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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Recipe

A piece of Apple Spice Cake on a plate and topped with fresh apples and a drizzle of homemade caramel sauce.
Prep 10 mins
Cook 1 hr 40 mins
Total 1 hr 50 mins
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Ingredients
 
 

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup butter , room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 small/medium apples* 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

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Notes

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. 

Nutrition

Calories: 446kcalCarbohydrates: 65gProtein: 5gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.5gCholesterol: 63mgSodium: 267mgPotassium: 178mgFiber: 3gSugar: 49gVitamin A: 513IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 49mgIron: 1mg

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

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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 made this cake immediately after seeing it in my email. Let me tell you, it was easy and delicious. I had everything on hand. My only problem was; I saw the email about 12pm and I had to wait for the butter to get room temp. before I could make it.

  2. 5 stars
    I made this cake for a potluck after church. It was moist and delicious. I almost forgot the baking soda. I’m so used to reading recipes where the flour is listed before the other dry ingredients. Thankfully I gave it a second look. I baked it the night before and cut into small squares t the next morning, then placed in cupcake liners. I did not make the caramel. I wanted to, but thought it would be too messy for a church potluck. Thank you for the delicious recipe!!

    1. I did the same for a potluck. I just had a stir bought ice cream caramel in a tube for them to squeeze on. It worked great.

  3. I only had 3 apples so I made 1/2 of the recipe. It made 12 cupcakes which I baked for 30 minutes. I made the caramel sauce too. Yummy!

  4. 5 stars
    Today is my 74th birthday & I always requested my mother’s apple pie instead of cake. I ever mastered that so decided to try your cake. It’s delicious & easy to make. I was a little short on apples so added some raisins. It didn’t hurt the cake but since I had never tasted it without the raisins I don’t know if it was okay. Also, used a jarofcar. Sauce that was in the frig but was excellent.

  5. 3 stars
    I made the cake..exactly to the recipe contents but it takes very floury. Needs some adjustments.

  6. Awesome!!!! The only thing I changed was I didn’t use cloves I substituted a 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg. Next time I will cut the recipe down a 1/4 cup on the sugar. I also didn’t make the sauce , it is great eating plain. This recipe is a keeper!!!!

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