Apple-Cinnamon Layer Cake with Salted Caramel Frosting

Apple-Cinnamon Layer Cake with Salted Caramel Frosting

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Transform the quintessential flavors of fall into this stunning cake complete with pecans as a garnish.

Apple-Cinnamon Layer Cake with Salted Caramel Frosting

Apple-Cinnamon Layer Cake with Salted Caramel Frosting

PREP TIME: 1 hour 0 mins

COOK TIME: 0 hours 40 mins

TOTAL TIME: 1 hour 40 mins


Apple-Cinnamon Layer Cake

  • Cooking spray
  • 3/4 c. pecan halves
  • 3 c. all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 2 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1 c. packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 c. canola oil
  • 3/4 c. unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 4 c. diced peeled apples, such as Pink Lady or Granny Smith (from 2 large apples)

Salted Caramel Frosting

  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 3/4 c. heavy cream
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 c. (2 sticks) plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 3 c. confectioners’ sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 3 (9-inch) round cake pans and line bottoms with parchment.
  2. Spread pecans on a rimmed baking sheet and toast just until fragrant, 7 to 8 minutes. Cool, then chop.
  3. Whisk together flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, nutmeg, and allspice in a bowl. Beat sugars, eggs, oil, applesauce, and vanilla with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined, 45 seconds to 1 minute. Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add flour mixture, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed. Fold in apples and pecans. Divide batter among prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Cool in pans on wire racks 5 minutes, then invert onto racks to cool completely.
  4. Make frosting: Combine sugar and 6 tablespoons water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, without stirring, until mixture turns a dark amber color, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat and slowly add cream and vanilla, stirring with a wooden spoon until smooth. Cool 30 minutes. Beat butter and salt with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce speed to low and slowly add confectioners’ sugar, scraping down sides as needed. Slowly add cooled caramel. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
  5. Place one cake layer on a cake stand or serving platter and top with 3/4 cup Salted Caramel Frosting. Repeat two more times. Frost sides with remaining frosting. Garnish with candied pecans.

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Apple-Cinnamon Layer Cake with Salted Caramel Frosting

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