Sink your fork into the ultimate taste of the fall with this tender, moist, and easy-to-prepare Caramel crunch Cake with apples. This confection celebrates the flavors of the season and is perfect for a Halloween party, Thanksgiving dessert, or any Sunday dinner.
Having make-ahead desserts like Gluten-Free Halloween Candy Cake or Peanut Butter Frozen Yogurt Bars helps take the stress out of entertaining. It gets you out of the kitchen and in the moment of enjoying friends and family. This easy poke cake recipe utilizes the help of a few pantry staples like a gluten-free cake mix and apple pie filling for a treat that not only delivers incredible flavor but comes together effortlessly.
Why you will love this recipe
- Texture - Poke cakes are all about that tender, moist, decadent texture that clings to the fork. The combination of the apple pie filling infused cake with caramel sauce seeping into every bite ensures that this cake is pure textural bliss.
- Make Ahead - Poke cakes are similar to a tres leches cake. You want to make them ahead of time so the topping gets a chance to sink down into the holes and work its magic. Plan on making this at least three hours ahead of time, but ideally, you can make this the night before. Looking for a dessert to bring to a party? This is it!
- Decadent Flavor - Does anything bad ever start with rich, buttery caramel? This poke cake recipe combines the warmth of spice-kissed apple pie filling and cinnamon with the luxurious silkiness of caramel sauce and the crunch and sweet bite of toffee.
- Gluten-Free Yellow Cake Mix - Using a boxed cake mix makes this poke cake extra easy to make at any time. I used Krusteaz's gluten-free cake mix for this.
- Almond Milk
- Nutiva Liquid Coconut Oil - This neutral-flavored oil is great for baking and gives this cake its tender and moist bite. Using a certified organic process allows this coconut oil to remain liquid even at low temperatures.
- Nutiva Butter Flavored Coconut Oil - Used to lightly grease the cake pan.
- Cinnamon - Enhances the flavor of the spices in the apple pie filling and perfumes the entire cake with the smell of autumn.
- Vanilla Extract - The better the quality of the vanilla, the more pronounced the flavor. This imparts the sweet, floral note of vanilla giving the cake that homemade flavor.
- Apple Pie Filling - This adds incredible apple flavor, warm spices, and moisture to the cake. Use your favorite variety.
- Caramel Sauce - Sweet, buttery, rich, and decadent, this permeates every bite of cake and keeps it tender and moist.
- Whipped Topping - What better crowning glory on a cake than a white flood of fluffy whipped topping? Adds a creamy texture and light sweetness.
- Toffee Bits - Echos the flavor of the caramel while adding crunch.
- Shaved Chocolate - This is an optional garnish, but if chocolate is an option are you really going to say no? Gives a festive finish and takes this cake over the top.
- Preheat the oven to 350 ℉.
- Lightly coat a 9x13 cake pan with Nutiva butter-flavored coconut oil and set aside.
- Add the can of apple pie filling to a food processor or blender and blend for 2-3 seconds until the large chunks are broken up.
- Add the eggs, coconut oil, vanilla, and almond milk to a medium-sized mixing bowl and whisk until frothy.
- Add the cake mix and cinnamon to a large bowl and whisk to incorporate the cinnamon evenly. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
- Pour the apple pie filling into the batter and using a rubber spatula fold it in until combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and spread it out with the spatula.
- Allow the cake to bake for 28-28 minutes or until the top is golden and a toothpick comes out clean.
- Place the cake pan on a cooling rack and allow it to cool for 15-20 minutes.
- Once cooled use the handle of a wooden spoon to poke holes throughout the cake.
- Pour the caramel sauce over the cake. Use a spatula to smooth it out making sure it seeps into all of the holes.
- Cover the cake pan with plastic wrap and allow it to refrigerate for at least three hours up to overnight.
- Before serving spread the whipped topping over the top. Sprinkle the toffee bits on top of the whipped topping along with shaved chocolate if desired.
- 9x13 cake pan
- Pastry brush
- Mixing bowls
- Measuring cups/spoons
- Food processor
- Wooden spoon
- Baking rack
This cake needs to be refrigerated unless it’s being served. Keep it tightly covered and it will last for up to four days. Don’t worry though, after the first bite this will disappear fast!
- Having all of your ingredients like the eggs and almond milk will allow the cake to come together quickly and lump-free without over-mixing.
- To keep your cake tender make sure to mix it until the ingredients are just combined. You don’t want to overwork the batter.
Is caramel apple poke cake dairy-free?
Make sure to check your ingredients. To make this dairy-free you’ll want to use a dairy-free caramel and either omit the toffee bits or use a dairy-free variety.
Can I use a yellow cake mix that isn’t gluten-free for this recipe?
Yes, this same recipe can be made with a regular yellow cake mix.
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Caramel Crunch Cake with Apples
- Yello cake mix Bisquick Gluten Free
Items needed for mix
- 1 jar caramel sauce
- 8 oz tub whipped cream
- 1 cup toffee bits
- Shaved choolate optional
- Lightly coat a 9 x 13 baking pan with a Nutiva butter flavored coconut oil.
- Preheat oven to 350 ℉
- Add the can of apple pie filling to a food processor and pulse for 2 to 3 seconds to break up the chunks of apples.
- In a medium bowl, combine eggs, almond milk, vanilla extract, and coconut oil.
- Using a whisk mix together until frothy. In another bowl, combine cake mix, and cinnamon.
- Slowly pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
- Using a whisk mix until fully combined. Pour in the apple pie filling and mix while using a rubber spatula.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan.
- Bake for 28-38 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow cake to cook for 15 - 20 minutes on a baking rack.
- Once cooled, using the back of a wooden spoon, poke holes throughout the cake.
- Then pour the caramel sauce onto the cake making sure to fill the holes.
- Spread sauce over the cake. Place in the fridge for 3 hours or over night. Then, spread whipped cream over the entire cake.
- Follow with sprinkling crushed toffee bits and optional chocolate shavings.
- Keep cake stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.