1/4cupunsalted butter(4 tablespoons) melted and cooled
1/4cupvirgin coconut oilmelted and cooled (or substitute canola oil or additional 1/4 cup melted unsalted butter)
1tablespoonmilk or cream
1/2cuproughly chopped toasted pecans or walnutsor a mix of both
1/3cupwhole pecan halvesuntoasted
1poundfirm applessuch 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 creamoptional for serving
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.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the white whole wheat flour, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and allspice. Set aside.
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.
Drizzle the caramel over the batter, 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.”
To serve, cut into squares, drizzle with additional caramel, and top with vanilla ice cream, if desired.
TO STORE: Caramel apple cake may be stored at room temperature for 1 day or in the fridge for up to 3 days.
TO REHEAT: If refrigerated, let the cake come up to room temperature before serving. You may also microwave individual slices for 15-30 seconds to serve warm.
*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.