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.

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