Caramel Apple Cake

Caramel Apple Cake

Oh caramel!  How I love you so!

This Caramel Apple Cake is one way to showcase just how much we love love love caramel!

If you have not yet decided on what cake to make for the next big event~ trust me you will win with this one!

Caramel Apple Cake

I have taken my delicious Browned Butter Carrot Cake Recipe and replaced the carrots with APPLES!

Apple Pie Filling and Caramel Swiss Buttercream …….do I really have to say another word?

I will admit this is an intense recipe in that we have to prepare so many Base Recipes before even thinking about building this cake.

But no one ever said that achieving greatness was an easy task!

Let’s get to it!

Oh by the way, I get a lot of questions about my apple wedges here. It would be wise to soak them in a bit of lemon water to prevent browning.

They will still oxidize though after a full day though, so for longer storage of this cake you will do much better with Dried Apple Slices for garnish

5.0 from 3 reviews
Carmel Apple Cake
Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F
Building on Recipes so get your base recipes prepared ahead of time
Serves: 1 - 8" Cake
  1. First you must prepare the apple cake recipe first, and this cake can be prepared several days in advance, just be sure to wrap well and freeze until you are ready to build the layer cake
  2. Prepare the caramel sauce as per the instructions on that recipe as well. Once refrigerated the caramel sauce will get slightly solid, so it is best to bring it to room temperature to soften to pourable for several hours before building your cake.
  3. Prepare the Swiss Buttercream as per the instructions on that recipe and add 1 cup of cooled caramel sauce at the last stage of mixing.
  4. Prepare the apple filling and cool to cold.
  5. Assemble cake as per the video instruction.
Cake can be stored at room temperature for 1 day (in cool conditions- if it is too hot it will melt)
Refrigerate for up to 7 days or freeze for 1 month


You may also like


      1. Gretchen, the video is not available because of violating Youtube’s terms of service! I just love your videos! Is it possible to tell us how to assemble your cake since your wonderful video is not available? I assume the apples are placed in between the layers along with some buttercream.

  1. Hi Gretchen! I absolutely love you and all your recipes! I make it a task to try at least one a month and they never ever fail to impress, especially my almost 2 year old who loves them! Quick question about the caramel SMB, could I add a little cream cheese/cream cheese frosting? Thanks so much!!

    1. HI Great! I love the commitment! I am not sure what you are asking me though? Add cream cheese to the caramel buttercream? Yes you can, however the caramel addition is already going to make this SUPER SOFT so adding another soft ingredient like cream cheese will add to the chaos. Its not impossible- its just a warning. I prefer to make an entire recipe swiss buttercream & and entire recipe cream cheese buttercream add the two together then add the caramel

      1. Ok, I completely understand. I just love your cream cheese frosting, so I’ll do that; make a batch of each then add in caramel! Thanks so much for the reply!

      2. Can I make a little more firm with unflavored gelatin? Not much, just maybe a half a pack. Or, could I leave out the butter altogether and just use the cream cheese? Maybe I could use less heavy cream. How about if I do all the above to make it more firm?

  2. Why did you change the way you decorated it I liked it before it is still beautiful but can you link me to a picture of the picture before thank you please answer ILYSM!!!!!!

      1. I’m confused by your answer. The recipe calls for 3 sticks of butter. Your reply as to the oil substitute was same as listed less 3 tablespoons. This may be silly question, but how much oil is the same as 3 sticks of butter, less 3 tablespoons? I’m guessing around 1-1/3 cups. Thanks, you’re the greatest.

        1. Oh sorry- I got too technical in my own brain with that one- (every stick of butter when browned loses about 1 tablespoon of the total it started with) So 1¼ cup! (approximately 10 fluid ounces)

          1. Thank you. I was so ready to make this cake and had every ingredient, except the butter. Couldn’t wait to get to the store, so oil will have to do the trick for now. I did make your tropical carrot cake with the browned butter and it was marvelous. Thanks, again.

  3. Was sad to lose the woodland bakery blog but so happy that you are refilming your recipes. First time I made Swiss buttercream and following your instructions this was super simple. Since it is apple picking season in Upstate NY made this after visiting the orchard. Thanks for another great recipe and set of easy to follow instructions. Trying the devil dog recipe next

  4. Thank you so very much for this cake. I made the first one for a church this past Sunday and made another today.
    It is amazing I might try with pumpkin.
    I did use brown sugar instead of regular sugar for SBC and added caramel. Yum
    Thank you again for all of the thing you do here for us.

