Apple Spice Cake with Caramel Drizzle

This apple spice cake with caramel drizzle is the best naked cake for fall! With applesauce in the batter, it’s moist and delicious! Each season needs a cake.

The last cake we shared was this awesome fresh cherry cake with drizzly chocolate ganache. I’d call that an end of summer cake.

This apple spice cake with caramel drizzle is the best naked cake for fall! With applesauce in the batter, it’s moist and delicious! Out with one season and in with the other, so it’s time for a fall cake! This one is complete with classic fall flavors like apple, spice, and caramel. It’s perfectly moist and delicious and with our baking tips, you’ll be able to make this apple spice cake in your kitchen!

The apple spice cake recipe we’re sharing makes one 6 inch cake which I think can be great if you only want to make a 1 or 2 layer cake, instead of a mongo 3 layer cake! You could also make this cake in an 8 inch cake pan by doing 1 & 1/2 of the original recipe. So you have options!

This apple spice cake with caramel drizzle is the best naked cake for fall! With applesauce in the batter, it’s moist and delicious! In between the apple spice cake layers is vanilla bean buttercream. I love Rodelle’s vanilla paste because I don’t have to buy vanilla beans and then scrape out the pods because they already did it for me and then jarred it. BOO YAH!

If you don’t have vanilla paste, you can use pods from a vanilla bean, or regular vanilla extract, although the flavor won’t be as prominent. Or skip the vanilla buttercream altogether and make cinnamon buttercream.

Buttercream is like a blank canvas and you can really turn it into any flavor you’d like.

This apple spice cake with caramel drizzle is the best naked cake for fall! With applesauce in the batter, it’s moist and delicious! Technically this cake is a naked cake because you can see the cake layers since they aren’t completely covered with buttercream. Naked cakes are fun to make because 1. they can be assembled quickly 2. you don’t need a ton of buttercream 3. they don’t have to look perfect.. rustic is the style you’re going for!

The secret to getting the same amount of buttercream in between each layer of cake is to measure the buttercream! 1/4 cup of buttercream won’t be a lot of frosting, so I’ll normally use 1/3 cup or 1/2 cup in between each layer.

This apple spice cake with caramel drizzle is the best naked cake for fall! With applesauce in the batter, it’s moist and delicious!

Apple Spice Cake with Caramel Drizzle

Yield: any size cake you want

Total Time: 3 hours

Ingredients:

Apple Spice Cake (this recipe makes one 6 inch cake)

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 stick butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

Vanilla Bean Buttercream

  • 2 stick butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste (or extract or vanilla bean pods)
  • 5-7 cups powdered sugar

Caramel Drizzle

  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp butter, unsalted
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp light corn syrup
  • 1 tbsp water

Directions:

Apple Spice Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350º F.
  2. Using butter, grease the bottom and sides of an 6 inch round cake pan or springform pan and line the bottom with a round piece of parchment paper. To ensure even baking, place a bake even strip around the pan. You can make your own homemade bake even strip by cutting a towel or shirt to fit the size of your pan. Get the fabric really wet, then squeeze out the dripping water but do not squeeze it too dry. Secure the fabric around the pan with a safety pin.
  3. In a small bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice. Mix well.
  4. In a larger bowl, combine the butter and brown sugar. Beat using an electric mixer until creamy, about 1 minute.
  5. Add in the egg, beat again with the mixer.
  6. Add in the applesauce, mix by hand with a spatula.
  7. Gradually add in the flour mixture, mixing by hand until it’s incorporated.
  8. Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pan, using a spatula to evenly spread it out.
  9. Bake for 23-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  10. Once the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, carefully remove the cake from the pan. If using a springform pan, remove the sides and bottom. Allow the cake to cool completely on a cooling rack. Once cool, remove the parchment paper round from the bottom of the cake. If you need to level the top of your cake, do so now using either a cake lever or knife. Make sure the cake is completely cooled, then wrap the cake in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator. This cake is good for up to one week like this.

Vanilla Bean Buttercream

  1. In a mixing large bowl, combine the butter and vegetable shortening, beat using an electric mixer until fluffy, 2 minutes.
  2. Add in the vanilla paste, beat using electric mixer.
  3. Begin to add the powdered sugar, about 1-2 cups at a time, mixing by hand first, then with the electric mixer. Continue adding powdered sugar until the frosting tastes good to you.

