Make this apple honey cake for your family this season! Subtly spiced apple cake is layered with cream cheese frosting and drizzled with a honey caramel.

Triple-layer apple honey cake on a cake stand, with cream cheese frosting and honey caramel drizzle, garnished with fresh apple slices.

It’s mid-September! And there’s no doubt about it. It feels every inch of it, with the temperatures cooling, the leaves beginning to change, and the days getting shorter. It’s at this time each year that I start thinking about all the delicious apple treats I can bake up for friends and family.

And with Rosh Hashana being next week, I couldn’t wait to share this Apple Honey Cake with you! It’s a perfect way to celebrate the holiday (apples and honey are a traditional way to welcome a sweet new year), or even just the start of the gorgeous fall season.

Apple Honey Cake: just a hint of cinnamon, a fluffy cream cheese frosting, and the most INCREDIBLE honey caramel drizzle!  food desserts apple

The apple cake is pretty simple and straightforward, with plenty of real apples, apple cider, and a hint of cinnamon, filled and covered with a fluffy cream cheese frosting. But the crowning touch is the honey caramel drizzle.

Honey Caramel! Seriously… this stuff has opened up a whole new world for me. I didn’t think it would be much of a big deal, subbing some honey in to my favorite salted caramel sauce. But I almost fell on the floor when I tasted the end result.

I could not believe the difference! That little bit of honey yields a completely different flavor from anything I’ve ever had before. The sauce itself is a little lighter in color, and thinner in consistency, but the taste is so much earthier, deeper, and toastier. I’m obsessed! You have to try this for yourself!

Apple Honey Cake: just a hint of cinnamon, a fluffy cream cheese frosting, and the most INCREDIBLE honey caramel drizzle!  food desserts apple

A couple of FAQ’s I always seem to get on any cake recipe I post:

Q: What is cake flour/do I have to use cake flour?
A: Cake flour is finer and lighter than all-purpose flour and it helps the cake to have a finer crumb and a lighter texture. I prefer to use it for that reason. If you want to skip it though, you can replace it with an equal amount of all-purpose flour. The cake will just be a little more dense and heavy.

Q: Can I bake this cake in a different sized pan than that which is noted on the recipe?
A: You can, but you could end up with thicker or thinner layers, depending on the size you choose. With that, bake times will need to be adjusted. If you try it, I’d love for you to leave a comment below, telling us what size you used and how long it baked. This way, other readers can benefit from your experience!

Q: Can I make this cake ahead?
A: I think it’s actually best to do it that way! Make the apple cake layers ahead and wrap them tightly in plastic wrap. They’ll keep for a few days in the fridge or a few weeks in the freezer. The honey caramel will keep at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. And I would make the frosting and fill/frost the cake at least a few hours in advance and refrigerate it, before topping with caramel and serving. You may notice in the video above, my cake looks a little wobbly and the frosting is trying to make it’s way out of the sides. It’s because I didn’t have time to refrigerate it! I was in a hurry to finish up the video, but after the cake was chilled it held its shape much better.

And that is that! I really hope you’ll give this delicious apple honey cake a try. It’s a lovely fall dessert, and especially perfect for the Jewish New Year!

Apple Honey Cake: just a hint of cinnamon, a fluffy cream cheese frosting, and the most INCREDIBLE honey caramel drizzle!  food desserts apple

Check out my Rosh Hashana category, for lots more great Jewish New Year recipe ideas!

And find more great cake recipes on my “Cake Recipes” Pinterest board!


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Apple Honey Cake
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
1 hr 30 mins
 

Make this apple honey cake for your family this season! Subtly spiced apple cake is layered with cream cheese frosting and drizzled with a honey caramel.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: apple honey cake
Servings: 10
Calories: 557 kcal
Ingredients
For the apple cake
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, loosely packed
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1/3 cup apple cider
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (zest of 1 lemon)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded apple (about 1 1/2 medium-sized apples, peeled & cored)
For the cream cheese frosting
  • 12 ounces cream cheese (1 1/2 blocks)
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3/4 heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the honey caramel
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (scant)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon water
For the garnish
  • 3 thin slices of fresh apple * cut horizontally
Instructions
To make the apple cake:
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F, mist three 6-inch diameter cake pans** with non-stick spray, and line with circles cut from parchment paper.
  2. Place the flours, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
  3. Place the brown sugar, honey, oil, apple cider, eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest in a large liquid measuring cup, and whisk to combine.
  4. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry, and mix together on medium speed for about 1 minute.
  5. Fold in the shredded apple.
  6. Divide the batter equally between the 3 prepared pans.
  7. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the thickest part of the cake comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.
  8. Cool completely, then fill and frost with cream cheese frosting, drizzle with honey caramel, and garnish with apple slices.*
To make the cream cheese frosting:
  1. Place the cream cheese in a large mixing bowl and beat (with the whisk attachment) on medium speed until smooth.
  2. Add the powdered sugar, and stir in until well-combined.
  3. In a slow, steady stream, add the cream while continuing to whip on medium speed.
  4. When all the cream has been added, turn the mixer up to high and whip until the frosting can hold stiff peaks.***
  5. Stir in the vanilla.
To make the honey caramel:
  1. In a small pot, gently heat the cream, butter, and salt until the butter has melted and the salt has completely dissolved.
  2. Place the sugar, honey, and water in a larger pot, and heat over a medium high flame, swirling the pot occasionally to distribute the heat evenly.
  3. Continue to boil the sugar mixture until the bubbles begin to get smaller and it becomes amber-colored.
  4. Reduce the heat to low, and pour in the warm cream mixture, whisking constantly to avoid lumps or crystals.
  5. Immediately transfer the hot mixture to a heat-safe vessel and cool completely.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

*Rub the apple slices with the cut side of a lemon to prevent browning.

**This recipe can be baked in other sized pans- but it will affect the thickness of the cake and the bake time may need to be adjusted.

***Take care not to over-whip the frosting, or it could become runny. For more info click here: Whipped Cream Frosting.


©Baking a Moment

Nutrition Facts
Apple Honey Cake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 557 Calories from Fat 243
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 27g 42%
Saturated Fat 11g 55%
Cholesterol 94mg 31%
Sodium 535mg 22%
Potassium 181mg 5%
Total Carbohydrates 74g 25%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 56g
Protein 5g 10%
Vitamin A 15.5%
Vitamin C 2%
Calcium 8.2%
Iron 6.6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.