Easy Caramel Apple-Pecan Cake

Caramel Apple Cake is a taste of fall in an easy dessert, filled with fall spice,

 studded with fresh apple and layered with a gooey caramel-pecan topping!

Easy Caramel Apple-Pecan Cake | ©homeiswheretheboatis.net #fall #apple #cake #recipes #easy #dessert #caramel

Happy Monday!

Let’s start the week off with an easy dessert to add to your fall “to bake” list~

Caramel Apple-Pecan Cake!

Falling for Apples Tablescape and Flower Centerpiece with Apples, Sunflowers and Hydrangeas | ©homeiswheretheboatis.net #apple #fall #tablescapes #sunflowers

I had some fresh-picked apples ready for baking from my

Falling for Apples Table and Floral Arrangement.

Easy Caramel Apple-Pecan Cake | ©homeiswheretheboatis.net #fall #apple #cake #recipes #easy #dessert #caramel

You can use any apple that is suitable for baking from the store or apple picking.

Apple Picking NC | ©homeiswheretheboatis.net #apple #recipes

 Gala, Braeburn, Honeycrisp, Fuji, Golden Delicious

or Granny Smith would all be good candidates.

Easy Caramel Apple-Pecan Cake | ©homeiswheretheboatis.net #fall #apple #cake #recipes #easy #dessert #caramel

This easy and delicious recipe is adapted from The Shenandoah Valley Apple Cake

 recipe in The Southern Entertainer’s Cookbook.

Apple Cake from The Southern Entertainer’s Cookbook: Heirloom Recipes for Modern Gatherings

This is a moist and flavorful cake and oh the aroma while baking. . . !

I made just a few changes, one of which was in the spices, as it called for

cinnamon and ground nutmeg. I only had whole nutmeg and didn’t want to spend 20 minutes

 grating a teaspoon required, so I reached for the pumpkin pie spice in the pantry.

Use pumpkin pie spice for fall apple recipes | ©homeiswheretheboatis.net #fall #baking #recipes #apple

Spice blends can vary brand but my McCormick Pumpkin Pie Spice

only differs from their Apple Pie Spice with the addition of ginger,

both containing cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice.

If you close your eyes and sniff your pumpkin pie spice and it brings to mind

the aroma of an apple pie fresh from the oven, don’t hesitate

 to reach for pumpkin pie spice for your fall apple recipes.

Easy Caramel Apple-Pecan Cake | ©homeiswheretheboatis.net #fall #apple #cake #recipes #easy #dessert #caramel

 This is an oil-based cake recipe, so basically you blend your ingredients and pour it into your pan.

You can use any neutral flavored oil that’s in your pantry . . .canola, vegetable, corn or safflower.

While butter is usually preferred for the flavor over oil when baking,

there are benefits to using oil in your cake.

Easy Caramel Apple-Pecan Cake | ©homeiswheretheboatis.net #fall #apple #cake #recipes #easy #dessert #caramel

Benefits of an oil-based cake:

  • Oil-based cakes are typically one-bowl recipes so there is less clean up.
  • They come together quickly, skipping the step of softening butter and creaming it with sugar.
  • They stay moist longer after baking and their flavor tends to intensify the longer they sit.
  • They’re more likely to be tender as the over mixing steps are eliminated that cause gluten development and makes for a tough cake.

Easy Caramel Apple-Pecan Cake | ©homeiswheretheboatis.net #fall #apple #cake #recipes #easy #dessert #caramel

The other change I made to the recipe was toasting the pecans, and adding them to the caramel topping.

Toasting nuts brings out the natural oils and enhances their flavor.

It only takes 6 – 8 minutes to toast pecans in the oven while prepping your ingredients.

 Set your timer so you don’t forget and burn them or take them out as soon as you smell

them, your nose knows :) when they’re ready.

I also substituted salted butter in the caramel topping which helps

balance the sweetness of the caramel, but use unsalted butter if you prefer.

Easy Caramel Apple-Pecan Cake | ©homeiswheretheboatis.net #fall #apple #cake #recipes #easy #dessert #caramel

I shared this cake with my sister this weekend and it was declared a keeper!

Keep any leftovers in the fridge. Serve it at room temperature or

we enjoyed it cold from the fridge and with a cup of coffee or mug of hot tea.

The contrast of cold and hot was very appealing and delicious!

