Fall marks the beginning of apple season for most varieties. And while some apples have been on the grocers’ shelves all year, this is the time to take advantage of their freshness. It’s also when the unique varieties come out. 

So next time you're perusing the produce section, linger a little longer near the apples. They look fresher, don't they? A little glossier — not so dull and dented. Now's their time to shine! And there are more choices too! So grab a bag. Eat a few and use the others in this amazing Apple Caramel Cake recipe. I used Granny Smiths, but Pink Lady, Braeburn and Honeycrisp would have been great choices too!

Oh, and did I can call this a "cake" for dessert or "coffee cake" for breakfast. Or you can just skip the labels altogether. Because it makes a pretty terrific "afternoon snack" too!

Apple Caramel Cake

Prep time: 30 mins 
Cook time: 40 mins
Total time: 1 hour 10 mins
Serves: 8-10
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into thin slices
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅔ cup milk
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
Streusel Topping
  • 1½ cups flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
Caramel Sauce 
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup butter
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup honey
  1. Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a heavy skillet. Add apple slices and sauté for about 5 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat and let cool.
  2. Beat butter with an electric mixer until creamy. Add sugar and combine well. Beat in eggs one at a time and mix until well combined and creamy.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Add half the dry mixture to the butter sugar bowl and beat to combine. Pour in half the milk and beat again. Add the remaining flour and beat until smooth. Finish with the remaining milk and vanilla. Set the batter aside.
  5. Place all streusel topping ingredients in the bowl you used for the dry ingredients. Use your hands to combine well.
  6. At this point, preheat your oven to 350.
  7. In a small sauce pan, over medium high heat, bring all caramel sauce ingredients to a low boil. Stir constantly for a couple minutes and remove from heat to cool slightly.
  8. Now it’s time to assemble your cake. Spray the bottom of a 9” spring form pan with oil and lightly flour. (If you don’t have a spring form, use a 9×13 baking dish.)
  9. Place the pan on a rimmed baking sheet.
  10. Pour cake batter into the pan. Top with apple slices. Drizzle with ½ the caramel sauce and sprinkle with all the streusel topping.
  11. Cover lightly with foil and bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick poked in the center comes out clean (or without batter).
  12. If you want to brown the streusel a bit, turn your broiler to low and brown for a minute or two. Keep a close eye on it.
  13. Serve with remaining caramel sauce and a cup of coffee!
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