Easy Caramel Apple Cake

With Fall in full force, it seems as though there is a trend developing in email inquiries. I have been asked for “easy fall recipes” more times than I can count. Although I try to provide my readers with recipes at varying skill levels, I do know not everyone has the time or the desire to spend hours in the kitchen whipping up desserts.

With that in mind, I set out to find a crowd pleasing, simple, fall dessert. I came across a delicious looking caramel apple cake that used a boxed cake mix. Although box cake mix can be a shunned ingredient in the baking world, they do serve a purpose in my kitchen from time to time.

Although I love baking from scratch, boxed mixes can be the base of many simple, yet delicious desserts – this being one of them, plus I am a HUGE sucker for anything caramel! With a few tweaks, this cake turned out to be a seriously moist and delectable dessert that was chock full of fall flavors.

Stay tuned for more fall favorites in the coming weeks and keep those emails coming, I love hearing from you! Make sure you check out my other fall faves!

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Caramel Apple Cake


1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
1 pkg. (4 serving size) JELL-O Vanilla or French Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding
1 cup water
4 eggs
1/3 cup oil
2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp butter flavoring
1 tsp vanilla paste (vanilla extract will work just fine)
3 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, coarsely chopped (I used Jonathan Apples)

20 KRAFT Caramels, unwrapped
3 tablespoons milk


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 12-cup fluted tube pan or 10-inch tube pan.

2. Beat cake mix, dry pudding mix, water, eggs, oil, cinnamon, nutmeg, butter flavoring, and vanilla paste in large bowl with electric mixer on low speed until blended. Beat on high speed 2 min.

3. Gently stir in apples. Pour into prepared pan.

4. Bake 50 min. to 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 20 min.; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

5. Microwave caramels and milk in microwaveable bowl on HIGH 1-1/2 min., stirring every 30 sec. until blended. Cool 10 min. until slightly thickened. Drizzle over cake.

adapted from allrecipes


24 Responses to “Easy Caramel Apple Cake”

  1. Maria — October 17, 2009 at 7:47 am

    I usually don't do mixes, but this cake looks fabulous! I bet no one could tell it is a mix!


  2. CJ — October 17, 2009 at 11:32 am

    I am no cake mix snob! LOL I use them all the time and the results are great. This cake looks so good. I think I'm gonna have to try it! Thank you.


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  4. Chris — October 17, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    I make this – it is SO good. Instead of the wrapped caramels, I use the caramel ice cream topping :)


  5. Kevin — October 17, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    Apple and caramel are a great comb and that cake looks good!


  6. Karly — October 17, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    Ooh, this sounds wonderful! Easy and delicious…my kind of dessert!


  7. bakingwithbasil — October 17, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    There is something so delicious when apples are added to baked goods. And even better yet when you add caramel. Great recipe!


  8. Sara — October 17, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    Oh man, this looks so great! I want to make this…now. :)


  9. CaSaundraLeigh — October 17, 2009 at 6:23 pm

    I love baking from scratch, but cake mixes can be so fun to jazz up! I bet my Kraft caramel bits would work wonders in this–what a yummy treat!


  10. Monica H — October 17, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    I have a couple recipes that start off with boxed mixes and no one is the wiser. this cake looks so good. I want a piece now!


  11. Ingrid — October 17, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    Good looking cake! I'm with you on caramel taking things over the top.

    Love this batch of photos!


  12. cookies and cups — October 18, 2009 at 7:14 am

    oh this looks so good! I just made an apple cake last night and now I wish I had come across this recipe first. Love your site, everything looks really sweet! and that Halloween bark is perfect!


  13. teresa — October 18, 2009 at 8:48 am

    oh yummy! i bet it's so rich with that pudding mix, delicious!


  14. Pamela — October 18, 2009 at 7:41 pm

    The box cakes can be gotten so cheaply some days. They're great to have in the pantry. Looks like a nice dessert. I would never turn down anything with caramel!


  15. Leslie — October 18, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    soooo yummy!
    Cake mixes certainly do have their place in the kitchen. And this is a fine example


  16. Katie — October 19, 2009 at 3:18 am

    Sounds fab, you can't beat a good apple cake, except maybe one with caramel too! Yum


  17. Keeping up with the Freitas' — October 19, 2009 at 7:13 am

    This looks fabulous and so easy! (I agree with the earlier poster – CJ – I love to find new recipes that use cake mixes…)


  18. Smitten Sugar — October 19, 2009 at 9:10 am

    This looks fabulous and I love the caramel over the top!


  19. Eliana — October 19, 2009 at 9:38 am

    Awesome Fall recipe!!!!


  20. Donna-FFW — October 19, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    I love working with cake mixes, so this makes it a must try for me. Fabulous!! have i told you lately I LOVE LOVE your blog?


  21. Katie Kordsmeier — November 10, 2009 at 11:15 am

    I made this cake this weekend for my parents, sister and nephew! It turned out really, really good! They all raved about it! While my husband and I were eating our second piece of the day, we both thought aloud that it might taste even better without the apples! Sure then it would just be a spice cake with caramel frosting, but still good! I think we might try that next time!


  22. Evelyn — June 20, 2010 at 8:16 pm

    Butter flavouring has 100 different chemicals in it. What can I substitute for it? Can I omit it from the recipe? Thanks!


    • Jamie — June 20, 2010 at 8:26 pm

      Thanks for stopping by, you can just omit it.

  23. Tricia — September 23, 2010 at 9:38 am

    Thanks for this recipe! I made it last night as my first recipe for my Fourteen in Fall challenge. I really enjoyed it!! It was moist and light, I loved the cinnamon and nutmeg, it had a good amount of apples, and I’m a total fan of caramel. Thanks for sharing! Here’s the post if you want to see it. I haven’t been blogging for long and I’m not very good… but I thought I’d share anyway :) http://shortcakessweettooth.blogspot.com/2010/09/fourteen-for-fall-recipe-1.html


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