Apple Caramel Cake

The autumn apple celebration on the farm continues from last week as we continue processing the buckets of apples on our front porch.

by John D. Ivanko
Apple Caramel Cake. Photo courtesy iStock photo/Thinkstock (
Courtesy iStockphoto/Thinkstock

The autumn apple celebration on the farm continues from last week as we continue processing the buckets of apples on our front porch. This Apple Caramel Cake recipe ranks as our new fall favorite. Our philosophy is if you’re going to use apples in a recipe, make them the showcased ingredients and tap into and celebrate all their flavor, moisture and nutrients.

While this recipe works well as a dessert, we often also use it as a morning coffee cake for our fall breakfasts at Inn Serendipity Bed-and-Breakfast, prepping the cake the night before and then baking it in the morning to serve warm to guests. Any varietals of apples work well in this dish. As you chop and cut the apples into small pieces, it’s a good way to work through some of the oddly shaped apples that may have some damaged spots to cut out.

For the icing, using a dark-brown sugar really brings out the caramel flavoring. We like to use the dark-brown sugar from Wholesome Sweeteners, both Fair Trade Certified and organic. Why call this icing instead of frosting? No butter is added, so it’s thinner and glossier and tends to harden when it cools. And while the icing adds a nice sweetness, this cake works well without it, too, given the moist density of the apples. The sifting of the powdered sugar is to avoid lumps and clumps in the icing; it isn’t a flavor thing. If you’re running low on time, just skip that step.

Recipe: Apple Caramel Cake

Yield: 12 servings


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  • 6 cups apples, chopped
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten slightly
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 t. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. salt


  • 3/4 cup dark-brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 T. all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar, sifted


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In mixing bowl, combine apples with sugar.

In separate large mixing bowl, combine oil, eggs and vanilla. Add flours, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt, and mix well.

Stir apple-sugar mixture into flour-egg mixture and pour into greased 9×13 baking pan. Bake for about 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

As soon as you remove finished cake from oven, heat dark-brown sugar, milk and flour in a small pan until boiling. Remove from heat and stir in powdered sugar until smooth. Pour over hot cake and even out with knife. Serve warm or cold.

Savoring the good life,

John and Lisa's Signatures

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