Salted Caramel Apple Sheet Cake

Recipe By Tessa Arias
September 12th, 2016
4.42 from 12 votes
4.42 from 12 votes

Salted Caramel Apple Sheet Cake features an ultra tender, slightly spongey cinnamon apple cake with a thick and shiny salted caramel glaze. Perfect for serving a crowd during the holidays!

Yield: 36 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook: 20 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Like apple-cinnamon-caramel GOODNESS. These flavors are just meant to be together.
Texture: The cake is ridiculously moist, tender, and slightly spongy. The glaze on top is ultra thick and luscious.
Ease: Super duper easy, but no one has to know that!
Pros: Easy, delicious, and crowd-pleasing. Perfect for the holidays (or anytime you want the house to smell heavenly).
Cons: Best for larger get-togethers, as it makes a whole lotta cake. Also, the cake should be served very soon after you glaze it otherwise it gets soggy.
Would I make this again? Absolutely.

Caramel, apples, and cake are completely dessert perfection. The aroma alone is pure bliss.

Salted Caramel Apple Sheet Cake features an ultra tender, slightly spongey cinnamon apple cake with a thick and shiny salted caramel glaze. Perfect for serving a crowd during the holidays!

The inspiration for this recipe comes from my blogger friend Nikki of Chef in Training. I’m sure you’ve seen her posts on Facebook, because she has over 2 million followers there (crazy!!!). Anyways, her post for Salted Caramel Apple Sheet Cake has been teasing me for months so I finally decided to make my own version of it.

And it’s AMAZING. I suggest you make this recipe for your next party, celebration, or occasion asap!! In fact, you may consider hosting a get together just so you have an excuse to make this.

Salted Caramel Apple Sheet Cake features an ultra tender, slightly spongey cinnamon apple cake with a thick and shiny salted caramel glaze. Perfect for serving a crowd during the holidays!

Classic sheet cake recipes are interesting. You basically bring butter and water to a boil then add in the other ingredients in what seems like a weird order. This strange method results in a super tender, ultra moist, almost spongy texture that’s just delightful. Not to mention it’s super quick and easy!

I’ve included instructions for baking this Salted Caramel Apple Sheet Cake in both a jelly roll pan and a half sheet pan, which are slightly different sizes. Also, if you wanted to go the extra mile and make the salted caramel for the glaze from scratch, check out my tutorial on how to make caramel sauce here. Otherwise my favorite store-bought caramel is the one from Trader Joe’s.

Salted Caramel Apple Sheet Cake features an ultra tender, slightly spongey cinnamon apple cake with a thick and shiny salted caramel glaze. Perfect for serving a crowd during the holidays!

4.42 from 12 votes

How to make
Salted Caramel Apple Sheet Cake

Yield: 36 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Salted Caramel Apple Sheet Cake features an ultra tender, slightly spongey cinnamon apple cake with a thick and shiny salted caramel glaze. Perfect for serving a crowd during the holidays!


For the cake:

  • 2 cups (254 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (200 grams) lightly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 sticks (227 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups (200 grams) peeled and chopped Granny Smith apples (about 2 medium apples)

For the glaze:

  • 1 stick (113 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) milk
  • 3 cups (375 grams) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup salted caramel sauce (homemade or store-bought)


Make the cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Butter or oil a 10-by-15-inch jellyroll pan or a 16-3/4 by 12-inch sheet pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon.
  3. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the butter with 1 cup water and heat until the butter melts. Bring to a boil. Once the mixture is boiling, remove from heat and add in the flour mixture. Add in the buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla. Gently stir in the apples.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading evenly. Bake for 20 minutes if using a jelly roll pan, and about 17 minutes if using a half sheet pan, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 10 to 15 minutes.

Make the glaze:

  1. Meanwhile, combine the butter and milk in a large heat-proof bowl. Microwave until the butter is melted. Gradually stir in the powdered sugar until combined. Stir in the vanilla and caramel until combined. Pour evenly over the warm cake. Let set for about 15 minute before slicing and serving.

Recipe Notes

Adapted from Chef in Training
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

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Recipe Rating

  1. #
    Sarah Pickard — September 12, 2016 at 9:41 am

    I have a 12x18x2 cake pan that I use to make dessert for my church dinners. Would I just use one recipe or should I use more to fit this size pan. I don’t mind the cake being taller etc just wondering what your recommendation would be.

    • #
      Tessa — September 12, 2016 at 4:49 pm

      Since that’s only a couple inches larger than the sheet pan size specified in the recipe, I would follow those baking guidelines and possibly shave off a minute or two.

  2. #
    Rita — September 12, 2016 at 7:17 pm

    Wow- this is absolutely the best fall dessert – everyone loved it!

  3. #
    Melanie | The Sisters Cafe — September 14, 2016 at 2:31 pm

    I am so happy I found your beautiful blog! This recipe looks amazing and I can’t wait to try it this fall! YUM!!

    • #
      Tessa — September 15, 2016 at 3:07 pm

      Thank you so much, Melanie!

  4. #
    Lori — September 15, 2016 at 10:37 am

    I made your cake and followed everything to the T even used the same pan but my cake turned out thin what could I have done wrong ?

    • #
      Tessa — September 15, 2016 at 3:07 pm

      Hi Lori, is it possible that your baking soda has gone bad? To check, place 1/4 teaspoon in a bowl and pour 1 teaspoon distilled vinegar on top. If it bubbles up, it is fresh. If nothing happens, then it has lost its ability to leaven.

  5. #
    Lori — September 15, 2016 at 5:36 pm

    it’s good I test it every time I use it maybe the pan was too big I used a 12x18x2

    • #
      Tessa — September 16, 2016 at 8:14 am

      Oh yes, that was probably it. The two sizes I’ve tested this recipe with are listed in the directions so I would definitely stick to one of those if you can!

  6. #
    Lori — September 16, 2016 at 10:52 am


    Thank you very much for getting back to me

  7. #
    Harriet — September 17, 2016 at 8:22 am

    Hello, I made this last night to donate to a church fall festival however, it will not be going. It is an ugly cake. The cake was frosted after cooling for 20 min and the cake was still too warm, which then made for a glaze instead of frosting. Also I think the next time I will dice, not chop the apples. Chopping made them too large which added to the ugliness of the cake. The flavor is spot on, so thank you for the yumminess.

    • #
      Tessa — September 17, 2016 at 11:08 am

      Hi Harriet! Yes, this recipe definitely has a glaze, not a traditional buttercream frosting. I don’t think any sheet cake is very pretty… that’s why they’re so quick and easy 😉

  8. #
    Lori — September 18, 2016 at 11:29 am

    I am going to try this again using a regular cake pan

  9. #
    Louise — September 19, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    I made this cake and it was claimed as a favorite by EVERYONE in the family. It was super moist and so flavorful! Definitely a keeper! And it looked beautiful cut in squares!
    I used a jelly roll pan lined with parchment. To speed up making the batter I used the grater disc of my food processor instead of dicing the apples. I made the glaze using store bought caramel sauce – it was delicious but made too much glaze so we had some brownies with the glaze on Sunday! That was a bonus!
    Thank you for a great fall recipe.

    • #
      Tessa — September 20, 2016 at 8:57 am

      I’m so happy to hear that, Louise! Thanks for taking the time to comment 🙂

  10. #
    Alia @ Everyday Easy Eats — September 23, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    This looks so delicious! Salted caramel + apple sounds amazing. 🙂

  11. #
    Kelli — September 29, 2016 at 7:35 pm

    House smells HEAVENLY! OK – my cake was done, tested & tasted. Set a small piece aside w/o & was light & spongy exactly as mentioned & delicious w/o the glaze. Added the glaze (followed recipe to the tee & now the cake though tastes good, turned to mush. What happened?). Is it because the cake was warm? Said to add the glaze on warm cake. Hmmm, confused, 1st cake ever that’s ever done that. Sadly has that icky birthday cake & ice cream mixture-mushy texture. Should i only have added1/2 the glaze, or waited until the cake was cool? Please help, was such a great flavor & again the hiuse smells incredible. Thank you!

    • #
      Tessa — October 1, 2016 at 10:15 am

      Hi, Kelli! How strange! That definitely didn’t happen to me, but if you encountered this issue then I would definitely wait until the cake is cooler before glazing. And perhaps start with 1/2 if you found it too sweet.

      • #
        Zain — September 20, 2019 at 7:05 pm

        Or was it because tha cake has been cut and the glaze sipped into the cake which makes it mushy?

  12. #
    lesley — October 8, 2016 at 8:19 am

    if I needed this cake to take to a gathering on Tuesday morning, could I make it on Sunday and keep it covered on the counter? should I add the glaze on Monday night or still put the glaze on after it cools? really excited to try it 🙂 I could make the cake on Monday night, but Sunday would be more convenient for me!