Fresh Picked Apple Recipes for Fall | ©homeiswheretheboatis.net #apple #recipes #fall #desserts #salads #soup #cocktails

Find a harvest of Fresh Picked Apple Recipes, HERE.

The Southern Entertainer’s Cookbook: Heirloom Recipes for Modern Gatherings

The winner of a copy of The Southern Entertainer’s Cookbook

is Mary Anne McWhirter!

The Southern Entertainer’s Cookbook: Heirloom Recipes for Modern Gatherings

is available whereever books are sold, online and on Amazon.

Easy Caramel Apple-Pecan Cake | ©homeiswheretheboatis.net #fall #apple #cake #recipes #easy #dessert #caramel


Easy Caramel Apple Pecan Cake

A taste of fall in an easy dessert, this Caramel Apple Cake comes together quickly and is studded with fresh apple, pecans and layered with a gooey caramel-pecan topping.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: apple, cake, caramel, dessert, easy, fall
Servings: 20 servings


Apple Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups canola or neutral-flavored vegetable oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3 cups apples, peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces (use a baking apple variety such as Jonagold, Honeycrisp, Braeburn, Pink Lady or Granny Smith)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons apple or pumpkin pie spice

Caramel-Pecan Topping

  • 1/2 cup salted butter (1 stick)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted


To toast pecans

  • Toasting pecans or any nuts brings out the natural oils and enhances the flavor in recipes and is easy to do! Spread nuts in an even layer on a sheet pan in a 350°oven for 6-8 minutes or until fragrant. Your nose knows :) when they’re done. Remove from oven and allow them to cool.

To make cake

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray 9 x 13 pan with nonstick spray.
  • In large bowl, beat together the oil, sugar, salt, eggs, apple pie spice, baking soda and vanilla.
  • Add the flour, stirring until well blended.
  • Fold in chopped apples and pecans with a rubber spatula. Batter will be thick.
  • Pour batter into sprayed pan and bake 45 – 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Allow cake to cool in pan before adding topping.

To make caramel topping

  • Melt butter in a sauce pan.
  • Add half and half and brown sugar, stirring over medium heat until sugar is melted.
  • Bring to a rolling boil, stirring constantly.
  • Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
  • Pour over cooled cake and sprinkle with toasted pecans. Caramel topping will thicken and firm as it cools.
  • Store leftovers in refrigerator up to 5 days. Allow cake to come to room temperature before serving or is also good cold.


  • Apple pie spice and pumpkin pie spice both contain cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice. Pumpkin pie spice has the addition of ginger. If you close your eyes and sniff your pumpkin pie spice and it brings to mind the aroma of an apple pie fresh from the oven, don’t hesitate to reach for it for your fall apple recipes.
  • For accurate measuring of flour, fluff your flour from the canister or bag and then spoon into your measuring cup so it’s overflowing, then level off with the edge of a knife. Scooping directly from the bag or canister will yield a heavier cup and larger amount that can negatively affect your baking recipes.
  • If using a glass baking dish, reduce oven temperature by 25 degrees and bake up to 10 minutes longer.

Happy Fall Baking!

Easy Caramel Apple-Pecan Cake | ©homeiswheretheboatis.net #fall #apple #cake #recipes #easy #dessert #caramel

As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. If you purchase anything through an affiliate link, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Easy Caramel Apple-Pecan Cake | ©homeiswheretheboatis.net #fall #apple #cake #recipes #easy #dessert #caramel

Thank you for your visit, sharing with:

 Between Naps on the Porch

  24 comments for “Easy Caramel Apple-Pecan Cake

  1. Ann Rue
    September 14, 2020 at 6:33 am

    The Caramel Apple Pecan Cake looks so good, will be making this using Braeburn Apples

  2. September 14, 2020 at 8:33 am

    Drats! Not the time to see your cake, just starting strict diet today, I would love this 😭

  3. September 14, 2020 at 8:45 am

    This sounds so good Mary, and I loved all your tips about Pumpkin Pie Spice and an oil based cake, thank you! I have been dreaming of caramel apple anything lately! Looks like a rainy week, perfect for baking!

  4. September 14, 2020 at 8:51 am

    Congratulations to the winner of the cookbook!! Mary, I want to just reach in a have a slice of the cake. It looks so good, and on those pretty apple 🍎 plates, which I’m loving!! Thank you for sharing the recipe!! May you have a wonderful week!

