This Caramel-Glazed Apple Cake is an amazingly moist and delicious apple cake full of spices and topped with caramel sauce and caramel whipped cream!
Being from Southern California, I had never really, truly experienced “fall” until this year. Venturing up to college in Tacoma, Washington, one of the things I was most excited to experience was the weather. Weather, I have come to know, as being cold, wet, and dark. Yes, I admit, I do miss the California sunshine.
However, as I watch the leaves around campus turn every shade from gold, to maroon, to purple, I do marvel at the idea of fall I’ve missed out on all my life. Fall was always a mysterious concept. Trees change colors? The leaves actually fall off the trees and just lay on the ground? It was nonsensical, yet intriguing. The cool winds, the dark clouds, the occasional peak of warmth from the sun daring to come out, and of course the gorgeous leaves, have given me reason to appreciate the change in seasons I’m finally learning to experience.
The one thing about fall I always understood was the food. Pumpkin, cinnamon, apples…even though I never fully understood the absolute warming comfort of these flavors, they were always flavors I thoroughly enjoyed, and I baked with them even if I wasn’t experiencing the chilly fall bite the rest of the country was feeling. This apple cake is one of my favorites: tart apples, surrounded by dough that stays moist on the inside and crunchy on the outside. Yes- I would call this dough. It’s very thick, but the apple juices will moisten it right up. The caramel whipped cream and drizzle of caramel elevate this cake to a whole new level – I suggest not skipping it.
Whether you’re experiencing fall for the first, fifth, or fiftieth time, apples, cinnamon and caramel are flavors you’ll enjoy in the warmth and comfort of your home. Also, try to take a moment to appreciate the falling, colored leaves as if it was the first time you’re seeing them.
Caramel-Glazed Apple Cake with Caramel Whipped Cream
For the cake
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
- 3 eggs
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 5 Washington Granny Smith or Golden Delicious apples cored, peeled and cut in 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 1/4 cups chopped pecans or walnuts optional
- 2 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the Caramel Glaze
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
For the Caramel Whipped Cream
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream cold
- ¼ cup premade caramel sauce I used Trader Joe’s Fleur de Sel Caramel Sauce
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter and flour a 9-by-13-inch pan.
- To prepare the cake, beat both sugars and oil in a mixing bowl until very well blended. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt; gradually add to eggs, mixing just until blended. Stir in apples, pecans (if using) and vanilla; pour into pan.
- Bake for 50–75 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan while preparing the glaze.
- To prepare the glaze, melt butter in a saucepan over low heat. Stir in both sugars and salt; cook over medium-low heat for 2 minutes. Add cream and boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Poke holes in the cake with a skewer or toothpick. Pour on the glaze.
- Using the whisk attachment on a stand mixer, or a hand-held mixer, whip heavy whipped cream until it holds soft peaks. Beat in the caramel sauce. Add more to taste. When taste is correct, beat until it holds stiff peaks, taking care not to overbeat.
- Serve warm or at room temperature. Top with whipped cream.