German Apple Cake with the best Caramel Sauce you’ve ever had! This is the cake of the season! This one is old-school, just like Grandma made (or should’ve made)!
Apparently, Apple Season comes before Pumpkin Season (who knew?) – and I’ve practically missed the whole thing, because, if you haven’t noticed, the internet is in a full-on Pumpkin Frenzy. I guess I should’ve known. The pumpkins on all of my neighbors’ porches are a dead giveaway. But better late than never. Especially with this cake. It is A-MAZ-ING! There was a day when I would’ve given the idea of Apple Cake a big “Ho-Hum.” For evidence of this, just look at my parade of Cake Recipes – several pages of spectacular cake recipes and so far, only one lonely apple-containing cake.
But now I know better. THIS cake is the one I’ve been missing. This German Apple Cake goes by many names – among them “Jewish Apple Cake” or “Apple Dapple Cake”. Just Google those, you’ll see a recipe for this cake, often this very recipe. I even found a very similar recipe in my trusty Betty Crocker Cookbook, as well as a book of my own Grandma’s recipes, that was lovingly compiled by my Godmother and cousin. Grandma’s recipe is called German Apple Cake, so that’s what I called this one, although I liked the way the apples and cake were layered in Smitten Kitchen’s Deb Perelman’s Jewish Apple Cake. I topped it with a simple-to-make caramel sauce, for a little caramel apple flavor.
I’m not kidding when I say this is one of my favorite cakes. The flavors are so simple and so satisfying. Filled with sweet-tart and cinnamon-y chunks of baked apple, all embedded in super-moist vanilla cake. The drizzle of caramel over the top is a perfect complement to the cake. But the best thing, and the thing to remember – like many baked goods, the second day, the cake is EVEN BETTER! I don’t know why, maybe the apple juices just settle into the cake, but it takes on a new texture, sort of bread-pudding-like. So my advice would be to make this cake a day before you want to serve it. I know you’ll be adding this recipe to your Apple Season favorites!
So if you’re like me and missed Apple Recipe Season altogether, have no worries! This cake more than makes up for being late to the Apple Season party!
German Apple Cake with Caramel Sauce
This is the new Autumn cake, even though this recipe isn’t new at all – seems like every family has a version of this cake. This one is from several sources including Deb Perelman’s Smitten Kitchen, but if you Google “German Apple Cake” or “Jewish Apple Cake” or even “Apple Dapple Cake”, you can see the same ingredients listed. It is so, so good – a moist cake filled with cinnamon apple flavor – there’s a reason this recipe has been around so long. Better the second day, I promise! So make it in advance. Top the cake with whipped cream, ice cream and/or the caramel sauce I used, adapted slightly from Sally’s Baking Addiction.
Special equipment: 1-piece tube pan or a Bundt pan.
- Prep Time: 25 mins
- Cook Time: 90 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
- Yield: 12–16 servings 1x
- Category: Cakes
- Method: Baking
For the Cake:
- 6 Apples, peeled and cored, cut into 1″ chunks (I use a mixture of Granny Smith and Golden Delicious, but any variety would be fine)
- 1 T ground Cinnamon
- 5 T Granulated Sugar
- 2 3/4 c AP Flour
- 1 T Baking Powder
- 1 t Salt
- 4 Large eggs
- 1 c Canola oil (or any vegetable oil)
- 2 c Granulated Sugar
- 1/4 c Orange juice
- 2 1/2 t Natural Vanilla Extract
For the Caramel Sauce
- 1 c sugar
- 6 T Salted Butter, room temperature, cut into 6 pieces
- 1/2 c Heavy Cream
- 1/2 t Salt (optional)
For the cake
- Preheat oven to 350F. Grease or butter tube pan or bundt pan.
- In a medium bowl, toss the apple chunks with the cinnamon and 5 T sugar. Set aside.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. In a separate medium bowl, whisk eggs. Add oil, orange juice, sugar, and vanilla. Whisk well. Pour the wet ingredient mixture into the dry ingredients and, using a silicon spatula or large spoon, mix until all ingredients are evenly incorporated.
- Pour half of the cake batter into the greased baking pan. Arrange half of the apple chunks over the layer of batter, making sure to pour half of the apple juice as well. Top the apple chunk layer with the rest of the cake batter. Arrange the remaining apple chunks atop the batter and pour the remaining juice from the apple bowl over the top.
- Bake until a wooden or metal skewer placed into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 hours. In a Bundt pan, my cake took the full 90 minutes.
- Cool cake completely before inverting onto a serving dish.
Make the caramel sauce
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, pour the sugar. Stirring constantly, watch as the sugar begins to melt. At first it will look a little crumbly and lumpy, but continue to stir until the sugar is fully melted. This will likely take a few minutes, and the sugar will begin to turn an amber color. Once it reaches this color, gently lower the pieces of butter into the amber liquid. It will likely bubble up a bit. Continue to stir until butter is melted.
- Once butter is melted, slowly carefully pour in the cream. It will bubble up, and perhaps spatter a bit. Let it bubble for an additional minute, remove from the heat and add the salt, if desired.
- Pour caramel sauce into a sterile jar and cool completely. After it cools a bit, drizzle a few spoons over the completely cooled cake. It will keep in the refrigerator for several weeks. It will be quite thick, so just defrost or heat in the microwave a few seconds so you will be able to spoon it nicely.
- Serving Size: 1/14 recipe
Stephanie | Worth Whisking says
This cake looks and sounds wonderful, Laura! I’m not a huge pumpkin fan (blasphemy, I know!), so I prefer apple for fall recipes. This one looks like a winner!
Thanks so much, Stephanie! I like pumpkin but I think I prefer it in savory dishes to sweet ones. Maybe that’s a bit of blasphemy too!
I made the cake this morning….still in oven after 90 min…..batter was very thick….is that correct
That’s a good question Charlie. The battery slightly thicker than many cakes because the apples will seep theirjuice during baking. But it shouldn’t be so sick that you need to spoon it into the pan. Let me know how the cake turns out. Also since all of and are different times could vary by 15 minutes in either direction.
Sorry Charlie for all the typos. I meant the batter will be thick, and oven temps are variable. That’s what I get for speaking into my phone to answer a question.
Yes, this is a correct order, but I don’t mind having all pumpkin and apple recipes before Christmas and even a little after (Cause seriously, what season follows Christmas until an early spring? Citrus? Sweet potatos? Mmm not so obvious to me:) Anyway, this apple cake looks amazing, and caramel makes everything better:)
I agree, Ben. I think the unfortunate season that follows Christmas is the “celery and water” season, ? one in which I usually don’t partake. I consider it the braising season, or at least leftover candy season. And thanks, I’m with you about the caramel, too!
David | Spiced says
This totally reminds me of an apple cake that my mom used to make! And I’m right there with ya on the pumpkin spice blowing up the internet. It happens every year…I always think it might not happen, but sure enough, August rolls around and pumpkin spice everything starts showing up! I say we make this apple cake the new pumpkin spice! 🙂 And I bet a bit of bourbon in that sauce would taste amazing…just saying!
Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen says
I’ll eat a huge slice of this whether it’s apple season or not. It looks to die for!
Thanks, Kelsie! I was inspired by your gorgeous apple cake a few weeks ago!
so delicious and wonderful!
Thanks so much! So glad you love it! And thank you for taking the time to comment!
That’s an amazing looking apple cake!! I would love to try it and delight myself with an even better texture and taste the next day :D. Apple season isn’t over in India yet..So this recipe is perfect timing for me :).Thanks Laura!!
Thanks, Deepika! Apples are some of the best fruits around, aren’t they? So good in sweet and savory dishes! Hope you get a chance to try this cake.
Ashika | Gardening Foodie says
Absolutely love apple cake, but have not tried it with caramel sauce…sounds and looks heavenly. Cannot wait to try this recipe. Thank you for sharing this great recipe.
Have a great weekend?
Thanks, Ashika! I’m pretty sure caramel sauce makes everything even better!?