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Apple cinnamon cake split open on a cake stand.
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5 from 17 votes

Apple Cinnamon Cake

This apple cinnamon cake is a layered spice cake. It is full of apple pie filling, drizzle of caramel, and cinnamon caramel frosting. The cake is topped with a caramel drip and a caramel apple.
Prep Time1 hr 30 mins
Cook Time24 mins
Decorating Time1 hr
Total Time2 hrs 54 mins
Servings: 16 slices
Calories: 664kcal

Ingredients

Spice Cake

  • 3 ½ cups All-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon Baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon Baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 teaspoon Ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ teaspoon Ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon Pumpkin pie spice
  • ¼ teaspoon Ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup Unsalted butter melted and cooled
  • 1 ¼ cup Brown sugar packed light or dark
  • ¼ cup White granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
  • 4 Large eggs room temperature
  • ½ cup Sour cream room temperature
  • 1 cup Buttermilk room temperature

Salted Caramel

  • 1 cup White granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoon Unsalted butter room temperature and cubed
  • ½ cup Heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • ½ teaspoon Pure vanilla extract

Apple Pie Filling

  • 3 Apples gala
  • 3 tablespoon Unsalted butter
  • cup Brown sugar packed light or brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon Cornstarch

Cinnamon Caramel Frosting

  • 2 cups Unsalted butter room temperature
  • 4 cups Powdered sugar sifted
  • 1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • 1 tablespoon Salted caramel
  • 1 teaspoon Ground cinnamon

Instructions

Spice Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray three 8-inch cake pans with baking nonstick spray.
  • In a medium bowl, sift the flour. Add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, pumpkin pie spice, and nutmeg. Set aside.
    3 ½ cups All-purpose flour, 2 teaspoon Baking powder, 1 teaspoon Baking soda, 1 teaspoon Salt, 2 teaspoon Ground cinnamon, 1 ½ teaspoon Ground ginger, 1 teaspoon Pumpkin pie spice, ¼ teaspoon Ground nutmeg
  • In a large bowl, mix the melted butter (make sure it is cooled), brown sugar, sugar, vanilla, eggs, and sour cream. Use a whisk to make sure it is mixed until smooth.
    1 cup Unsalted butter, 1 ¼ cup Brown sugar, ¼ cup White granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract, 4 Large eggs, ½ cup Sour cream
  • Add in half of the dry ingredients and half of the buttermilk and mix until almost combined. Add the other half of the dry ingredients and the rest of the buttermilk. It should be smooth.
    1 cup Buttermilk
  • Pour the cake batter evenly into the three cake pans. Bake for 20-24 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Let the cakes sit in the hot pan for 10 minutes. Transfer the cake to a cooling rack. Cool completely.

Salted Caramel

  • Make sure to make this ahead of time, so the caramel can cool completely. Start by pouring sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Heat the sugar until all the sugar crystals are melted. Use a whisk to mix it.
    1 cup White granulated sugar
  • Let the caramel turn amber in color. This takes less than 30 seconds. Take off the heat immediately.
  • Add in half of the butter and mix until combined. Add in the rest of the butter. Heat the heavy cream in the microwave until warm. Add in half of the cream and mix. Then, finish adding in the cream. Add in the vanilla and salt.
    4 tablespoon Unsalted butter, ½ cup Heavy cream, 1 teaspoon Salt, ½ teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
  • Pour the caramel in a separate container and cool completely.

Apple Pie Filling

  • Peel and slice the apples. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the apple slices, brown sugar, cinnamon, and cornstarch. Heat until the apples starts to bubble. Heat for 5 minutes until mixture thickens.
    3 Apples, 3 tablespoon Unsalted butter, ⅓ cup Brown sugar, 1 teaspoon Ground cinnamon, 1 tablespoon Cornstarch
  • Cool the apple filling completely before using.

Cinnamon Caramel Frosting

  • In a large bowl, sift the powdered sugar. In a separate bowl, using a mixer, beat the butter on high speed for 3 minutes.
    4 cups Powdered sugar, 2 cups Unsalted butter
  • Add in half of the powdered sugar and mix on low until combined. Add in the rest of the powdered sugar and mix.
  • Add in vanilla, salt, salted caramel, and cinnamon. Mix on high speed until creamy.
    1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract, ½ teaspoon Salt, 1 tablespoon Salted caramel, 1 teaspoon Ground cinnamon

Assembly

  • Use a serrated knife or a cake leveler to cut the domes off the cakes so they are even.
  • Place the 1st cake layer down. Spread ½ cup of frosting over the cake. Pipe a border of frosting around the edge of the cake. Spread ¾ cup of apple pie filling in the middle. Drizzle salted caramel on top of the apples.
  • Repeat with the second layer. Place the last cake layer with the bottom of the cake facing up. Pipe frosting in the cracks of the cake. Then, use a cake scrapper to smooth the frosting.
  • Freeze for 15 minutes. Place the frosting in the fridge while the cake freezes. This allows the frosting not be as soft. Then, frost the rest of the cake.
  • Freeze for 10 minutes to set the frosting. Place the caramel in a piping bag. Then, pour little drips of caramel over the cake. Then, pour the rest of the caramel on top.
  • If topping with any decoration. Freeze for 10 minutes before topping.

Notes

Flour- Make sure flour is spooned and leveled or use a kitchen scale. Compacted flour can dry out the cake.
High altitude baking- Add an extra 3 tablespoon of flour.
Pull out dairy ingredients 2 hours before baking.
I have a separate post about salted caramel on my blog if you are having trouble.

Nutrition

Calories: 664kcal | Carbohydrates: 96g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 44g | Saturated Fat: 28g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 119mg | Sodium: 518mg | Potassium: 150mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 42g | Vitamin A: 1416IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 101mg | Iron: 2mg