This moist and delicious Fresh Apple Cake is perfect for the season! Made fresh diced apples inside and drizzled with a homemade caramel.
I think I’ve said it many times before, and I’ll say it one more time: I LOVE FALL! Today is officially the first day of fall, and I couldn’t be any happier.
Apples are available year-round, but baking with apples during fall season just feels cozier. Today I’m sharing an amazing fresh apple cake recipe, and I promise you will love it!
This fresh apple cake is so moist, delicious, and filled with diced apples. Plus, it’s drizzled with a homemade caramel sauce because, well, caramel is one of the best things on the planet. Am I right?!
Let’s get baking!
Made with Fresh Apples!
This apple cake is filled with fresh apples, which I absolutely love! There’s just something cozy about baking with fresh apples.
The type of apples you choose matters a lot. Use firm apples that hold their shape well when baking. Honeycrisp, Braeburn, or Fuji apples work well. Honeycrisp apples are my go-to! Stay away from Red Delicious apples – they will disintegrate.
If you want to add some tartness, use a blend of Honeycrisp and Granny Smith apples.
The Homemade Caramel Sauce
Whoever came up with pairing apples with caramel is genius. It is the most heavenly combination ever! Drizzling caramel over this fresh apple cake takes it from really really good to OMG so good!
You can find the recipe for the caramel sauce in the recipe card below. It’s very easy to make, and you only need 4 ingredients: butter, brown sugar, salt, and heavy cream.
To make the caramel sauce, simply melt all the caramel ingredients in a small saucepan and simmer for about 3-5 minutes or until thickened. It’s my favorite shortcut caramel recipe.
If you want to keep things ultra easy, feel free to use your favorite store-bought caramel.
Ingredients You’ll Need
Per usual, you can find the specific ingredient quantities in the recipe card below, but to give you an idea of the ingredients:
- Flour: all-purpose works here.
- Baking powder: Baking powder will help the cake rise and also encourage a beautiful golden brown color. I mean, look at that color!
- Salt: Always mandatory in baking. It brings out flavors.
- Ground cinnamon: Cinnamon and apples go really well together.
- Eggs: Provide structure to baked goods.
- Unsalted butter: Adds lots of buttery flavors.
- Brown sugar: It provides deep sweetness molasses-y flavors.
- Granulated sugar: Adds that extra sweetness needed and also great caramelization.
- Greek yogurt: For moisture.
- Vanilla extract: For flavor.
- Apples: Use fresh apples, diced. I like Honeycrisp, Braeburn, or Fuji apples. Use firm apples (aka NOT Red Delicious apples).
- Chopped pecans: This is optional. You can also use walnuts!
Additionally, if you’re making the caramel from scratch, you’ll need unsalted butter, brown sugar, salt, and heavy cream.
You may even have all of these ingredients in your pantry or fridge already. It’s one of those recipes that I make on a whim!
Making this Fresh Apple Cake is Easy!
Baking fresh apple cake is super easy! All detailed step-by-step instructions can be found in the recipe card below, but I wanted to give you an overview of the process here:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×13 pan.
- Combine dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon.
- Combine wet ingredients: eggs, butter, sugars, yogurt, vanilla extract.
- Fold in apples and nuts: Combine dry with wet ingredients to make a batter. Then fold in the apples and nuts with a rubber spatula. Be careful not to overmix . The batter should be thick!
- Bake: At 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 50 minutes. Try not to open the oven too often, or it will not rise properly.
- Make the caramel sauce: While the cake bakes, melt the butter, brown sugar, salt, and heavy cream. Simmer for 3-5 minutes until thickened. Yes, it’s that easy! If it hardens (it happens if it gets cold), microwave it for a few secs.
- Serve! Drizzle with caramel and DEVOUR!
As you can see, this is a really easy fresh apple cake recipe. The typical method of combining dry with wet ingredients is used here.
It’s best when served warm, but it will keep well for 3 days if you store it in an airtight container. So feel free to make it ahead and enjoy it for days.
I love everything about this fresh apple cake. My favorite thing about it is that it’s filled with fresh warm apples. It’s also got that delicious cinnamon flavor that I adore. Plus, that caramel drizzle…omgosh, so so good!
I hope I’ve convinced you to go pick up all the ingredients you need to make this amazing cozy cake. Happy fall baking!
Check out my other apple recipes:
- Apple Bundt Cake with Maple Glaze
- Apple Pie with Precooked Filling
- Apple Peach Crumb Bars
- Apple Cinnamon Pancakes
- Apple Dutch Baby
- Slow Cooker Apple Cider
Tips for Success
- Use firm apples that hold their shape while baking. Try Honeycrisp, Braeburn, or Fuji. I always use Honeycrisp apples – they hold their shape really really well, and are also sweet.
- If the caramel hardens, simply warm it up in the microwave for a few secs. Stir with a spoon every 8-10 secs.
- The batter will be thick. Do not overmix it. In fact, all you need for mixing is a rubber spatula.
Fresh Apple Cake
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled - (2 standard sticks)
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 Honeycrisp apples, peeled and diced - (see note)
- ½ cup chopped pecans - (optional)
- Butter for pan
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 to 4 tablespoons heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×13 baking pan with butter. Set aside.
- Combine the dry ingredients: In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, and ground cinnamon until evenly combined. Set aside.
- Combine the wet ingredients and sugars: In another large bowl, mix the eggs, butter (melted and cooled), brown sugar, granulated sugar, Greek yogurt, and vanilla extract.
- Combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients using a rubber spatula. Do not overmix. Then, fold in the diced apples and the chopped pecans. The batter will be thick.
- Pour the batter over the greased pan, and smooth the top over. Bake for 50 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted inside comes out clean. Cover loosely with foil if it starts to brown too quickly. Mine took 50 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the caramel sauce: Melt all the ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat, and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes until thickened. Transfer to a bowl to cool slightly.
- Remove the cake from oven and let it cool for 30 minutes. To serve, drizzle the top with warm caramel. Enjoy!
- Special equipment: 9×13 pan.
- Choice of apples: Honeycrisp apples work best here because they are firm, hold their shape in the oven, and are sweet. Other good options are Fuji or Braeburn. STAY AWAY from Red Delicious apples, which disintegrate easily.
- Storing: Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. You can also store it in the fridge if you want to, but it will gain some extra moisture.