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Caramel Apple Cake

Caramel Apple Cake with fresh, tart apples baked into a luscious brown sugar cake and covered with a sweet, caramel's just as amazing as it sounds! This is a great cake for a potluck as it can be made ahead—if you can hide it!

Caramel Apple Cake serving in a bowl.

Ooooh...this cake...this cake. Chopped Granny Smith apples surrounded by fluffy, brown sugar cake and topped with a caramel glaze that oozes down through holes in the cake so the whole thing is gooey and luscious. It's so good!

Scott Peacock is one of my favorite Southern chefs and if you don't own his and Edna Lewis' cookbook, The Gift of Southern Cooking, then you need to get it right now. Inside you will find the recipe for this apple cake and many other wonderful dishes, some from yesteryear that you may have never heard of but are worth trying, like my Easy Chicken Pie or this Peanut Butter Pound Cake.

This same Caramel Apple Cake recipe can be found in several of my other old cookbooks including Taste of Georgia and Andersonville Skillet. It's an old Southern recipe that, like most old Southern recipes, makes use of the simplest of ingredients: brown and white sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, apples, pecans and vanilla. I added allspice and cloves.

How to Make the Caramel Apple Cake

Mix the sugars and oil until well blended, then add the eggs one at a time and gradually add flour that you've sifted with the baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cloves. The batter is thick and already starting to smell like apple pie.

Caramel Apple Cake batter

 Next stir in the chopped apples, pecans and vanilla. Then you need a taste. Trust me.

Caramel Apple Cake apples and nuts in bowl

 Spread the batter into a buttered 9x13 inch dish.

Caramel Apple Cake ready to bake in dish.

Bake for about an hour and 10 minutes but check it at about 50 minutes. Mine was not quite done in the middle so at 50 minutes, I began setting the timer for 2 minutes and kept checking until it was ready. You don't want to over cook it.

Brown Sugar Glaze

While the caramel apple cake is baking, make the topping.

I like The Andersonville Skillet recipe, which is 1 stick oleo (butter), 1 ½ cups light brown sugar and 6 tablespoons canned milk. Melt the butter, add sugar, and boil.

Then add milk, vanilla, and salt, and boil again. Cool and then beat until creamy.

Caramel Apple Cake baked in dish
Caramel Apple Cake serving in a bowl.

Caramel Apple Cake

Caramel Apple Cake with fresh, tart apples baked into a luscious brown sugar cake and covered with a sweet, caramel glaze.
5 from 7 votes
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Course: Desserts
Cuisine: American
Keyword: caramel apple cake
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 577kcal
Author: Lucy Brewer



  • 1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 5 fresh apples, (Granny Smith is fine), peeled and diced into ½-inch pieces (this yields about 4 cups or a little more)
  • 1 ¼ cups chopped and toasted pecans
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons vanilla


  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ cups brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons heavy cream



  • Preheat oven to 325. Butter and flour a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  • Beat sugars and oil in large mixing bowl until very well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each one.
  • Sift dry ingredients and spices and add gradually to egg mixture. Stir in apples, pecans and vanilla.
  • Pour into prepared dish and bake for about 1 hr 10 minutes. Begin checking with a toothpick at 50 minutes and then check frequently until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven and make glaze.
  • Poke holes all over cake with a skewer and then pour warm glaze slowly over the cake.


  • Melt butter in a saucepan and add brown sugar. Stir until blended, then bring to a boil and cook about 3 minutes. 
  • Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, salt, and cream. Boil 1 minute.
  • Cool and beat until creamy, then spread over cake.


Serving: 12servings | Calories: 577kcal | Carbohydrates: 88g | Protein: 6g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 74mg | Sodium: 169mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 60g
Recipe Rating


Wednesday 10th of December 2014

Just what I was looking for in an apple cake! I had no allspice so I added a little more of the other spices. I also sprinkled a little sugar and cinnamon on the apples after I diced them up. Awesomeness!! Give this a try!!


Thursday 16th of February 2012

How in the world did I miss this post?! Well, better late than never...I'm soooo making it this weekend!


Wednesday 18th of January 2012

Awww, thanks Calli! We will have to eat it again soon! Love you sweet girl, have safe travels :)


Wednesday 18th of January 2012

This is the best cake I've ever had!!!

In a Southern Kitchen rocks!