Apple Spice Layer Cake

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Last year around this time, Ella & I whipped up an easy apple loaf which was perfect for a quick breakfast slice or for serving to last minute guests, but this year I wanted to create something a little more special but still super easy and low-key to make. Cue the Apple Spice Cake complete with Cream Cheese frosting and salted caramel sauce.

Fresh apple spice cake with cream cheese frosting and caramel drizzle - this is the best spice cake recipe you will ever make!

I first shared this Spice Cake recipe on my friend, Amanda’s site.

This apple spice cake comes together so quickly and easily – you don’t even need to break out the mixer for it. Just grate up an apple, mix together the ingredients and pop in the oven while you whip up the equally easy cream cheese frosting.

Even that cute decorating job takes less than 5 minutes from bare cakes to ready to serve thanks to a simple star frosting tip that takes this cake from simple to stunning. Top it with a sprinkle of cinnamon and a drizzle of salted caramel sauce (cheat by using the ice cream topping kind) and you have a showstopper cake that looks like you spent hours in the kitchen.

Our apple spice cake avoids the dryness that other spice cakes can be guilty of thanks to the addition of applesauce and grated apple, letting you focus on that mega-fall flavor thanks to a generous amount of spice (feel free to tone it down to your personal preferences). The cream cheese frosting is a perfect balance of tart and sweet and the whole thing is just taken over the top once you drizzle on that caramel.

Perfection.

A delicious and pretty spice cake recipe with fresh apples and a generous amount of spice

This cake reminds me of the carrot cake with cream cheese frosting and caramel sauce that I made for my friend Stephanie’s site. It’s really the perfect fall option if you’re a huge carrot cake fan because it has the same moist crumb texture and many of the same flavor notes (like the cinnamon and cream cheese) while having a distinctly unique fall flavor with the mouth-watering apple and that perfect hit of fall spices.

This cake is easy enough for a special weeknight treat but tasty enough to be served for Thanksgiving Dessert. It would also be perfect for a company potluck or for enjoying with a friends. (I may have also enjoyed a slice with my morning coffee, because if you can’t have a slice of cake for breakfast – what’s the point in being an adult?)

Okay, without further ramblings from me – let’s get onto the recipe!

How to make an easy apple spice cake recipe with fresh apples, cream cheese frosting and caramel sauce

Ingredients for a Spice Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin spice mix
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 cup oil of choice
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon molasses
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 large apple, grated

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1-8oz package cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 3-4 cups powdered icing sugar, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon, optional
  • Dried apple chips, optional
  • Caramel sundae sauce, optional {I used Ghiradelli}

Tip: pumpkin spice mix is just a blend of nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, ginger and allspice. If you don’t enjoy pumpkin spice mix, just add a half teaspoon of the spices from those you do enjoy – don’t skimp on the cinnamon!

Kitchen Tools You May Find Helpful:

Easy Apple Spice Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and Caramel Drizzle. This fresh fall cake is the best spice cake you will ever make

How to Make a Spice Layer Cake

Preheat oven to 350F.

Grease and line two 8″ or 9″ cake pans with parchment paper and set aside.

How to make the best spice cake

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, pumpkin spice and cinnamon. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the oil, brown sugar, molasses, applesauce, eggs and vanilla.

How to make an easy spice cake with fresh apples

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the oil-sugar mixture. Whisk to combine until all ingredients are moistened and no dry patches remain.

Grate your apple directly into the bowl and then stir to distribute evenly.

How to make an easy spice cake with fresh apples

Split the batter amongst the two pans – about 2 1/2 cups of batter per pan.

Bake for 18-22 minutes. Mine was ready at exactly 20 minutes, but start checking earlier in case your oven runs hotter.

Remove the cakes from the oven and let cool for one minute before turning out onto a cooling rack.

While the cake is cooling, make the cream cheese frosting.

Beat the butter and cream cheese together, then add 2 cups of powdered sugar and the vanilla extract. Adjust to taste and preferred consistency.

When the cakes are cool, place one on your cake stand and place 1/2 cup of frosting ontop. Smooth to cover the whole top with your offset spatula, then sandwich the second layer overtop.

Smooth all but 1/2 cup of frosting all over the cake.

Sprinkle a bit of cinnamon over the top of the cake, if desired.

Add 1/2 cup to 1 cup of powdered sugar to the remaining frosting to make it stiffer, then scoop into a piping bag fitted with a star tip.

Make quick “dabs” of frosting along the edge of the cake by gently squeezing the piping bag and pulling it away firmly after about 1-2 seconds. Do this all around the top edge of the cake, and then just pipe a simple line of frosting along the bottom edge.

Serve with a drizzle of caramel sundae sauce, as desired.

 

Pin this amazing apple spice cake with cream cheese frosting:

Apple Spice Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, a delicious fall dessert that will impress your guests and is super easy to make and decorate #apple #cake #falldessert

Grab your free printable for our easy apple spice cake with caramel sauce recipe:

Yield: 8 slices

Spice Layer Cake

Spice Layer Cake

Easy Apple Spice Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, a delicious fall dessert that will impress your guests and is super easy to make and decorate.
Drizzle with caramel for the ultimate in decadence

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin spice mix
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 cup oil of choice
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon molasses
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 large apple, grated

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1-8oz package cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 3-4 cups powdered icing sugar, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon, optional
  • Dried apple chips, optional
  • Caramel sundae sauce, optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Grease and line two 8" or 9" cake pans with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, pumpkin spice and cinnamon. Set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine the oil, brown sugar, molasses, applesauce, eggs and vanilla.
  5. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the oil-sugar mixture. Whisk to combine until all ingredients are moistened and no dry patches remain.
  6. Grate your apple directly into the bowl and then stir to distribute evenly.
  7. Split the batter amongst the two pans - about 2 1/2 cups of batter per pan.
  8. Bake for 18-22 minutes. Mine was ready at exactly 20 minutes, but start checking earlier in case your oven runs hotter.
  9. Remove the cakes from the oven and let cool for one minute before turning out onto a cooling rack.
  10. While the cake is cooling, make the cream cheese frosting.
  11. Beat the butter and cream cheese together, then add 2 cups of powdered sugar and the vanilla extract. Adjust to taste and preferred consistency.
  12. When the cakes are cool, place one on your cake stand and place 1/2 cup of frosting ontop. Smooth to cover the whole top with your offset spatula, then sandwich the second layer overtop.
  13. Smooth all but 1/2 cup of frosting all over the cake.
  14. Sprinkle a bit of cinnamon over the top of the cake, if desired.
  15. Add 1/2 cup to 1 cup of powdered sugar to the remaining frosting to make it stiffer, then scoop into a piping bag fitted with a star tip.
  16. Make quick "dabs" of frosting along the edge of the cake by gently squeezing the piping bag and pulling it away firmly after about 1-2 seconds. Do this all around the top edge of the cake, and then just pipe a simple line of frosting along the bottom edge.
  17. Serve with a drizzle of caramel sundae sauce, as desired.

Notes

Pumpkin spice mix is just a blend of nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, ginger and allspice. If you don't enjoy pumpkin spice mix, just add a half teaspoon of the spices from those you do enjoy - don't skimp on the cinnamon!

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Easy Apple Spice Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and Caramel Drizzle. This fresh fall cake is the best spice cake you will ever make

If you’re a spice cake fan, you will not regret whipping up this easy apple spice cake recipe!

For more delicious fall dessert inspiration, check out our chocolate chai cake recipe or our magical pumpkin cake recipe.

 

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