Moist & Delicious Apple Cake topped with creamy caramel sauce is perfectly spiced for an amazing fall treat or decadent breakfast!
This delicious apple cake is the perfect fall treat and doesn’t require any frosting – just serve warm with your favorite topping! Whip up Apple Crisp, Apple Slab Pie, or Apple Crisp Stuffed Apples for more fall apple goodness.
An Apple Season favorite
Fall is one of my favorite times of the year. It’s the start of the holidays and includes some of the very best treats and flavors. While all things pumpkin are definitely on the list, I also thoroughly enjoy all of the apple treats.
There is something so magical about apple season. The crisp air, crunchy leaves, and of course… the apples. We love to pick a bushel or two and whip up some apple goodness.
This Apple Cake is one of our best-loved family favorites. It is moist and delicious. I love the dense texture and bits of crunchy nuts. It’s simply heaven!
I also included a recipe for a delicious apple cider caramel sauce that pairs perfectly. You’re sure to devour every morsel!
Making apple cake
PREP. Preheat the oven to 350. Line a 9 inch round cake pan with parchment and spray with cooking spray.
MIX. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla, and mix until combined. Add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt, and mix until just combined. Gently fold in the apples and walnuts.
BAKE. Spread the cake batter in the prepared pan in an even layer. Bake 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
COOL + SERVVE. Remove the cake from the oven and turn out onto a cooling rack. Let cool for 10-15 minutes before serving. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream, and caramel sauce drizzled over the top.
APPLE CIDER CARAMEL SAUCE
BOIL. 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).
SIMMER. 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.
SERVE. Pour caramel sauce over cooled cake slices.
The apple cider caramel sauce in this recipe would be a wonderful topping on this cake: Apple Bundt Cake.
Recipe Tips + TRICKS
- What kind of apple? It is best to use baking apples so they will hold their shape well when cooked. Granny Smith, Honey Crisp, Pink Lady, Jonagold, McIntosh, Braeburn, Cortland, and Rome Beauty are all great choices.
- Cutting apples: Cut your apples into cubes instead of shredding them if you prefer more of a chunkier apple bite in your cake.
- Nuts: Pecans or hazelnuts would be great substitutes for the walnuts in this recipe. Of course you can leave the nuts out all together if you prefer.
- Air bubbles: Tapping the pan on the counter before putting it into the oven will help the apples settle and release air bubbles that may be trapped in your batter.
- Toppings: Some optional toppings for this cake would be: powdered sugar, cinnamon sugar, caramel cream cheese frosting, or even a flavored whipped cream made by whipping heavy cream and adding a little bit of caramel or your favorite flavored syrup to it.
- Nut Butters: This cake would make a great breakfast warmed up with some peanut butter or other nut butter spread on top.
STORE any leftover cake wrapped tightly with plastic wrap or in a Ziploc bag at room temperature for 2-3 days. If refrigerated, cake can be stored for up to 5 days.
To FREEZE leftovers make sure to cool completely first, then wrap tightly with plastic wrap followed by aluminum foil, or place in a ziploc freezer bag. You can freeze this cake for up to 6 months and then thaw at room temperature before serving again.
Here are more delicious fall desserts:
- Pumpkin Layer Cake With Maple Vanilla Bean Frosting
- Fall Spritz Cookies
- No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake
- Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodle Blossoms
Apple Cake Recipe
for the cake:
- 1/2 cup butter - softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 medium apples - peeled and shredded
- 1/2 cup walnuts - chopped
- Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream
- Caramel sauce
- Preheat the oven to 350. Line a 9 inch round cake pan with parchment and spray with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla, and mix until combined. Add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt, and mix until just combined. Gently fold in the apples and walnuts.
- Spread the cake batter in the prepared pan in an even layer. Bake 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove the cake from the oven and turn out onto a cooling rack. Let cool for 10-15 minutes before serving. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream, and caramel sauce drizzled over the top.