Apple Spice Cake with Caramel Glaze

Recipe with step-by-step photos for an Apple Spice Cake studded with chunks of apples and walnuts, and covered in a delicious Caramel Glaze. 

easy apple cake with caramel glaze on wire rack

Apple Spice Cake Recipe

There is something irresistible about the timeless pairing of apples with cinnamon, and this apple spice cake is no exception.

Filled with chunks of apple, some crushed walnuts for crunch, heady with cinnamon for warmth and spice, and covered with a decadent caramel glaze, this easy apple cake recipe is sure to become a family favourite!

Why This Recipe Works

  • This apple cake recipe is a great way of using up fresh apples.
  • Wholemeal flour (or whole wheat flour) gives this apple spice cake some added nutrition, as well as a delicious nutty flavour.
  • The caramel glaze keeps the cake lovely and moist for several days.
easy apple cake with caramel glaze on wire rack with blue teatowel

Fresh Apple Cake

Whether you are looking for an fresh apple cake recipe, or you have some apples past their prime for eating, this Apple Spice Cake with Caramel Glaze is a great way of showing off the humble apple.

Apple Cake Recipe

This apple cake recipe is adapted from Cake by Rachel Allen, and it first caught my eye when I noticed that the recipe contains wholemeal flour (or whole wheat flour).

I frequently substitute plain flour for wholemeal flour in cake recipes (in whole or in part), just to make myself feel better about what I am feeding my family, but also because, for many recipes, you cannot tell that wholemeal flour has been used.

Easy Apple Cake

This apple cake is relatively easy to make and absolutely delicious to eat. In fact, I think it improves after a day or two as the caramel glaze helps to keep the cake underneath lovely and moist.

It is a wonderful cake to serve for afternoon tea or dessert, but the combination of apples and cinnamon means that it is a good contender for breakfast as well. This recipe is definitely a keeper!

slice of apple cake with caramel glaze on wire rack

How to Make Apple Cake with Caramel Glaze

For a printable recipe, please scroll down.

apple cake ingredients
how to make apple cake, mix together the oil, eggs and milk.
How to make apple cake, add the dry ingredients.
How to make apple cake, add the chopped apples and walnuts
How to make apple cake, pour the batter into the cake tin

More Apple Cake Recipes

If you are looking for apple cake recipes, you might also enjoy the following:

Applesauce Cake

Apple Crumble Cake

Apple Galette

Apple & Olive Oil Cake with Maple Icing


Apple Spice Cake with Caramel Glaze

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5 from 1 review

  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 55 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 12 to 16
  • Category: Cakes, Desserts
  • Cuisine: Australian

Recipe with step-by-step photos for an Apple Spice Cake studded with chunks of apples and walnuts, and covered in a delicious Caramel Glaze. 


For the apple cake

  • 175 ml (⅔ cup plus 1 tablespoon) sunflower oil or vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 150 ml (½ cup plus 2 tablespoons) milk
  • 225 g (1⅓ cup plus 1 tablespoon) light brown sugar
  • 300 g (2 cups) plain flour
  • 175 g (1 cup plus 3 tablespoons) wholemeal flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 12 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 small apples (such as Braeburn or Granny Smith)
  • 75 g (½ cup) walnuts, roughly chopped

For the caramel glaze


For the apple cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F (without fan).
  2. Grease a 25 cm (10 inch) cake tin and line the bottom with baking paper.
  3. Whisk together the oil, eggs, and milk.
  4. Add the sugar and whisk until the sugar has dissolved.
  5. Add the plain flour, wholemeal flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and ground cinnamon.
  6. Mix until the batter is well incorporated.
  7. Peel, core and chop the apples into small pieces (about 1 cm).
  8. Fold the chopped apples and walnuts through the batter.
  9. Pour the batter into the cake tin.
  10. Bake for about 55 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  11. Let the cake rest in the cake tin for 5-10 minutes before removing.

For the caramel glaze

  1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan.
  2. Whisk in the sugar and water.
  3. Let the mixture bubble away gently until it has thickened slightly.

To assemble

  1. Carefully remove the cake to a wire rack.
  2. Place a sheet of baking paper or kitchen paper under the wire rack to catch the excess glaze.
  3. Brush the glaze all over the warm cake generously.
  4. If you wish, you can decorate the cake with walnut halves while the glaze is still warm and sticky.
  5. Allow the cake to cool before serving.

Kitchen Notes

OVEN TEMPERATURES All recipes on this website state temperatures for a regular oven (i.e. a conventional oven without fan). If you have a convection oven with a fan, please consult the manufacturer’s handbook on how to adjust the temperature and baking time accordingly. CONVERSIONS To convert from cups to grams, and vice-versa, please see this handy Conversion Chart for Basic Ingredients.


