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Apple Spice Cake with Caramel Glaze

Apple Spice Cake with Caramel Glaze is full of fall flavor. With fresh apples, warm spices, and a gooey caramel glaze, this is one irresistible cake!

slice of Apple Spice Cake on a white plate

Spiced Apple Cake with Caramel Sauce

To me, few things scream, “Fall!” as much as baking with apples. Of course, what are apples without cinnamon? And just to make it even more fantastic, let’s throw in a little caramel, too. Seriously, this Apple Spice Cake is fall perfectly represented in a cake.

This is just the kind of cake that’s excitedly welcomed for a special fall dinner, while also being the kind of cake that makes you want to grab a small slice just to enjoy with your favorite coffee or tea.

caramel-glazed Apple Spice Cake on a white cake stand

It’s also perfectly delicious without the glaze if you’d like a simpler, less rich cake. Serve it warm with a scoop of ice cream and a sprinkling of chopped nuts.

This Apple Spice Bundt Cake is simple to make and a joy to eat. It’s really a beautiful, tasty thing. I highly recommend you track down some apples, whip up some caramel sauce, and treat yourself to this lovely dessert that celebrates the season in a big, delicious way!

ingredients for Apple Spice Cake with Caramel Glaze

What You’ll Need

Despite the long-ish list of ingredients for this Apple Spice Cake and its caramel glaze, most are basic baking ingredients. You’ll just need a few extra items to create this beauty!

For the cake:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Ground cinnamon: Use a good quality cinnamon for the best flavor.
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Oil: I recommend canola oil or vegetable oil.
  • Granulated sugar
  • Eggs
  • Apples: Granny Smith apples are great in this cake, as they hold up well despite the long bake time. You can either peel them or not, whichever is your preference.
  • Nuts: Any type of nuts will work – pecans, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, etc. I like to use a combination of favorites.
  • Vanilla extract

For the caramel sauce:

  • Brown sugar: I like light brown sugar for this sauce, but feel free to use dark if you prefer.
  • Butter: I prefer unsalted butter in all of my baking, but a salted butter would be fine here if you omit the salt in the sauce recipe.
  • Evaporated milk: Look for evaporated milk alongside the condensed milk.
  • Vanilla extract
  • Salt
close up view of a slice of Apple Spice Cake on a white plate

How to Make Apple Spice Bundt Cake

This cake mixes easily, and the glaze is easy but will require your undivided attention. You’ll need a couple of mixing bowls, a hand or stand mixer, a heavy saucepan, and a 12-cup Bundt pan.

Prepare for baking. Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease the Bundt pan your preferred way. I highly recommend a thorough coating of a cooking spray with flour, like Baker’s Joy or Pam Baking.

Combine the dry ingredients. Sift the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt to ensure those ingredients are well-mixed.

Beat the wet ingredients. Use an electric mixer to mix the oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Mix them until they are thoroughly combined.

Combine the dry and wet ingredients. With the mixer speed reduced, gradually add the flour mixture. Mix just until the mixture is combined or you can still see a few streaks of flour.

Stir in the apples and nuts. Gently stir in the chopped apples and the nuts.

Bake the cake. After transferring the batter to the pan, bake the cake for 80-90 minutes. When the cake is browned and a pick inserted into the center comes out clean, it’s ready to come out of the oven. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for about 15 minutes. Then invert the cake onto a wire rack to finish cooling.

Make the glaze. Place the brown sugar, butter, evaporated milk, vanilla, and salt in a heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat while stirring constantly. The mixture will thicken as it cooks. Keep an eye on the sauce so that it doesn’t burn. When it’s the thickness you’d like, remove it from the heat and pour it over the cooled cake.

