Caramel Apple Spice Cake Recipe

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This homemade Caramel Apple Cake is a heavenly combination of  apples, cinnamon, nuts, caramel & all around coziness! I wish I had a big slice right now.

Caramel Apple Spice Cake- This moist and delicious layer cake has SO much flavor and is perfect for fall!

It is one of our favorite cakes no matter what time of year but we especially love it for fall celebrations!

It is so moist, and the cream cheese frosting drizzled with caramel takes it to another level.

Not only will you get big apple flavor from the two cups of grated Granny Smith apples in the recipe, but the addition of applesauce adds flavor as well as additional moistness! 

Frostings that taste Great with Spice Cakes

This Caramel Apple Spice Cake has so much flavor on it's own, but ohhh the filling and frosting takes it to a whole new level!

I always find cream cheese-based frostings to be a PERFECT complement to spiced desserts.

There's just something so wonderful about the pairing of spice with the tanginess of a silky smooth cream cheese frosting.

*We used our classic cream cheese frosting for this recipe but we also love our Apple Spice Cream Cheese Frosting.

(The Apple Spice cream cheese frosting is pictured in the photo below for our cake mix version of apple spice cake.) Both of these recipes are so simple to make and taste fantastic!

Amazing Caramel Apple Spice Cake Recipe from Scratch! Recipe by Online cake classes, recipes, videos, and more!

Cream Cheese Frosting Consistency

If your cream cheese frosting is too soft, you can add additional confectioners sugar to thicken it.

However, if the frosting is too warm, (whether from the temperature of your room or from the heat of your hands while piping) you should pop it in the refrigerator for a few minutes . This will firm it up so that it can hold its shape. 

Apple Spice Cake from Cake Mix

For those of you who love to work with doctored cake mix recipes, this simple  Apple Spice Cake {Doctored Cake Mix} Recipe is amazing! All of the apple spiced flavor that you love in a scratch recipe. In fact, nobody would guess that it started from a mix!  

I highly recommend printing both of these Apple Spice recipes, it's good to have options! 

More Apple Cakes to Love

We've made several apple cakes over the years! In addition to today's Apple Spice Cake, make sure to add these delicious favorites to your list Applesauce Cake, Apple Cinnamon CakeApple Toffee Caramel Cake, and Apple Cinnamon Layer Cake!

If you're looking for more favorite fall and Thanksgiving cake ideas and tutorials, don't miss our Roundup of Fall and Thanksgiving Cake Recipes, Tutorials, and Ideas!

Moist and Delicious Caramel Apple Spice Cake! You will love this fantastic fall cake recipe!
Moist and Delicious Caramel Apple Spice Cake

Caramel Apple Spice Cake

This Caramel Apple Spice Cake has so much flavor from apples, cinnamon, caramel, and nuts! It's always a favorite but I especially love it in the fall!
Course: Dessert
Servings: 15
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For the Cake

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened (113g)
  • ½ cup vegetable oil (107g)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar (400g)
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature (if in a hurry, place in a bowl of warm water for 5 minutes)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (6g)
  • 1 cup applesauce (unsweetened) (252g)
  • 3 cups all purpose flour (342g)
  • ½ teaspoon salt (3g)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda (5g)
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon (9g)
  • 2 cups grated or finely chopped apples (peel first) (250g) We used Granny Smith (3 large apples or 4 medium) If grating the apples be sure to use the large holes so as not to produce apple juice.
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (100g)
  • Zest of 1 small lemon optional
  • 1 Jar of Caramel Sauce/topping for spreading on layers and drizzling
  • Cream Cheese Frosting or your filling/frosting of choice. see our Recipes section!
  • *Makes approximately 6 ½ cups of batter

For the Cream Cheese Frosting (We also like Apple Spice Cream Cheese frosting with this recipe)

  • 2 sticks 1 cup, (226g) unsalted butter, slightly softened
  • 16 oz cream cheese (452g total) We use two 8 oz packages of "full fat" cream cheese.
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (8g)
  • ½ teaspoon salt 2g optional
  • 6 to 6 ½ cups powdered sugar (690g to 747g)


For the Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • Grease and flour three 8 inch pans A WAXED PAPER circle should be put in the bottom of each pan (grease and flour also) there tends to be more of a sticking problem when recipes have fruit.
  • Cream the butter, add oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla and applesauce. Mix well.
  • Put the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and whisk to mix.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix to blend.
  • Fold in the grated apples, lemon zest and nuts.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Let cool in pans 10 minutes then turn out.
  • As I assembled my cake layers, I added another layer of flavor with a very thinly spread coating of caramel. I used store bought. I spread the top of each layer with a very thin layer before spreading my cream cheese filling. After assembling, I frosted the cake with cream cheese frosting and drizzled with additional caramel sauce. *I have also made this cake as a bundt cake, and as cupcakes with great results!

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Cut the butter into slices and add to the bowl of your mixer. Beat on low to medium speed until the butter is softened and smooth.
  • Cut the cold cream cheese into pieces and add to the butter, beating at low to medium speed until incorporated. If you are using a hand mixer you may need to soften the cream cheese a bit more.
  • Add the vanilla. Gradually add the powdered sugar beating on low speed until blended. Cover the bowl with a towel to keep down the cloud of powdered sugar.
  • Increase mixing speed and beat until fluffy. Don't over beat or it will become too soft. If it becomes too soft, just refrigerate a short while to firm it up a bit.
  • This frosting will pipe best if used while still chilled. You can make it in advance, refrigerate and when ready to use let it soften slightly (do not microwave) and remix.
4.38 from 35 votes (35 ratings without comment)

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  1. Hi Marlene, Yes, it will be fine to make the cake layers in advance. Double wrap each layer and then wrap in aluminum foil. These layers can be frozen 2months. Let thaw completely while wrapped. Or you can let thaw wrapped until condensation forms on the outside of the aluminum foil then unwrap and allow to continue to thaw completely. I like to thaw the cake and frost the day before serving, 2 days before will be fine also. Because of the cream cheese frosting the cake will need refrigeration. Keep it under a cake cover or in an airtight container while refrigerated. Remove from the refrigerator 2 hours before serving for best flavor and texture. It will be great! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  2. Hi Marlene, I did peel the apples before grating. I did not make a note of how many apples but I would buy 3 large or 4 medium sized apples, to be on the safe side.

  3. Thank you so much for getting back to me. I bought the apples today and will try to get this cake baked and in the freezer in a couple of days. I will let you know how the family likes it. Of course, it wont be until after Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving.

  4. Hi Marlene, Thanks for bringing up the question, I'm sure it will help others . I have added that information to the recipe. Hope you love the recipe. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

  5. Hi Linda, I did not squeeze any juice from the apples. You should not have a lot of juice if you use the large holes on you grater

  6. Bebe, I would like to cook the apples a bit because we don't like "pieces" or chunks of fruit in our cakes. Any thoughts on what the results would be if the apples were cooked down somewhat.

  7. Hi Paula, The apples in the cake are grated so they are very thin and are soft after the cake is baked, there would not be any chunks of apples. I think if you are going to dice the apples you could (depending on how big the dice) have pieces of apples that might have some firmness after the cake is baked. If you want to cook the apples, I think you could steam the diced apples a bit or cook briefly in boiling water and drain throughly, it would be fine. I would NOT cook or steam the grated apples because I think it would quickly turn into applesauce. I hope you will enjoy the cake!