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 373
  • Sugar: 26.4g
  • Sodium: 210.7mg
  • Fat: 17.8g
  • Carbohydrates: 50.6g
  • Fiber: 2.8g
  • Protein: 5.7g
  • Cholesterol: 45.1mg

Did you make this recipe?

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This recipe was first published on 26 October 2012. It has been updated with new photos and more comprehensive recipe notes.


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  1. Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom 26 October 2012

    Absolutely beautiful! Going to check out CAKE! thank you!

    • eat, little bird 26 October 2012

      It’s a great book and I hope you will like it, especially if you’re a baking fan!

    • Reba 15 September 2016

      So, maybe I cooked the glaze too long? It is actually caramel. Is that the way it should be? Your photo looks more like a glaze.
      I think this will need double cream to go with it, as it will be very sweet.

      • Eat, Little Bird 26 September 2016

        Hi Reba, the glaze shouldn’t be too thick. It should be thin enough to pour over the cake, but not too thin, otherwise it won’t glaze the cake nicely. Perhaps you cooked it for too long or boiled it too quickly. Hope this helps.

  2. This is so pretty! And I love the flavour. Great recipe!

  3. Paula 26 October 2012

    I love baking with apples at this time of the year, and if you add walnut, it can’t be better!!
    This one seems delicious, with the texture that wholemeal flour gives, and the glaze, that is really cute!!

    I’d like to try this 😉

    • eat, little bird 26 October 2012

      I see you’ve also been busy baking with apples lately 🙂 This is a really delicious cake and using the wholemeal flour somehow makes you feel like you are eating something healthy, except there is quite a bit of sugar in the recipe! I highly recommend trying this cake.

  4. Luchair 26 October 2012

    Lovely post! I would like to make this cake as part of a spread for a fireworks party, but i have a jar of ginger curd to use up. Do you think i could use that on top of the cake instead of the glaze?

    • eat, little bird 26 October 2012

      Hi Luchair,

      You certainly don’t need to use the glaze for this cake – it would taste just as great without. In fact, I rarely make iced cakes at home because hubby and I tend to prefer plain cakes.

      I’ve never tried ginger curd so I’m not sure I could answer your question, but it sounds like something that could go well with an apple cake. Perhaps you could make the cake without the glaze and serve the ginger curd on the side for people to dollop onto their individual servings?

      • Luchair 26 October 2012

        Thank you very much i’ll do that.

  5. julia levy 26 October 2012

    I got this book for my birthday and fell in love with it as much as I love RA herself, so unpretentious and fun. Anyways, I made one cake yesterday that left the plate at work today in a matter of minutes amongst groans of pleasure and enjoyment. I’ve just taken the rather large chocolate fudge out of the oven which will be taken for a dessert for 8 tomorrow and I can’t imagine there will be much left there either.

    There are so many recipes in there I want to make NOW!!

    • eat, little bird 29 October 2012

      Hi Julia! Lovely to see you here 🙂 And great to know of someone else who also has this book! I have baked a few more things from this book recently and hope to mention them on the blog soon. Your colleagues are very lucky to have you bake for them … I wish I lived closer also!

  6. Jennifer (Delicieux) 27 October 2012

    This is another book on my wish list, not that I need anymore books 😀 Thanks for your review Thanh. I love Rachel Allen’s recipes, they are always so reliable, and this cake recipe definitely looks like a keeper. My husband loves apple cakes, and I know he will love this one, so I will have to give it a try as I am on the hunt for the ultimate apple cake.

    What did you think of using wholemeal flour in the cake? I really like the slight nuttiness it adds.

    • eat, little bird 29 October 2012

      This is definitely a book for your wish list, especially if you’re a keen baker 🙂 I love apple cakes too and am always on the hunt for a good recipe – this one is particularly good. I think the wholemeal flour made the cake somewhat denser in texture, but in a good way. I don’t seem to use wholemeal flour very often so I like to whenever I have the opportunity.

  7. thelittleloaf 27 October 2012

    This looks absolutely delicious! Thank you for introducing me to yet another incredible book, although I don’t really need it – my shelves are already groaning with cookbooks! 🙂

  8. Jo Blogs Jo Bakes 27 October 2012

    This looks just beautiful Thanh. My kinda cake! I’ve been watching the series and am impressed by a number of the cakes – the lemongrass coconut one I made was just wonderful. I’m so trying not to buy anymore cook books but its sooo hard not to 😉

    • eat, little bird 29 October 2012

      Lucky you to be able to watch the show! I saw your lemongrass cake and thought it might be something great to serve after an Asian meal? I must try it soon!

