This applesauce cake with caramel sauce is an easy spiced cake topped with the silkiest cream cheese frosting and a fool-proof homemade caramel, sure to taste like fall in every bite!
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and position a rack in the lower third of oven. Grease and lightly flour two 8-inch round cake pans.
- In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Add butter and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat together on high speed for about 2 minutes until fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat in eggs and vanilla.
- Gradually add in dry ingredients and mix until just combined, ensuring the sides and bottom of the bowl are scraped down. Beat in apple sauce until just combined.
- Divide batter between prepared pans and spread evenly. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Meanwhile, make caramel.
- Let cakes cool in pans for 10 minutes, then carefully run a knife around the edge of each, and invert on to a wire rack to cool completely. Make frosting while cakes are cooling.
- Once cakes are fully cooled, spread some of the frosting on to one of the cakes, then top with the other cake. Spread frosting over top and sides of cake, then top with some of the caramel, swirling it into the frosting.
- Add granulated sugar to a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan set over medium heat. Stir constantly until sugar is completely melted with no lumps remaining and has turned a copper color. It will look crystalized at first but will eventually completely liquify.
- Once all of the sugar has melted, reduce heat to low and whisk in the butter, one tablespoon at a time, whisking until incorporated. Remove from heat.
- Add the heavy cream and salt and whisk until combined. Return to low heat for 1-2 minutes until caramel thickens slightly. Set aside to cool.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- Add the butter and cream cheese to the the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk or paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes until fluffy.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk, beating on low until creamy and smooth.
Depending on how much caramel and frosting you want to add there may be some leftover.
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes