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Pouring caramel glaze over vanilla ice cream and apple walnut cake
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5 from 2 votes

Apple Walnut Cake with Caramel Glaze

This fresh Apple Walnut Cake with a buttery caramel glaze has all of the warm spices, toasted nuts, and sweet fruit that you crave in a cozy fall dessert!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword apple walnut cake, apple walnut cake with glaze, caramel apple cake
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Cooling Time 3 hours
Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Servings 16 servings
Calories 477kcal
Author Blair Lonergan

Ingredients

For the Cake:

  • 2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted and divided
  • ½ cup (1 stick) salted butter, melted
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 ½ lbs. Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut into ¼-inch slices

For the Caramel Glaze:

  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup (1 stick) salted butter, softened at room temperature
  • ½ cup heavy cream

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan and set aside.

Make the Cake:

  • Whisk together melted butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla extract.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk or sift together flour, cinnamon, allspice, baking soda and salt.
  • Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, stirring just until blended. Fold in the apples and 1 cup of the toasted walnuts. (Batter will be very thick, similar to a cookie dough.) Spread the batter into the prepared baking dish.
  • Bake in the 350°F oven for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Cool completely in pan on a wire rack before glazing.

Make the Caramel Glaze:

  • In a small heavy saucepan, combine brown sugar, butter and heavy cream. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Boil, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes (or until slightly thickened).
  • Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes, or until glaze thickens slightly but is still pourable.
  • Drizzle about half of the glaze slowly over the cooled cake. Sprinkle remaining walnuts on top and spread more glaze on the nuts. If you like, you can reserve some extra caramel sauce for serving, too.
  • Slice into squares and serve!

Notes

  • Swap out the walnuts and use toasted pecans instead. Alternatively, you can omit the nuts altogether.
  • Try other good baking apples in lieu of the Granny Smith. Nice options include Honey Crisp, Gala, Fuji, Braeburn and Jonagold apples. You can use a combination of different types of apples, too.
  • For a smaller cake, cut all of the ingredients in half and bake the cake in a 9-inch or deep 8-inch square pan.
  • Don't over-mix the batter. Stir just until everything is combined, and then stop. Too much mixing will activate the gluten in the flour and result in a dry, dense cake.
  • Do not over-bake the cake or it can become dry. Start checking for doneness by the 40-minute mark, since total baking times will vary depending on your personal oven and the pans that you use.
  • Make ahead for convenience. This cake can be baked in advance and then just glazed on the day of serving. You can bake it a day or two ahead of time and leave it covered at room temp before glazing; or you can freeze it before glazing and thaw on the counter before adding the glaze.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 477kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 333mg | Potassium: 203mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 47g | Vitamin A: 536IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 2mg