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Toffee Apple Cake and Caramel Apples

Introduction & method

In Britain, toffee apples were associated with Bonfire Night, fairgrounds, and more recently with Halloween. The toffee was usually bright red, extremely brittle and very hard on your teeth. This version is a softer caramel that is much more pleasant. Add the flavours of toffee apples to a cake and you've got a real treat!

Toffee Apple Cake and Caramel Apples Recipe

Prep for Caramel Apples

Shop-bought apples are likely to be coated in wax. To get rid of this, place the apples in very hot (but not boiling) water for 30 seconds. Take them out, dry them thoroughly and chill in the fridge until needed. 

Make the Cake Batter

Peel and core the apples. Thinly slice them or grate them, and coat them in lemon juice as you go to stop them turning brown. Heat your oven to 170°C (338°F) for a fan/convection oven, 190°C (374°F) conventional, gas 5. Prepare a springform tin by buttering the inside or lining it with greaseproof paper. 23cm (9 inches) is a good size. Mix together the flour, baking powder and spices. In another bowl, whisk the eggs with the sugar, milk and oil. Add this to the flour mixture, stir in the apples and pour it all into the tin. Smooth the top and bake for 50 minutes. Check for doneness after this time - a wooden skewer inserted into the centre should come out dry. If not, bake it for a bit longer. Let it cool for 5 minutes then remove from the tin and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

Make the Icing

Make sure your butter is quite soft. Cut it into small chunks and cream it together with the sugar - an electric whisk or stand mixer will do this in a minute or two. Add the cream cheese and vanilla and beat until smooth. Set aside until needed.

Make the Caramel

In a small saucepan, melt the butter and stir in the sugar. When the sugar has melted, stir in the golden syrup and cream. Stir frequently, bring to the boil and continue cooking until the temperature reaches 115°C (240°F). Remove from the heat and allow to cool. After a few minutes it will be about 100°C (212°F) and if you are making caramel apples, this is the right temp for dipping. Set aside the remaining caramel to cool more.

Coat the Caramel Apples

Remove the chilled apples from the fridge and insert a skewer or stick into the stalk end of each one. Skewers can be quite long so you might want to cut them down a bit. If using sprinkles or chopped nuts, pour them into a shallow bowl or saucer. Dip an apple into the caramel, turning the apple and angling the pan so it gets coated all over. Hold the apple upside down at a slight angle so the caramel doesn't drip onto your hand. After about 30 seconds it should stop dripping. Place it on a sheet of greaseproof paper on a plate or tray. If adding extra decoration, roll the apple in sprinkles or nuts or whatever. Put the apples in the fridge to set for at least 30 minutes.

Assemble the Cake

Core the 2 small apples and slice into thin wedges - keep the skin on. Coat with lemon juice to stop them going brown. Pipe buttercream around the top edge of the cake, then flood the interior with caramel sauce. Arrange the apple slices, slightly overlapping each other in something like a fan. Pour more caramel over the apple. Decorate with sprinkles, chopped nuts and small caramel apples if you wish.

The video above is from the Keef Cooks YouTube channel. Click here to see the video recipe of Toffee Apple Cake and Caramel Apples on YouTube.

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Ingredients & Info

 500 grams cooking apples (prepared weight)
 250 grams self-raising flour
 100 ml sunflower oil
 200 ml milk
 2 eggs
 100 grams demerara sugar
 2 tbsp lemon juice
 1 tsp ground cinnamon
 half a tsp ground nutmeg
 half a tsp ground cloves
 200 grams cream cheese
 100 grams butter
 100 grams caster (powdered) sugar
 a splash of vanilla extract
 165 grams demerara sugar
 6 tbsp golden syrup
 6 tbsp double (heavy) cream
 65 grams butter
 a splash of vanilla extract
 3 small apples - gala, coxes
 2 tbsp sprinkles
 2 tbsp chopped nuts
 3 bamboo skewers or lolly (popsicle) sticks


2 small apples to decorate the top. The caramel quantities given here were enough to cover 3 small apples and the top of the cake with a bit left over for sinful snacking.

US Customary/Imperial

Serves 8 
Prep time: 30 minutes.
Cooling time: 30 minutes.
Cooking time: 1 hour.
Total time: 2 hours.