  5. Yummiest Cake ever oh I don’t know can’t really make up my mind. But it’s a killer cake. just made it for Church bake sale and bought for myself. Ha, ha, couldn’t part with it, it’s just too good. Our Pastor’s wife saw it and she asked me what kind of cake it was and when I told her you could see the lust in her eyes. Apple cake is her favorite cake. But I got it so I guess I’ll have to make her one. Thanks for the great recipe keep ’em coming. Your the bomb.

  6. Hi Gretchen!

    Would it be possible to use cream cheese icing instead of buttercream for this cake, and would I be able to make it a caramel cream cheese icing? If so, what proportions of each should I use?

    Thanks =)

    1. Yes sure, just remember that the Cream Cheese Icing is even less stable than the buttercream, so you are going to have a very soft mix once you add the caramel!
      I would recommend to make ½ recipe buttercream and ½ recipe cream cheese icing and combine the 2 together- this makes a more stable cream cheese icing and then you can add the caramel, but I would till add slightly less than what I list here, since again- the cream cheese is going to make it softer form the start- you want to be able to pipe this and not have it dripping off your cake!
      OR use caramel cream cheese icing for the filling (since once its inside you don’t have to worry about it going anywhere) & straight up caramel buttercream for the icing.

  7. Can I use canned pie filling apples instead of shredding? Don’t have shredder-or did u julienne ur apples? And can I use a bund the pan for this cake, if so how long/what temp? Thx in advance

  8. Well that caramel is not as easy as you make it look. Are you cooking on a gas or electric burner. My caramel turned amber before even boiling. So I ended up having a burnt taste. Going to give it another try in the morning so does it have to come to a full boil before adding cream? Any tips for me so I do better tomorrow? Oh & those silicone spoons say they are heat proof BUT they are not LMAO my first batch had melted silicone in it. So I will be investing in a wooden spoon. I did use a metal spoon the second time when I burnt it. Could that having anything to do with it burning? I have the cake & apple filling made just have to get the caramel done & I can put it all together.

    1. yeah caramel is not an easy task to master- it is dangerous and very temperamental you may want to go for the WET METHOD of cooking sugar since you had trouble with the dry- add ½ cup of water at the beginning it will control the burning for you (I suppose I should have shown this way instead!) Just proceed the same way with the water added, it will evaporate out

  9. Hi Gretchen,

    Can’t find the video for this recipe? Also can you make a video for cannolis? I would love to make them. Thank you. Love all your recipes…

  10. Just want to let you know I made this apple caramel cake and it was absolutely delicious! I have a picture of it but can’t figure out how to upload it or write a review. Everyone soooo loved it! Thank you for sharing!

  11. Hello!!!!, I’m really loving this cake right now, I can taste it through my phone. Lol. I was wondering if this recipe with the apple filling would be good to use with covering with fondant and fondant decorations?
    *crossing fingers* I want this as my birthday cake flavor.

  12. Hi Gretchen! So i stumbled into this recipe trying to find a recipe for salted caramel cupcakes for a wedding. I was asked to do cupcakes for the wedding and this recipe looks amazing!!!!! Do you think it would be possible to bake these as cupcakes and not cake? if so what would be the temperature for the oven and the time i should bake them for?
    oh! and by the way, i am majoring in baking and pastry at Kendall College in Chicago! I’ve watched your demos for almost all your recipes and i have tried making a couple! You have been so helpful giving me so much background knowledge before i even started school and made me so excited to bake! Thank you so much for sharing your amazing talent! 🙂

    1. Hey! Awesome! Im so happy I have helped in some way to get you on your path to your passion!
      Yes sure you can make this recipe into cupcakes no prob! (the cake recipe will make about 24 cupcakes) All the other recipes listed here, the same.
      They will probably bake in about 20 minutes but best to bake them Until They Are Done at same temp.

  13. This cake was a hit for my birthday!!!!, everyone loves it!!!. Although the apple filling didn’t taste much like an apple filling for a pie, it just taste like apples with some flavor on top. It wasn’t soft enough and I the flavor didn’t seep through the apples to give it a filling pie taste. Can you help me out as to where I probably went wrong.

      1. Ok!, I figured I’d probably put them in the pot too late because it got very thick really fast. Another thing- the caramel!!!… Yikes!!…. I was so confident that I was gonna successfully make the caramel on the first try, but for some reason when I put the sugar in the pot, I just knew something was wrong. The sugar would not dissolve, I had to keep squeezing a lemon in the pot in order for it dissolve, I had already rubbed and squeezed a half lemon in there. It went straight to a dark brown without putting anything in it. I didn’t use the same type of pot that you used, I used a regular pot, really can’t describe it. Is it a certain pot that I have to use for the sugar to melt correctly? It just went south!!!!… Any suggestions?

