BAKING cakes and sweet bakes

Cinnamon Cake with Caramel Apples

August 5, 2009
Cinnamon Cake with Caramel Apples

There is something about cooked apples that instantly spells comfort food for me. I especially like how tart apples like granny smith hold their own in whatever recipe they’re used. Earlier, when they were unheard of here, my grand mum would lug them for me from London along with Kiwis (I remember hiding them at the back of the fridge, just in case she wanted to give a guest a taste of exotica). Back then I didn’t bake or cook, and cooking apples was an alien thought. But if I knew how beautifully the apples transformed with a little sugar, butter and heat into luscious caramel apples, I’d make them everyday.

Today, just I was going through my books, I chanced upon this recipe for the caramel apples. The photo was so enticing that I was instantly drawn to making them. And the timing couldn’t be more perfect because I had a few granny smiths in my refrigerator waiting to be used up. Along with apples go cinnamon, so I made a cinnamon cake with a cinnamon sugar crust; a trick I learned when making bread from the Bread Baker’s Apprentice. It’s such a simple idea, but once you do it, you’ll wonder why you never thought of it. Just as soon as the cake is out of the oven, brush it with butter, lots and lots of butter. Then roll it in cinnamon sugar and you will have the most amazing crust to the cake. Slice up the cake and top with the caramel apples and serve. Or after slicing the cake into wedges, slice them into halves horizontally and place the apples slices in between, much like a sandwich.

You can use the caramel apples with anything you fancy. My two favourites being vanilla ice cream, and of course, this cinnamon cake.

Caramel Apples

Caramel Apples
Yield: 8 servings
Adapted from: Jill O’Connor’s Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey

4 granny smith apples
1/3rd cup granulated sugar
1/3rd cup brown sugar
A pinch of salt
3 tbsp butter, plus a tiny knob to finish.
½ tsp vanilla extract

  1. Peel and core the apples. Then quarter them and cut them into slices (not too thick). Set aside.
  2. Melt the butter in a 12 inch sauté pan over a medium heat.
  3. Add the sugars and stir until it is dissolved and the mixture is golden brown and bubbling.
  4. Stir in the vanilla and the salt.
  5. Add the apples and simmer uncovered, stirring frequently until the apples have cooked through; about 15 – 20 minutes.
  6. After you’ve turned off the heat, thrown in the remaining knob of butter to coat the apples evenly. Serve warm with the cake that follows.
Cinnamon Cake
Yield: 8 servings

2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp cinnamon
1 cup sugar
1 stick / 112g butter
2 eggs
½ cup yoghurt

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C. Butter an 8 inch square or circular pan.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the sugar and the butter with a hand mixer until light and airy, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for a minute after each addition.
  5. Reduce the speed now and add the flour in 3 parts and yoghurt in 2 parts alternately; starting and ending with flour.
  6. You will have a very thick batter.
  7. Transfer the batter in the buttered pan and even out the top with a spatula.
  8. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the crumbs are golden and a skewer comes out clean.
  9. When the cake is just out of the oven, brush it with butter and roll it in cinnamon sugar. Or if you’d like, sprinkle it on top of the cake.
Please note: Serving caramel apples with this cake is mandatory.


  • Reply Maria August 6, 2009 at 12:06 AM

    Looks really good! Love cinnamon and apples together!

  • Reply Anish August 6, 2009 at 12:55 AM

    I agree completely. There's something absolutely fantastic about the whiff of cinnamon married with baked apple.

  • Reply Hugging the Coast August 6, 2009 at 4:30 AM

    Oh yes, bring out the vanilla ice cream!

  • Reply Nags August 6, 2009 at 7:54 AM

    I love the smell and flavour of cooked apples too! :)

  • Reply Rachel August 6, 2009 at 7:54 AM

    Cinnamon and apples are a perfect match…

  • Reply MeetaK August 6, 2009 at 12:36 PM

    looks absolutely delicious!

  • Reply Helen Yuet Ling Pang August 6, 2009 at 4:28 PM

    Goodness me! I wish we lived in the same country. The same street in fact, so that I could be your taster…

  • Reply Ramya Kiran August 6, 2009 at 7:41 PM

    Looks delicious!

  • Reply pigpigscorner August 6, 2009 at 9:54 PM

    The crust sounds amazing! I've got to try that. Love the caramel apples to go with it!

  • Reply Ingrid August 7, 2009 at 12:11 AM

    Oh, my goodness! I generally don't even like warm mushy fruit but no this looks amazing and that crust you talked about, oh, yea! I'm ALL over this one. I just added granny smiths to the grocery list.

  • Reply Katie August 7, 2009 at 4:55 AM

    That looks really delicious – I love the contrast in textures between the apples and the light cake. Granny Smiths have been really cheap lately so maybe I should give this recipe a try – it would be a really nice afternoon tea cake.

  • Reply Leesie August 7, 2009 at 6:38 AM

    You had me…at caramel apples! Wow, what a yummy looking recipe Shaheen. I can't wait to try this. Thanks.

    a/k/a SeasLife on Twitter

  • Reply Shaheen August 7, 2009 at 12:01 PM

    Thank you, all! You guys are too nice :D

  • Reply aquadaze August 7, 2009 at 5:17 PM

    oh god…i can't wait to make this!!

