This delicious Caramel Apple Cake couldn't be easier with a simple microwave caramel sauce, a one-bowl, no-mixer cake recipe and no need to even peel the apples!
Need a super easy, super impressive dessert? You've definitely come to the right place! This wonderful caramel apple cake can be whipped together quickly and when you flip it out of the pan, the beautiful sight that greets your eyes will be sure to bring a big smile!
Apple season has begun here in the mountain orchards of North Carolina. It officially started on August 14th with Ginger Gold and Galas being the first apples to ripen. Now, two weeks later, Fuji, Honey Crisp, Jonagold and several others are also ready - so exciting! I've also been picking up some wonderful apples at our local grocery store and produce market, so I thought it was time to make apple cake - caramel apple cake to be precise!
A tried and true recipe
Rather than coming up with something new I decided to adapt an old faithful, never-fail friend for this recipe, our beloved French Grandmother Lemon Yogurt Cake. It's one of those recipes you can stir up in minutes using common ingredients and simple tools - one bowl and no mixer. It always turns out moist with a lovely tender crumb and is thoroughly enjoyed by everyone who tries it. It is also the base for several other Café favorite cakes including our recent Upside Down Plum Cake.
True confession; this isn't really a "French" recipe but since it's derived from the French Grandmother cake, I thought I had the "legal" rights to include the word French in the title! It just sounds a little fancier and more elegant than "Caramel Apple Cake", don't you think? No one (besides you and me) has to know how easy it is!
A "real deal" caramel sauce
For the base of this caramel apple cake, which actually becomes the topping after the cake is baked and turned out, I went with a delicious, authentic caramel sauce which is also super easy and requires very little fuss. This easy caramel sauce is made in the microwave and doesn't have the complications of classic caramel sauce.
No apple peeling!
I decided to try just dicing the apples without peeling them and was delighted with the results. The peeling tenderizes in the oven and also adds beautiful color to the caramel apple topping. To make things really speedy, I used my Vidalia Chopper to dice the apples and it works like a charm. If you're a regular follower here at The Café, you already know how much I love this little inexpensive kitchen workhorse. I use it almost every day, as it's wonderful for chopping onions, peppers, potatoes, squash, cucumbers, eggs, peaches, pears and definitely apples!
Pick up some apples and make this delicious caramel apple cake. You won't be sorry, and anyone who has the pleasure of gracing your table will be extremely happy!
Café Tips for making this French Caramel Apple Cake
- You'll need a 9-inch cake pan with sides that are at least 2 inches tall. I love these OXO cake pans. They're sturdy, non-stick and I've had mine for several years and they still look like new!
- I often use Greek yogurt for this caramel apple cake but you can also use regular plain yogurt. In fact, in a pinch, you could also use buttermilk or sour cream. They’ll all work!
- I like to use a red-skinned apple for this cake, but any apple that's suitable for baking (ie Gala, Fuji, Honeycrisp, Braeburn, Pink Lady, Jonagold, Winesap, Golden Delicious...) will work well. I would stay away from really firm apples like Granny Smith though as this cake doesn't stay in the oven long enough for them to soften.
- I’m a big fan of butter in cake recipes. This cake calls for oil (no butter) and I was a bit skeptical until I actually tasted the cake. Don’t be tempted to substitute butter, as the oil keeps the cake light yet moist at the same time. And the flavor is wonderful!
- Any type of neutral-flavored oil works well in this recipe. I have made it with sunflower, grapeseed, canola and avocado oils. They all work well.
- You can make the caramel sauce in advance which makes it super easy and quick to throw this cake together. If the sauce has been refrigerated, warm it up in the microwave for a minute or so to loosen it up before using in the recipe.
- As this cake bakes, some of the caramel finds its way up the sides of the pan and a bit could bubble over the pan so it's important to use the sheet pan as directed in the recipe.
- Also, when you remove the cake from the pan, it will look like the cake below. You can serve it as is or brush more of the caramel sauce on the sides as in the pictures above.
- You'll have more caramel sauce than you need, but that shouldn't be a problem. Serve it over ice cream or use it as a dipping sauce for apple slices or bananas - delish!
Thought for the day:
“Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
and honor and glory and praise!” Revelation 5:12
What we're listening to for inspiration:
If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It’s so helpful to other readers to hear other’s results and ideas for variations.
This delicious French Caramel Apple Cake couldn't be easier with a simple microwave caramel sauce, a one-bowl, no-mixer cake recipe and no need to even peel the apples!
- 1 recipe Microwave Caramel Sauce
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 large apples (or 3 medium-size) diced in approximately ½-inch dice
- ½ cup plain yogurt or Greek yogurt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup neutral-flavored oil sunflower, grape seed, canola oil, etc.
Preheat the oven to 350˚F (175˚C). Spray a 9-inch round cake pan (with at least 2-inch tall sides) with baking spray. Line bottom of the pan with parchment paper and spray parchment paper lightly. Set aside.
Pour ½ cup of caramel sauce into the prepared pan. Tilt the pan to cover the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with the cinnamon then add the diced apple in an even layer. Apples should cover the caramel sauce.
In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, sugar, eggs and vanilla until the mixture is smooth. Add the baking powder and salt. Whisk to combine. Add the all-purpose flour. Whisk to combine. It’s okay if there are a few lumps. You’ll work them out after you add the oil.
Add the oil and stir well. At first, it may seem to separate, but keep stirring till nice and smooth.
Pour the batter into prepared pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the cake feels springy to the touch in the center and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cover loosely with foil if getting too brown near the end and cake is still not done. The best way to test if a cake is done is to use an instant thermometer. The internal temp should be 205-210˚F.
Cool for 10 minutes in the pan then invert the pan onto a plate or platter. Give the pan a firm little shake. You should hear the cake drop onto the plate. Slowly and carefully lift the pan off of the cake. Give a little shout of joy when you see the beautiful cake.
This part is optional, but I like to do it. Use a pastry brush a little of the extra caramel sauce around the edges of the cake. Serve warm or at room temperature with a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream and extra caramel sauce, if desired.
See Café Tips above in the post for more detailed instructions and tips.
Nutritional information does not include the caramel sauce. See that recipe for its nutritional info.
The Café Sucre Farine is a participant in the Amazon Affiliate Program. The Amazon Affiliate Program is designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to products on Amazon. The price you pay as a consumer does not change.