Apple Cake With Caramel Fudge Icing

This apple cake with caramel frosting recipe includes a moist cake infused with cinnamon and fresh apple chunks topped with an old-fashioned caramel fudge icing that’s out of this world.

Slice of apple cake with caramel frosting.

Mama Reed didn’t really have a recipe for this old-fashioned apple cake, but I took one of her recipes and used it as the base to build it on so I decided to give her credit. It’s sort of like a collaboration with the great-grandmother I know only through stories and I like how that feels.

The apple spice cake itself is super easy to make. All you need is some fresh apples and a few other baking essentials, like self-rising flour, eggs, vanilla, sugar, oil, cinnamon, and allspice. That’s it! A little mixing and a little baking and your easy apple cake will be ready.

Then it’s time to add the finishing touch to your apple sheet cake: caramel fudge icing. It’s similar to my peanut butter fudge icing and chocolate fudge icing, but it’s even better because it’s caramel! The way the caramel frosting hardens means it breaks off into sweet caramel chunks that just melt in your mouth. If you’ve never made old-fashioned fudge icing before, you’re in for a treat!

I just love the combination of caramel and apple, which is obvious when you see the amount of caramel apple recipes on Southern Plate. This includes caramel apple salad, caramel apples, and caramel apple cheesecake. But in this instance, the combination of the moist apple cake with fresh apple chunks and the sweet caramel fudge icing is so addictive. 

Now, who’s ready to start baking this delectable apple cake with caramel frosting?

apple cake with caramel frosting ingredients

Recipe Ingredients

Apple Cake

  • Apples
  • Self-rising flour (see a tip at the end of the post to make your own).
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla extract
  • Granulated sugar
  • Vegetable oil
  • Water
  • Cinnamon
  • Allspice

Ingredients for caramel frosting to accompany apple cake.

Caramel Frosting

  • Confectioner’s sugar
  • Unsalted butter
  • Vanilla extract
  • Brown sugar (light or dark brown sugar works but I prefer dark).
  • Heavy cream (sometimes known as whipping cream).

How To Make Apple Cake With Caramel Frosting

Stir together self-rising flour and sugar in a mixing bowl.

Stir together your self-rising flour and sugar in a mixing bowl.

peel and chop apples.

Peel and chop apples until you are tired of chopping apples.

Add all remaining ingredients to mixing bowl.

Then dump them in the bowl with the dry ingredients and add all of the other ingredients.

Mix ingredients together.

Stir that by hand really well until it is all nice and blended.

Or until you get tired of fooling with it.

Pour batter into baking dish and bake.

Pour that into a 9×13 baking dish that you’ve sprayed with cooking spray.

Bake this at 350 for about 45 minutes or until set and golden brown.

Baked apple cake.

There we are. A lovely photo of our baked cake. 

This cake looks a little dimply when it is done on account of the apples.

Place cream, butter, and brown sugar in saucepot.

Making the Caramel Frosting

Place your cream (or milk), butter, and brown sugar in a medium saucepot.

Stir until butter is melted.

Stir this CONSTANTLY over medium heat until the butter is melted and it is all a nice brown mixture like this.

Boil frosting for 2 minutes.

Now crank up that heat to medium-high and STIR CONSTANTLY (not kidding here) to bring it to a full rolling boil. Once it is boiling, set your timer for 2 minutes. Exactly.

Remove from heat and add sugar and vanilla.

When that timer dings, immediately remove the frosting from the heat, stir in the vanilla, and then stir in the confectioner’s sugar.

Stir fast because this stuff is gonna set up pretty quickly.

Spread caramel frosting over apple cake.

Now it is pretty much smooth and creamy. 

Apple cake with caramel frosting.

Quickly spread it over your cooled cake. Quick. Because it gets hard fast.

Apple cake with caramel frosting.

Why are you still sitting here when you have an amazing caramel apple cake just waiting for you to devour it?

Slice of apple cake with caramel frosting.

 Enjoy your apple cake with caramel frosting!

Storage

  • If you live in a warm and humid climate, you’re going to want to store the leftover cake in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days, to make sure the frosting doesn’t melt!
  • You can also freeze double-wrapped leftovers for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge or at room temperature before serving.