Caramel Drizzle

  1. Get the directions from Allie at Baking a Moment. I followed her directions, just halved the recipe! She has awesome step by step photo instructions that are easy to follow! Be sure to prepare your caramel sauce in advance because it needs to cool before adding it to the cake.

How to assemble the cake

  1. Spread a small amount of buttercream on a 6 inch round cardboard cake circle. Place your first layer of cake on top of the cardboard. Put buttercream on top of the first layer and spread it as even as possible with an offset spatula. Decide how much or how little frosting you want in-between each layer, you can measure the frosting, I’d use 1/3 to 1/2 cup in between each layer.
  2. Repeat this process for each layer of cake. Once all of the layers are stacked and frosted, spread some frosting on the top of the cake.
  3. Next, go back and fill in the gaps between the cake layers with more frosting. The frosting between the layers does not need to look perfect. Use a small offset spatula to get the frosting in between the layers and to spread it around the cake. Don’t completely cover the cake layers as they are suppose to still be visible.
  4. Place the entire cake in the freezer or fridge for 20 minutes to harden the buttercream.
  5. Once the caramel sauce is cooled, use a spoon to drizzle the caramel around the center and sides of the cake, allowing it to drip down the sides.
  6. For decoration, add cinnamon sticks or another garnish to the top of the cake.
  7. Serve and enjoy.
The apple spice cake recipe will make one 6 inch cake. That way you can decide how many layers you want. You could also bake this cake in a 8 inch cake pan by doing 1 and 1/2 of the original recipe, the bake time would increase to 35-40 minutes. You could also turn this recipe into cupcakes. The original recipe might yield between 8-10 cupcakes, I'm not 100% sure because I haven't tried it. I think the baking time would be around 15-17 minutes.

This apple spice cake with caramel drizzle is the best naked cake for fall! With applesauce in the batter, it’s moist and delicious!

43 Responses to “Apple Spice Cake with Caramel Drizzle”

  1. cristina — September 22, 2015 at 7:32 am

    Oh my gosh!  Now that’s not only a “cake” that’s a work of art!  The caramel drizzle and cinnamon sticks are just perfect garnishes.   Beautifully done…would like to see it sliced too! ;)

    • Beth @ The First Year — September 24, 2015 at 5:36 pm

      Thanks for your sweet comment Cristina!

  2. Nutmeg Nanny — September 22, 2015 at 7:33 am

    Is it too much to ask for the whole cake to be delivered to me? I sorta want a slice for breakfast…that’s reasonable, right?

    • Beth @ The First Year — September 23, 2015 at 5:19 pm

      Totally makes sense! It’s kind of like really sugary french toast :)

  3. Kacey @ The Cookie Writer — September 22, 2015 at 8:09 am

    Bethhhhhh, why do you do this to me?! Haha, it looks amazing and I can eat caramel on anything (seriously, I have a batch in my fridge right now!)

  4. Melanie @ Gather for Bread — September 22, 2015 at 8:49 am

    This is seriously the most perfect apple cake I’ve ever seen. I love your talents Beth!

    • Beth @ The First Year — September 23, 2015 at 5:19 pm

      Oh goodness, thank you Melanie!

  5. Kelly — September 22, 2015 at 8:54 am

    This cake is gorgeous, Beth! Love that it’s 6″ and naked. The apple spice and caramel drizzle is perfect for fall!

    • Beth @ The First Year — September 23, 2015 at 5:19 pm

      6 inch is the perfect size I’m figuring out!

  6. Medha @ Whisk & Shout — September 22, 2015 at 9:04 am

    This looks fabulous! PInning! Love the caramel :)

  7. Ben Maclain | Havocinthekitchen — September 22, 2015 at 9:33 am

    And now this is the serious talk, Beth! I mean look at this tall handsome guy! Perfect working out for someone’s neck, haha:)

    • Beth @ The First Year — September 24, 2015 at 5:35 pm

      Hahaha!

  8. Katerina @ Diethood — September 22, 2015 at 9:57 am

    Naked cakes are absolutely stunning! What a gorgeous way to welcome Fall! 

