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

If you’re looking for recipes to use with your fresh apples, try our Apple Pancakes, Apple Crisp, or Apple Pie!

Apple cake made with fresh grated apples, served with caramel sauce drizzled on top and a scoop of ice cream on side.

We’re entering Fall and creeping closer to the holiday season, which makes me so happy!  One reason I love this time of year so much is that I get to break out some of my favorite family recipes. This apple cake is my Grandmother’s recipe that I treasure!

What we LOVE about Apple Cake:

  • Grated apple instead of chunks.  No chopping necessary, simply grab your box grater or food processor and grate all six apples. That’s a lot of apples and I love the texture and flavor that the shredded apple adds to the cake.
  • No peeling necessary!  The apples are grated with the peel on, saving you time and adding nutrients to the cake. The grated apples add so much flavor and help keep the cake really moist.
  • That caramel sauce.  Our 3 ingredient homemade caramel sauce is to die for!

How to make apple cake:

Grate apples. Grate them (with the peel on) on the front of your box grater or use a food processor that has a grating attachment.

Combine wet ingredients.  Start by mixing together the butter, sugar, and eggs.  Next, stir in the grated apple.

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

Four process photos for making apple cake batter in a mixing bowl.

Bake. Pour cake into a greased 9×13 inch pan and bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with few moist crumbs. Enjoy with a scoop of ice cream and caramel sauce!

Which apples should you use?

Granny Smith apples are my favorite for any kind of baking, especially in dessert recipes like apple crisp, or baked apples, where the apple is really the star of the show. For this recipe, however, you can really use any type of apple.  It is a very forgiving apple recipe because the apples are grated, so just use whatever you have on hand.

Before and after photos of apple cake baked in a 9x13'' pan.

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.


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Apple cake made with fresh grated apples, served with caramel sauce drizzled on top and a scoop of ice cream on side.
Prep 10 mins
Cook 1 hr 40 mins
Total 1 hr 50 mins
Add to Meal Plan


  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup butter , room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 apples ,small/medium size, grated (cored, but keep the peel on)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts , optional

For the homemade Caramel Sauce:

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar


  • 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 9x13 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.


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: 370kcalCarbohydrates: 50gProtein: 3gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 54mgSodium: 286mgPotassium: 141mgFiber: 2gSugar: 34gVitamin A: 450IUVitamin C: 3.5mgCalcium: 26mgIron: 1.2mg

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*I originally shared this recipe November 2014. Updated November 2020.

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About The Author

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. I went to the apple orchard yesterday & I was anxious to try this recipe. Enjoyed the “grated” apples; the cake is DELICIOUS! I was anticipating sickening sweet & it is not. Sooo GOOD. THANKS

  2. 5 stars
    I just made this cake. I did not drain the juice from the apples before adding to batter and I added walnut extract instead of the nuts. I poured the caramel sauce on top of warm cake to soak through. It was very good. My son LOVED IT! I am definately making this again and again. Thank you.

  3. I wonder if this could be made in a bundt pan. It would be beautiful! Pinned!!!! Definitely a must try

  4. 5 stars
    I made this case using all the juice with the shredded apples. It was delicious but I noticed the cake did nor rise much. I know that’s typical for some moist cakes, but I wondered if I should have drained the juice and maybe the cake would have raised a bit more or would it not be as moist? It’s a wonderful cake, just wondering which way it should be with the extra juice though.

  5. Would you pour the caramel icing on the cake prior to freezing it? Or should it be added after thawing? Thanks.

  6. 5 stars
    I made this and it is wonderful, I would suggest to add about a half teaspoon of salt, into the cake, it was lacking a bit, other than that, excellent!!

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