This Gooey Caramel Apple Cake tastes like a gooey butter cake and caramel apple combined! They are mind-blowing delicious, buttery, and SO much easier to make than apple pie!
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Gooey Caramel Apple Cake

Yield: 16 bars (1 8x8-inch pan)
Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
30 mins
A moist and decadent caramel apple cake with cinnamon, pecans and an apple cider caramel sauce. Tastes like gooey butter cake combined with caramel apples!

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup apple cider caramel sauce* — plus additional for drizzling over top of bars
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg — (freshly grated if possible)
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar — light or dark
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter — (4 tablespoons) melted and cooled
  • 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil — melted and cooled (or substitute canola oil or additional 1/4 cup melted unsalted butter)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk or cream
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped toasted pecans, — walnuts, or a mix of both
  • 1/3 cup whole pecan halves — untoasted
  • 1 pound firm apples — such as Granny Smith, peeled and cut into a small dice (about 2 large—I used 1 Granny Smith and 1 Honey Crisp. Perfect sweet/tart combo!)
  • Vanilla ice cream, — optional for serving

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat an 8x8-inch light metal baking pan with cooking spray, then with line parchment paper so that some overhangs the sides. Lightly coat a second time, then set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the white whole wheat flour, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and allspice. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the brown sugar, butter, coconut oil, egg, and milk on medium high speed until light and creamy, about 2 minutes total. Fold in the apples and 1/2 cup chopped pecans, reserving the whole pecans for the topping. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, then fold again until combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared baking dish.
  4. Drizzle the caramel over the blondies, then sprinkle with the remaining whole pecans. Bake until deep golden at the edges and the sides begin to pull away from the pan, about 30 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes, then remove from the pan using the parchment paper “handles.” Cut into squares. Drizzle with additional caramel and top with vanilla ice cream as desired.

Recipe Notes

*If you are in a hurry, you can also substitute about 25 melted store bought caramels for the 2/3 cup apple cider caramel sauce. If you’d like additional caramel for drizzling over the top, melt a few extra. I would not recommend jarred caramel sauce, as the consistency may be too thin to set properly.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Easy Homemade Cake Recipe, Gooey Caramel Apple Cake

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