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This Caramel Apple Poke Cake is full of apples, cinnamon, and caramel making it the perfect fall dessert. It’s so easy to make, it will be your new favorite cake!

slice of caramel apple poke cake on white plates drizzled with caramel

Caramel Apple Poke Cake

Though I’m coming around to pumpkin desserts, apple will always have my heart.

This Caramel Apple Cake screams fall. I have been known to stop at the cider mill and get a sliced caramel apple but in cake form is a whole other level of deliciousness.

A layer of cinnamon coated diced apples, topped with a yellow cake. Baked, poked, drizzled with caramel, topped with frosting, and drizzled with more caramel. <heart eyes> It’s as good warm as it is cold.

slice of cake with bite taken out on white plate

9×13 Baking Dish – I love baking dishes with lids so I can easily store leftovers.
Apple Peeler – A high quality peeler will make your life easier.
Veggie Chopper – I’ve been using this thing for everything lately and the smaller option is perfect for easily dicing apples.

Below is a list of the ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this recipe, why you need them, and possible substitutions. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card with measurements.

  • Yellow Cake Mix – You’ll need your favorite brand of yellow cake mix plus the ingredients called for on the box (egg, oil, water)
  • Apples – You’ll need about 2 cups of diced apples. Depending on how large your apples are, this should be 1-2. See my note for which type to use – I used Granny Smith here.
  • Cinnamon – Pick a good quality cinnamon for the best flavor. I like ceylon cinnamon but you can also get organic Saigon in bulk from Sam’s Club or Costco.
  • Caramel Sauce – There are many options to choose from. I like to pick a good quality like Sanders for the best flavor.
  • Frosting – You’ll need one can of frosting. White or vanilla.
ingredients laid out to make a caramel apple cake

This section shows you how to make this recipe, with process photos showing the steps to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.

Making this cake is a breeze! It’s going to be a hit and you’ll be happy to make it often because it’s so easy.

  1. STEP ONE: Wash, peel, and dice your apples, toss them in cinnamon, and lay them into a greased 9 x 13 baking dish.
collage of cake batter in mixing bowl
  1. STEP TWO: Prepare the yellow cake per the box instructions and pour the batter over the cinnamon apples in the baking dish. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
collage of cake batter pouring into baking dish
  1. STEP THREE: Once cooled (but still slightly warm), poke holes into the cake and pour 1/2 cup of caramel sauce over the entire cake.
  2. STEP FOUR: Warm up the jar of frosting, just until pourable, and pour all over the cake. Spread evenly with a spatula. Drizzle with caramel, sprinkle with cinnamon, slice and serve!
process shot collage of poke cake

What is a poke cake?

A poke cake is a cake that is poked full of holes. Wow, right? lol You poke holes in a freshly baked cake and then pour something sweet into the holes to soak in. Jell-O is a popular option, as is sweetened condensed milk. We’re opting for caramel in this version.

What should I poke it with?

The handle of a wooden spoon is a good option for poking holes in your cake. I personally use the end of a medicine syringe (you know the ones that come in kid medicines?) because it is slightly smaller & I don’t like huge gaping holes.

Which type of apples should I use?

Use your favorite type of apples, especially if you’ve just picked some from the orchard. I used Granny Smith here because I feel the tartness is a good contrast to all the sweetness from the caramel. More tart options would be Empire, Ida Red, McIntosh, Paula Rd, or Rome.

9x13 baking dish cake with slices taken out

Can I make it ahead of time?

Yes, you can make it ahead of time. Cover and store in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Can I freeze it?

Yes, you can tightly wrap the cake in plastic wrap and freeze for up to a month.

Optional Toppings

To top this cake, drizzle with caramel sauce and sprinkle with cinnamon. If you want to jazz it up even further, you can top with chopped peanuts, chopped walnuts, or even toffee bits.

If you need more caramel apple flavors, try these caramel apple wraps!

slice of caramel apple cake with text title overlay

Apple Cinnamon Swirl Bread
Apple Filled Pull Apart Bread
Apple Cinnamon Zucchini Muffins
Apple Strudel
Apple Cinnamon Bundt Cake
Slow Cooker Cinnamon Applesauce
Apple Donut Mini Muffins
Apple Peanut Butter Blondies
Slow Cooker Apple Crisp
Autumn Spice Bundt Cake
Caramel Apple Empanadas

Halloween Poke Cake
Pistachio Poke Cake
Hot Chocolate Poke Cake
Cannoli Poke Cake
Better Than Sex Cake
Boston Cream Pie Poke Cake
Click here for a my full collection of cake recipes.

slice of caramel apple poke cake on white plates drizzled with caramel
4.84 from 6 votes

Caramel Apple Poke Cake

Servings: 16 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
This Caramel Apple Poke Cake is full of apples, cinnamon, and caramel making it the perfect fall dessert. It's so easy to make, it will be your new favorite cake!


  • 1 15.25 oz yellow cake mix
  • 3 large eggs
  • cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups apples peeled and finely diced
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon plus more to sprinkle on top
  • ½ cup caramel sauce plus more for drizzle
  • 1 16 oz vanilla or white frosting


  • Preheat oven to 350 and spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with non-stick spray and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine cake mix, eggs, vegetable oil, and water. Beat for about 2 minutes until well combined.
  • Peel and dice the apples then sprinkle with cinnamon and toss to coat. Pour apples into prepared 9 x 13 baking dish.
  • Pour cake batter over apples.
  • Bake for 25-28 minutes until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool.
  • Once cool, poke holes in the cake and pour 1/2 cup of caramel sauce over the holes.
  • Remove lid and all foil from the can of frosting and microwave just until pourable (not liquid) – approximately 10-15 seconds.
  • Pour the frosting over the cake and spread evenly with a spatula.
  • Drizzle with additional caramel and sprinkle some cinnamon.
  • Slice, serve and enjoy!



Use your favorite apple – I use Granny Smith to contrast the sweetness of the caramel.
1-2 apples should be about 2 cups diced.
Store covered in the fridge for 3-4 days.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 200kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 35mg | Sodium: 92mg | Potassium: 45mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 65IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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