fresh apple cake with caramel glaze

November 7, 2013

in Cakes & Tea Cakes

Does anyone else struggle with simple? I’m a perfectionist by nature and tend to overcomplicate everything, so in an effort to be more present, I’m embracing simple. Let’s start with this fresh apple cake – two bowls, no mixer required. While the cake bakes, there’s plenty of time to make a fast salted caramel glaze.

Fresh Apple Cake with Caramel Glaze | Tutti Dolci

Simple may not always be show-stopping, but the prettiest desserts aren’t always the most memorable. Filled with tender shreds of apple and warming apple pie spice, this effortless cake is completely satisfying.

Fresh Apple Cake with Caramel Glaze | Tutti Dolci

Fresh Apple Cake with Caramel Glaze
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1 1/4 cups peeled and grated apple*

Caramel Glaze
4 Tbsp light brown sugar
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, cubed
2 Tbsp heavy cream
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 Tbsp milk

Preheat oven to 350°F and line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper. Combine applesauce, oil, egg, buttermilk, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices in a medium bowl; add to applesauce mixture and stir just until combined. Fold in grated apples.

Spread batter evenly into prepared pan; smooth top with an offset spatula. Bake for 25 to 26 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs attached and cake springs back to the touch. Remove from oven to cool in pan on a wire rack.

For the caramel glaze, combine brown sugar, butter, and cream in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly until butter has melted completely. Reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and sea salt until smooth; let cool 5 minutes. Whisk in powdered sugar and milk until smooth.

Spread glaze over cooled cake; let set before cutting into squares. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 2 days; serve warm.

*I used a mix of Honeycrisp and Granny Smith apples to give the cake dimension; use whatever mix of sweet and tart apples you like.

Yield – 10 squares
Calories – 205 (per square)
Carbs – 36

Print Friendly

1 The Café Sucre Farine November 7, 2013

Simple is so often the best Laura, this looks simply delicious. I love that there’s so little oil in the recipe.


2 Suzanne November 7, 2013

What adorable little apples these are, and the cake looks very moist and delicious!


3 Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough November 7, 2013

Beautiful cake! I love the combination of fresh apples and caramel glaze… my kind of fall treat. :)


4 Valerie November 7, 2013

Simple is beautiful. This cake looks perfect! :)


5 Kiran @ November 7, 2013

Utterly beautiful!! Being a perfectionist myself, it’s a constant struggle. I believe in letting go the pull-strings with such cute desserts ;)



6 cristina November 7, 2013

What a lovely autumn/fall cake with that glaze. Laura, what is the variety of those little apples in the pics? They’re so cute!! :)


7 Tutti Dolci November 7, 2013

Thank you Cristina, I believe they are called crab apples :).


8 Maria/Pink Patisserie November 7, 2013

Simple is perfection, and you’re right it’s often the tastiest! This hits all the right flavor notes in my book! My mouth is watering!!


9 Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen November 7, 2013

Simplifying things this time of year is welcome by almost anyone who loves to cook and bake during these crazy-busy months pre-holiday season. No better way to be present and in-the-moment than enjoying a simple homemade spiced apple cake with a little embellishment of delicious glaze. A treat to relish during some quiet time. Love the whimsy in your photography here, too. Thanks for sharing, Laura!


10 Claire @ Claire K Creations November 7, 2013

Simple sounds good to me!


11 Deb November 7, 2013

Yes! I tend to over-do, when less would likely be more! (Especially more time!) This is a good time of year to focus on simplicity as the holidays can be so overwhelming. I am a fond believer of simple recipes. There is no need to spend all day in the kitchen when there are comforting and delicious recipes such as The Apple Cake with Caramel Glaze!


12 Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts November 7, 2013

I am horrible about over complicating too. I can’t do anything simple. Love this cake, it is perfectly simple but looks so delicious. I love the cute little apples too!


13 Liz November 7, 2013

My mouth waters every.single.time I visit your blog, Laura! Another winner…I love, love apple cake!!!


14 Vicki Bensinger November 7, 2013

What a wonderful list of ingredients to create such a lovely cake. I will definitely save this to try. Nice recipe and beautiful photos!


15 Tieghan November 7, 2013

I am a complete perfectionist and cannot keep things simple for the life of me. I try SO hard sometimes. LOL! I am honestly driving myself insane. I need tips on how to not obsess over every teeny tiny detail! Have any? :)

This cake is perfect in every way, as are your photos!


16 Kate@Diethood November 7, 2013

SO PRETTY!!! This cake will definitely satisfy my sweet cravings… it looks amazing! And I looooove your styling!


17 Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella November 7, 2013

Hehe I do try and complicate things at times! Hubby likes things simple though so I’m always trying to balance things. These are so adorable!


18 Maureen | Orgasmic Chef November 8, 2013

Some of the tastiest things wouldn’t win a beauty contest but I’d choose them every time! :) I think these look pretty darned good!


19 Jean (Lemons & Anchovies) November 8, 2013

When it comes to baking I gravitate towards simple, always. I absolutely love apple cakes and the two-bowl preparation. Those Lady apples are so adorable! I had to pick up a few for one of my recent posts–couldn’t resist them!


20 Gerry @ Foodness Gracious November 8, 2013

Great looking cake and that glaze…yummmm!!


21 Julie @ Table for Two November 8, 2013

This cake looks so moist and flavorful! I adore that glaze on top!


22 Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious November 8, 2013

This is pretty darn pretty to me and I could just gobble them up instantly!


23 Dina November 9, 2013

it looks yummy!


24 suzanne Perazzini November 9, 2013

I am a perfectionist too and it means we seldom relax. I can see your perfectionism in your photos – they are always gorgeous.


25 Courtney @ Neighborfood November 9, 2013

I love cakes like this. Simple means less dishes and more time to enjoy the cake!


26 ATasteOfMadness November 9, 2013

I’m a huge fan of simple, so this is right down my alley ;) This looks great!


27 Nami | Just One Cookbook November 10, 2013

Those mini apples are lovely! Being a beginner baker, “simple” sounds like a magical word. :) This apple cake looks pretty and delicious at the same time!


28 Gintare @Gourmantine November 10, 2013

Ah, this is perfect when a sweet fix is needed :)


29 Anne@FromMySweetHeart November 10, 2013

Laura…there is such beauty in simplicity! And this cake is no exception. Sweet apples and your warm spices are all I need…though your salted caramel icing tops it off beautifully. And your photos….ARE showstopping! : )


30 Cookin Canuck November 11, 2013

I always welcome “simple”, especially at this time of year, when there are to-do lists a mile long. This cake looks wonderful!


31 Anna@CrunchyCreamySweet November 11, 2013

Beautiful. I love apple cake!


32 Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel November 11, 2013

Caramel glaze takes this apple glaze over.the.tooppppppp. I can’t even handle the amazingness of your photos! And are you kidding me with those baby apples? So cute!


33 Lisa {AuthenticSuburbanGourmet} November 11, 2013

What a simply perfect fall treat! Love, love, love!!!


34 Terra November 12, 2013

First, I love cute apples like those sweet little ones in your pics! AND second, I want to devour that cake…..and that glaze….OH My! Gorgeous! Hugs, Terra


35 Rosa November 14, 2013

Oh, that cake must be heavenly! A fabulous fall treat.




36 Dina November 21, 2013

they look yummy!



Previous post:

Next post: