Spiced Apple Cake with Brown Butter Buttercream and Caramel

A spiced apple layer cake with brown butter buttercream frosting and a caramel drizzle! Recipe crafted by @marissamakes__.



Prep time: 30

Cook time: 45

Servings: 8-10

Dietary Restrictions: Vegetarian






For the cake batter:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour 

  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger 
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom

  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg 

  • 1/2 tsp allspice 

  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves

  • 1 tsp vanilla 

  • 3/4 tsp baking soda 
  • 2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt 
  • 3 large Clover Sonoma eggs, room temp

  • 3/4 cup neutral vegetable oil 

  • 1/4 cup sour cream

  • 1 cup white granulated sugar 
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 to 4 apples peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

For the brown butter buttercream:

  • 1 pound confectioner’s sugar 

  • 1 cup room temperature unsalted Clover Sonoma Butter 
  • 2-3 tbsp Clover Sonoma milk plus more as needed
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 
  • Pinch of salt

For the Caramel drip:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2/3 cup Clover Sonoma heavy cream, room temp
  • 1/2 cup unsalted Clover Sonoma Butter, room temp





For the cake batter: Preheat the oven to 350F


Sift together the dry ingredients and whisk to combine


In a large bowl, mix together the wet ingredients.


Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, 1/3 at a time until just combined


Fold in the apples


Divide the mixture evenly into 3 greased and lined 6" cake pans


Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean


Remove from pans and allow to cool fully before assembling


For the Buttercream: Add the butter to a pot over medium heat and allow to fully melt. Keep it on the heat, stirring frequently, until the milk solids have darkened to a chestnut brown color and the butter is nutty and fragrant. Remove from heat and chill in the fridge until fully solidified.


Beat the solidified butter in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until fluffy


Add in the salt and powdered sugar gradually and beat until well combined


Add vanilla and milk until you reach the desired consistency.
 For the Caramel: 1. Place sugar and water into a medium pot and stir to combine. Cook over medium heat, washing down the sides of the pot with a pastry brush dipped in water as needed to prevent crystals, but do not stir


Cook until the mixture reaches a caramel amber color and remove from heat. Very slowly pour in the cream while whisking. It will bubble up, so go slowly. Stir in the butter and return to the heat, continuing to whisk for another minute or so.


Remove from heat and cool to room temperature before placing in the fridge to thicken further. If it gets too thick, microwave on 5-10 second intervals until it thins slightly but isn’t hot


Assembly: Trim the cake layers as needed and secure the bottom cake layer to the cake stand or cake board with a small amount of frosting


Top the bottom layer with about 1/2 cup of frosting. Spread the frosting evenly and repeat with the following layers


Frost the outside of the cake as desired with the remaining buttercream


Using a squeeze bottle or a spoon, place the caramel all around the edge of the cake, allowing some to drip. Fill in the top of the cake with more caramel