This post may contain affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission.

Easy Apple Cake with Caramel Topping – So Good!

Sharing is caring!

When my husband, August, first sampled this apple cake recipe, he stopped for a minute and said, “That is really good. That is the best dessert I've tasted since… (long pause) the last time you made a really awesome dessert.”

He went on to compare it with his favorite dessert, which I haven't made in a while since it takes longer to prep. This one is much easier, and the whole family loves it.

Easy Apple Cake with Caramel Topping

Easy Apple Cake Recipe

This rich, moist apple cake turns out perfect every time. The decadent buttery caramel-like topping makes it extra special.

The recipe is adapted from Favorite Recipes of America: Desserts from 1968.

For the print friendly version, scroll to the bottom of the article.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups apples, finely diced
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Caramel topping:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

For the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Mix apples and sugar together. Let stand until sugar is thoroughly dissolved. Add egg and beat well.
  3. Sift together dry ingredient. Stir dry ingredients into apple mixture.
  4. Add walnuts (optional) and vanilla.
  5. Pour batter into an 8×8 inch pan. Bake at 375°F for 40 to 45 minutes or until done.

Caramel topping (prep during last 10 – 15 minutes the cake is baking):

  1. In a medium sauce pot, whisk together sugars, flour, and water. Cook, stirring frequently, until mixture starts to thicken and become glossy.
  2. Add butter and stir until melted. Remove from heat and add vanilla.
  3. Pour topping over cake while both are still hot.

Serve warm or at room temperature, with maple cinnamon whipped cream or ice cream if you like. Best served the day it's baked.

If you don't have an 8×8 square pan, a nine inch round pan will also do.

What kind of apples do you use for apple cake?

We use whatever apples we have on hand, but granny smith and gala apples are good choices if you're buying apples. It's nice to have some tartness in the apple to balance the sweetness of the caramel.

For variety, try a mix of apples (though I don't recommend red delicious). Some popular apples that are good for baking include:

  • Fuji
  • Honeycrisp
  • Pink Lady
  • Golded Delicious
  • Braeburn
  • Jonagold
  • McIntosh

How long will apple cake keep?

This apple cake recipe is best eaten the day that it's baked, because the caramel sauce starts to break down the second day.

It's fine to keep the cake on the countertop, lightly covered, overnight. That's all the longer it lasts in our home. Refrigerate or freeze for longer storage.

If you skip the sauce, it will last for about a week in the refrigerator. You can freeze it up to three months. Thaw the cake before serving.

Can I use frozen apple slices?

Yes, it's okay to use frozen apples for cake. Just bring them to room temperature before beginning to mix your recipe. Don't drain the juice.

Easy Apple Cake with Caramel Topping

Print Friendly Recipe

Print

Easy Apple Cake with Caramel Topping

This rich, moist cake turns out perfect every time. The decadent caramel topping makes it extra special.

  • Author: Laurie Neverman
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 12 slices 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 cups apples, finely diced
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Caramel topping:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

For the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Mix apples and sugar together. Let stand until sugar is thoroughly dissolved. Add egg and beat well.
  3. Sift together dry ingredient. Stir dry ingredients into apple mixture.
  4. Add walnuts (optional) and vanilla.
  5. Pour batter into an 8×8 inch pan. Bake at 375°F for 40 to 45 minutes or until done.

Caramel topping (prep during last 10 -15 minutes the cake is baking):

  1. In a medium sauce pot, whisk together sugars, flour, and water. Cook, stirring frequently, until mixture starts to thicken and become glossy.
  2. Add butter and stir until melted. Remove from heat and add vanilla.
  3. Pour topping over cake while both are still hot.

Serve warm or at room temperature, with whipped cream or ice cream, if you like. Best served the day it's baked.

Notes

If you don't have an 8×8 square pan, a nine inch round pan will also do.

Keywords: apples, cake, easy dessert, old fashioned

Did you make this recipe?

Share a photo and tag us — we can't wait to see what you've made!

Gluten Free AIP Compliant Recipe Adaptations

One of our readers shared how she made this apple cake recipe gluten free and AIP compliant:

I used cassava flour, a gelatin egg, and coconut sugar in the cake. In the caramel I used cassava flour, coconut sugar and palm shortening and no vanilla.

Even with all the changes everyone just loved it and it has been requested to go into the Sunday dessert rotation.

This book will help you: Save money, Avoid the Preservatives and Additives in Commercial Bread, and Enjoy the amazing aroma of fresh baked bread!
If you like homestyle, easy to follow recipes, check out my book, “Never Buy Bread Again”.

ORDER YOUR COPY OF “NEVER BUY BREAD AGAIN” HERE

Apple Recipes and More

We have over 100 recipes on the site, ranging from snacks, to main dishes, to desserts. (Plus canning and preserving recipes and tips.)

You can find them all sorted by category on the Recipes and Kitchen Tips page, including:

Grandma Catherine's Carrot Cake

Cranberry Apple Pie 

Maple Candied Walnuts

Fried Apples with Maple Cinnamon Glaze (No Refined Sugar)

How to Make Apple Jelly – Just Two Ingredients

Similar Posts

10 Comments

  1. I would like to make this cake but was wondering about the lack of butter or oil in the cake ingredients? Is this correct? It looks yummy and I so want to make this for my family.

  2. The recipe does not specify if the apples are peeled or not. So — is it necessary to peel the apples?

    1. I do not. Because the cake itself is so moist and the caramel topping adds even more moisture, it scoops out easily.

      If you wanted to invert the cake onto a serving platter before pouring over the topping, then I would grease and flour the pan.

  3. Just made this tonight and it was a big hit! I expected it would be based on the reviews your family gave, but I had to do some substitutions to make it AIP compliant and it worked beautifully. I used cassava flour, a gelatin egg, and coconut sugar in the cake and in the caramel I used cassava flour, coconut sugar and palm shortening and no vanilla. Even with all the changes everyone just loved it and it has been requested to go into the Sunday dessert rotation. My husband is wanting the caramel sauce on chocolate ice cream next! (We make that with coconut milk, maple syrup and cocoa and it is fabulous!)

    1. Thanks for sharing your substitutions, and I’m glad it worked out well. It can be tricky to adapt recipes for special diets, so I really appreciate you taking the time to type up your substitutions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating