Spiced Apple Cake With Honey Caramel Sauce

4.86 from 7 votes
Treat yourself to a Spiced Apple Cake — a delicious pound cake layered with pieces of apple coated in warm spices and topped with honey caramel sauce.
Apple Spiced Cake sliced

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Hi Bold Bakers!

Today’s incredible Spiced Apple Cake recipe was written by Dee, one of our Bold Baking Network experts, founder of One Sarcastic Baker, and author of a lovely recently-released Baking Science cookbook (buy it here). 

It always seems that just a breath away from celebrating Rosh Hashanah, it’s time for Yum Kippur, which is considered the most important day of the Jewish Calander!

Yum Kippur is a day of fasting and reflecting that starts at sundown and ends at sunset the following day. For about 25 hours, we avoid eating and drinking for the sole purpose of reflecting on our relationships with others, asking (and receiving) forgiveness, and making a plan for a better year ahead.

And once the fast ends, we eat.

There is no right or wrong way to break the fast. Some feast on bagels and lox, and others enjoy a simple chicken soap.

But, for me, there is always a special spot for cake — namely, honey cake. Today, we are taking the extra mile with this amazing Spiced Apple Cake With Honey Caramel Sauce.

Yum Kippur Spiced Apple Cake, close up with honey.

What Is Apple Spiced Cake

Spiced Apple Cake is a pound cake layered with apple pieces coated with cinnamon and ground cloves.

The trick to a moist apple spiced cake is to first coat the apples with the spices. The spices are absorbed by the moisture of the apples while they marinate and bake — as a result, the apples don’t dry out, and the cake is super moist from the extra liquid!

Yum Kippur Spiced Apple Cake steps show the apples being marinated in spices as the butter melts in the saucepan.

Key Ingredients In Apple Spice Cake

  • Apples — Fall is apple season, and apple varieties are abundant in most local markets. But, not all apples are created equal in taste, texture, and how they bake. The good news is that this recipe can use most types of apples. I use Honey Crisp apples for Spiced Apple Cake, but you can also use Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Fuji, and Pink Lady apples for this cake. Granny Smith apples will maintain their firmness, however, not their flavor. Macintosh will provide the most apple flavors but might lose some of its firm texture. 
  • Spices — The recipe calls for cinnamon and cloves, but you can alter and use your favorite warm spices. Cardamom, nutmeg, and ginger are all great options. But do not remove the cinnamon completely!
  • Honey and dark brown sugar — Both sweeteners keep their moisture, even after the cake is baked, so this is a great way to increase the tenderness and shelf life of the cake.
  • Apple sauce — It is very important to only use unsweetened and unflavored apple sauce in Spiced Apple Cake. There is a significant amount of sugar in this cake, and the acidity in the applesauce helps keep this cake from being too sweet. I do not recommend using homemade applesauce; the high amount of pectin in homemade applesauce might interfere with the setting of the cake.
  •  Butter and vegetable oil — Butter for the flavor, and vegetable oil for the moist texture, are key for this recipe. If you use salted butter, do not add any salt. Use unflavored vegetable oil, such as canola oil, for this cake.

Yum Kippur Spiced Apple Cake in a budnt cake pan.

Ingredients For Spiced Apple Cake Honey Caramel Topping

The honey caramel is optional, and you can skip it.

  • Honey and light brown sugar — I love the deep flavor combination of the two, but if you wish, you can replace the brown sugar with more honey.
  • Cream of tartar — It is an acidic substance that will monitor the sweetness of the caramel. If you don’t have any, use one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar or one tablespoon of fresh lemon juice.
  • Heavy cream and butter — This gives the caramel a following texture and adds flavor.

Cut Yum Kippur Spiced Apple Cake.

Pro Chef Tips For Making Spiced Apple Cake With Honey Caramel

  • The colder the caramel is, the firmer it is, so plan accordingly.
  • Make sure all of the ingredients are at room temperature. Otherwise, the cake might not rise as high and will be dense.
  • Cut the apple into small pieces (about ¼-⅓ inch); if they are too big, they might sink to the bottom. Another option is to cut them into crescent slices.
  • Use a kitchen scale to measure the ingredients correctly.
  • When mixing the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt), take your time, and don’t rush. You don’t want any baking soda/powder pockets.
  • My oven is different than yours, so the cake might need less time in your oven.  Pay attention to the cake and not the time. The cake is ready when a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the cake.
  • This recipe will yield one large bundt cake or two eight-inch loaf pans.
  • If you invert that cake too soon or too late, it might stick to the pan or collapse. Be sure to give it 20-25 to cool and set.
  • As tempting as it might be, do not slice the cake when it is warm. The steam that otherwise will turn back into water will escape, and the cake will dry out. 

