Treat Yourself All Year with a Caramel Apple Pound Cake

This apple pound cake is actually the reason my daughter prefers apple peelings over the apple flesh. When she was a toddler, I would peel the apples in pieces as long and continuous as possible, and she would sneak into the kitchen to “steal” the apple peels. She thought it was a great trick, of course, and I was thrilled she was eating them! Now that she’s older, she still loves apple peels, and as soon as we pass her birthday in early October, she announces, “It’s baking season! Time for caramel apple pound cake.”

Apples for Caramel Apple Pound Cake

When I first tasted this caramel apple cake, it was late fall in North Georgia at the end of long week capped off with an even longer weekend of work. Alma had an entire cooling rack full of these cakes that made the kitchen smell like a Norman Rockwell image full of cinnamon, baked apples, and the promise of a chilly winter ahead.

Caramel Apple Pound Cake Batter

The cakes were intended for lunch the next day, but Alma was feeling generous and let me slice off a piece to enjoy with an afternoon cup of coffee. I was completely hooked with the very first bite! The fresh apples baked to just the right level of tenderness inside the cake and the classic blend of cinnamon, vanilla, and sugar created the perfect autumn flavors.

Caramel Apple Pound Cake Fresh Out of the Oven

I very quickly realized that I much prefer simple desserts of fruit and spices over rich chocolate or sugary treats, and when given the option to request a special dessert, this caramel apple pound cake was usually in my top three for the remaining couple of years I worked in that kitchen. Ironically, I never attempted to make it myself in all the time I lived in Athens, but when I knew I was leaving, this was one of the recipes I saved.

Pouring Glaze on Caramel Apple Pound Cake

How to Make Caramel Apple Pound Cake

A Slice of Caramel Apple Pound Cake

By Marie Powell

In the 20 years since I moved on from Alma’s kitchen, I’ve probably made this caramel apple pound cake hundreds of times. I’ve entered it in a few competitions and have made it for pot-luck gatherings at every job I’ve worked since, sold it at fundraising bake sales, and baked it for my daughter every year since she was old enough to ask for it. It has also become our official Thanksgiving cake over more traditional pecan and pumpkin pies.

Yields: 16-20 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 1 Hour

Ingredients:

  • 114 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 114 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 112 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups red apples, peeled and diced
  • 14 cup chopped pecans

For the Caramel Glaze:

  • 12 cup butter
  • 12 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Instructions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, mix together oil and sugar. Beat in eggs.
  2. Sift together flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon, then add to mixing bowl with oil, sugar, and eggs.
  3. Add vanilla, then fold in apples and pecans.
  4. Grease and flour a tube or Bundt pan, or two bread pans. Then add batter.
  5. Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees F.

For the Caramel Glaze:

  1. Heat together butter, brown sugar, and milk.
  2. Boil 2 minutes.
  3. Pour over warm cake.
Marie Powell
Marie Powell

Marie Powell grew up eating pecans, fresh fruits and vegetables, and homemade meals in rural southern Georgia. Thanks to her family's tradition of military service and the generosity and diversity of her friends, her culinary influences also come from Taiwan, Greece, and the Middle East. A graduate of the University of Georgia, she learned about food prep, storage, and presentation during her time as UGA's catering manager. Marie now lives in Phoenix with her daughter, Sophie, who has inspired her to learn more about adapting recipes for food allergies and intolerances, and their tortoise, Elizabeth, whose favorite food is dandelion greens.

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