This EASY Apple Cake recipe is made with fresh grated apples and spices, topped with homemade caramel sauce and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. This is a delicious treasured family recipe!

Looking for more apple recipes? Try our Applesauce, Apple Pancakes, Apple Crisp, or learn How to Make Perfect Caramel Apples!

A piece of Apple Spice Cake on a plate and topped with fresh apples and a homemade caramel sauce.

What we LOVE about Apple Cake:

  • Grated apple: No peeling or chopping required. The cake has six apples in it, which provide lots of moisture, flavor and texture.
  • That caramel sauce is an absolute must. It simmers on the stove for an hour but it only requires three ingredients and is so easy to make.
  • My Grandmother’s recipe: This is a treasured family recipe that we enjoy during the fall and winter months each year.

How to make Apple Cake:

Make Caramel Sauce and simmer on the stove while the cake cooks.

Grate Apples: Grate them (with the peel on) using a box grater or food processor with a grating attachment.

Combine Wet Ingredients: butter, sugar, and eggs in a mixing bowl. Next, stir in the grated apples.

Two images showing the wet ingredients being combined for a fresh Apple Cake.

Combine Dry Ingredients in a separate bowl. Then combine the wet and dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated. For a moist cake, you don’t want to over mix!

Two images showing the dry ingredients being added to the batter for Apple Cake.

Spread the batter into a greased 9×13 inch pan.

Apple cake batter spread into a 9x13 inch pan and ready to bake.

Bake: Place in oven and bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with few crumbs. Enjoy with a scoop of ice cream and caramel sauce!

Fresh Apple Cake out of the oven and in a 9x13 inch pan.

Which apples should you use?

Although Granny Smith apples are my favorite for most baked apple desserts (like apple crisp, or baked apples, where the apple is really the star of the show), you can really use any type of apple for this recipe!

Freezing Instructions:

To Freeze: Once cooled, cover fresh apple cake well and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge. Enjoy cold, or rewarm in the oven on low heat, or warm individual slices in the microwave.

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A piece of Apple Spice Cake on a plate and topped with fresh apples and a drizzle of homemade caramel sauce.
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 1 hour 40 minutes
Total 1 hour 50 minutes
Save Recipe


For the homemade Caramel Sauce:


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until well blended. Add the eggs and mix well. 
  • Stir in the freshly grated apple.  It may seems like the grated apple is completely taking over the dish – this is a good thing :).
  • In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Add to the wet ingredients and mix, just until incorporated.
  • Bake in a greased 9×13 inch pan for 40-50 min, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. (Depending on how large your apples were, you may need to cook it a little longer than 50 minutes).
  • Allow the cake to cool for at least 10 minutes. Serve warm with caramel sauce and whipped cream or ice cream.

For the Caramel Sauce:

  • Place all of the caramel sauce ingredients in a large glass bowl and stir to combine.
  • Fill a saucepan with about 2 inches of water and bring it to a boil. Turn it to a low simmer.
  • Set a glass bowl over the saucepan (or use a double boiler) and simmer the sauce, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour.
  • Pour into a jar and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.


Apples: You can really use any type of apple for this recipe. 
Freezing Instructions: Once cooled, cover well and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge. Enjoy cold, or rewarm in the oven on low heat, or warm individual slices in the microwave. 


Calories: 408kcalCarbohydrates: 55gProtein: 4gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.5gCholesterol: 63mgSodium: 266mgPotassium: 100mgFiber: 1gSugar: 41gVitamin A: 475IUVitamin C: 0.3mgCalcium: 45mgIron: 1mg

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*I originally shared this recipe November 2014. Updated November 2020 and October 2022.

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Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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  1. Delicious 😋😋
    Made it this afternoon
    Was so Easy to make & super moist
    Only thing I did different was to omit the cloves
    My husband loved it😜😜👍🏼👍🏼

  2. Made this recipe tonight exactly as written by the talented owner and author of it… IT TURNED OUT TO BE THE MOST AMAZING APPLE CAKE I HAVE EVER HAD! I say bravo to it’s owner and publisher,, and I very much appreciate you sharing your wonderful family recipe with the rest of us that are grateful to have discovered it! My family and friends that have had the pleasure of sharing this cake thank you very much. Sure we will be enjoying it for years to come!!

  3. 3 stars
    This has the beginnings of a good recipe but it’s too heavy on the sugar (esp. with the recommended toppings) and there’s no salt listed (the cake won’t rise at all without including both). I reduced the white sugar and the number of apples by half, I added a cup of currants rehydrated in bourbon, I used allspice instead of cinnamon, and I added 1 teaspoon of salt to activate the 2 teaspoons of baking soda. The texture of the cake was light and spongy as it should be, and the combination of flavors came through with less sugar to drown them out.

    1. E.A. You have so many negative comments on this recipe, please let us know when your “Perfect Recipes” page is???

  4. 5 stars
    The recipe you have for the caramel sauce on top of this apple cake says that you simmer it for one hour, is that a misprint.

    1. 5 stars
      I used a Pyrex bowl over boiling water, don’t have a double boiler. Let it simmer for an hour. Turned out great. It thickens as it cools.

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