Storing And Baking Spiced Apple Cake Ahead

Store at room temperature, covered for up to three days. You can bake this cake ten days in advance and freeze it. When ready to serve, remove it from the freezer, and allow it to reach room temperature uncovered. 

The caramel should be refrigerated within 4 hours.

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Spiced Apple Cake

4.86 from 7 votes
Treat yourself to a Spiced Apple Cake — a delicious pound cake layered with pieces of apple coated in warm spices and topped with honey caramel sauce.
Author: Dee Frances
Servings: 12 people
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Treat yourself to a Spiced Apple Cake — a delicious pound cake layered with pieces of apple coated in warm spices and topped with honey caramel sauce.
Author: Dee Frances
Servings: 12 people


For The Honey Caramel

  • ½ cup (120 ml/4 fl oz) heavy cream
  • ½ cup (120 ml /4 fl oz) honey
  • ½ cup (100 g/3 oz) light brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 4 tablespoons (55 g/2 oz) unsalted butter cut into one-inch pieces

For The Apples

  • 3 cups (300 g/11 oz) cut apple pieces. About three medium apples, peeled and cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons (30 g/1 oz) granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground clove

For The Cake

  • 2 ¾ cups (330 g/13 oz) all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (113 g/4 oz) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup (200 g/7 oz) dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup (60 ml/2 fl oz) honey
  • 4 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 cup (240 ml/8 fl oz) vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup (180 ml/6 fl oz) unsweetened applesauce, at room temperature


To Make The Honey Caramel

  • Measure the cream and warm it in the microwave for about 20 seconds. Place it next to your stove, along with the butter.
  • In a medium saucepan, place the honey, brown sugar, and cream of tartar and cook over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture starts to boil.
  • Reduce the heat to low and let simmer for about 4 minutes while stirring every 20 seconds.
  • Pour in the heavy cream while stirring, then add the butter. Stir until the butter is completely melted.
  • Pour the caramel into a glass container and refrigerate until use and up to 3 days.

To Prepare The Apples

  • Place the apple pieces in a large bowl and sprinkle over the granulated sugar, cinnamon, and clove.
  • Use a spoon to stir and set aside.

To Make The Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C), grease one 10 cups bundt pan butter, and sprinkle with flour. Remove any excess flour, and set aside.
  • Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl and set aside.
  • In a bowl of a stand mixer (or with a handheld electric mixer), place the butter, brown sugar, and honey and beat on medium-high speed until lighter in color and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, waiting until each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next.
  • Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, then slowly drizzle in the oil on medium-high speed.
  • Reduce speed to low, then add the flour mixture in three additions alternating with applesauce. Starting and finishing with the dry ingredients.
  • Once you add the last portion of the flour, turn the mixer off and use a rubber spatula to mix the ingredients thoroughly.
  • Pour ½ the batter into the greased pan, then sprinkle ½ the amount of the spiced apples. Repeat with the remaining batter and apple.
  • Bake for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the cake.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes before inverting the cake.
  • When ready to serve, place the cake over your serving dish, drizzle with the honey caramel, slice, and serve. Store at room temperature, covered for up to three days.
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Kerry K
Kerry K
1 year ago

I made this on the weekend and it was an absolute hit! My cake-connoisseur parents particularly enjoyed it. This will definitely be going into my regular baking rotation.

Looking forward to trying more of your recipes.

A note for any Australian bakers: I used Woolworths brand apple purée in place of the unsweetened apple sauce and Granny Smith apples.

I also set my digital scales to lb/oz as our cup/tablespoon measurements are a little different. (I usually now do this with US recipies as conversions to grams have not always been completely accurate.)

Nitya M
Nitya M
1 year ago

Is there any substitute we could use for applesauce as it is not available commercially and since homemade applesauce might interfere with the setting of the cake?
Thanks a lot!

1 year ago

What are the best apples to use?

1 year ago

I can’t wait to try this recipe this holiday season!

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, a cookbook author, and the creator of Bigger Bolder Baking. I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere with my trusted and tested recipes and baking tips. You may have seen one of my 500+ videos on YouTube & TikTok or as a guest judge on Nailed It! on Netflix or the Best Baker in America on Food Network. No matter your skills, my Bold Baking Team & I want to be your #1 go-to baking authority.


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