Just for the record, caramel, apples, and I don’t get along very well. Caramel and anything else, no bigs. Caramel and apples and something just goes all sorts of wrong in my kitchen. Caramel ends up everywhere besides where it is supposed to be and usually ends up with me doing a lot of extra cleaning. See hot mess here. Which pretty much sums up how I feel today. Maybe it’s the weather, maybe it’s the lifestyle but something in me is going a little nuts today. I am all sorts of down on myself, down on Pass the Sushi and wondering where it all got off track.

I abhor blog posts that are self loathing and pithy attempts to get some pats on the back and try to keep pretty much everything I post on here neutral. Vanilla. Boring? Maybe that’s the problem. Maybe I should write about the craziness that comes out of my mouth, but my vulgar language and wicked sense of humor would scare 99% of you off and the remaining 1% probably wouldn’t read the posts any way. Wah wah wah. See whiny posts are annoying aren’t they? I’m annoyed just writing it. On to cake.

This cake took two tries. The first time it was a disaster. Due to the weight and moisture of the cake the middle layer collapsed in my fridge and spilled icing everywhere. So I took a spoon and ‘cleaned up’ the mess. It broke my heart to throw the three layers away, because flavor wise, they were right on.

The second time, I made sure to cook my cake an extra 5 minutes just to make sure it was very firm. No second layer disaster but the icing still wasn’t holing up in the way I wanted it too. Boo Hiss. The cake pretty much ate the icing in the middle layers so you can’t even tell I poured it on in there. If I were to make this cake again, I would bake it in one cake pan, instead of as a triple layer can and just ice the top. No one will complain, the flavor is outstanding.



Caramel Apple Cake

from Baked Explorations


For the cake:

  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 teas baking soda
  • 1 teas baking powder
  • 1 teas salt
  • 2 teas cinnamon
  • 1 teas allspice
  • 1 teas cloves
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, cut into 1″ cubes , at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 cups applesauce

For the caramel buttercream:

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, soft but still cold, cut into 1″ cubes
  • 1 teas vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup caramel sauce, at room temperature


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease 3 cake pans, line with parchment paper and grease again; Set aside.

Combine the flour, baking soda, powder, salt, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves in a medium bowl. Set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and add the sugar. Beat for about 3 minutes more and scrape down the sides again. Add the eggs, and mix until incorporated. Scrape down sides one more time.

Mix in the flour and applesauce in 3 additions starting and ending with the flour. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl so that all of the ingredients are well combined. Divide batter evenly among the prepared cake pans and bake for 40-45 minutes, rotating pans halfway through bake time, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Transfer pans to wire rack to cool for 20 minuets. Turn cakes out onto racks, remove parchment, and cool completely before icing.

Make the buttercream frosting: In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the sugar and flour together. add the milk and cream and cook over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil and has thickened, about 10-15 minutes, whisking occasionally.

Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cover and beat on high speed until cool. Reduce the speed to low and add the butter and vanilla; mix until thoroughly incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy.

Add 1/3 cup caramel and continue mixing until combined. If the frosting is too soft, place in the fridge for 15 minutes to chill slightly, then beat again until it is the proper consistency.

Assemble the cake: Place one cake layer on a serving tray and trim to create a flat surface. Spread 1 1/4 cups frosting evenly across the top. Add the next layer, trim and frost it, and add the third layer. Crumb coat your cake and place in refrigerator for 15 minutes to set. Frost the sides and top with the remaining frosting. Drizzle the remaining caramel on top and set in the fridge for 15 minutes to set before serving.

This cake can be stored covered in the fridge for up to three days.




  1. Awww, bless. I’ve been there my friend. A few months back the blog started feeling like a job and less like fun. I had to take a step back, reevaluate what I was doing and make the executive decision to go down to one post a week. A makeover always helps too!

    Gorgeous cake though! Even if it was a butthead and made you bake a re-do. Stupid cake. Stupid baking. But hey, totally worth the high yum factor!