    • Beth @ The First Year — September 24, 2015 at 5:34 pm

      We’re ready for fall now!

  9. Becky Hardin | The Cookie Rookie — September 22, 2015 at 10:46 am

    You are the queen!!!! Totally gorgeous and perfect. And you are so good at writing the directions that I think even a novice like me could maybe understand!! Just beautiful!!!

    • Beth @ The First Year — September 23, 2015 at 5:18 pm

      Oh the directions.. they could go on and on for pages :)

  10. Zainab — September 22, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    Beth this is such a gorgeous cake!!! 

    • Beth @ The First Year — September 24, 2015 at 5:34 pm

      Thank you Zainab!!

  11. Justine | Cooking and Beer — September 22, 2015 at 5:10 pm

    Oh my goodness. Can I please hire you to teach me how to bake like a proper human being? This is STUNNING.

    • Beth @ The First Year — September 23, 2015 at 5:17 pm

      Only if you teach me how to make dinner for myself :)

  12. Tonia from TheGunnySack — September 22, 2015 at 10:52 pm

    Oh my goodness! This cake is beyond amazing!

    • Beth @ The First Year — September 23, 2015 at 5:17 pm

      Awww thanks Tonia!

  13. julianne @ Beyond Frosting — September 23, 2015 at 1:22 am

    This cake is stunning! I love the garnish with the cinnamon sticks!

    • Beth @ The First Year — September 24, 2015 at 5:27 pm

      Sounds like a lot of people like that touch!

  14. Lisa @ Healthy Nibbles & Bits — September 23, 2015 at 9:14 am

    Yup, you’re right, every season needs a cake! Love the color of that cake! 

    • Beth @ The First Year — September 23, 2015 at 5:16 pm

      It’s time for FALL cake!!!

  15. Trish - Mom On Timeout — September 23, 2015 at 3:59 pm

    This cake is straight up GORGEOUS. The cinnamon sticks on the top – my favorite! What an amazing cake for the fall!

    • Beth @ The First Year — September 24, 2015 at 5:27 pm

      Awww thank you Trish :)

    • Beth @ The First Year — September 24, 2015 at 5:27 pm

      Awww thank you Trish :)

  16. Karina — September 23, 2015 at 4:11 pm

    This cake looks amazing! I really like the idea of combining apple with spices, vanilla and caramel all at once! 

  17. Michelle | A Latte Food — September 23, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    Oh my gosh, this cake is gorgeous! I seriously want to eat it all. Love!

    • Beth @ The First Year — September 24, 2015 at 5:25 pm

      Thanks for loving on our cake!! :)

  18. Mary @chattavore — September 23, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    Um, this looks amazing. All of your gorgeous tall cakes are making me and my sheet cakes look bad!

    • Beth @ The First Year — September 24, 2015 at 5:25 pm

      But sheet cakes are so fun and practical for any occasion!

  19. Mariah @ Mariah's Pleasing Plates — September 24, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    Beth you hit this cake out of the park. It looks amazingggggg! Apples are one of my fave things about fall! 

    • Beth @ The First Year — September 24, 2015 at 5:23 pm

      Gosh, thanks friend!

  20. Heather — October 6, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    Do u cut the 6 inch cake into 2 inch layers?

    • Beth @ The First Year — October 7, 2015 at 6:51 am

      Hi Heather, the cake is 6 inches across, not 6 inches high. Each individual layer is probably 1.5-2 inches high.

  21. plasterer bristol — October 7, 2015 at 12:35 am

    Oh wow this sounds lovely. will have to give this a go. Thanks for sharing.

    Simon

  22. Elaine — November 16, 2015 at 11:58 am

    Beautiful cake, perfect for Thanksgiving. Still not sure though if you cut 3 layers from the cake or made individual layers.

    • Beth @ The First Year — November 16, 2015 at 3:40 pm

      I made 3 individual layers.

  23. kelli — December 24, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    Do we triple the recipe given?

    • Beth @ The First Year — December 27, 2015 at 10:20 am

      Hi Kelli, the cake recipe makes one 6 inch cake. That way you can decide if you want a 1, 2 or 3 layer cake.

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