          1. It’s ok, it’s a learning process!!!, I’m just glad that you’re back so I can have a teacher!! And learn from he best!!

  14. Hello!!!…. I love looking at this website, I do probably 2-3 times a day. You give me so much inspiration to make up new things, probably done before in the world of pastry, but new to me. This cake recipe, if I omit the apples in the batter, would this be a cinnamon cake recipe say like if I wanted to add peaches for a peach cobbler cake?

    1. YAY! thankyou! thats the best thing you can do for me is come here 2-3 times a day! LOL
      Yes you can omit the apples, peaches though- be sure they are fresh raw peaches not canned- canned will give this cake a heavy dense rubbery texture


  16. This cake was so yummy! I made it for my husbands birthday party! Everyone loved it and not one crumb was left over!! thank you for the recipe!!! all the way from ABQ NEW MEXICO!!

  17. HI Gretchen, I am making this cake for my boss’s birthday next week. I will be making the base recipes on Friday night and getting decorating the cake on Sunday to bring to work on monday. I am very nervous about the swiss buttercream, I have not tried it before. Only the American butter cream. Crossing my fingers:)

    For the apple decorations on top, did you soak them in lemon or anything to prevent them from turning brown?
    I will be sure to let you know how the cake turns out

  18. Hi Gretchen, I am making the apple spice as I type this. I am wondering if it would be ok to decorate it today, for a party tomorrow. Should it be kept in the fridge once it’s all put together or just left on the counter? Thanks for your great recipes.

  19. Hello Gretchen,

    I am new to your video and am enjoying them. I made this cake and everybody loved it – so it is a keeper in the recipe box for family gatherings. If you could answer just a few questions please: 1) I made the caramel (Fabulous!!!) but when I put in on the cake a day before as you did and took it out the next day an hour or so more before cutting the caramel was still very stiff and hard to cut through. After a few slices the whole sheet of caramel just slid off. Any suggestions for easier cutting ( I just thought of leaving caramel off and having a container on the side and have guests pour on; 2) I made the components a couple days in advance and I noticed that the apple filling when made looked soft and gooey like your video. But when put in the refrigerator before assembly the apple mixer turns like firm chopped up jello. Probably the gelatin setting up – is that ok or should an adjustment be made. Thanks. Keep up the good work!

    1. YAY! awesome! thank you and welcome to my blog! I am so happy to hear this!
      Hmm, Im sorry this happened, on the written part it does state: Once refrigerated the caramel sauce will get slightly solid, so this is normal and I dont think you did anything wrong.
      I always serve this cake at room temperature, since nothing really goes bad in it, it just gets super soft if the room gets too warm.
      But once you do bring it to temp- it shouldnt slide off the cake unless there was severe condensation making that happen?
      The apples will gel slightly as well- yes from the thickener (cornstarch)

  20. Hey Gretchen,

    So as I’m reading this recipe and thinking about the apple garnish… Thought maybe I’d put my 2 cents, and this is what I came up with: What if you dip them or brush them with some warm apple jelly like you did for your California fruit cake garnish? Would that prevent oxidation?

  21. Hey Gretchen,
    How do you transport your tall layer cakes? Is there a particular company you buy cake boxes from?
    And by the way all your recipes are Awesome!!! Keep up the great work girl!

    1. Hi Kim thanks, when I owned my bakery I had to buy a special box that was a 6″ tall- since normally the standard height of a bakery box was 5″

  22. Hi Gretchen, wanted to ask how much would you charge for a apple cake when you sold in bakery, have an order & just want to get an idea on price. Thks again have gained so much from you tutorials

  23. Hi Gretchen,

    Follow your blog and get your emails. Finally dived in and made this cake. Was scared silly about the swiss buttercream but breezed right through that after watching your video. AWESOME job! I did a slight modification as I am at 5200′ altitude. I added a slurry of water, sugar and corn starch when melting the sugar in the egg whites. It did excellent. I did attempt to make the caramel with the dry method realized it wasn’t going to work so quickly added water and strained out the lumpy sugar and cooked it to soft ball stage. Saved!

    Thanks for sharing all your expertise with us. You’re the greatest.