    • #
      Tessa — October 10, 2016 at 10:33 am

      I’d wait to glaze it until tonight if possible! Otherwise it might get soggy.

  13. #
    Jane — October 20, 2016 at 1:08 am

    Hi I would like to try this recipe in a 12x 9 x3 brownie pan, will it work in that please?

  14. #
    Darlene — October 22, 2016 at 8:31 am

    Hello! I am making this cake today, like right now. Reading the recipe I noticed I’m to gently stir in apples. How are the apples to be prepped before I stir in? I don’t want to mess this up. Taking to a Social function @ Church to share with friends! Please let me know what I do to those apples properly! Thank you! Ingredients on countertop ready to go!

  15. #
    Darlene — October 22, 2016 at 9:39 am

    Forgive me please! Clearly IN THE INGREDIENT’S LIST, you state for apples to be peeled & chopped! My over site ‼️ I am on my way to Great Cake Making‼️

  16. #
    Sue Ladley — October 23, 2016 at 9:55 am

    In the ingredients, you do not say 1 cup water, but in the instructions it
    does? Also, can I use xlarge eggs? Should I wait to put the warm
    glaze on it? I make Texas sheet cake and Carrot bars all the time and
    they come out perfectly. First time for this, and I am confused!!

    • #
      Tessa — October 25, 2016 at 4:45 pm

      Hi Sue, water is not typically called for in the list because it’s assumed all kitchens will have it. XL eggs might work, but I’ve only tested the recipe as it’s written. Warm glaze should work fine.

  17. #
    Kathy — October 27, 2016 at 5:56 pm

    I just made it….awesome!! I wish that I had read the comments earlier though. I made the cake tonight for luncheon tomorrow so I hope it doesn’t get soggy,

  18. #
    Sue — November 6, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    I,too, wondered about the water and I did add it. I used a 1/2 sheet pan and cake was thin but I expected that. What I did not expect was the liquid that has accumulated in the pan. I made the cake 2 days ago and I would estimate there is about 3/4 cup of liquid in bottom of pan where I cut out slices. I assume that it is the apples weeping. The taste good but texture is of course EXTREMELY soggy! The apples I processessed in my food processor instead of chopping. Did that cause the problem?

  19. #
    Jeanne — February 4, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    Hi. I made this today and the cake turned out rubbery and eggy. Are u supposed to pour the hot butter and water to the dry ingredients while still hot? I’m sure my baking soda is ok because I made another cake before this one today.

  20. #
    Sophia — March 1, 2017 at 7:45 pm

    Hi there!

    I made this cake and while the flavors were delicious it came out really moist, but not in a good way. It had the consistency of bread pudding. I bake quite a bit and followed the instructions- any idea on what the culprit could be or tips on how to get a moist, crumbly texture over a moist pudding like texture?

    It appears as though others have had similar results after adding the glaze, but it was obvious to me when I pulled it out of the oven that while cooked all the way, it was moist.

    Many thanks!

    • #
      Tessa — March 7, 2017 at 11:58 am

      Hi Sophia, that is the nature of this recipe! Sheet cakes like this are usually very moist, not crumbly.

  21. #
    Jackie — May 26, 2017 at 1:55 am

    Thank you for adding the conversions…I have always wondered how much a stick of butter weighed, now I know. Will try this over the weekend, it sounds amazing.

  22. #
    Lynn M Sieving — August 26, 2017 at 8:28 pm

    I made this cake today. I admit I have a new favorite! Bravo! Hats off to you! A beautiful creation. I used Gravenstein apples, as I had just been to the apple festival and came back with a 5 lb. bag. I love the flavor of the Gravenstein it only leant to a beautiful and complex flavor. The addition of the buttermilk into the rich and creamy batter was delightful. The way all of the ingredients seemed to flow like a devine orchestration seemlessly into each other. It was a pleasure to construct. Very, very good, indeed,

  23. #
    Trish — August 30, 2017 at 9:48 am

    Many people are asking about pan sizes. I find if I do the math – 10-x15-x1-inch jellyroll pan = 150 sq inches and holds about 10 cups of batter. A 17.25-x11.5×1-inch pan = 201 square inches and holds about 13 cups of batter. A 9-x13-x2-inch (117 sq inches) holds about 15 cups of batter . If I need to adjust pan size to what I have, I often drop temp by about 25 degrees and increase baking time by 15 minutes to start. It’s still an experiment though. Note the differences listed on the height of the pans – jellyroll will make a thin cake because they are only 1-inch deep. But it allows them to be baked and cooled quickly (as in Texas Sheet Cake). Usually, these aren’t designed to be fancy cakes; only tasty ones! Hope the math lesson makes sense and offers up some encouragement.