Recipe Notes

  • To make your own self-rising flour, simply add 1.5 teaspoons of baking powder and half a teaspoon of salt for EACH cup of all-purpose flour.
  • You can use whole milk in place of cream if you like.
  • If you were born after 1950, don’t try to ice a layer cake with boiled icing. Stick with a 9×13 sheet cake. Trust me!
  • For salted caramel frosting, add a pinch (or 1 teaspoon) of salt to the saucepot when you add the sugar and vanilla.
  • If you don’t have allspice on hand, you can easily substitute it for ground nutmeg or omit it completely. 
  • Want the extra crunch of pecans? Add 1 cup of chopped pecans or chopped walnuts to the cake batter.

Recipe FAQs

What are the best baking apples?

The tartness of Granny Smith apples perfectly complements the apple cake’s sweet caramel icing. However, Pink Lady, Gala, Braeburn, Honeycrisp, Fuji, and Golden Delicious all work well too.

You may also like these amazing apple recipes:

Homemade Apple Fritters

Caramel Apple Milkshake

Cinnamon Apple Bread

Apple Dapple Cake

Apple Snack Cake (Right From The Orchard)

Caramel Apple Dump Cake

caramel apple cake

Apple Cake With Caramel Frosting

This apple cake with caramel frosting includes a moist cake infused with cinnamon and fresh apple chunks topped with an old-fashioned caramel fudge icing that's out of this world.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: apple, cake, caramel, frosting, icing
Servings: 4
Calories: 607kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • 2-3 apples, peeled and chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 1.5 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Caramel Icing

  • 4 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 8 tablespoons heavy cream or milk
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix by hand with a wooden spoon until well blended and smooth.
    2 cups self-rising flour, 2-3 apples, peeled and chopped, 2 eggs, 1.5 cups granulated sugar, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1/2 cup water, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon allspice, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Spread into a greased 9x13 cake pan and bake at 350 for 45 minutes.
  • To make the icing, stir together butter, cream, and brown sugar in a saucepot. Place over medium heat and stir constantly until butter is melted and the mixture is well blended.
    4 tablespoons butter or margarine, 8 tablespoons heavy cream or milk, 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • Turn heat up to medium-high and stir constantly until it comes to a rolling boil. Once boiling, cook for 2 minutes and then remove from heat.
  • Stir in confectioner's sugar and vanilla until smooth. Work quickly and use a wire whisk or electric mixer if you prefer. You can add up to 1/2 cup more of confectioner's sugar if needed to thicken.
    2 cups confectioner's sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Ice the cooled cake as soon as possible.

Nutrition

Calories: 607kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @southernplate or tag #southernplate!

 

 “Happiness is not determined by what’s happening around you, but rather what’s happening inside you.  Most people depend on others to gain happiness, but the truth is, it always comes from within.”

~Unknown

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50 Comments

  1. This is making me drool!!! I am going to make it right now. Since I was born in late 1949, I will just do a 9X13 pan to be safe…lol ( love your sense of humor) I am trying to teach my husband of 51 years to cook since he is retired now. He never made a darn thing, so you can imagine how this is going cuz I don’t do anything precise either. He wants me to tell in in cups and teaspoons everything I put in! Like that’s going to happen.

  2. Kristy, I went right to the store and got apples and whipping cream. Oh my, it is so good. Thanks for a great recipe that isn’t chocolate.

  3. Just made this, I mean it JUST came out of the oven 10 mins ago….had a piece unfrosted and OMGoodness…heavenly!!!! No need to frost, perfect as is 😉

  4. I made this last night for church tomorrow. The icing started to turn solid before I could get it spread out evenly. I then put it back in the oven (for less than 5 min) thinking it would melt it down a little bit. That didn’t work so much and the icing is really crunchy. Is that normal or did I do something wrong? The cake looked so good so I’m pretty bummed about the icing. We’re gonna call it apple crunch cake and pretend it’s supposed to be that way. 🙂

    1. I’m so sorry that happened to you! I warn about that in my post, you have to work quickly with this icing. You didn’t do anything wrong, just have to work a little faster to get this one right. It is supposed to be a fudge like consistency, definitely not creamy like more icings 🙂

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