  24. Hi Gretchen,
    I only have 2 8″ pans. Should I cut the recipe by 1/3, or should I make the whole recipe and make the rest into cupcakes? I have a gas oven that only seems to bake properly if I only use one shelf. I’m not sure making the cupcakes on the lower shelf will throw it off.

    Thank you.


    1. You can cut the recipe just double check your math (that is the 31 cause of recipe failure) or make cupcakes, you wont be sorry!

      1. I think you are right. It’s hard to divide up 4 eggs.

        I might use the remaining to make 6″ cakes.

        The cake looks very much like the cake I made for Rosh Hashana. Apple cakes are very popular, using shredded apples.

    I saw your recipe and instantly I knew I would go for it! The apple with the caramel fits so good.
    In every step I learned some new tip! You are so good, clear and fun! Fantastic! The Brown Butter is supper! The Caramel.. ooo I still can smell it if I think about it! And the Butter Cream so good! It was a awsome cake for a birthday party! I think I was more happy than my friend! I baked it!!
    I only had 28″ pans.. So I made it doble and I baked it for 40-45 min!
    I will continue following you! Big Kiss

  26. What a delicious cake! We just had a piece. It’s been on my wish list quite awhile. It’s a labor of love–FIVE recipes (including browned butter). Took me almost 2 weeks to make it .

    I have a question about the caramel. I had put it in the fridge, but it sat out on the counter the whole day before assembly. Still, it wasn’t drippy, like yours was. If I warmed it, I was afraid that it would melt the buttercream. What happened? What should I have done?

    How else can I use the remaining caramel?

    I put on a bottom border of icing. But I was wondering what you put on the bottom. I don’t have items sitting around from other cakes. Did you use chopped nuts?

    Finally, over a year on my wish list and I made it. It’s December and Fall is leaving us, but I made it! Thank you for an awesome recipe labor of love. Judy Mayer, Simi Valley, CA

    1. Hi Judy the tricky thing about caramel is the cooking temperature just a few degrees one way or another will cause either a soft caramel or a harder one. (One that I had trouble with being TOO Hard in my Twix Cheesecake)but then the case of refrigerating it will make it even harder!
      The caramel leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator and uses as a topping for ice cream or any dessert you like, like My new chocolate chip cookie dough brownies!

      1. Thank you so much, Gretchen!!!

        Also, the cake was a bit firmer than I had hoped. It didn’t have the fresh apple taste I was hoping for. If I didn’t brown the butter, would that solve my issues?

        Thanks so very much!

        Judy Mayer, Simi Valley, CA

        1. Hi Judy, Im sorry you didnt find the cake to be 100%.
          I want to point to the apples for the culprit, since I know produce can be very disappointing nowadays. I have bought apples, oranges, peaches etc with NO TASTE whatsoever. Very disappointing indeed. Perhaps that could have been part of it (and perhaps not).
          If you did not brown the butter it would actually make the cake seem “harder” or more dense CLICK HERE FOR MORE
          essentially the browned butter is mimicking oil, which will always make a cake more moist than butter cakes

  27. I am soooo glad you blog! I told a friend I would do their wedding cake and pooping my pants now! Its due in a few weeks and they have 75 people going! She wants it two tier but I have been researching myself silly trying to figure out which cake pans to buy in size. Is 10 and 12 inch going to cut it for 75 people or should I be doing another tier AHHHHHH, stressing!!! HELP!

    1. LOL sure thing! Do a 10″ + 8″ cake cake for the showpiece, its more elegant when it is smaller and then do another 10″ cake for backup cutting only (no display)

  28. Hi Gretchen I am making a chocolate cake with a caramel buttercream – I am using flavorings – how much caramel flavoring to one swiss buttercream and do I still also add vanilla as well and how much? many thanks and I love your website!

    1. Freezing will usually cause the apples to break down upon thawing, and may become slightly mushy, so this is up to you really. I would not do it. I make the apple filling first then let it sit in the fridge until Im ready for the cake

  29. Hi Gretchen!! A great big”A+!!!!” for this lovely recipe!! Every time I’m looking for a decadent, simply stunning dessert, I come to you and you NEVER disappoint me! I made this Caramel Apple Cake for a friend and it was so fun to make, and just beautiful once it was finished. Building on recipes!! It was even my first time making Browned Butter and it came out fine. I wanted to add in my tip for soaking the apples: soak them in Sprite!! It will keep them white for about a day as well. Thank you again from a dedicated follower!!

  30. Pingback: Caramel Sauce

Leave a Reply

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

Rate this recipe: