Consider this Apple Cake with Hot Caramel Rum Sauce as the perfect fall dessert recipe!
This recipe begins with a simple apple cake. It’s spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg. And there are pecans mixed in (if you want them).
Everyone is into apple desserts in the fall. Apple picking is a big deal, so people are looking for recipes to use up their apples. And the stores display multiple varieties of apples since they’re in their peak season. Apple cake just seems like a good option to bake!
What are the best apples to use for baking?
This is a frequently asked question! I google it all the time because I can’t ever remember which are the best apples to use for baking. Jonagold, Honeycrisp, Braeburn and Pink Lady varieties all work well in baking (and they will all work very well in this recipe). I like to use Granny Smith apples when I’m baking apple pie.
You’ll need either a 9-inch square pan for this apple cake recipe, or you can use a 9-inch pie plate as well. The photos share the cake made with plenty of pecans. Adding the pecans is a delicious option, but it’s certainly not mandatory. My family asks me to bake this cake without nuts! Personally, I like the flavor and crunch of pecans in the cake. It’s totally up to you whether to use them or not.
How to make Homemade Caramel Sauce:
Making caramel sauce is pretty easy to do, but in order to do it right… you need to allow some time for it. You’ll combine brown sugar, white sugar and cream and let it simmer at a very low heat for 1 1/2 hours (stirring occasionally). Then you’ll add butter and let it cook for another 30 minutes. Lastly, you’ll add in a little rum and beat the mixture until smooth. Then it’s ready for drizzling on your apple cake!
Can you use jarred caramel sauce?
Absolutely! You can certainly use jarred caramel sauce for this recipe in place of the homemade. And if you’d still like to make it hot caramel rum sauce, go ahead and put a warmed jar of caramel sauce into a bowl and beat in 1/4 cup rum. It won’t be quite as thick, but it will be delicious on this cake!
Slice up this cake and top individual slices with the caramel sauce. If you have leftover cake (or if you want to bake it a day ahead), just be sure to store it in a covered container.
Apple Cake with Hot Caramel Rum Sauce
CARAMEL RUM SAUCE:
- 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into pieces
- 1/4 cup rum
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated white sugar
- 2 large eggs, well beaten
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 medium apples (peeled, cored and chopped)
- 3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans (optional)
PREPARE THE SAUCE:
- Combine the sugars and cream in the top part of a double boiler and cook over simmering water, stirring occasionally, for 1 1/2 hours. Add the butter and cook another 30 minutes. (The mixture may look curdled but will smooth out when beaten). Remove from heat, add the rum and beat until smooth.
PREPARE THE CAKE:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 10-inch pie plate or 9-inch square baking pan with nonstick spray. Use an electric mixer to combine the butter and sugar until light and fluffy; beat in the eggs and vanilla until well mixed. Whisk together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, soda and salt; blend into the butter mixture. Stir in the apples and pecans (if using). Spoon the the batter evenly into the prepared pan and bake about 45 minutes or until golden brown. Serve topped with the warm sauce.
- The best apples for baking are Jonagold, Honeycrisp, Braeburn and Pink Lady.
- Nutritional information does not include the (optional) pecans. Numbers include using ALL of the caramel sauce when serving. You're likely not going to use all of it, so the numbers will very likely be lower.