Apple Cider Cake With Caramel Sauce

Country music group Little Big Town's Kimberly Schlapman shares her recipe for a moist, spicy cake made from Gala and Granny Smith apples and topped with a cider-based caramel.
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Cook time: 50-60 minutes | Yield: One loaf (9"x5")


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2/3 cup granulated white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup apple cider
  • 2 cups shredded apples (1 Gala and 1 Granny Smith, peeled)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

For the Apple Cider Caramel Sauce:

  • 2 cups unfiltered apple cider
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 8 tablespoons butter, cut into pats


Preheat oven to 350° F. Line bottom and sides of a 9x5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper. Sift dry ingredients into a medium bowl.

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together butter, sugars and vanilla. Beat in eggs. Add flour mixture alternately with cider, about half at a time, and mix just until combined.

In a small bowl, toss apples with lemon juice. Stir into the batter. Scoop batter into the prepared pan. Bake 50 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool for at least 20 minutes before lifting parchment paper to remove loaf from the pan.

For the Apple Cider Caramel Sauce:

Cook the apple cider and lemon juice in a large heavy-bottomed sauté pan over medium heat until reduced to a syrupy consistency, about 10 minutes. Stir in the heavy cream and bring back to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and whisk in the butter, 2 pats at a time, allowing the butter to melt before adding more. Serve warm.

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