Caramel Apple Drip Cake

A three layer from scratch spice cake with chopped apple and caramel filling. This caramel apple drip cake is lightly frosted with brown butter cream cheese frosting and decorate with apple slices and caramel drips. Love apple cakes? You’ll love these amazing apple cake recipes!

A piece of cake on a table

Caramel Apple Drip Cake

Caramel + Apple is one of my favorite fall flavors (along with pumpkin + spice, chai, cinnamon…OK…I like all fall flavors).This gorgeous 3 layer caramel apple drip cake is stuffed with caramel apple filling and lightly frosted with browned butter cream cheese frosting. It’s AMAZING. And a gorgeous presentation too!

Homemade Spice Cake

This homemade spice cake is flavored with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves. Mix the dry ingredients, then cream the butter, sugar and eggs in a separate bowl. Add the flour alternately with the buttermilk and mix thoroughly between each addition. You’ll want to start with the flour and end with the flour.

We bake our cakes in 3 6″ cake pans for an extra tall, skinny cake. Be sure to both grease and flour cake pans so that the cakes come out cleanly. You can use our cake release for perfect results every time!

You can bake the cakes in 2 9″ pans if you’d like. Just watch the baking time closely.

homemade spice cake batter

Caramel Apple Filling

You’ll want to plan ahead for the caramel filling. It needs time to cool completely before you fill the cake or it will melt the buttercream. You can use any type of apple for this recipe. Granny Smith are always a great choice because their tart flavor pairs well with the sugar.

Cook and stir the apples for about 8 minutes to soften them. Add the sugar mixture (the cornstarch is what helps thicken the filling) and cook for another 2 minutes or until the mixture thickens a bit.

Again…plan time for this to cool!

caramel apple filling for cake

Browned Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

Have you ever made browned butter? Simply melting butter in a saucepan and cooking it until it becomes brown really changes the flavor of butter. From smooth and creamy to nutty and rich. It’s amazing…and making a frosting with browned butter is definitely a good idea.

As with the apple filling, you’ll want to make the browned butter in advance. When it is done being browned you’ll place it in a bowl and refrigerate it until it hardens again. Once it hardens, you’re ready to make your frosting! Cream together the cream cheese and browned butter until it is smooth. Then add in your sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and salt. Add a touch more sugar if the consistency isn’t what you’d like. And if you accidentally add too much sugar and make the frosting too thick, a tablespoon of heavy cream.

overhead view of caramel apple drip cake

How to Make a Drip Cake

After you have your cake layered and a light coating of frosting, spoon the remaining caramel apple topping on the cake. If there is not enough caramel topping to drip down, use a caramel ice cream topping and drizzle it right at the edge of the cake so that the caramel drips down a little. Don’t go overboard. just a little drip will make a pretty look.

This also works best if your cake is cold so that the caramel firms up more quickly.

Dollop any remaining frosting on the outside edge of the caramel apple drip cake to give the edge a clean look.

three layer spice cake on a plate

How to Store Cake

This cake is ok to store at room temperature for a few hours, but if you are making it in advance and keeping it overnight, you’ll want to refrigerate it to keep the frosting and fruit fresh. I recommend doing the drips and final decorating as close as possible to serving so that it looks the best. No need to cover the cake in the fridge…the frosting acts as a covering and keeps the cake fresh.

You can store it in a cake carrier if you’d like!

beautiful apple cake on a cake stand

Other Apple Cake Recipes

how to make a drip cake
how to make a drip cake

Caramel Apple Drip Cake

5 from 1 vote
A three layer from scratch spice cake with chopped apple and caramel filling. This caramel apple drip cake is lightly frosted with brown butter cream cheese frosting and decorate with apple slices and caramel drips
Servings 12
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients
 

Spice Cake:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar (packed)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Caramel Apple Filling:

  • 2 apples (peeled and diced)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons water

Browned Butter Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 12 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (BROWNED)**
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Pinch salt

Instructions
 

Spice Cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour three 6" cake rounds and line with parchment.
  • 
In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, spices, and salt until well combined. Set aside.

  • Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and brown sugar on medium-high until pale and fluffy (approx 3 mins).

  • Reduce speed and add eggs one at a time, fully incorporating after each addition. Add vanilla. 
Alternate adding flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour (3 additions of flour and 2 of milk), fully incorporating after each addition.
  • 
Bake for 30-35 mins or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean.


  • Place cakes on wire rack to cool for 10 mins then turn out onto wire rack. Allow to cool completely.

Caramel Apple Filling:

  • Dice apples & toss with lemon juice in medium - large bowl.
  • 
In separate bowl, combine brown sugar, cinnamon & cornstarch. Whisk to combine. Set aside.

  • Transfer apples to a small saucepan, add water & heat over med-high heat about 8 minutes.

  • Some of the apples will break down into a thick liquid like sauce but you will still have some apple chunks.

  • Add your sugar mixture & whisk to combine and incorporate well.

  • Heat & stir constantly until mixture thickens, about 2 minutes.
 Remove from heat & let cool. Make sure the apple mixture is completely cool before frosting the cake.

Browned Butter Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • Slice the butter up into pieces and place in a light-colored skillet. (Light colored helps you determine when the butter begins browning.) 
  • Melt the butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Once melted, the butter will begin to foam. Keep stirring occasionally. 
  • After 5-8 minutes, the butter will begin browning-- you'll notice lightly browned specks begin to form at the bottom of the pan and it will have a nutty aroma. Once browned, remove from heat, and immediately pour into a heat-proof bowl. Refrigerate until solid.
  • 
In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the solid brown butter on high speed until creamed.
  • Add the cream cheese and beat on high speed until combined, smooth, and creamy.
  • Add 4 cups confectioners' sugar, vanilla, and salt. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then switch to high speed and beat for 2 minutes. If you want the frosting a little thicker, add the extra ¼ cup of confectioners sugar.

Assemble the cake:

  • Place one layer of cake on a cake stand or serving plate. Pipe a ring of cream cheese frosting around the edge, then spoon in ⅓ of the cooled apple filling. Repeat with remaining layers and apply a thin coat of frosting all over the cake. 
  • Chill for 20 mins.Spoon the remaining apple filling near the edge of the cake to create a drip (make sure the cake is cooled when you do this for the best results).  Use the remaining frosting rustic drops and swoops around the outer edge of the cake to hold in the apple filling.

Notes

The calories shown are based on the cake being cut into 12 pieces, with 1 serving being 1 slice of cake. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information.**

Nutrition

Calories: 643kcal | Carbohydrates: 87g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Cholesterol: 130mg | Sodium: 241mg | Potassium: 240mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 65g | Vitamin A: 1080IU | Vitamin C: 1.2mg | Calcium: 131mg | Iron: 1.8mg
Author Julie Clark
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 643
Keyword apple cake, caramel, drip cake, spice cake, three layer cake

caramel apple drip cake title image

About Julie Clark

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