie or crisps! Happy baking!
- ¾ c. (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- ½ c. granulated sugar
- 1½ c. brown sugar
- ¼ c. unsweetened applesauce
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- 3 eggs, separated
- 3 c. all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1½ tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1½ tsp. apple pie spice
- 2 c. buttermilk or sour cream
- 2 large apples, peeled, 1 grated, 1 finely chopped*
- For the apple cider caramel sauce:
- 2 c. apple cider**
- 1 c. brown sugar, packed
- 4 tbsp. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- ⅔ c. heavy cream
- ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. apple pie spice
- ½ tsp. kosher sea salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- To make the cake: preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a large bundt pan with baking spray, set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the applesauce and vanilla extract, then add the egg yolks one at a time, mixing after each addition.
- In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, ground cinnamon, and apple pie spice. With mixing speed on low alternate adding the dry ingredients, buttermilk and apple.
- In a medium mixing bowl whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in the egg whites using a large spatula. Pour into the prepared pan and place in the oven to bake for 1 hour - 1 hour 15 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Meanwhile, to make the caramel sauce, place a medium size sauce pan over medium-high heat and bring the apple cider to a boil. Boil for about 10-15 minutes or until about ⅓ cup of cider remains (it will thicken as it reduces).
- Remove the pan from the heat, add the brown sugar, butter, cream, cinnamon and apple pie spice. Return to the heat and simmer until the caramel begins to thicken, an additional 10-15 minutes. When the caramel has reached your desired thickness (just know it will thicken a little bit more as it cools), remove it from the heat and whisk in the salt and vanilla extract. Pour it into a mason jar or air-tight container and allow to cool before storing or using.
- Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before inverting onto a cake stand or plate. When the cake has cooled, cut, slice and pour caramel sauce over individual pieces. Store covered at room temperature for 3 days.