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!
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.
Tools you’ll need
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.
How to make a Caramel Apple Poke 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.
- STEP ONE: Wash, peel, and dice your apples, toss them in cinnamon, and lay them into a greased 9 x 13 baking dish.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
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.
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.
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!
Need more apple desserts? Try these:
Apple Cinnamon Swirl Bread
Apple Filled Pull Apart Bread
Apple Cinnamon Zucchini Muffins
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
How about more poke cakes?
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