  5. September 14, 2020 at 9:24 am

    Apples and autumn just go together. This moist cake looks so delicious and the recipe is very similar to one I make. I am on my third cup of coffee this morning…how I would love a slice of this cake. Happy Monday, Mary ♥️

  6. Michele M.
    September 14, 2020 at 9:39 am

    Thank you! YUM! It looks so delicious – and, as always, your pictures are so beautiful.

    Happy Autumn, Mary. Have a great week.

    • franki parde
      September 14, 2020 at 9:57 am

      “KEEPER!!” franki

  7. Debbie
    September 14, 2020 at 10:13 am

    This cake looks yummy. Thanks for the recipe.

  8. September 14, 2020 at 1:53 pm

    OMG that cake looks freaking amazing! I can imagine how tasty it would be. I want to save the recipe and try it one day. One of the ingredients is half and half. What is that? And by the way I always love your pictures they are just so inviting and make me feel warm inside.

    • September 14, 2020 at 3:36 pm

      Hi Anna, Half and half is half whole milk, half heavy cream. Substitute whole milk or cream if you can’t find it where you are.:)

      • September 14, 2020 at 3:57 pm

        Thanks Mary! Yes, I have those ingredients to hand so will be able to make it the way you suggest.

  9. Charlene Gray
    September 14, 2020 at 4:18 pm

    YUUUUUM I need to try this. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Paula
    September 14, 2020 at 7:34 pm

    Thanks for sharing and just in time for a Fall get together !!
    Stay well !!


  11. Cyndi Raines
    September 14, 2020 at 11:16 pm

    Oh MY! My mouth is watering! This sounds and looks so delicious. I have everything but the half and half and can pick that up tomorrow. I have honeycrisp apples and will make this Wednesday or Thursday. My sister is having surgery and I will be taking supper over and this will be the perfect desert! Thank you Mary. (They will only get half the cake and we’ll keep the other half, hehe). ♥️🍎♥️🍊🍂

    • September 15, 2020 at 8:33 am

      Hi Cyndi, This is a great cake to share as it is rich and sweet with the caramel topping! You can use whole milk if you have it to save yourself a trip to the store. Hope your sister’s surgery is minor and wishing her a speedy recovery ❤️

      • Cyndi Raines
        September 16, 2020 at 12:26 am

        You are so sweet! It is, but it’s her right arm and she is right handed so she will have very limited use for a while. Thank you Mary! ♥️♥️♥️♥️

  12. Bonnie Morgan
    September 15, 2020 at 4:14 pm

    Your caramel apple pecan cake looks delicious. I love moist cakes like this. You presentation was very pretty using your tablescape with apples.
    Stay safe. Hope you don’t get too much rain from the storm.It is raining today a slow steady rain here. The harder stuff is hitting us tomorrow.

  13. Virginia
    September 15, 2020 at 8:27 pm

    Congratulations to Mary Anne, I am sure she will thoroughly enjoy the book. I feel like I have so much catching up to do. My Mother will be moving into a senior apartment on the grounds of a terrific community which offers all levels of care. Her move is not until mid November but there is much to do and I am behind in my mail. YUM 😋 is about all I can say to this recipe and I think next month when I return I may just take apple cake with me. I think my Mother will love it.

    • September 16, 2020 at 6:23 am

      I hope all goes well with your mother’s move Virginia. Take cake ♥

  14. September 15, 2020 at 9:58 pm

    Reminds me of pple cake my mom used to make. Sadly, no sugar for me but I do love fall recipes.

  15. September 16, 2020 at 1:13 pm

    This cake looks amazing and here in N FL we are expecting temps to drop in the 60’s in the next few days, YAH!!!!! I am so very excited to finally get a little cooler weather and this recipe will be great for the weekend. I thoroughly enjoyed your post and this books sounds like a keeper, it’s now in my cart at Amazon.

    Carolyn/A Southerner’s Notebook

  16. TXreader
    September 16, 2020 at 9:39 pm

    Hi Mary, I see that vanilla extract is listed in the ingredients, but I don’t see it in the instructions. Should it be added in step 2?

    • September 17, 2020 at 5:45 am

      Sorry Jane, Yes, step 2 before adding the flour. I’ll make the correction, thank you!

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