Toffee Apple Pound Cake with Spiced Caramel Sauce

Toffee Apple Pound Cake with the most INCREDIBLE Spiced Caramel Sauce loaded with toffee bits and apples.

My FAVORITE apple cake!  Toffee Apple Pound Cake bursting with sweet toffee bits and cinnamon apples all smothered in the most lick-the-plate-delicious Spiced Caramel Sauce. Everyone will go crazy over this cake! 

a slice of apple pound cake topped with caramel sauce, toffee bits, and chopped apple.

Toffee Apple Pound Cake Recipe

I hope you enjoyed my Thanksgiving Recipes Round Up, and now I have one more to add to the ever expanding list — Toffee Apple Pound Cake with Spiced Caramel!  Because as much as I like pie, oh, how I looooove a good pound cake.  Soft, moist, dense and absolutely the perfect vehicle to douse in cascading sauce or glaze because for me, the whole cake devouring experience is just as much about the sauce/glaze as it is about the cake.

Like my Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Pound Cake with Cinnamon Pumpkin Cream Cheese Glaze, or Cream Cheese Stuffed Carrot Cake with Orange Cream Cheese Glaze, or Strawberry Pound Cake with Chocolate Ganache or Blueberry Muffin Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Glaze.  Oh the Glazes!

Today’s Toffee Apple Pound Cake with its ridiculously delicious Spiced Caramel Sauce is based off of my Toffee Pecan Caramel Pound Cake.  It was one of the first recipes I ever posted and continues to be a readers’ favorite because its just so good.  I’ve kept the butter, brown sugar, toffee base, swapped out the pecans for apples and infused the cake with the taste of Fall with plenty of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.

So basically you have buttery toffee pound cake meets apple pie.  So basically, you have a match made in heaven.  But wait, we are about to add Spiced Caramel to your heaven!

When you whisk together your cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, you reserve 1 teaspoon to add to your luscious silky Caramel Sauce to create Spiced Caramel Sauce.  This Caramel Sauce is fool proof and takes all but 7 minutes.

You will be licking the spoon.

I like to spoon some Spiced Caramel over my cake, let it harden somewhat and crystalize (I love that texture) and then when ready to serve, spoon some more warm caramel over the top with fresh apples and toffee bits.  But any way you serve this cake will be incredible.  As the half eaten cake in one day between my husband and I will attest.

overhead view of apple pound cake on a white plate. The cake is drizzled with caramel sauce and topped with toffee bits and chopped apple.

Apple Pound Cake Ingredients

This caramel apple cake is topped with the most incredible homemade caramel sauce you can imagine. Don’t worry, caramel sauce is easy to make! Here’s what you’ll need for the apple bundt cake itself:

  • Apples: I used Granny Smith apples, but any tart baking apple will work.
  • Toffee bits: I use Heath Bits O’ Brickle Toffee Bits.
  • Spices: Ground cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg add tons of fall flavor to this cake.
  • All-purpose flour: Provides structure. I don’t like using cake flour for this brown sugar pecan pound cake.
  • Baking powder: Gives the cake some lift.
  • Unsalted butter: Unsalted is the way to go when baking so you can control the amount of salt in the dessert.
  • Sugar: I used a mixture of brown sugar and granulated sugar to both sweeten the cake and add a subtle caramel flavor.
  • Eggs: Should be room temperature before making this recipe.
  • Buttermilk: Use real buttermilk, not a homemade substitute.
  • Vanilla extract: Just 1 teaspoon adds so much flavor to this apple bundt cake.
apple bundt cake on a white plate. The cake is drizzled with caramel sauce and topped with toffee bits and chopped apple.

How to Make Apple Pound Cake

I pinky promise that this apple cake recipe with fresh apples is a cinch to make! Here’s a look at the basic steps:

  1. In a bowl, toss apples with 1 tablespoon flour until evenly coated. Set aside.
  2. In another bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
  3. In a third bowl, cream together the butter and sugars. Add the eggs, followed by the vanilla.
  4. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture in thirds, alternately with buttermilk in between each third.
  5. Fold in toffee bits and apples.
  6. Bake at 325F until a wood pick inserted near the center of cake comes out clean.
  7. Let the cake cool completely.
  8. While the cake cools, make the spiced caramel sauce. Once the cake is cool, liberally drizzle over top.
plain apple pound cake on a white plate.

