This easy salted caramel apple cake has chopped apples in the batter, a homemade salted caramel topping, and is sprinkled with pecans.
Apples to Use for Easy Salted Caramel Apple Cake
I love to mix tart and sweet apples in this dessert! Sometimes, I pair Granny Smith apples with Honeycrisp or Pink Ladies with Galas. All the apples are finely chopped, so they bake well into the finished cake.
Grease a Pan for Easy Salted Caramel Apple Cake
This recipe uses a 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33 cm) pan for baking, which makes this cake easier to prepare than a layer cake. Grease and flour a pan or baking dish with vegetable oil, butter, cooking spray, or shortening. It is helpful to use a basting brush to ensure the corners are not missed.
Flour the Pan for Easy Salted Caramel Apple Cake
Then, dust the pan with flour and tap out any leftover flour. If using a metal pan, tap it on the countertop to dislodge the extra flour. If using a glass dish, place several layers of dishtowels on the countertop before tapping to prevent the glass from breaking. Discard any leftover flour.
Chop the Apples for Easy Salted Caramel Apple Cake
Two or three peeled and chopped apples will yield 2 1/2 cups for this recipe. Chop the apples very fine or leave them chunkier if you prefer.
Whisk the Wet Ingredients for Easy Salted Caramel Apple Cake
You do not have to use a mixer for this recipe but will need to whisk the wet ingredients until smooth. The sugar is added to the wet ingredients instead of the dry ones for this recipe. When whisking, beat the mixture vigorously to blend and dissolve the sugar.
Add the Dry Ingredients
Add all the dry ingredients except the sugar to a bowl and whisk to mix. Then, sift this mixture into the wet ingredients using a wire mesh strainer and a small whisk (or the back of a large spoon). Repeatedly circle the inside of the mesh with the whisk to push the flour through. Then, stir everything together, taking care not to overmix the batter.
Add the Chopped Apples
Stir in the chopped apples, again taking care not to over-stir. Add the batter to the prepared pan and bake.
Make the Salted Caramel Topping
While the cake bakes, chop the nuts and make the caramel topping. Some recipes bake the nuts into the cake, while this recipe sprinkles them on top. However, if you like nuts cooked into the cake, add them to the batter when you add the chopped apples and leave them off the top. It also works fine if you want to omit the nuts altogether.
The caramel topping is made on the stovetop and poured over the cake. Use a fork to poke holes in the top of the cake for the caramel to fill.
Pour the caramel over the cake and then sprinkle the nuts. To quickly chop nuts, use an electric chopper and finely chop them. If you like a toasted nut taste, stir-fry them in a skillet or bake them in the oven at 325 degrees F for a few minutes. Be sure to stir them about every 4-5 minutes to prevent them from burning.
The 9 x 13-inch cake yields about 12 pieces. However, you can always serve smaller pieces since the caramel topping is rich, and guests might not eat as much.
Serve this cake warm out of the oven or at room temperature. It will keep well for several days in an airtight container. Enjoy!
Other Apple Recipes
Here are some other apple recipes you might enjoy:
- Apple Cider Cupcakes
- Apple Cider Doughnuts
- Grated Apple Pie
- Cinnamon Apple Moscow Mule
- Apple Dumplings
- Salted Caramel Apple Bars
- Easy to Make Apple Pie Stacks
- How to Make Apple Cheesecake Dip
Easy Salted Caramel Apple Cake
- 2 ½ cups apples, peeled and chopped (see note below)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 ¼ cups vegetable oil
- ½ cup applesauce, unsweetened
- 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
- ¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup butter
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ¼ teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup pecans, toasted and chopped
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Grease a 9 x 13-inch pan and then dust it with flour, discarding the excess flour.
- Peel and finely chop the apples and place them into a bowl filled with water and lemon juice. This will help prevent the apples from browning. Set aside.
- Whisk the oil, applesauce, sugars, eggs, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Whisk thoroughly until smooth.
- Mix the flour, baking powder, soda, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Then, sift the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir to moisten the batter. Do not overmix.
- Drain the apples well and stir them into the batter, taking care not to over-stir. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 45 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. If necessary, spray a sheet of aluminum foil with cooking spray and place it over the baking cake to prevent over-browning. After cooking, use a fork to poke holes in the top of the cake.
- Toast the pecans by stirring them continuously in a dry skillet on medium heat. They will burn quickly, so remove them from the pan when they start browning.
- Add the butter, brown sugar, heavy cream, and salt in a saucepan and stir over medium heat. Bring to a boiling boil and then time for 2 minutes. Then, remove from the heat, and stir in the vanilla. Pour the mixture over the hot cake.
- Sprinkle the chopped pecans over the topping.