  24. #
    Debbie — September 16, 2017 at 3:17 pm

    Made the cake and when I went to make the glaze, it called for 1/4 cup of milk, but the directions never mention it. Do I use it or not?

  25. #
    Tyler hidde — November 2, 2017 at 1:06 am

    For the glaze can you make ahead of time and store it seperatly along with cake? Then when im ready take cover off cake and then add it just before serving? Would like to make this 1 day before the event

  26. #
    Sandra L Garth — November 8, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    Oh my, this is going to be hard to resist!

  27. #
    Nikki — November 21, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    Can the glaze and cake both be made in advance and the cake glazed before serving? Or does the glaze need to be made fresh?

  28. #
    Julie — November 26, 2017 at 9:39 am


    I made this cake two weeks ago at a friends house and like many did not have the right sized pan so I calculated the square area and used a pan with similar dimensions. Worked out great. As we did not have an appropriate sized serving piece, we cut the cake in half, spread some salted caramel between and then the next day glazed with some of the glaze but not all. Very sweet and very delicious!

  29. #
    Rachelle — October 13, 2018 at 12:20 pm

    Hi Tessa, Could please tell me the exact dimentions of the pan you used for this cake. And what would you consider the name of it, a 1/2 sheet or jelly roll? And if in your opinion what size and name of pan would you recommend using for best results. Thank you so much in advance!!

  30. #
    Brittany — March 10, 2019 at 8:53 am

    This cake was amazing! I highly recommend it to anyone looking to bake an apple cake. I used a jelly roll tin and followed directions to a T and the cake Cale our moist and delicious. I made my own salted caramel to put it in as suggested.

  31. #
    Chris — September 13, 2019 at 11:49 am

    Can I cut this recipe in half??? It looks so delish but just a big cake for my small family. Thank you.

  32. #
    Wendy — September 14, 2019 at 5:56 am

    My family doesn’t like chunks of fruit in their dessert. Would it be possible to purée the apples and get the same results?

  33. #
    Jazzie — October 2, 2019 at 3:57 pm

    Hi Live your site- my question is it’s just me & my husband so how would I make this for less people or at least 6 servings? It looks delish.. but way to much for us— thanks

  34. #
    Courtney — October 18, 2019 at 12:27 pm

    Made this last night for a work luncheon today. I was very nervous because the top of the cake did not look like the picture. It ended up being a huge hit with everyone , even the super picky eaters loved.

  35. #
    W — October 20, 2019 at 4:03 pm

    This cake is spot on! I made it yesterday for a party. Out of five cakes, it was the biggest hit. My only change would be, to let the cake cool, and let the glaze cool and then frost it. I made the cake the morning of the party, and made the glaze in the afternoon and put it on before leaving. It was great! I am going to make this every year for fall!

  36. #
    Laura — October 20, 2019 at 7:37 pm

    Tastes great but the Cake soaked up the glaze Like a sponge. ‍♀️

  37. #
    Annette — November 4, 2019 at 8:36 am

    I made this for a church dinner. The cake has excellent flavor. The next day the cake was extremely soggy! I won’t make it again.

  38. #
    Annette — November 4, 2019 at 8:40 am

    I made this for a church dinner. The flavor was excellent, but the next day the cake was extremely soggy. I won’t make this again.

  39. #
    Carine — November 14, 2019 at 10:20 pm


    Is there any alternative to buttermilk as we don’t have it where i live

    Thank you

  40. #
    Ahmed — November 15, 2019 at 8:50 am

    Pls lemme know how do make buttermilk for this recipe…

  41. #
    Jen — November 17, 2019 at 12:15 pm

    Delicious! I baked it in a pan that is a couple inches larger than what the recipe calls for but it worked out just fine. Made it a day in advance so all the flavors can meld in the fridge, and I’ll glaze it before serving. Yum. Thanks for the great recipe!

  42. #
    Debra — November 22, 2019 at 8:38 pm

    The glaze is too thin
    I put the glaze on after 15 minutes
    Is that too soon?

  43. #
    Emma — November 24, 2019 at 7:00 am

    Can I freeze this with the glaze on it?

