Soft and tender Apple Spice Cake with Caramel Icing is full of warm cinnamon and chunks of apples. This homemade cake just makes you want to curl up with a warm blanket and a cup of hot apple cider in front of a fire.
Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour two 8 or 9 inch round pans or one 9x13-inch pan.
Sift the cake flour and then measure out 3 cups into a large mixing bowl.
Add the white sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt to the sifted flour and whisk together to combine.
In the bowl of an electric mixer combine brown sugar, butter, applesauce, and buttermilk. Beat for 2 minutes.
Add the eggs and vanilla and beat 2 more minutes.
With the electric mixer on low, gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Continue mixing until the batter is smooth.
Fold the apples into the batter.
Pour the cake batter into the prepared pans. Bake 25 to 30 minutes for round pans or 30 to 40 minutes in a 9x13 pan or until cake tests done.
Allow round pans to cool at least 15 minutes. Run a knife around the perimeter of the pans and turn onto a cooling rack. Cool completely.
In a medium-sized saucepan, melt the butter. Add brown sugar and bring to a boil. Boil for exactly 2 minutes, stirring continuously. Add the milk and bring back to boiling. As soon as it has reached the boiling state, remove it from the heat. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Spread icing on cooled cake.
Prepare the Caramel Icing as instructed above and allow it to cool. Add the icing to the bowl of an electric mixer and add 1¼ cups powdered sugar or enough to get a spreading consistency. Add additional milk if frosting becomes too thick. Frost the cooled cake or store covered in the refrigerator until needed.
The cake can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Caramel Icing adapted from 1978 Kitchen Klatter Cookbook.Cake tips:
Cake pans - you can use a 9x13 cake pan or two round cake pans. If using round cake pans, 8" will have slightly taller layers but 9" will work too.
Remove your eggs and butter so they're at room temperature when you use them. They'll blend easier. Don't worry if your butter doesn't totally whip into your liquid ingredients. It will blend when you combine the wet and dry together.
Sift cake flour before measuring it. Sifting aerates and increases the volume so if you measured and then sifted you would be using more than what this apple cake recipe needs.
Sift your powdered sugar - it will blend so much easier.
For Frosting - I put it into my electric stand mixer if I'm making it into frosting after allowing it to cool.
Make your caramel icing as soon as the cake is removed from the oven. By the time the cake is cooled enough to ice it, the icing will be cool enough to use, about 15 to 20 minutes. You can also lightly warm the icing if it cools too much to spread.
Caramel frosting can be made ahead of time, covered and refrigerated until you're ready to make.
This recipe was calculated using the exact brands and measurements I used to make this recipe. If you are following a strict diet please note changing anything will cause the nutritional info to change. My calculations are intended as a guide only.