This rich, luscious Coconut Caramel Apple Cake is super simple to make, and sure to impress! With borderline fudgy apple cake and decadent coconut caramel sauce topped with sweet and crunchy toasted flake coconut, this cake never lasts long, and will have your guests licking their plates!JUMP TO RECIPE
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Full disclosure- I don't really love apples. But I do love apple cake! So when life handed me 1 billion gala apples one summer afternoon- all signs pointed to me making them into a fudgy, rich apple cake.
To make the cake fun, I decided to make it a funky play on a caramel apple- with a thick, rich, and dangerously delicious coconut caramel sauce as my topping. When I first made the sauce, as it reduced into all of it's irresistible glory, and I gave it a first taste- I realized it is, in fact, "slap yo momma" good. It's better than sex (almost) good. It's lick the bowl clean good. It's magic is what it is. And it couldn't be easier to make.
Making the magical Coconut Caramel Sauce for the apple cake
Brace yourself, because I'm about to blow your mind. To make the coconut milk caramel sauce, you will need:
- 2 13.5 oz cans of coconut milk (I like Choakoh). Full fat and canned is best. Save the refrigerated stuff for your coffee.
- A decent amount of honey. I love Nature Nates. Once you go raw, you can't go back. This stuff is GOOD.
- Some pure vanilla extract. No imitators or imposters need apply.
- Some brown sugar- dark or light, the choice is yours (choose dark).
- A tiny bit of salt, to balance the sauce.
- A bit of unsalted butter, to get that sauce extra rich and thicccc.
How do you make the sauce, you ask? Take the above ingredients, and put them in a saucepan. Bring everyone to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and stir every once in a while. In 20-25 minutes, you've got a thick, rich caramel sauce with just the right amount of coconut flavor shining through. It's really a beautiful thing. And you could stop right there, and just eat a bowl of this sauce until you go into a diabetic coma. But you shouldn't. You should make the cake.
Getting the cake prepped
This apple cake is also pretty darn easy. I am not a big time baker, nor am I a patient person, so if it's my dessert, it's an easy one.
First, you'll slice some apples thinly and set them aside (I don't even peel them!). Then, you'll whisk together some pretty standard dry ingredients for the cake- sugar, flour, baking soda, and so on (there's a full recipe down below!). After all the dry stuff in well incorporated, you'll get all the wet stuff in the bowl (sour cream, eggs, etc), and whip the dry and wet together with a hand mixer for about a minute, until they form a thick batter.
Once your apples are sliced and your batter is ready- fold them together into one happy family/homogenous mixture. You can fold them together with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon- or (bakers everywhere gasp away) YOU CAN USE YOU HANDS. That's what I do normally, and it's still really, really good. See above where I mention my un-saintly lack of patience. Your hands will get the job done, but if you prefer, by all means, use a spoon or something.
Slippery when greased: everything's better with butter
Once the apples and dough are mixed together, you'll transfer them to a very liberally greased 10" bundt pan. I like to use butter for this, and literally grease the hell out of the pan. You'll thank me later when your cake pops right out in one piece.
Everybody chill- this is how I like to prepare and decorate my cake
First things first- I like to make the coconut caramel first, then pop it in the fridge. I then make the cake, and pop that in the fridge too. Why? Because this gives the sauce some time to chill and get nice and thick, and allows the cake to cool completely and become less porous. What do you get when you've got a thick sauce and a non-porous cake? Extra thick layers of caramel sauce. I say it's worth the wait- but you can totally just sauce the cooled cake without chilling it first (but still let it cool completely!). The sauce just might suck up into the cake a bit and be a little thinner. But it's still gonna be delicious, so the choice is yours. If anyone understands a lit of impatience, it's me.
Topping the cake with crunchy toasted sweetened coconut
Once you're ready to spoon your sauce all over the cake, you'll pop that oven on one more time, and toast a bit of sweetened tender flake coconut. This only take about 5-6 minutes to toast in the oven on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and a few additional minutes to cool.
Once the toasted coconut is cool enough to handle, liberally sprinkle it over the cake. Look how pretty.
Serving and storing the Coconut Caramel Apple Cake
This cake can serve anywhere between 8-12 people (or more) depending on the size of your slice. I like to cut into generous portions, but I've also been known to snack on slivers- so do you. This cake is great at room temp or straight out of the fridge.
To store the cake, keep it in a cake container, large airtight container or wrap with foil or plastic wrap. It will keep for about a week in the fridge, if it lasts that long!
If you make my Coconut Caramel Apple Cake, please be sure to leave me a comment! I would love to hear from you, and value your feedback! Lastly, if you make the recipe and love it, please tag me on Instagram! I love to see your photos!
For more delicious desserts, check out my desserts page!
Coconut Caramel Apple Cake
- 10" bundt pan
- hand mixer
Coconut Caramel Sauce:
- 2 13.5 oz cans of coconut milk*
- 4 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¾ cup brown sugar*
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 cup brown sugar*
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg*
- ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ cup (1 stick) softened unsalted butter
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ cup canola oil*
- 3 eggs, beaten
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 5 small-medium gala apples thinly sliced
- ¼ cup tender flake sweetened coconut (for topping)
- Making the Caramel: In a medium saucepan, bring all caramel sauce ingredients to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally for 20-25 minutes- until the mixture is reduced to about ¼ volume, thickened, and takes on a rich golden color. 2. Once desired consistency is reached, turn off the heat, take the caramel off the hot burner and allow it to cool completely. 3. Once the caramel sauce is cooled to room temperature. transfer the sauce to a jar or airtight container, and store in the refrigerator until ready to use. 4. Making the Cake: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. 5. Grease a 10 inch bundt pan liberally with butter, or cooking spray. 6. Whisk the dry ingredients together well in a large bowl, and slice the apples into thin, consistent slices (I leave the skin on). 7. Add all but the apple slices to the bowl with the dry ingredients, and combine with a hand mixer until well combined, and a thick batter forms (about 1 minute). 8. Fold the apple slices into the mixture with a silicone spatula (or your hands, briefly) until well incorporated. 9. Transfer batter to the greased bundt pan in an even layer. 10. Place bundt pan on the middle rack in the oven and bake for 55-70 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of one side of the bundt pan comes out clean. 11. Remove cake from the oven and allow to cool completely. 12. Once the cake is cooled, carefully run a butter knife on the sides of the cake to make sure it fully released from the pan. Place a plate over the bundt pant and turn over onto plate (cake should pop right out- if not, don't panic, try carefully running the butter knife again and repeat). 13. At this point, you could add the caramel and toasted coconut to the cake, but I like to chill both the cake and the coconut caramel overnight to ensure the caramel lays thickly and nicely on the cake. 14. Decorating the cake and making the toasted coconut: When you are ready to decorate the cake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 15. Lay the sweetened coconut on a parchment-lined baking sheet in an even layer. Bake at 350 degrees for 5-6 minutes (checking occasionally to make sure it doesn't burn), until golden brown and toasted. Cool to room temperate before using. 16. Layering the caramel sauce onto the cake: Spoon the caramel sauce liberally over the cake, following the ridges of the bundt pan design, and making sure to drizzle on the outer and inner walls (center) of the cake (caramel sauce can be used right from the fridge!). Once the toasted coconut is cool enough to handle, liberally sprinkle it over the cake/caramel sauce. Serve immediately, or transfer to the refrigerator until ready to serve, Cake keeps covered in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Make sure you use a quality, full fat canned variety of coconut milk, such as Choakoh.
Light brown sugar can be used for both the coconut caramel and cake, but the flavor will be a teensy bit less rich.
I use fresh ground nutmeg for all recipes that require nutmeg, because it has a much deeper, more pronounced flavor than the ground type. You could use ground for this recipe- but I can't say enough about the difference grating your own makes!
I used canola oil for this cake, but you could use any neutral oil you are comfortable with for this recipe, such as vegetable oil or avocado oil. I would NOT recommend olive oil, as it's flavor would overpower the cake.
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