Tips for Making Caramel Apple Pound Cake

  • Use room temperature ingredients:  You need room temperature milk and room temperature eggs for this apple pound cake recipe.  Room temperature ingredients mix much easier (so it’s harder to overmix) and result in a softer bundt cake with maximum volume.
  • How to bring ingredients to room temperature:  If you don’t plan enough ahead, that’s okay! Add warm (not hot) tap water to a bowl then add eggs (still in their shells) for at least 20 minutes.  You can microwave your milk until room room temperature (NOT hot).
  • Don’t over beat: Once you’re done creaming the butter and sugar, you want to beat the batter as little as possible. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating just until the yellow disappears after each egg.  You never want to overbeat eggs as this will cause the batter to be runny and may cause the batter to overflow when baking. Overbeaten eggs can also create a fragile crust that crumbles and separates from the cake as it cools.
  • Don’t peak! Don’t open the oven doors until it is time to check your apple bundt cake for doneness. Opening the doors can cause your cake to cook unevenly and to fall.
  • Don’t overbake! One of the main reasons people complain of dry cakes is because they over bake their cake. You want to remove your cake when there are just a few crumbs clinging to a toothpick.

Recipe Variations to Try

  • Add nuts: Instead of (or in addition to) the toffee bits, stir in finely chopped pecans or walnuts.
  • Skip the caramel sauce: This apple bundt cake would also be delicious enjoyed as a coffee cake — dusted with powdered sugar rather than drizzled with caramel sauce.
  • Make salted caramel sauce: Instead of making the spiced caramel sauce, make a salted caramel sauce instead. You’ll still get that caramel apple flavor, it’ll just be a little different.
apple pound cake on a white plate. The cake is drizzled with caramel sauce and topped with toffee bits and chopped apple.

CAN I MAKE Apple POUND CAKE AHEAD OF TIME?

Absolutely! I actually think this caramel apple cake tastes even better the second day.

I would bake the cake but wait to add the caramel to the top of the cake until ready to serve.  Once your cake has cooled completely, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature. You can prepare the caramel in advance as well, refrigerate, then microwave (because it will thicken in the fridge) when ready to serve.

HOW TO STORE CARAMEL Apple POUND CAKE

Cover with plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 5 days, noting that it will dry out slightly over time.

CAN I FREEZE Apple POUND CAKE?

Yes! You will want to wait until your apple bundt cake is completely cooled, then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap WITHOUT the Caramel.  Freeze cake for up to 3 months. Allow you cake to thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

a slice of apple pound cake topped with caramel sauce, toffee bits, and chopped apple.

Looking for more Holiday Cake Recipes?

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©Carlsbad Cravings by CarlsbadCravings.com

My FAVORITE apple cake! Toffee Apple Pound Cake with the most incredible Spiced Caramel bursting with sweet toffee bits and apples in every bite! Everyone goes crazy over this cake!

Toffee Apple Pound Cake with Spiced Caramel

Servings: 12 servings
Total Time: 1 hr 40 mins
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr 25 mins

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Ingredients

  • 1 large Granny Smith Apple peeled, diced (1/8″)
  • 1 8 oz. bag toffee bits, divided (Heath Bits O’Brickle Toffee Bits)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour + 1 tablespoon, divided
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened,
  • 2 cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Nonstick cooking spray with flour

Easy Creamy Caramel Sauce

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-2 – 3/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Instructions

Toffee Apple Pound Cake

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and generously spray all surfaces of a 12 CUP (no less!) nonstick bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray WITH FLOUR, OR grease and flour the inside. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, toss 1 cup apples (any remaining diced apples will be garnish) with 1 tablespoons flour until evenly coated. Set aside. Remove ¼ cup toffee bits from package. Set aside for garnish.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Remove 1 teaspoon (this will be added to caramel sauce) and add the rest to a large bowl. To this same bowl, add flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir to evenly combine.
  • Beat the butter until creamy then add sugars, beating until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just the yellow disappears after each egg then beat in vanilla just until combined.
  • Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture in thirds, alternately with buttermilk in between each third. Beat until just combined. Stir in toffee bits in package and flour coated apples just until combined then spoon batter into prepared pan.
  • Bake at 325 degrees F for 70 – 85 minutes or until a wood pick inserted near the center of cake comes out clean, You may need to cover the top of the cake with foil near the end of cooking time to prevent excess browning. Let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Prepare 1 Recipe Easy Spiced Caramel Sauce according to directions (below). You can make in advance and reheat in the microwave/stove or prepare when ready to serve cake.
  • Spoon caramel over cake and garnish with remaining diced apples and toffee bits.