    Here’s hoping you get your groove back because without you…my inner fat kid might be forced to turn to CHEW as its ‘foodie fix’ alternative. And we both know how gross that would be 🙂

  2. Hi Kita!

    First time here on your fabulous space! =)

    I hate working with caramel as well, its just a catastrophe every single time, and dont worry for certainly I would enjoy your frank talks, so you wouldn’t scare me away for sure. 😉 I really love looking at your first picture of your wonderful caramel apple cake/torte and I pinned it already. Hope to read more from your side pretty soon!


  3. If you wrote this yesterday, then there was a vibe going on because I felt the same way. Hubby called at some point during the day and commented on the fact that my preface before the actual recipe stuff was so short (and actually kind of morbid). I was in a blue funk and feeling just like you’re saying.

    Just so you know, my heart broke over having to throw away caramel icing. And then again over all the clean-up you had to do. I’m sorry. That just adds to discouraging.

    I think this cake is stunning and perfect and made just for me. I love caramel apples and cake and all three together. And you.

  4. Just the other day I made a chocolate banana cream cake and it was a disaster. The frosting was sliding off the top when I was only halfway done, and I wanted to just throw it off my 3rd floor balcony. But it tasted too good to toss it, so I managed to frost part of it okay and just took a picture of the slice that came from that spot haha. So I am very glad your second attempt worked out because I did not have the patience to do that for my cake. Oh and that drizzle down the side of yours is awesome. And btw, I have a feeling I would enjoy your language and humor. But I definitely hold back on my blog too.

  5. I definitely think you should write about all the craziness! Those are my favorite types of blogs. I loathe the twee trend going around lately – the food blog world needs some real writers that use *gasp* bad words and talk about things that aren’t sunshine and rainbows.

    Cake looks awesome. I think your cakes always look incredible though. I’ve had your Caramel-Glazed Apple Bread on my bookmarks bar for weeks now. I need to go make it.

  6. I want full-on, bad ass Kita. Am I allowed to say ass here? Anyway be you because you are awesome. Eating cake is awesome too and I want this awesomeness in my face.

  7. It’s so easy to get off track. I truly think everyone needs a blog-cation every so often just to regroup. And of course this cake should be included in that time.

  8. First of all, I still remember your caramel apple cake from last year and how incredible it looked, hot mess or not.

    Second, this looks just as incredible. I might have to try it with your adjustment suggestions.

  9. Well that cake certainly looks beautiful and I bet it tastes great too 🙂 But it’s always a bummer when things don’t go as planned in the kitchen. It has happened to me many times and will probably happen again, but there’s always another recipe to be baked.

  10. 1. I loves yah.
    2. I wouldn’t be bothered if you started to swear a LOT more.
    3. This cake is freakin’ my freak.

  11. I love that this cake is made with apple sauce so that it stays smooth and moist. Can’t wait to try it.

  12. I could go all crazy and make my own apple sauce for this… or just stare at the photos all day.

  13. Dude I say be you all the way. I’d read. Vanilla is boring. And whiny posts are okay once in awhile, it lets us know your human when you mess up the cake and swear like a sailor about it. Keep on keeping on lady, I’ll read you no matter what. Chin up and all that jazz. Now send me some freaking cake! I’m a hungry biotch these days.

  14. I’m sorry about the first attempt but the second one looks like absolute perfection! And you know I would’ve helped “clean up” the cake in your fridge! (Meaning I would’ve just eaten it off your fridge 🙂

  15. I just started getting into baking (so far I;ve made 2 cakes that actually worked out! – i’ve always been a bit crap at the whole measurements thing!) but I definitely want to try this one 🙂

  16. I saved this recipe when I saw it and knew it was one I wanted to do. Today was an employee’s birthday so I made it over the weekend. Everyone RAVED about it! The applesauce made the layers so moist and the caramel frosting was amazing! I used the Pioneer Woman’s recipe for caramel sauce and this is a total winner! Thanks so much for a great recipe!!! It sliced up beautifully and I felt like a pro!

    1. It’s great to hear when someone tries a recipe from my site – and always better when it’s a hit! I’m glad you and your employees enjoyed this one. 😀

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