Tips for Success

  • Measure accurately. Use a kitchen scale to measure by weight if possible. Otherwise, use the spoon and sweep method for measuring the dry ingredients and the sugars.
  • Use a light-colored metal Bundt pan. Dark pans tend to over-bake the edges while leaving the inside under-baked. Metal pans conduct heat in a reliable way that works best in most baking recipes.
  • Grease the pan generously. I have the best success with a cooking spray with flour.
  • Don’t over-mix the batter. Too much mixing can lead to a tough, dry cake.
  • Give the sauce your undivided attention. It can quickly go from perfect to over-cooked. Let go of your need to multitask, and concentrate on making that sauce!
overhead view of Apple Spice Cake in a Bundt pan

How to Store Leftovers

Tightly covered, the cake (without the glaze) should keep for up to 3 days at room temperature. Once it’s glazed, store it tightly covered in the refrigerator. Set it out a couple of hours before serving time to let it come to room temperature.

How to Freeze Apple Spice Cake

I recommend freezing the cake and the glaze separately if possible. Wrap the cake well in plastic wrap and then wrap again in aluminum foil or place in a freezer bag. Place the caramel sauce (completely cooled!) in a freezer-safe container. They should each keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

If you have leftover slices of the glazed cake, you can freeze them as they are. Just keep in mind that they may not hold up as well aesthetically.

caramel glaze being poured onto Apple Spice Cake
Find more cake recipes in the Recipe Index.

Apple Spice Cake with Caramel Glaze

Yield 12 to 16 servings
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes

This Apple Spice Cake is a delicious blend of fresh apples and spices topped with a rich caramel glaze.

caramel-glazed Apple Spice Cake on a white cake stand

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 3 cups (360g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 & 1/3 cups (314ml) vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 cups (400g) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3-4 Granny Smith apples, cored and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3 cups)*
  • 1 cup chopped assorted nuts (pecans, almonds, etc.)

For the caramel sauce:

  • 1 cup (200g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

To make the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 12-cup Bundt pan with cooking spray with flour (like Baker's Joy or Pam for Baking). Set aside.
  2. Sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer on high speed, combine the oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla on high speed until blended.
  4. Decrease mixer speed to medium, and gradually add the flour mixture. Mix just until blended. Mix in the vanilla. Stir in the apples and nuts.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake 80-90 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Remove the cake from oven and cool slightly (about 10-15 minutes) on a wire rack. Then, invert the cake onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the caramel sauce:

  1. Combine all the sauce ingredients in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened to desired consistency.
  2. Pour over cake immediately.

Notes

*Peeling the apples is a matter of preference. I generally don't peel apples when I bake with them.

Recipe slightly adapted from Martha Stewart.

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    20 Comments on “Apple Spice Cake with Caramel Glaze”

  1. Beautiful looking and sounding cake!!!

  2. i love caramel sauce with anything.

  3. I had two favorite cakes as a child. My mom made Devil’s Food Cake with Seven Minute Icing for my birthday and your Grannie made “Applesauce” Cake at Christmas. She would make one for me and another for everyone else. I was her “baby Tim” you know. If she had put Caramel on it…forget about it!!!

  4. the caramel looks extremely good, it’s like a caramel apple on a cake

  5. I love spice cake! Especially with caramel. I’m saving this for next fall. I went apple crazy in October and now I’ve had it with apples. It still looks fantastic. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. This looks delicious! Apples, spices, AND caramel – definitely making this, thanks, I love your blog!

  7. This just screams delicious to me! There seriously is no better combination than apples, cinnamon, and caramel. Yum!

  8. This cake looks wonderful! I love apples, cinnamon and caramel together – a perfect fall palate!

  9. i am so excited to try to bake this tonight for a chicken stew tomorrow. it looks fantastic!

  10. Sounds delicious, do you peel the apples? It doesn’t say to.

  11. I just made this cake and it was absolutely delicious ๐Ÿ™‚ I halved the ingredients so 50 minutes was long enough cooking time and my family all really loved it! Thanks for the great recipe.

  12. Is all purpose flour self raising or plain

  13. Sounds delish and I have been asked to bring an apple dessert to a Thanksgiving dinner. Am wondering if you can substitute applesauce for some of the oil?

    • Hi, Chris. I’ve not tried it, so I can’t speak from experience. I’d guess that you can substitute a third to a half of the oil based on the brand’s recommendations for substitution. If I recall correctly, it’s a 1:1 substitution.

  14. I’ve made this twice..Its the best..the caramel sauce is the kicker!! Cooking it right now!!๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•

  15. Is the batter supposed to be like cement?

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