Apple Cinnamon Bundt Cake with Salted Caramel Swirl
Homemade apple cinnamon bundt cake with salted caramel is all the best flavors of fall baking rolled into one recipe! Ground walnuts create a crispy exterior, while the swirled caramel sauce in the cake keeps it light and airy. You will make this again and again and again!
It’s time to cozy up for fall with all things apples, cinnamon, and spice, and I’ve got just the cake to kick things off: apple cinnamon bundt cake with salted caramel (can’t forget that last part, the caramel is SO necessary!)
What is a bundt cake?
Simply put, a bundt cake is any cake recipe that is baked in a bundt pan. These are the pans with a hole in the center that look like a giant ring. They come in all shapes in sizes, with fun molds and designs that vary their final appearance. The beauty of baking a bundt cake is that more batter has direct contact with the pan and therefore has an overall crispier exterior relative to the center of the cake.
Given the close contact with high heat that results from baking bundt cakes, these usually benefit from having a moist batter. Which is why I thought salted caramel would be a very welcome addition to this recipe!
Which leads me to my next point…
Grated apples vs chunks vs slices
The difference between grated apples, chunks of apples, or slices is of course the texture. I wanted to keep my apple cinnamon bundt cake incredibly moist so I took a nod from zucchini cake recipes which call for grated zucchini and did the same thing with my apples.
Sure, you could use small chunks of apple (think 1/4″ dice), but it will change the texture. If you follow my recipe as written, you’ll get the subtle flavor and sweetness from the apple, but you’ll never bite into a piece of cake and have to work to chew it. Ya know?
How long to bake and cool
Bundt pans are tall and thick. They require a longer than usual cooking time relative to other cake recipes. This apple cinnamon bundt cake needs a full 1 hour to bake up.
How to remove cake from bundt pan
I let this rest 10 minutes in the pan before inverting onto a wire rack. If you’ve coated your pan generously with nonstick baking spray or rubbed it with butter and a dusting of flour, your cake should come out easily. Let cool on the wire rack completely – about 1 hour – before adding any confectioner’s sugar or, based on the recipe, additional toppings such as frosting.
Can you freeze bundt cake?
YES! Bundt cakes are absolutely freezer friendly. You can do this one of two ways.
- Freeze the entire cake whole. To do this, allow the cake to cool completely on the counter, then wrap the entire cake in plastic wrap 2x. I then wrap the cake in aluminum foil to help protect it further.
- Freeze the cake in individual slices. Once cake has cooled completely, cut into standard 10 or 12 slices, then wrap each individually as instructed above. If you just want to pull put a piece for yourself every now and again, this is the best choice. If, however, you’re making a cake for a get together a few days in advance, I’d leave it whole.
A whole cake will need 6-8 hours at room temperature to defrost fully.
Pro tip: write the date (and name of recipe!) on the outer layer of aluminum foil in Sharpie so you know what’s in your freezer!
Can I make mini bundt cakes instead?
Yes! A standard bundt pan holds about 6 cups of batter. I use this Nordic Ware Heritage Bundt Pan (love it!) which has a 10-cup capacity. A standard sheet cake recipe — calling for a 9″ x 13″ pan — will fit perfectly in here. If you have mini bundt pans and would like to make this cake into smaller bundts, no conversion is necessary. Simply fill the pans leaving about 1 1/4″ to the rim (see unbaked cake photo above for reference) and keep an eye on the clock.
Mini bundt cakes will cook much quicker than a standard size bundt, so begin checking for doneness after 25 minutes.
The verdict? This is outrageously good.
I know this is a v bold statement, but here it goes: this is the best bundt cake I have ever, ever tasted. Also? It’s easy!
You may be squinting at your screen trying to figure out if the slice above is under baked. It’s not!! What you’re seeing is the salted caramel swirled into the batter. Ugh, it’s too good.
So when’s a good time to serve this? How about every single day.
Apple cinnamon bundt cake is totally holiday worthy. I plan to serve this as dessert after our Rosh Hashanah meal, but this would be a fantastic and easy way to end Thanksgiving, Christmas, or even a random family dinner on Sunday afternoon.
There’s no wrong time to make this.
But you’ll have serious FOMO if you don’t!
If you make my Apple Cinnamon Bundt Cake, please let me know by leaving a review below!
For more fall desserts, check out the following recipes:
Apple Cinnamon Bundt Cake with Salted Caramel Swirl
- 3 ¼ cups cake flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 cup walnuts finely ground
- 1 ¼ cups vegetable or canola oil
- 2 cups dark brown sugar
- 3 large eggs room temperature, lightly beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup greek yogurt whole milk or reduced-fat
- 2 Tbsp salted caramel store-bought or homemade
- 2 cups apple peeled, finely grated (~2 large apples), such as Honeycrisp
- Confectioner’s sugar optional for serving
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat a standard 12-cup bundt pan with nonstick baking spray.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ground walnuts.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat together oil and sugar until well mixed, about 1 minute on medium speed. Add the eggs, vanilla bean paste, and yogurt. Continue mixing on medium for 2 minutes, scraping the sides halfway through.
- Gently fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients until only a few streaks of flour are remaining. Add grated apple, then fold until just incorporated.
- Pour batter into prepared bundt pan until about ⅔ full. Pour caramel sauce evenly on top, then swirl into cake batter using a butter knife. Top with remaining batter, smoothing the top with a spatula. Bake for 1 hour, or until a cake tester inserted into the cake comes out with only a few moist crumbs. Let cake cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack. Enjoy warm or at room temperature. Serve with a light dusting of confectioner’s sugar (optional).