Caramel apple cake is the perfect fall dessert, especially since it highlights the delicious apples of autumn! The sweet caramel is just icing on the cake, so to speak.

I went and did it. I’ve broken every one of my seasonal rules that keep me from getting to far ahead of myself. Or, like I will be in early to mid November, too excited about the upcoming season and events. I have rules about not changing the candles in the house from sunshine and buttercups to pumpkins and leaves. Rules about not wearing boots, making sure to get every moment of flip flop wearing weather in. And of course, rules about not decorating, not fantasizing, certainly not shopping, and not cooking out of season.

But I went and did it. The first whiff of ‘autumn orgasm’ from those wretched scent stores yanked me in, as did the over abundance of apples and squashes at the market. And the abnormal rainy, cold or otherwise gray weather for my area just sent it all over the top.

autumn apples

Plug-ins were changed, soaps stashed until next spring, cute flats brought out and dusted off (still holding out for the boots), candy corn on the counter and worst of all autumn baking was being had.

Posting a recipe for caramel apple cake isn’t a huge deal, as by the time I post this, it will only be a few more days until the official start of fall.

But to be honest, I was saving the post, because I baked the caramel apple cake a while ago…. Shame on me.

Caramel apple cake is the perfect fall dessert, especially since it highlights the delicious apples of autumn! The sweet caramel is just icing on the cake, so to speak. \\


Caramel Apple Cake

from Food Network Magazine 

Caramel apple cake is the perfect fall dessert, especially since it highlights the delicious apples of autumn! The sweet caramel is just icing on the cake, so to speak. \\ passthesushi.comIngredients

For the Caramel and Apples:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 5 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 large Golden Delicious apples (1 3/4 to 2 pounds)

For the Batter:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs


Butter a 9-by-3-inch round cake pan. Make the caramel: Cook the sugar and corn syrup in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is dark amber, 7 to 10 minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium. Carefully add the cream and 4 tablespoons butter (it will splatter) and cook, stirring, until combined, about 3 minutes.

Remove the skillet from the heat and let sit 1 minute. Pour 1 1/2 cups caramel into a glass measuring cup and set aside. Pour the remaining caramel into the prepared pan and set aside until set, about 30 minutes.

Cut 3 apples into quarters and cut out the cores with a paring knife. Arrange the pieces skin-side down in the pan (overlapping them slightly) to form a ring about 1/2 inch from the edge. Save any pieces that do not fit for later.

Halve the remaining whole apple crosswise. Scoop out the seeds with a melon baller or measuring spoon, leaving the stem on the top half. Chop the bottom and any of the leftover quartered apples into pieces; set aside.

Arrange the apple top, stem-side down, in the center of the pan. If the quartered apples shift, just push them back into place.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Make the batter: Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, whisk the sour cream, orange juice and vanilla.

Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Crack the eggs into a small bowl. Slip them into the mixer bowl, one at a time, and beat until the mixture is pale and creamy, about 5 more minutes. Scrape down the bowl and beater with a rubber spatula.

With the mixer on low speed, add half of the sour cream mixture, then half of the flour mixture. Repeat. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula; finish combining the batter by hand.

Spread the batter over the apples in the pan. Top with the chopped apple. Bake on the middle oven rack until the cake is brown on top and springs back when pressed, 1 hour to 1 hour 20 minutes (don’t worry if the top is dark). Cool in the pan on a rack.

Bring 1 inch of water to a simmer in a skillet wide enough to hold the cake pan. Carefully run a sharp knife around the inside of the pan several times, then rest the pan in the water to soften the caramel, about 8 minutes. Remove the pan from the water and dry.

Invert a plate on top of the cake, then flip over the cake and plate*. Using pot holders or a towel, wriggle the pan off. Soften the reserved 1 1/2 cups caramel in the microwave, about 2 minutes. Drizzle the cake with some of the caramel. Slice and serve with the rest.


Caramel apple cake is the perfect fall dessert, especially since it highlights the delicious apples of autumn! The sweet caramel is just icing on the cake, so to speak. \\

*In case you may not have noticed, this caramel apple cake, dripping with delicious caramel, was a bit of a hot mess for me. I recommend using a plate with a slight dome in the center, not a flat cake plate to catch all of the caramel gooey-ness, saving yourself some bitching clean up. Or you can live life on the edge like me.


Caramel apple cake is the perfect fall dessert, especially since it highlights the delicious apples of autumn! The sweet caramel is just icing on the cake, so to speak. \\


  1. Heehee. This is good reason to jump ahead and get that autumnal…oh, what a dripping piece of beauty!

  2. Oh, I could eat this beauty ANY time of the year! That dripping caramel is FABULOUS, Kita!!!!

  3. That is one of the most beautiful cakes I have seen in a long time. Wow! Stunning.

  4. WHOA. Hold the presses – this looks delicious. I am a huge sucker for caramel. Less so for apples…but I’m pretty sure drenching them in caramel would do it for me. ^_^ Marking this on my “to-bake” list.

    Also, as long as you’re not breaking out the Christmas music I think your autumn gusto is acceptable.

  5. Lucky for us you gave in to your temptation to break your rule! This is perfection!

  6. this looks amazing. wish you lived closer so i go steal a slice

  7. The picture is what drew me in. I want to clean off that beautiful cake holder fingerful by fingerful. Wow, what a cake. Thank you for breaking your rules and showing us this recipe a few days early.

    You really change all that stuff out? I can’t imagine. I change our mat at the front door and the wreath there too. That’s about it. 🙂

    1. It sounds like a lot but I promise we are not the Martha Stewart house – just a few candles and some pumpkins on the porch steps go a loooong way!

  8. This is one sexy post! First the ‘autumn orgasm’ and then that caramel porn… Oh my. Can i have a slice, pleeease? 😀

    1. Lol! This should be a quote somewhere, ‘autumn orgasm and caramel porn’

  9. As I was reading your post I found myself nodding along…I have rules too. I broke them last week and changed out the candles, warmers, towels…and baked with pumpkin. Apple baking is next.

    That last picture with the caramel dripping all over….total food porn!!

  10. I literally want to dive in to this…no fork required.

  11. WOW. That is all I have to say! That is an amazing cake and if it doesn’t make Top 9 immediately, I will need to boycott Foodbuzz! Just kidding. It’s beautiful though. Just discovered your blog and I look forward to reading more. That cake is just amazing!

    1. Welcome to PtS! Sorry for the delay in replying but the weekend came and went too fast. Hope to see you back for seconds 🙂

  12. I have been craving fall for months. But summers here are unbearably hot and long so I am all about jumping the gun a little on the fall season. And this cake is gorgeous!!

  13. wowwww this is such a beautiful cake!! I was immediately taken by the pictures, it looks so delicious. now i’m trying to figure out an excuse to make it myself! 🙂

  14. I am glad you did not hold this one back any longer. The picture is stunning, especially with all the big pieces of apple in the middle. I have saved this recipe, I have yet to find anything that is so definitive of the flavors of fall. Buzz!

    1. I hope it turns out for you! The key is NOT to put it on a cake platter like I did 😉

  15. This is seriously the best looking cake I have ever seen. Seriously, I think I would eat the whole thing. Your photos are making me drool.

  16. My main rule: no Christmas music until AFTER Thanksgiving. I want to enjoy all the pleasures of fall BEFORE I focus on Christmas. Your cake looks OUSTANDING, I want to lick the caramel off the side of the cake stand. Gross, I know.

    1. Wont lie, my boss sneaks xmas music in while we are prepping before we open. He and I love it. We would never torture the customers with it though.

  17. WOW!! I am looking at this and going…how on earth is she going to clean that cake plate with all that caramel on it? hahaha…it looks so ooey and goey and so delicious

    1. It took a loooong time! I promise

  18. Totally sinful – but well worth it. It looks amazing!

  19. Gorgeous! Hot mess or no, that dripping caramel looks positively luscious to me (of course, I’d probably bathe in hot caramel if it was possible, so I might be a little bit biased). 🙂

  20. Unbelievably gorgeous! Buzzed!

  21. I don’t care how messy this is, I think it’s worth it. The recipe that I have is a total mess to but it’s so good. The pictures turned out beautifully, I love the drippy caramel!

  22. OMG that last photo with all the gooey caramel…dreamy!

  23. ZOMG, drool. Major drool and stomach flips! This cake looks amazeballs! I can’t wait until the weather becomes cooler here in So Cal to make some fall treats 🙂 So far, I’ve already made pumpkin muffins and oodles of apple pie. Ahh… the changing of the seasons 🙂 However, I wear flip-flops 24/7, lol! Hope you’re having a great week!

    1. If I could get away with wearing flip flops 24/7 I would!

  24. I did the same thing and got my Fall clothes out early. The dripping caramel looks perfect!

  25. Wow, this is absolutely beautiful! I totally wanna make it now. Though I’m wondering…while the whole apple may be pretty on top, did it make cutting it a pain?? Or perhaps you just cut around it. Anyway, amazing job…yum!

