Salted Caramel Apple Cake

salted caramel apple cake

You guys, I needed a win. I’ve been having way too many recipe failures in the kitchen these days; not only is this discouraging, but it means I end up eating a lot of failures. (I have a hard time throwing out food).

Well, all that changes today. With THIS CAKE. I’m so excited by this one! It’s my only post this week, but it deserves its own week. I’m so happy to introduce you to this beauty. Soft, moist (sorry), lightly spiced cake riddled with chunks of tender, juicy apple layered with a rich, decadent salted caramel buttercream icing. Um, yeah. It’s GOOD!

salted caramel apple cake

See the mini apples on top of the cake? These were stolen…err…”borrowed”…from a tree down the street. I swear, these people don’t pick their apples and they’re all going to waste anyway so I’m really doing them a favour, right?

You may have already read about my raspberry raiding in the back alley, but I promise that’s where my thievery ends – except for the loofah that I discovered at home and realized Wally had shoved into the stroller at Wal-Mart the other day. *Sigh*.Β The apple didn’t fall very far from the tree (see what I did there).

So – how have you been enjoying fall!? Since I’ve finally embraced it, I’m loving it! It helps that it’s been so glorious outside lately – the trees and leaves are sooo beautiful this time of year. I truly, truly love it. As a wise friend stated the other day, fall is a very nostalgic time of year. Just looking out the window makes me smile – I’m reminded of that feeling of “back to school”, the upcoming excitement of Halloween, Thanksgiving and of course, Christmas just around the corner.

All of these feelings inspire me to bake, bake, bake. I thought I’d start off this glorious baking season with a cake that really embraces fall. What’s more fall than apples!? Maybe pumpkin. That’ll come later.

I’ve used three whole apples in the cake, diced into small pieces. I used sunrise apples, mostly just because I had a plethora, but I think granny smith apples would be amazing in this too.

To me, if there’s one thing that is uber important in a cake – it’s gotta be MOIST. I know we all hate that word, but seriously, it’s so important. A dry cake just isn’t even worth eating, amiright? To make sure this cake has max moistness (I’m just gonna keep saying it), I used applesauce, Greek yogurt AND butter. It worked.

While the cake is baking, I made my salted caramel sauce. If you can resist eating it by the spoonful, this will be used in the buttercream once the cake has finally cooled. SALTED CARAMEL BUTTERCREAM. I don’t think there’s a better icing out there!

The recipe makes enough icing to cover the entire cake, including a layer in the middle; I chose to pump up the top and middle layers for effect, but either option is equally as delicious.

To me, this cake just screams fall. I think you should consider this your dessert for your next gathering – maybe even Thanksgiving? Or, make it for you and your family and see how long it lasts πŸ˜‰

Salted Caramel Apple Cake

Salted Caramel Apple Cake

Salted Caramel Apple Cake

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 1 2-layer cake

Treat your guests to this lightly spiced double layer cake with chunks of juicy apple and mounds of salted caramel buttercream - your next favourite fall dessert!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used 2%), room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 3 large apples, diced into small pieces (sunrise, granny smith, gala)

Salted Caramel Buttercream

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup salted caramel sauce (cooled)
  • 3 cups powdered sugar (icing sugar)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and generously grease and flour two 9" round cake pans. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the applesauce, yogurt, and brown sugar until no lumps remain. Add the eggs and combine thoroughly. Pour in the melted (cooled) butter, whisking the entire time.Β 
  3. Combine the wet ingredients with the dry, stirring gently just until all of the dry ingredients are incorporated. Fold in the diced apples.
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans, and place in the oven for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Mine took about 32 minutes. Remove the cake pans and allow the cakes to cool for about 10 minutes before gently inverting and cooling completely on a wire rack.
  5. While the cake is baking, it's a good time to prepare the salted caramel sauce (click on the link).Β 
  6. When your cake has cooled completely, you're ready to frost it. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using a handheld electric mixer, beat the butter for about 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add the salted caramel sauce and beat for 30 seconds to a minute to combine. Add the vanilla extract, and 1 cup of the powdered sugar and slowly combine, increasing the speed as the sugar begins to become incorporated. Repeat with the remaining 2 cups of icing sugar, using more or less sugar to achieve the right consistency. Frost your cake!Β 

Cake will keep at room temperature for 4-5 days. Cakes (before icing) would freeze very well, up to 2 months if wrapped tightly in plastic wrap.

salted caramel apple cake

Treat your guests to this lightly spiced double layer cake with chunks of juicy apple and mounds of salted caramel buttercream - your next favourite fall dessert!
 

40 Comments

  1. Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen

    I’m sorry you’ve been having failures lately. I know that feeling all too well! But I find that recipe failures and successes comes in cycles, so I’m crossing my fingers that this cake signals a good cycle coming for you! And really, could it signal anything else? Apple cake with salted caramel frosting sounds sooo perfect right now! Happy Friday, my dear!

