Love apples? This Caramel Apple Coffee Cake recipe is a great fall idea for the next breakfast, brunch or dessert you host for friends at your home.
Whether you’re hosting a breakfast or need a special dessert for fall, this Caramel Apple Coffee Cake recipe will be a big hit with your family and friends.
Before I share this Caramel Apple Coffee Cake recipe with you, I need to start with a confession: I don’t like fruit. Immediately I know you’re thinking “WHAT?! How can you not like fruit?” Then if we were together in person enjoying a cup of coffee, your next question would be “What about ________ or ________? Or ________?” filling in those blanks with your favorite fruits. I get this string of questions every time I admit my dislike of fruit out loud to someone. Every. Single. Time. I must be one of the only people in the world who doesn’t care for this genre of food, though I do make a few special exceptions — I love bananas and an occasional bite or two of an apple.
So now you’re wondering why if I don’t like fruit would I share a Caramel Apple Coffee Cake recipe? Now that it’s September and the official start of fall is just around the corner, Ashlyn from Belle of the Kitchen and I thought it would be fun to trade apple desserts for our monthly Ideas for the Kitchen exchange. She brought over a Caramel Apple Cheesecake that looks amazing and I shared this Caramel Apple Coffee Cake recipe with her readers.
I secretly don’t mind apples as much as other fruit. I won’t eat an entire apple in one sitting or anything, but I love to go apple picking in the fall! There’s just something about that fresh fall air and the juicy red apples on the trees that’s almost magical. Turn it into warm apple cider or an apple donut and I’m aglow with the tastes of autumn!
This Caramel Apple Coffee Cake recipe takes those flavors we all love about fall and puts them into a moist delicious dessert. It has a nice, light flavor of apple without being completely overpowered with fruit like you’d find in an apple crisp or an apple pie. It’s the perfect compromise and the perfect dessert for a fall coffee date with friends or to serve warm after dinner on a cool autumn evening.
What you need:
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Kitchen Tools Needed:
Here’s what you’ll need from the store. The exact amounts are in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Yellow cake mix
- Vanilla instant pudding
- Apple juice
- Caramel bits or caramel chips
- Apples, peeled and sliced
- Brown Sugar
Baking tips for Caramel Apple Coffee Cake
The best part is that the Caramel Apple Coffee Cake just starts with a boxed yellow cake mix as your base. You throw in some instant vanilla pudding mix, eggs and then add the secret ingredient: APPLE JUICE!
Once the batter is well mixed, you pour it into a glass baking dish and top with caramel bits or caramel chips and thinly sliced apples. I find the thinner you can slice the apples, the better. It’s what keeps the apple from being too overwhelming for me in the Caramel Apple Coffee Cake. I used gala apples for this recipe, but you could easily use other varieties depending on what you find in the orchard or at your local market.
Sprinkle the Caramel Apple Coffee Cake with brown sugar and cinnamon to add some extra sweet fall flavor before baking it in the oven.
The cake takes at least 50 minutes to bake at 350 degrees. You want the apples to be soft and golden brown. A toothpick should come out clean. To keep the cake flat in the center, I recommend wrapping the cake pan with a cold wet strip of terry cloth secured by a safety pin before baking. It helps to keep the Caramel Apple Coffee Cake cooler around the edges so the cake bakes more evenly. The terrycloth strip should be damp, not dripping wet.
You’ll find the caramel bits sink to the bottom of the Caramel Apple Coffee Cake while it’s baking. This gives the cake a chewy crust similar to what you’d find on real caramel apples. You might try drizzling the apples with caramel syrup before you bake the cake if you don’t care for the chewy texture, but still want the caramel flavor.
Caramel Apple Coffee Cake
- Stand Mixer or Hand Mixer
- Large Bowl
- 9 x 13 inch Glass Baking Dish
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, beat together cake mix, pudding mix and eggs.
- Add apple juice, a little at a time and beat until well blended.
- Pour the batter into a lightly greased 9 x 13″ glass baking dish.
- Top with 1 cup of caramel bits or chips.
- Lay apple slices across the top.
- Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Enjoy!
Serving Suggestions for Caramel Apple Coffee Cake
Like most fall desserts, Caramel Apple Coffee Cake is best served warm straight out of the oven. It also transports well in an insulated cake or casserole carrier if you need to bring it to a Bible study group or play date with friends like I did.
- As the name implies, Caramel Apple Coffee Cake tastes great with a cup of hot coffee. I bet it would be amazing with Ashlyn’s Pumpkin Spice Coffee, a cinnamon coffee blend of some sort or a spiced chai latte.
- For a dinner party, serve your Caramel Apple Coffee Cake a la mode with a scoop of cold vanilla ice cream.
- You could also increase the caramel flavor by drizzling the cake (and ice cream) with hot caramel syrup prior to serving.
- Caramel Apple Coffee Cake could also be a fun food for Halloween night after trick or treating or as an alternative to pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving.
What’s your favorite apple dessert to make in the fall? Please comment below and let us know. We are always looking for new ideas!
While you’re here, be sure to check out these other easy dessert recipes –
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Originally published September 2015. Updated April 2020.