Easy Spiced Caramel Sauce

  • Add butter, brown sugar, water, and salt to medium saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring until butter melts.
  • Bring to boil, then reduce heat and continue to boil for 5 minutes (it will bubble a lot!), stirring constantly.
  • Remove from heat and stir in ½ cup evaporated milk, vanilla and reserved teaspoon spices. Add additional evaporated milk if desired to thin to desired consistency.
  • Caramel Sauce will thicken upon standing so if it becomes too thick, reheat and stir in additional evaporated milk. Serve warm.

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22 Comments

  1. Shauna says

    This looks amazing! Your Toffee Caramel Cake is one of my favorites so I already know this is going to be incredible! Can’t wait to make it this weekend!

    • Jen says

      YAY! I am so happy you love my Toffee Caramel Cake and I think you will love this version! So excited you are making it so soon! Thanks Shauna!

      • Vasiliki says

        What can I substitute for toffee bits? I can only find chocolate covered ones here.

        • Jen says

          Hi Vasiliki, I would replace them with a combination of chopped almonds and butterscotch chips. Enjoy!

  2. Lisa Marutz says

    OMG…apples, caramel, and toffee…making it tonight!!!

    • Jen says

      YES! I am so excited for you to make it Lisa! Enjoy!!!

  3. barb quinn says

    I printed off the recipe for the apple caramel cake and I noticed I copied for 4 servings. Then I looked at the amounts in the 12 serving cake(which is about how many for a bundt cake) and I noticed 9 cups of flour and 15 eggs. Is this correct? Seems like an awful lot for one 12 cup bundt pan.

    • Jen says

      No, this is definitely not correct! It sounds like the amount of servings got changed in the pull down box which changed all the other ingredient amounts. If you look at the actual recipe online it should only be 3 cups flour – once you see that then you will know the rest is correct. please let me know if you have any more problems with it!

      • barb quinn says

        I reprinted the recipe, and now it makes more sense. Thank you. It looks good and I’m looking forward to making it.

        • Jen says

          Oh good, sorry about that! Hope you love it!

  4. Dorothy Dunton says

    Hi Jen! This is my kind of cake! I make an apple cake with a very similar Fall flavor profile which Nagi so generously posted on her blog not long ago. Don’t you just love the flavors of Fall…and Winter, Spring and Summer! 🙂

    • Jen says

      Hi Dorothy, yes I love the flavors of Fall – so cozy and comforting! I am going to have to check out Nagi’s cake too – so many cakes so little time! 🙂

  5. Teri Giese says

    OM HEAVENS!!Where has time gone?!A year ago,4 Thanksgiving,I made the maple spiced cake!!How are you?Been ages.Must tell you,I maxed out on Pinterest!Spending far too much time editing my boards.What a lamo I was pinning a zillion dead pins!Trying to shortcut from Bloglovin,then no one wants them!Pinned so many recipes of yours like 5 times..Anyway,blessings to you and as always,love your recipes and appreciate all you do with your blog!!Hugs

    • Jen says

      Oh my goodness, I remember your comment on the Maple Apple Spiced Cake – crazy how time flies! I hope you were able to get our pinterest boards all organized – it can be so frustrating when things get out of order but feels so good when they are organized! Thanks for checking in! I hope you are doing well and Happy early Thanksgiving!

  6. Carolyn says

    This sounds delicious. I am going to make this today for a Bake Off Contest tomorrow. Wondering about the caramel sauce – was there a reason for using evaporated milk instead of cream?

    • Jen says

      Sorry Carolyn for not getting back to you sooner- we moved this week and things have been a lot crazy! How did the bake off go? As far as evaporated milk, I find it more forgiving than heavy cream and I always have it on hand but you could certainly substitute cream next time!

  7. Shelly says

    Hi! I am making this cake for thanksgiving and i am wondering if i can make it tonight and freeze it and then thaw it tomorrow?

    • Jen says

      Hi Shelly! Rather than freeze it, I would let it cool completely then tightly wrap it in plastic wrap (without the caramel sauce) and let it sit on your counter. Hope this helps!

  8. Jackie says

    Hi Jen

    Do you remember how many cups this recipe makes for caramel sauce.

    • Jen says

      Hi Jackie, so sorry for my delayed response, I have been super behind with all the holidays. It makes about 2.5 cups.

  9. Barb H says

    The vanilla is missing from the instructions.

    • Jen says

      Sorry about that, all fixed!

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