  2. This looks like it makes up for all of the failures! I love that there are so many apples in this cake, i like apple not just a faint flavor of them! I think it goes with saying that this is absolutely stunning! Two big thumbs up for this one

  3. Those apples on the top are a gorgeous garnish! Love it! This cake looks divine. Congrats on a gorgeous win!

  4. Ughh kitchen fails are such a bummer! But this cake is definitely a winner! I’m dying over the chunks of apples in the cakes! Totally perfect for Fall πŸ™‚

  5. Awww This is a huge win after a bunch of recipes that didn’t go your way Katherine! I am sure you learnt from them.. This cake looks and sounds and I am sure smells like fall! Loving the salted caramel touch!

  6. I love love those cute mini apples on the top..Nothing could have been a better garnish for this amazing cake! This is such a happy,comforting fall cake..And with the salted caramel buttercream, it’s even better!

  7. So absolutely beautiful…an amazing showstopper to pick up your spirits from the recipe fails.
    I really know what that feels is like…😩been there,and threw a few kitchen tantrums myself.
    But I looove this delicious cake and cannot wait to try it. Definitely pinning this one
    Have a great, recipe perfect week!😌

  8. Girl, I’ve had my share of kitchen failures, that’s for sure! Happens to all of us πŸ˜‰ Just last weekend I made a cake and forgot to put the sugar in it, lol. You’ve definitely got a winner on your hands with this one, though! It looks stunning and so moist! And salted caramel? Swoon! Pinned! Hope you’re having a lovely weekend πŸ™‚ XO

  9. Sorry you have been having lots of recipe fails!! But, trust me girl, it happens to ALL of us!! Doesn’t make it suck any less though. πŸ˜‰ I’d say it looks like the tides are turning for you though, because this cake is a stunner!! I’m dying over that icing!! Is it bad I want this for breakfast? I say no, because gimme gimme!!!! Cheers!

  10. Boo for recipe fails Katherine! But YAY for this crazy delicious looking cake! I wish I could grab a slice right through my screen!

  11. Not only is this a win(!) it deserves a ticker-tape parade! I’d love a slice with my morning coffee…

  12. marcie@flavorthemoments

    I hate weeks like that when I have multiple recipe failures…it’s so frustrating! I’m glad this cake was a win and it’s a beauty! I’m in love with apples and everything salted caramel, and I think you did do them a favor “borrowing” those baby apples! haha

  13. This cake..well… takes the cake πŸ˜‰ . She’s a beauty! I love the little apples on top, no matter how you got them lol. I had a series of failures over the spring and it can really get to you. But you came out strong, love that you can see the apples in the cake!! And I can’t forget to mention salted caramel butter cream, yum!! Take care.

  14. I’m cracking up at your ‘borrowed’ apples. πŸ˜‰ If you needed a win, you certainly got one because this cake looks fantastic! I’d love a slice of it this very moment.

  15. Ben|Havocinthekitchen

    What a beautiful cake you’ve created, Katherine! It’s certainly worth of those few failures – they indeed help to appreciate how delicious, moist (sorry too!), and flavorful this cake is. Definitely, perfect fall cake. And don’t be embarrassed about the apples. You only helped out those folks who obviously didn’t have much time to handle the tree. There’s a beautiful apple tree on our street, and the owners aren’t going to pick the apples either. The only one thing that stops me is that the tree is a little far from the road. The same neighbors WASTED cherries this summer (I hope birds and squirrels were happy at least). Anyway, have s good week, apple thief!

    • Thank you so much Ben!! I agree, I think those failures make a win SO much sweeter!! I want to cry a little thinking of your neighbours wasting cherries!? Apples are one thing, but cherries should certainly never go to waste. You should have snuck and stolen some in the cover of darkness πŸ˜‰ Hope you have a wonderful week too Ben!!

  16. Recipe failures are something that’s inevitable for all of us. You are not alone my dear:) This cake is well worth the wait – looks beautiful and all that apple flavor. That salted caramel buttercream takes it to an whole new level!!!

  17. you are too funny! love your stories and totally agree re ‘borrowing’ apples from people! Sorry about the baking failures, but this sure does make up for it! looks amazing!

  18. I love those cute little apples on top! If that cake was in actually in front of me, you might want to turn your head. I would probably be diving in. This is gorgeous and with those flavors, it has to be insanely yummy Catherine!! P.S. I go through the cycles too and then you get this! Totally rewarding! πŸ˜€

  19. This cake looks and sounds amazing!! And the salted caramel icing is luscious! It’s double dipping finger licking good. I love the apple adornment on topβ€”you deserve a free pass for “borrowing” them! πŸ™‚

  20. Oh my goodness goshness SALTED CARAMEL + APPLE + CAKE?!!?! 😍😍😍 *drools* That would be so funny if the people down your street saw this post and recognized their apples in your photos! LOL. But the apples look so pretty on top of your cake, I am sure they wouldn’t mind!! πŸ™‚

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