The Ultimate Fall Dessert: Apple-Cinnamon Layer Cake with Gooey Caramel Drizzle

There is nothing quite as magical and comforting as fall baking. The changing colors of the leaves usually means we can start using cinnamon and apples. This impressive cake is filled with those familiar flavors, and it’s simply a wonderful way to enjoy the beauty and essence of fall.

Apple-Cinnamon Layer Cake with Gooey Caramel Drizzle


Apple Cinnamon Cake

2/3 cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 cup butter, room temperature

1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar

4 eggs

3 teaspoons vanilla

3 cups all-purpose flour

3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 cup milk, room temperature

2 apples, peeled and finely chopped

Cinnamon Buttercream

1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 to 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

Caramel for drizzling (about 1/2 cup total)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two 8-inch round cake pans with baking spray or line with parchment.

Mix brown sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. Set aside.

Beat butter and sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until smooth and creamy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until incorporated. Add vanilla extract until incorporated, then remove bowl from mixer.

Sift flour and baking powder together in a bowl, then stir into creamed butter mixture by hand. Mix milk into batter until smooth.

You should have about 6 cups of batter. Pour 1 1/2 cups of the batter (or 1/4 of your total batter) into one of the prepared cake pans; add 1/4 of the apples and 1/4 of the brown sugar mixture. Lightly pat apple mixture into batter.

Gently pour another 1 1/2 cups of batter over apple layer; top with another 1/4 of the apples and the brown sugar mixture. Lightly pat apples into batter. Repeat this with remaining batter, apple mixture and brown sugar in other cake pan.

Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes. When ready to assemble cake, prepare Cinnamon Buttercream.

Add butter, vanilla, cinnamon, confectioners’ sugar and 1 tablespoon heavy cream to a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Turn mixer on low to incorporate all ingredients. If frosting seems too thick, add remaining heavy cream. Turn mixer on high and mix for 1 to 2 minutes or until frosting is lighter and fluffier. (You want the frosting to be a spreadable consistency.)

To assemble cake, place first layer of cake on cake stand. Drizzle with up to 3 tablespoons of caramel.

Cover first layer of cake in all of your frosting (should be about 1 cup). Place other layer of cake on top and drizzle with up to 3 tablespoons of caramel. Cake should be served immediately.

Refrigerate covered for up to 3 days.

Next Up

Pasta Pie Is the Ultimate Fall Comfort Food

You’ll want a big slice of them all.

The Ultimate Packable Picnic

Practically any food eaten outdoors in the company of another could qualify as a picnic — "A jug of wine, a loaf of bread and Thou" being among the simplest and best menus still in use more than a thousand years after a poet first suggested it. But once the guest list numbers above three, a few more dishes are in order and a little strategizing pays off. To help plan your next outing, we've assembled a list of totable foods that are easy to eat sprawled out in the sun, plus some handy gear for serving it.

Fall Desserts That Aren't Pumpkin or Apple

Because variety is the spice of life.

This Shapeshifting Cake Batter Is the Ultimate Party Trick

With this genius base recipe, if you can make one cake flavor, you can make six — and just by adding, never subtracting or swapping.

Easy, Healthy Apple Desserts to Make Before Fall's Over

Use up those extra apples to make something sweet.

Treat Yourself to the Ultimate Creepy Watchlist

Check out the haunting Halloween shows and specials premiering on Food Network this October.

Cardi B Discovers the Ultimate Way to Eat Doritos

You probably have both of the ingredients at home already!

The Ultimate Guide to Chocolate for Baking (and Beyond)

Chocolate is available for purchase in dizzying variety: from bitter to sweet, white to dark, powders to chips, bars to bricks. To keep your head from spinning, here's a breakdown of what you'll encounter in the baking aisle.

Fall Fruit Smoothie with Pear, Plum and Cinnamon

Make this fall fruit smoothie, a Healthy Eats blend of pears and plums that's delicious and vegan smoothie