Caramel Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting, twice

Desserts have never been my ‘thing’.

I bake cookies and tea breads and, rarely, a cake, but that’s about it.

My mother loved baking and hated cooking. Whenever she had a free few minutes she’d whip up a pie or cake or fancy dessert of some sort. I have her recipe collection and at least 75% are for desserts.

So, when I needed a recipe for our dinner party I thought I’d look through her collection.

Because she was an avid, and very competent, baker a lot of her recipes were just lists of ingredients with no instructions.

I need instructions.

So I asked you all for ideas…. and got some great recipes, thank you very much,

But I kept thinking about my mother’s Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting.

But, as I said, I need instructions.

I found this version on Taste of Home.

Caramel Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting

Total time: 2 hours


  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 3  large eggs
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 1/2 cups apple, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • Brown Sugar Frosting:
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup powdered (icing) sugar
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped

Caramel Apple Cake Slice


  • Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C).
  • Butter and flour a 10″ tube pan (the second time I lined the bottom with parchment paper).
  • Combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, soda and salt in a bowl.
  • Cream oil, sugars, and eggs using a mixer on medium speed.
  • Reduce speed to low and slowly add dry ingredients.
  • Stir in apples, walnuts and vanilla.
  • Spoon into prepared pan and bake for 1 1/2 hours.
  • Remove from oven and let rest for at least 15 minutes.
  • Remove center (tube and bottom) and allow to cool completely
  • Using a thin knife, carefully loosen the cake from around the tube, then, to make sure it’s free, turn the cake slightly. When it’s loose, carefully lift the cake off the base and put on a platter.
  • Brown Sugar Frosting:
  • Heat brown sugar, butter and cream in a saucepan until sugar is dissolved. Allow to cool.
  • Add powdered sugar and stir well to combine.
  • Drizzle over cake. Sprinkle walnuts on top and allow glaze to set before slicing, at least 20 minutes

Print Recipe

I think I said that I needed instructions.

Of course, I also needed to follow the instructions.

And hour and a half seemed like a rather long time to bake a cake.

I have a convection oven.

165C is slightly hotter than 325F.

Considering all of the above I decided to do the toothpick test after an hour and fifteen minutes.

It came out clean.

I did it again…. Still good.

I took the cake out.

I let it cool according to the original instructions: 15 minutes.

Then I lifted the tube with the cake on the base and tipped it slightly in preparation of taking it off the center tube.

This happened:


It fell out of the pan in chunks, over my hand and onto the counter.

It wasn’t done.

The toothpick test failed.

The center of the cake stuck to the tube.

I could have just put chunks of it in parfait glasses, added ice cream and served it.

Actually, mon mari and I ate some of it just like that…

And it was good.

But pride, and the fact that I had enough apples left, forced me to give it another try.

Besides, how could I post the recipe if all I had to show for it was a pile of half-baked cake?

This is what the second cake looked like.


I served it with Salted Caramel Ice Cream.

It was good…..

Everyone had seconds.

Everyone volunteered to take some home with them.

It was really, really good.

6 thoughts on “Caramel Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting, twice”

  1. Looks yummy! Though I can’t do the nuts 🙁 My oldest insists that she can bake without instructions. She can’t. She has yet to figure out that baking is a science of sorts. It’s not like meat and potatoes, but she still tries. And then wonders why often, things aren’t baked done, or over done or not enough flour or…well, you get the idea. Your mother may not have needed measurements because she’d been baking so long, she’d developed a knack for the right amounts. But that takes time and practice.

  2. It looks delicious. We have an apple tree and a walnut tree. Added to that the family have discovered salted caramel ice cream which has pushed dark chocolate ice cream from the number 1 position.
    The picture of your first attempt reminded me of the time the oven thermostat failed very early on in our married life and the toothpick test failed me!! That cake was also destined for a dinner party but at least it meant the oven was fixed in record time.

  3. nightsmusic, baking is a science and needs to be precise…. Which is why I prefer cooking. My mother learned to bake the old-fashioned way – handful of this, etc. But, she was taught be her mother when she was a child. My mother never bothered to teach me…. Or I never bothered to listen. One of the two….

    Gill, toothpick tests are NOT supposed to fail! That salted caramel ice cream was soooooo good. And the cake was really, really good, too LOL

  4. Katie, That looks like a really, really good cake! Plus you said so. But thanks for showing your failures too. We all learn something from them.

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