  • Reply stephchows August 7, 2009 at 8:21 PM

    WOW! Great idea and it looks beautiful to boot!

  • Reply oneofagrind August 8, 2009 at 10:41 AM

    Mmmmm… I want to try this! you suppose I could use pears instead? I've got plenty of them in the fridge right now..

  • Reply Susan from Food Blogga August 9, 2009 at 7:07 AM

    This is making me craving autumn. Looks so scrumptious!

  • Reply Ju (The Little Teochew) August 9, 2009 at 10:21 AM

    Lovely! Looks fantastic!

  • Reply The knife August 10, 2009 at 6:12 PM

    hi, this is my first time on your blog. Lovely pictures. I just love apple based pies. My favourite is something called almali which i had at Istanbul. very soft and succulent. Cheers, Kalyan

  • Reply ovenhaven August 10, 2009 at 9:46 PM

    This spells nothing short of perfect for me. Cinnamon + apples + caramel. There's got to be a restraining order on me for that somehow :P

  • Reply Bergamot August 11, 2009 at 5:51 PM

    This looks just yummy…so very delicious…cinnamon and apples lovely combination

  • Reply ChichaJo August 12, 2009 at 8:23 AM

    The cake sounds delicious enough already…with the caramel apples it sounds divine!

  • Reply Aparna August 12, 2009 at 10:49 AM

    The crumb on your cake looks fantastic. Caramelled apples sounds very good.
    I have tried brushing with butter and rolling in cinnamon sugar with some muffins I made and will agree with you. It's great.

  • Reply Parita August 12, 2009 at 3:10 PM

    I love caramelized fruits and apple and cinnamon is a fantastic combo!

  • Reply Simran August 12, 2009 at 6:19 PM


    There's an award for you at my blog :)

  • Reply A_and_N August 12, 2009 at 6:58 PM

    Lovely, absolutely lovely!

  • Reply Shaheen August 13, 2009 at 11:46 AM

    Thanks all,

    oneofagrind, you can make these with pears too. I wasn't sure earlier so didn't comment (wanted it try it first). Turns out one of my readers made it with apples and pears and loved it with ice cream.

  • Reply Jeff August 14, 2009 at 1:44 AM

    I am flipping dying for apple season here. So much fun to go out and pick apples and then have fun with them. So soon..

    Awesome recipe and love the pics!

  • Reply Heidi Leon Monges August 18, 2009 at 12:53 PM

    I love apples and yes I also love cakes, but above all I love cinammon. For me is a spice that brings back memories of my childhood, in Mexico (as in India) we put cinnamon in almost anything we imagine migth match.

    For me cinnamon is a comfort food, even if it's just in the form of a cup of hot milk infused by this aromatic bark. I was surprised when my French bf (and pastry chef) told me, that for him (and for most of the Europeans I know) cinnamon is an acquired taste!. Poor souls! :)

    All this to say, that I love your cake!!!!!!!!

  • Reply Shaheen August 19, 2009 at 12:54 AM

    Thanks, Jeff. :))

    Heidi: I can't believe how cinnamon can be an acquired taste! Seriously, poor souls. ;)

  • Reply Maitreyi April 3, 2010 at 4:01 PM

    just made this and it was amazing!! the cooked apples in caramel is my new comfort food.Had the cake with the caramel apples AND vanilla ice cream and it just made my day!!:)
    The crust idea is really useful. tried it on a coffee cake also and it worked just as well.

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  • Reply Anonymous September 1, 2010 at 4:05 PM

    how much salt in the cake? thanks for the recipe! I was wondering what to do with the extra apples i had.

    • Reply The Purple Foodie September 1, 2010 at 4:10 PM

      1/4th tsp if you’re using unsalted butter. You can leave it out, if you’re using salted butter.

  • Reply Buttery Cinnamon Cake September 13, 2010 at 9:52 PM

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  • Reply love2cook March 21, 2012 at 8:35 AM

    hi shaheen ,
    i am new to your blog but already a fan . i am planning to try this reciepe . Am planning to serve the cake with caramalised apple topping instead of along with the cake . Do you think that will work ? Also , can we store the cake with apples for next day just in case some in left ..

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    […] obvious decision is what filling you are going to use. For my apple pie pockets, I used a delicious Caramel Apple recipe from The Purple Foodie. The apples were amazing but I ended up with a little bit more liquid than I wanted in my pockets. […]

  • Reply Sammy June 27, 2012 at 7:18 AM

    Hey Shaheen

    Tried out this recipe in an exact way!!! Just added a little more sugar because I generally like stuff a bit sweeter!!!
    The cake came out amazing and I received loads of compliments, but I straight gave all of them to you!
    Thanks a lot!!!!



  • Reply ami October 1, 2012 at 2:23 PM

    hi shaheen,
    i baked this cake today and my hubby and mom were all praises for the cake.I made the topping with banana instead of apple and that too was a hit:)

  • Reply Shaheen October 2, 2012 at 6:51 AM

    YAY! =)

  • Reply sam May 17, 2013 at 6:48 PM

    Hey made this cake.
    beautiful caramelised apples with cinnamony cake
    Combo made in heaven.

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