Caramel Apple Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream

There is something so delicious about the taste of salted caramel. My absolute favorite taste sensation is the combination of salty and sweet together! This cake really goes over the top with deep caramel notes and a subtle taste of apples and cinnamon. I found a recipe similar to this one and recreated it to make it my own, adding salt to the cake and a homemade caramel sauce in the cake and the buttercream. My husband took one bite and said it was the most delicious cake he had ever tasted! I love using him as my recipe taste tester because he tells it like it is! My homemade caramel is easy to make and really makes a difference in the flavor of this cake. You can always use a jarred caramel if you don’t want to spend the extra time. If you do make your own caramel, I promise you won’t be disappointed !! I recently made this cake in 2 heart shaped pans for my sweet hubby for Valentine’s day!! I sliced each layer in half, so it makes a 4 layer cake, then you will need to double the frosting as well!!!

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Caramel Apple Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream

Prep time: 30 minutes Bake time: 30 minutes


3 and 3/4 cups AP flour

1 and 1/2 cups light brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup canola oil

1 cup fresh shredded apples, ( I used Fuji apples )

3/4 homemade caramel sauce, ( you can used jarred caramel)

2 teaspoons best quality vanilla, ( I use Madagascar bourbon)

3 medium eggs at room temperature

1 and 1/2 cups whole buttermilk at room temperature

Caramel sauce

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup half and half

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon best quality vanilla

Caramel buttercream

4 sticks room temperature unsalted butter

6 to 8 cups confectioners sugar, ( based on your taste)

1 tablespoon vanilla

1/2 cup homemade caramel sauce, ( or you can use store bought)

3/4 to 1 teaspoon salt

5 tablespoons half and half




In a medium sauce pan, place brown sugar, butter and cream. Whisk constantly over medium low heat for 5-7 minutes. Take off heat and add vanilla. Cool completely before adding to cake and buttercream.


Preheat over to 350 degrees F. ( I use a convection oven and will compensate by turning the temperature down slightly). Grease and flour 2 – 9″ cake pans and line with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk by hand the oil, eggs, sugar, vanilla and buttermilk, Add caramel and stir until combined. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl and gradually add to the wet mixture. Use a wooden spoon or spatula and be very careful not to over mix once you add the dry ingredients. You will get used to me telling you not to over mix your recipes once the flour is added!!  It’s a precise way of making sure that your cake doesn’t come out rubbery and tough!

Divide batter evenly among prepared pans. Set your timer for 15 minutes and rotate the pans in the oven. Bake another 10 minutes and check for doneness by how the cake springs back in the center. Cool the cakes on a wire rack for 15 minutes and turn them onto a wire rack. Place in the oven while you make the frosting and caramel.

Salted caramel buttercream

Cream together butter, vanilla, caramel and salt until smooth and creamy. Slowly add confectioners sugar and cream alternately. Make sure to scape down the bowl as you go. Keep adding the confectioners sugar until you have the desired sweetness. I tend to like my frostings less sweet, so I do a lot of tasting along the way!

Frost the cakes when they are completely cool. I like to do a crumb coat, chill, then frost again. Drizzle the leftover caramel over the top of the cake.


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