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Old Fashioned Apple Cake with Caramel Sauce

Old fashioned moist cake baked with tart, fresh apples, and topped with a gooey caramel sauce.

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It’s officially the fall!  Apple picking time!  This time of year everyone obsesses over pumpkin spice, and don’t get me wrong I think it’s great…but where is the love for caramel apples?  It’s not just pumpkin season, it’s also apple season.  When caramel and apple are put together and it’s done right, it should be a little tart, a little sweet, and it should be GOOEY!   Mmmm, yum!

This cake is everything you want from caramel and apple.   Plus it has that old-fashioned cake feel that your grandma, mom, (or someone else who baked really delicious things in your childhood) might have made.  The warm caramel sauce topping makes it extra moist and decadent.  With a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or a big dollop of homemade whipped cream, it’s perfection.  Just make it…make it now, you won’t regret it. 🙂

Is this a spice cake recipe?

Nope!  To be clear this is not a spiced cake with apple and caramel, this is a delicious CARAMEL APPLE CAKE.  No cinnamon, no nutmeg, just a delectable caramel apple flavor in old fashioned, homemade cake form.

What apples should be used for Old-Fashioned Apple Cake?

Any tart apple will do!  Granny Smith is my favorite unless you can get a really good local variety that has the same tart flavor.    Just steer clear of sweet apples, your cake won’t be balanced in flavor and it might get mushy.  The apples need to be at least a little tart and firm to balance out the sweetness of the cake.

How to Make an Old Fashioned Apple Cake

To start the Caramel Apple Cake recipe, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 13Ă—9 inch baking pan with butter or baking spray.

Put all the wet cake batter ingredients into a large bowl. If you’re an experienced baker you might be thinking…why is the sugar in the wet ingredient list?  Sugar is mixed in with the wet ingredients because it needs to dissolve to avoid a grainy texture in the finished cake.

Wet cake batter ingredients:

  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons vanilla

Beat the wet ingredients together until they are well combined. 

Place the dry cake batter ingredients into a large bowl and whisk together to combine.

Dry cake batter ingredients:

In a large mixing bowl whisk together:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Teaspoon baking soda

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat the two together until just incorporated. 

Stir 3 cups of peeled, diced chunks of apples (like granny smith apples) into the cake batter.

Pour the cake batter into your greased and floured 13Ă—9 inch baking pan.

Bake the cake in a preheated oven for 55 – 60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool the cake completely on a wire rack before making the topping.

How do I make the caramel glaze?

 easy caramel sauce ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk

It’s easy!  Just combine 1/2 cup of butter, 1 cup of brown sugar, and 1/2 cup of milk in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat.  Stir continuously until the mixture boils.  Once the mixture is boiling let it boil without stirring for 3 minutes, then remove it from the heat.  You can make this as the cake bakes and pour it over the top of the cake while it’s still warm to infuse it with that creamy caramel flavor, that’s where the magic happens.  Please don’t skip this step, it is what makes this cake so delicious and special!  You can also use this caramel sauce for other things, like a dip for your apple slices… I bet that would be delicious!

How to Make dairy-free Caramel Apple Cake? 

Make the cake as directed and add my dairy-free caramel sauce on top


  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup real maple syrup
  • 3-4 heaping Tbsp sun butter

Microwave the coconut oil and the maple syrup in a bowl for one minute.

Then add the sun butter and whisk it around until it fully dissolves and becomes a caramel-like consistency.  Pour this over the cake and enjoy!!

How to store Caramel Apple cake?

This cake will keep covered in plastic wrap or in an airtight container for about 3-4 days.

Gooey, sweet, caramel coating the fluffy, old-fashioned cake packed with tart apples.

Caramel Apple Cake with a cup of coffee or tea is a fantastic fall treat and I hope you try it!


Caramel Apple Cake

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour


Apple Cake

  • 2 cups Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Brown sugar
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 cup Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 3 cups Tart Apples, like Granny Smith peeled and diced

For the Caramel topping

  • 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Milk
  • 1/8 tsp salt


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×13 baking dish or cake pan.

To make the cake:

  • In a medium sized bowl, mix the flour, salt, and baking soda together.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs, oil, and vanilla until well incorporated.
  • Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined, and then gently stir in the diced apples.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  • Set the cake aside to cool.

For the carmel topping:

  • In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, salt, brown sugar, and milk.  Heat over medium-low heat and stir continuously until the mixture boils. Stop stiring and let the mixture boil for 3 minutes.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat and immediately pour the topping over the cake.

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