Caramel Apple-Spiced Cake with Maple Frosting

All the classic flavors of fall come together in this artfully presented cake that's almost too pretty to cut. Top it with caramel sauce, fresh fig halves, sliced plums, pomegranate arils, blackberries, walnuts or other garnishes of your choice. Enjoy slices after a special family meal and pair them perfectly with steaming cups of Earl Grey tea.

Makes 12 servings


  • CAKE
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp allspice
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 ½ cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 4 cups unsweetened applesauce
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 ½ tbsp meringue powder
  • ⅓ cup water
  • 8 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp maple extract
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • ⅛ tsp coarse kosher salt
  • Fresh black fig halves, for garnish
  • Baby plums, halved and pitted; for garnish
  • Blackberries, for garnish
  • Pomegranate arils, for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line bottoms of three 8-inch-round cake pans with parchment paper. Spray parchment with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
  2. For cake, in a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cloves, allspice and nutmeg; set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar; beat for 2 to 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at time, beating well after each addition.
  4. With mixer on low speed, alternately add dry ingredients and applesauce, using one-fourth of each at a time and mixing just until combined after each addition. Divide batter among prepared pans.
  5. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near centers comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans; cool completely on wire racks.
  6. For frosting, in a clean large mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk together powdered sugar, meringue powder and water until combined. Add butter and maple extract. Beat on medium for 10 to 12 minutes or until smooth and creamy.
  7. For the caramel sauce, combine sugar and water in a medium skillet. Cook over medium heat for 5 to 8 minutes, swirling skillet occasionally until mixture turns a deep amber color (Be careful not to burn mixture). Remove skillet from heat. Whisk in butter; slowly whisk in whipping cream and salt.
  8. To assemble cake, place one cake layer, top side down, on cake stand and spread with 1½ cups frosting. Repeat with another cake layer and 1½ cups frosting. Top with remaining cake layer, top side up. Frost top and sides of cake with remaining frosting.
  9. Drizzle caramel along top edge of cake so caramel drips down sides of cake. Garnish with figs, plums, blackberries and/or pomegranate arils.

We want to keep in touch.

Don’t miss out on the latest Life:Beautiful updates, promotions and news.