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A slice of apple spice cake with a drizzle of caramel on top
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5 from 1 vote

Caramel Apple Spice Cake

This Caramel Apple Spice Cake is Full apple flavor with dulce de leche frosting and served with a to-die-for apple cider caramel sauce.
Prep Time45 mins
Total Time3 hrs
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: caramel apple, spice cake
Servings: 15

Ingredients

Caramel Apple Spice Cake

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup + 2 tbsp neutral-flavored oil like grapeseed or canola
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar packed
  • 4 large eggs
  • ¾ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 ½ cups finely diced peeled apples such as Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, or Pink Lady

Apple Cider Caramel

  • 1 cup apple cider
  • ½ cup brown sugar packed
  • 1 teaspoon corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoon unsalted butter diced

Assembly

  • 1 Large recipe Swiss Meringue Buttercream See notes
  • ¾ cup dulce de leche
  • gel food coloring optional
  • sugar pearls optional

Instructions

Caramel Apple Spice Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour three 8-inch cake pans and set aside.
  • Sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a different mixing bowl (or in a stand mixer), whisk together the oil, sugar, and and brown sugar until smooth. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, until combined.
  • Add in half of the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Mix in the applesauce. Add in the remaining dry ingredients and stir – stopping just before the last of the flour streaks disappear. Fold in the diced apples until combined.
  • Evenly divide the cake batter among the prepared pans. Bake for 23 to 26 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 10 to 20 minutes before removing the cakes from their pans.

Apple Cider Caramel

  • Place the apple cider in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat and continue to cook until it reduces down to ¼ cup. From there, add in the brown sugar and corn syrup. Turn the heat up to high, and cook until the mixture registers 240°F on a candy thermometer.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat. Stir in the butter until smooth. Pour the caramel into a heat-safe container and allow to cool and thicken before use.

Assembly

  • Remove 1 ½ cups of buttercream and stir in ⅓ cup of the dulce de leche. Place one cake layer on a cake board or serving dish. Spread on half of the dulce de leche buttercream with an offset spatula until smooth. Place the second layer on top and repeat. Flip the third layer (so the the bottom of the cake faces up) on top.
  • Mix the remaining dulce de leche into the remaining buttercream. Crumb coat the cake and chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Once chilled, frost the cake with the buttercream - being sure to reserve 1 to 2 cups for the decoration.
  • For the decoration, tint the remaining buttercream your color(s) of choice. Fill piping bags fitted with various piping tips (we like 1M, #32 and #16). Follow the instructions on How to Make a Buttercream Flower Cake to complete the design. Finish the top with a sprinkle of sugar pearls, if desired.
  • Serve with a drizzle of apple cider caramel.