Packed with apples, pecans and bits of caramel, this Caramel Apple Cake is a tasty way to celebrate the arrival of cooler autumn days!
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As soon as the calendar flips into September, I start craving this Caramel Apple Cake. My mother has been making this cake every year since I can remember – it’s one of those tried-and-true recipes that was a family favorite when I was a kid. And now this recipe has become a family favorite in my own family!
Over the years, I’ve played around with this recipe a number of times. Sometimes I add a vanilla glaze to the top. One year I whipped up a bourbon glaze – there’s just something about the combination of apples, cinnamon and bourbon! One year I even added a bit of bourbon into the cake itself. Delicious! This year? I put a caramel spin on this cake by sprinkling a package of caramel baking bits into the batter.
Caramel Apple Cake
We enjoyed the first slice of this Caramel Apple Cake while it was still warm out of the oven. The ooey, gooey caramel bits were amazing! However, something magical happened when we refrigerated the leftovers of this cake. It got even better!
After chilling in the fridge overnight, the caramel bits turned into little pieces of chewy deliciousness. They were amazing! Who would’ve thought cold cake would be so tasty!? I thought I would be eating this leftover cake warmed up with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. Nope. We actually ended up eating the rest of the leftovers cold. It didn’t even need a scoop of ice cream!
Aside from the taste, one of the things I love the most about this Caramel Apple Cake is how easy it is to make. Mix wet ingredients together. Mix dry ingredients together. Combine into one bowl. Stir in apples, pecans and caramel bits. Done!
And another hidden advantage of this cake? The smell! Your house will smell amazing while this cake is baking in the oven. Forget lighting a cinnamon-apple candle. Just put this cake in the oven instead. After all, you can’t eat a candle! I hope you enjoy this cake as much as we do in our house – it’s one of our favorite fall desserts. Happy baking!
Did you bake this Caramel Apple Cake recipe at home? Leave a comment, or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog) – I’d love to see your version!
Caramel Apple Cake
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground cardamom
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- 4 cups diced apples I used a combination of Granny Smith and Honeycrisp
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 11-oz. package caramel baking bits see note
- Butter and flour a 13"x9" baking dish (or spray with nonstick cooking spray); set pan aside.
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Using a large bowl, add sugar, brown sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla extract; stir until well combined. Set bowl aside.
- In a separate bowl, add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg; stir until well combined.
- Pour dry ingredients into the wet ingredients; stir until well combined.
- Fold in diced apples, chopped pecans and half of the caramel baking bits.
- Transfer mixture into prepared pan. Sprinkle remaining caramel baking bits on top. (Tip: Use an offset spatula to spread the batter evenly into the pan before baking.)
- Bake for 30 minutes. Tent top of pan with foil and continue baking for another 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out mostly clean.
- Let cake cool before serving.
Looking for more caramel apple recipes? Check out these other favorites, too: