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Fresh Honeycrisp Apple Cake with To-Die-For Caramel Buttercream Frosting

I’m a warm weather kind of girl, but there’s certainly something to be said for the flavors of fall. If nothing else, I look forward to warm pumpkin bread, comforting chicken and dumplings, and creamy tomato basil soup to combat the cooler weather…

And fresh apples! Juicy, seasonally ripe fall apples are just ever so much better than what we find throughout the rest of the year. We use them to make apple butter, apple muffins, homemade applesauce, and for a special treat, this tasty apple cake recipe I’m sharing today.

Applefest at Walmart

I always know it’s the best time to start stocking up on apples when I spot the Applefest signs at Walmart. This time of year they have at least a dozen different varieties available, each with their own distinct flavors and textures, all perfectly ripe and delicious.

Honeycrisp Apples

When it comes to baking with apples, the first variety that comes to mind is typically a Granny Smith apple. However, you might also consider the Honeycrisp, Crispin, and Pink Lady varieties to change things up a bit.

I particularly like Honeycrisp apples, and this is the variety I chose for my apple cake recipe. They are seriously HUGE! Three of them were more than enough for this recipe.

Fresh Apple Cake

I usually make this apple cake recipe as a sheet cake; however, it appears that one of my children put my sheet cake pan away wet, so it was covered in rust when I pulled it out — making a mental note to pick up a new one.

Instead, I made do with a rectangle ceramic baking dish, but this made for some very large pieces of cake. Not that my kids complained about it one bit… Kind of makes me wonder if the rusty sheet cake pan was really an accident!

Apple Cake

This fresh apple cake is absolutely amazing on its own, especially after refrigerating it overnight. It’s incredibly moist, with lots of scrumptious layers of apple, and has all the flavors of fall that I love.

But if you really want to take it over the top, consider topping it with this amazing caramel frosting. The combination is super rich and decadent but totally to die for!

Fresh Apple Cake

Fresh Apple Cake

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour


  • 1/2 cup salted butter, melted
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2.5 lbs. honeycrisp apples, peeled and sliced into 1/4" wedges
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted (divided)
  • pinch ground cloves
  • caramel buttercream frosting


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 13x9-inch baking pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together melted butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cloves.
  4. Gradually add the dry mixture to the wet mixture, stirring well until incorporated. The batter will be very thick, almost cookie dough-like. Stir in 3/4 cup toasted chopped pecans and sliced apples.
  5. Spread the batter in the baking pan, and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Allow the cake to cool for at least 45 minutes. Serve as is or top with caramel buttercream frosting and reserved toasted chopped pecans.

Have you tried this recipe?

Leave a comment below and share a photo on Instagram. Tag it @unsophisticook and hashtag it #unsophisticook!

Looking for more apple recipes? Check out some of my other favorites:

Kathy Maric-Neal

Monday 29th of May 2023

Made this tonight & hubby said it reminded him of old fashion pudding (we are from Newfoundland), hubby thoroughly enjoyed it & had a second helping in a blink of an eye, THANK YOU! Can't wait to make this again for the fam jam!

Michelle T

Tuesday 29th of October 2013

Hope it turns out. It's in the oven..but I didn't have very much batter. It was mostly apples and a little batter. It was hard to stir in the apples....

Tara @ Unsophisticook

Tuesday 29th of October 2013

Yes, the batter will be very thick and almost cookie dough-like, but the apples will cook down and it should all come together.


Monday 28th of October 2013

This makes me think of cozy days and coffee. Totally craving this now.


Saturday 26th of October 2013

I'm a little confused on the amount of apples. Is it 2.5 lbs.? Just wondering because at the top you said 3 large apples. Thanks!

Tara @ Unsophisticook

Sunday 27th of October 2013

It's hard to tell from my photo because the apples were in such a large bowl, but these apples were ginormous, lol. I did use three of them, but together they weighed in at about 2.5 lbs., so I was trying to give a more useful measurement in case other crops are smaller.

Sharon J

Friday 25th of October 2013

I will be trying this soon. Looks very good. thank you.

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