An apple (cake) a day keeps the Dr. away. That's what they say, right? I'll take my apple baked into a soft and tender buttery brown sugar cake batter with a caramel drizzle please! This Caramel Apple Cake is a great way to celebrate Fall and it is incredibly easy to make. It has the most lovely soft crumb with tender cinnamon apples throughout.
WHY YOU WILL LOVE THIS RECIPE:
- Moist apple cake - this recipe makes a moist cake that stays moist without drying out thanks to the apples baked right in!
- Soft and tender texture - you will love how soft this cake is with a tender and delicate crumb thanks to a combination of butter and oil.
- Cinnamon spice cake - the fragrant cinnamon is cozy and warming.
- Salted caramel drizzle - caramel is a staple in my fridge during the Fall! I always have a batch prepared to drizzle on... well, pretty much everything! Here is my recipe for Easy Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce.
INGREDIENTS FOR CARAMEL APPLE CAKE
- Unsalted butter - butter adds richness and tenderness. For this recipe you can use unsalted or salted butter. If you use salted butter, then reduce the added salt by half. I like to use butter in this recipe for a rich taste to complement the apples.
- Sunflower oil - this recipe uses a blend of butter and oil so that you get the flavour of butter and the soft texture from liquid oil.
- Brown sugar - brown sugar adds caramel-like flavour due to the molasses content and it really complements the apple and cinnamon.
- Egg - one large egg will add enough structure to bind the cake without making the crumb too firm.
- Pure vanilla extract - vanilla will add rich backnotes. I like this Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla extract.
- Milk - I recommend using whole milk or 2% milk for this recipe and it helps if it is at room temperature.
- All purpose flour - regular unbleached all-purpose flour works great for this simple cake.
- Cinnamon - apple and cinnamon is a no-brainer combination!
- Salted Caramel Sauce - I use my recipe for Salted Caramel Sauce that you can find here. You can make it in advance and keep it stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS
- STEP 1). Make the filling. Combine apples, sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl until blended. Most of it will get folded into the batter, and some will go on top just before baking.
- STEP 2). Combine dry ingredients. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl and whisk to blend evenly.
- STEP 3). Cream fat and sugar. Combine soft butter, sugar, oil, vanilla extract in a large bowl and beat with an electric hand mixer until pale and fluffy.
- STEP 4). Add egg. Beat in egg until evenly incorporated.
- STEP 5). Add dry ingredients and milk. Add half of the flour mixture and mix on low then alternate adding milk and the remaining dry ingredients while mixing on low or folding gently until just combined.
- STEP 6). Spread it out. Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Scatter reserved apples on top.
- STEP 7). BAKE. Bake for 30-35 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. While still warm, drizzle about ¼ cup of caramel sauce over top. Then, once cooled, drizzle more caramel sauce on top just before serving.
EXPERT BAKING TIPS FOR CARAMEL APPLE CAKE
- Do not over-mix the batter. Once the flour is mostly combined (with a few light streaks), then the batter is ready for baking.
- Use butter for the flavour. I like to use butter when making recipes that call for spice since it adds rich backnotes that carry the spice well so it is more rounded rather than sharp and astringent. Butter also helps to thicken the batter so they help hold up the apples too.
- Drizzle some caramel while the cake is warm. Using some caramel while the cake is warm means that the cake will absorb some of it and it will make the cake moist and rich with flavour!
Can I make this caramel apple cake with oil?
Butter is important for this recipe to thicken the batter and suspend the apple pieces. If you were to use all oil, then the batter will be very runny.
What type of apples can I use in caramel apple cake?
I find a firm red apple works great, such as Honey Crisp or Fugi. You can also use Royal Gala. If you prefer green apples, then Golden Delicious would be nice.
Can I freeze apple cinnamon cake?
I wouldn't recommend freezing this cake since the apples have high moisture and the cake may be too soft once thawed. The good news is that it keeps well in the fridge, and you can just warm slices up slightly in the microwave with a scoop of ice cream - YUM.
If you love cake, check out these recipes!Cinnamon Streusel Coffee CakePumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese FrostingULTIMATE Moist hocolate Fudge CakeCopycat Starbucks Lemon LoafRaspberry Almond CakeONE BOWL Vanilla Cake with Chocolate FrostingSticky Toffee Date CakeBlueberry Peach Upside Down Cake
Caramel Apple Cake
- 1 ⅔ cups 235g all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup 56g unsalted butter softened
- ¼ cup 60ml sunflower oil
- ½ cup 110g packed light brown sugar
- ¼ cup 50g granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon 5ml pure vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup 120ml milk
Filling & Topping:
- 1 ½ cups apple, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes approximately 1 large red apple
- 1 ½ tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 recipe Salted Caramel Sauce for drizzling
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Line an 8x8-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
- Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl and whisk to blend evenly.
- Combine soft butter, sugar, oil and vanilla extract in a large bowl and beat with an electric hand mixer until pale and fluffy. Beat in egg until evenly incorporated. Add half of the flour mixture and mix on low then alternate adding milk and dry ingredients while mixing on low until just combined.
- For the topping, combine apples with sugar and cinnamon and toss together so apples are evenly coated. Fold in 1 cup of apples.
- Spread batter into prepared pan and top with remaining apples. Bake for 30-35 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. Drizzle about ¼ cup of caramel sauce over the cake while warm. Once cooled, drizzle more caramel sauce on top just before serving.