    1. Didn’t have the opportunity to worry about it sadly. The cake pulled apart from the center due to me putting it on a flat plate – for a better slice – put the cake on a domed dinner plate, or serving platter and then you may have to fight that pesky apple in the middle.

  26. This cake looks FANTASTIC. Caramel on anything has my vote. I recently post Caramel Apple Pancakes on my blog & they were so good. I could only imagine how good this cake taste.

    1. I have got to try those pancakes!

  27. Holy cow – this is absolutely amazing! I am SO buzzing this!

  28. Congrats on top 9. So well deserved. This is a beautiful recipe with gorgeous photos. Just wonderful.

  29. Hi Kita!! What a wonderful recipe. I bet my dad will love this. My dad love anything to do with apples. Must must try this out. Have I told you that your photography is AMAZING??!!!??!!.. I hope I can further improve and learn more from you.. Thanks for stopping by.. Oh! CONGRATS for making Top9!! Hoorayy… Hugs, Jo

    1. Oh wow! There’s the pot calling the kettle black! Your pictures are always so stunning, it’s hard to believe you could learn anything from me! Thank you for stopping by ;D

  30. your photo made me giggle. Your cake looks so good that I just want to jump in !

  31. I’m just starting to get into fall (mostly because it’s been so cloudy and rainy here), this would be the perfect way to kick off the season. I always get the caramel apple drink from starbucks to welcome me to fall!

  32. Kita, I can totally identify with the need to cling to summer. However, I’d be tempted to embrace Autumn as you describe it so beautifully. Caramel and Apples are such a perfect combo for this gorgeous gooey cake.

  33. Congrats on making Top 9. This cake looks so beautiful and delicious. I will be making this soon.

  34. OMG Kita that picture is just amazing, the sticky caramel drips are totally lickable definitely worth the premature infatuation!! Congrats on Top 9!!

  35. Ok I just saw this…how did I miss this? Holy shmoly! This is intense! Its gorgeous! Who did you serve this to? OMG I must do this!

  36. Just seen this in top9 and can’t believe I missed this. No wonder it’s up there: cruelty on the screen when you just want to leap out and lick the overhanging caramel. Absolutely fantastic. Now you’re making me get into this Autumn lark. No pumpkins in the shops yet here but can feel it coming. In the time it’s going to take to catch that caramel.

  37. Kita,
    This cake is outstanding, and I love the caramel drips on the plate. Today is the First day of Fall, so now I can bake apple desserts:)

  38. Now that is just sinful and wicked, and I love it! Congrats on Top 9!

  39. Fantastic! That is so tempting. It got a luscious, gooey feature which makes me crave for it.

  40. Living life on the edge gets you to top 9! Congrats! Look at all that ooey gooey yumminess!

  41. I thought I was the only one who did the candle change thing. I always have ocean type scents in my house except from fall to through Christmas. Then its cinnamon/pumpkin or piny/woodsy. My fall winter food is Soups/Stews. It’s still in the 80’s here in NC but my brain (and tummy) is in overdrive as too what soup I am going to make first!

  42. Oh MY! This is the most decadent and gorgeous cake I have ever seen!!! I love all your pictures too, they make me want to reach out and grab a slice through the screen! Such a great post!!!

  43. Autumn orgasm, tee hee! I know what you mean, I’m so excited that autumn is here… so many amazing harvest foods to play with! I wonder if you could sub honey for the corn syrup? That would make this a great dessert for Rosh Hashanah. (apples + honey = RH symbolism)

  44. Oh wow… I love all of the caramel dripping everywhere. I have been doing a lot of fall baking around here too, the changing seasons are always so tempting!

  45. Holy melty caramel goodness. Boy oh boy does this have me ready to buy some apples at the Farmer’s market on Saturday. Thanks for sharing. This looks amazing!

  46. Oh YUM!! Kita this cake is GORGEOUS! Someone actually sent me this recipe a while back, suggesting I make it for my blog. I never got around to it though. May still have to try it!! By the way – I too have given in to Autumn fever. Despite the humid & 78-degree weather here I’ve (gasp!) even worn BOOTS! Hahaha ohhh yeah, it’s a sickness.

  47. As I scroll through my unloved inbox I find myself clicking on all your recipes! I’m literally jealous of this cake…that’s right, it looks that good. This is one of the best food pics I’ve seen in a long time!

  48. This is so incredibly beautiful! I love the whole apple on top and beautiful caramel sauce dripping down. Well done!

  49. Wow! This is one stunning looking cake. Can’t wait to try this recipe. Good job!

Leave a Reply

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