Caramel Apple Cake with Apple Cider Frosting

I got an itch to bake something sweet (that’s a dumb statement. When do I ever not have an itch to bake something sweet?), and decided that it has been too long since this blog has seen a cake recipe! I made this delectable treat while visiting my family for a few days, and we managed to completely devourer the entire thing.  This cake is one that will have guests begging for the recipe, and a second piece! The combination of applesauce and caramel sauce creates a moist and thick cake that is lightly flavored with cinnamon and brown sugar- making it a perfect fall treat.  As if that were not enough, to top it all off is a delicious icing that is the perfect thickness and an ideal compliment of flavors.  You better start baking! This delicious cake is one recipe you will definitely want to have in your recipe box (and in your stomach!)

Cake Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1½ cups light brown sugar
  • ¾ cup canola oil
  • ¾ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ¾ cup caramel sauce (homemade or jarred)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 1½ cups buttermilk

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 7 1/2-8 cups confectioners’ sugar (to desired consistency)
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup apple cider or apple juice
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • pinch of salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease and flour a bunt cake pan and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl combine the whole wheat pasty flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and slat. Whisk until completely combined.
  3. In a separate large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the sugar and oil together until well mixed (only about 30 seconds).
  4. Once sugar and oil is combined, add the applesauce, caramel, and vanilla, and beat again.
  5. Once well-mixed, add the eggs one at a time, using the electric mixer to beat well between each addition.
  6. Alternate by adding the flour mixture and the buttermilk to the sugar/oil mix in thirds- adding1/3 of the flour, beating with the mixer, then adding 1/3 of the buttermilk, until all the ingredients are well combined and blended.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared bunt pan and bake for 60 minutes. Test with a toothpick or a long skewer stick to make sure the center is fully cooked. The top should be golden brown.
  8. Allow for the pan to cool until the pan is no longer too hot to touch, about 20 minutes. Once the pan has cooled, carefully flip the cake onto a cooling rack, and set aside to completely cool for a few hours.
  9. For the frosting, combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy (about five minutes). Once the cake has completely cooled, ice the cake gently with a butter knife or icing knife. Allow the cake and icing to set for at least an hour, either at room temperature or in the refrigerator before cutting into it.
  10. Serve and enjoy!

Notes and Tips!:

  • This recipe can make one large bunt cake, or a 2-layer 8-9 inch circle cake, either will work just fine!
  • I suggest doing the icing in stages. It’s a lot of icing, proportioned so that the cake can have a thick layer all around. I put my icing in the freezer once I prepared it to help it firm up, then I iced the cake in stages, placing the cake in the refrigerator in between each stage. Overall it took a few hours but prevented the icing from falling, in the end creating a rich firm layer of icing- delicious!
  • Source: Originally adapted by A Hint of Honey from Whole Foods Market
  • If you enjoyed this recipe, check out my Chocolate Stout Cake and Apple Pie Egg rolls with Sweetened Cardamom Whipped Cream for more delectable treats!

8 thoughts on “Caramel Apple Cake with Apple Cider Frosting

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