      • Jo Blogs Jo Bakes 30 October 2012

        It would be perfect after that Thanh 😀
        The programme is pretty good Thanh but her presentation lets some of the cake down I feel. I’m just going the shops and may pick up a copy as I can’t resist much longer 😉

  9. Melange 27 October 2012

    Well,another Rachel Allen fan here..And her ‘Bake” is one of my favorite too.Many recipes I have attempted so far from the precious book.Reading your post,I feel I have to grab this new release as well..
    As you wrote here,it seems relatively easy and worth trying..The flavors look tempting too..Thanks Thanh.

    • eat, little bird 29 October 2012

      If you’re a Rachel Allen fan, you will love this book 🙂 I’ve made a few more things from this book and, so far, so good!

  10. Sounds lovely! I love your photos.

  11. I think it was the icing that caught my eye.. I love the texture of it, I imagine it tastes quite lovely!

    • eat, little bird 29 October 2012

      I think it was also the icing the caught me! I don’t often make iced cakes at home as we tend to prefer plain cakes, but this one didn’t look to fancy. Plus, having tried a similar apple and walnut cake before, I thought the brown sugar glaze would work quite well, and it did!

  12. anita menon 28 October 2012

    Beautiful recipe and incredibly satisfying pictures. Am checking out this book by Rachel Allen right now

    • eat, little bird 29 October 2012

      Thanks, Anita! There are beautiful photos in this book and I think it is her most beautiful book so far. Enjoy!

  13. TheSpicySaffron 28 October 2012

    The sound of the cake itself is so warm and welcoming, Thanh! And …the looks is gorgeous too! Love the combination (apple +cinnamon).
    The brown sugar glaze is giving a charmingly simple , somewhat rustic look to the cake. I love such cakes…can gobble up a giant slice with a cup of black coffee.

    • eat, little bird 29 October 2012

      I almost made this cake again over the weekend but only had 2 small apples … I could also do with a giant slice right now!

  14. The Food Sage 1 November 2012

    Walnuts & i are very good friends, so this cake is very tempting. The fudgy looking glaze looks amazing. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Rushi 7 November 2012

    Yum this is one recipe that would brighten up a cold Autumn day. Apples, walnuts and cinnamon, well what’s not to like about it? I will make it over the weekend. I’ve added this book to my wishlist which is only expanding, really wish Santa existed, he he. Thanh you’re always such an inspiration 🙂

    • eat, little bird 16 November 2012

      Hi Rushi,

      Did you get around to making this cake? I hope it worked out for you! I made it again the other week and it was quite delicious, although I was a bit impatient and my icing wasn’t as thick as in my first attempt. I will know better for next time 🙂

      • Rushi 17 November 2012

        Hi Thanh,

        I did and it’s a perfect Autumn cake. I love it and so did my hubby. I didn’t add the extra cinnamon (would have loved to) simply because hubby doesn’t care too much for spices and I’m trying to make him change his mind. I tucked into a generous slice for breakfast, in my defence it did have apples and wholewheat 🙂 I’ll be making this one again.

        • eat, little bird 17 November 2012

          Oh I’m glad that you liked! And yes, I would agree that it is a suitable cake for breakfast, rather healthy too if you ignore the icing 😉

  16. Hamilton 7 November 2012

    You must have the most beautiful recipes in the world, they are such a treat to read/look at.

    The cake looks delicious too 🙂

  17. Heather 19 November 2012

    You have convinced me. I took a browse at Cake online, and there are so many delicious looking recipes. It’s going on my Christmas with list. Now, if only somebody would bake me this cake.

    • eat, little bird 19 November 2012

      Oh you won’t regret getting this book … hopefully Santa will have a nice surprise for you at Christmas 😉

  18. grace 11 December 2012

    i have to agree with your husband–too much cinnamon is a foreign concept to me. 🙂
    lovely cake.

  19. Melissa@Julia's Bookbag 27 March 2013

    This is, HANDS DOWN, the most beautifully presented recipe I have ever seen on a blog. EVER. Fabulous. I’m a huge new fan!

  20. Cappuccino 6 September 2013

    Hiya! I made this yesterday, and it looks and smells amazing! I took your note and used 150g dark muscovado in the batter instead of the 225g brown sugar. The batter at least tasted good, plus the glaze does add a lot of sweetness. Will give you a complete review after coffee. 😉

    • Cappuccino 6 September 2013

      It was perfect! Just the right amount of sweetness for my taste. Very nice cake, will be making it again.

      • eat, little bird 7 September 2013

        That’s great to hear! I will reduce the sugar in the batter similarly next time too. I used light muscovado sugar in this recipe which, I suppose, is similar to light brown sugar (I can only find the former where I live). But I’m curious as to what subtle differences dark muscovado sugar would bring. I’m glad that you tried this recipe and enjoyed it 🙂

  21. Julia 12 April 2018

    This is a great recipe! I definitely want to try! Thank you!