  44. #
    Kie — November 27, 2019 at 10:55 am

    Hi do you dice the apples ? and I’m thinking about making this for thanksgiving so should i cook this the morning of or can I keep it in tact overnight?

  45. #
    Heather — December 26, 2019 at 5:15 pm

    Could I half the recipe and use a 9×13 pan?

  46. #
    Ginger Goering — February 8, 2020 at 11:45 am

    I’ve made this twice since I ran across the recipe- once for a funeral dinner at church and once for the family. It is by far the best apple cake recipe I’ve ever tried! The ease in mixing both the cake and icing was great! It is a definite keeper and will be a go to choice when I need a sheet cake.

  47. #
    Kim Rampey — August 18, 2020 at 3:59 pm

    I baked three of these sheet cakes and let them sit overnight covered loosely with foil. I made the caramel sauce and glaze the following morning. After glazing the three cakes, I had just enough caramel to drizzle over one of the cakes. I delivered them to my sisters’ offices and they were a HUGE hit!! I will definitely be making these again.

  48. #
    Taylor — August 29, 2020 at 11:07 am

    This recipe is a must! We made it & I’m so excited how it turned out I can’t wait to try it

  49. #
    Paula — August 31, 2020 at 5:08 am

    Hi! Can I sub the eggs with flax eggs for a vegan version of the cake? Thanks!

  50. #
    Deborah — September 19, 2020 at 11:45 am

    The link to your salted caramel sauce shows “error page not found”.
    Can you email the recipe to me, please?
    Thank you.

  51. #
    Wendy Agnew — October 12, 2020 at 9:31 am

    This was not a good recipe for me. I did everything according to the recipe. My baking soda was fresh. I used the correct size pan. It was very, very sweet. I baked It to the maximum time.
    It was 1/2 inch of very moist and somewhat mushy ingredients.

    I won’t make it again. I rated it with one star, because I could not, not pick a star! I s/h read the ratings before making the cake. It was a waste of time and money.

  52. #
    Christine — October 28, 2020 at 10:31 am

    Sounds wonderful! Can I bake this in a 9×13 inch rectangular cake pan with higher sides?

  53. #
    Danielle — November 5, 2020 at 6:26 am

    I made this recipe and everyone loved it. My only issue was the icing… ran off the cake & never thickened as shown in the pic.

    • #
      Tessa — November 5, 2020 at 1:50 pm

      Did you make sure to let your cake cool completely before icing? You can also add a little bit of additional powdered sugar to try to thicken the icing more.

  54. #
    Yocheved Leifer — November 5, 2020 at 10:56 am

    What can j use instead of buttermilk. I need to keep this recipe dairy free.

  55. #
    Hayley — November 7, 2020 at 10:20 am

    This cake came out amazing! I only had smaller round cake pans so I spread out the batter between 2 cake pans and they were perfect after baking for 17 mins. Took one cake over to my parents and they LOVED it. I sprinkled some more salt flakes on top of the glaze, and they said the salt on the glaze really made it. My roommate and I got to share the 2nd cake and she said it was amazing. I used Tessa’s homemade caramel sauce recipe and it was so easy to make. I would much rather prefer whipping up a small batch of caramel sauce for future cooking/baking needs rather than buying it from the store which can get expensive, especially because I don’t particularly use caramel sauce often.

    All in all, rave reviews for this recipe!

    • #
      Tessa — November 9, 2020 at 10:09 am

      Yay! So thrilled this sheet cake recipe was a hit 🙂

  56. #
    Josephine Mullane — November 29, 2020 at 11:00 am

    Unable to print this recipe.

  57. #
    Josephine Mullane — November 29, 2020 at 11:05 am

    My apologies. I missed the typewriter icon on the page. So sorry.

  58. #
    Rose — September 4, 2021 at 8:32 pm

    Sorry if this is a silly question but how fine did you chop the apples? Were they cubed? Sliced?

    • #
      Emily — September 7, 2021 at 3:24 pm

      Hi Rose! Not a silly question at all, the apples were cubed. You can actually see a part of the apple in the main photo of this recipe to get an idea of the size. I hope that helps!

  59. #
    Ali — September 7, 2021 at 7:13 am

    amazing and so easy. also fun to make with everything going into the pan! i made for Rosh Hashana last night- it was the perfect dessert with apples.

    • #
      Emily — September 7, 2021 at 2:31 pm

      So happy you enjoyed this recipe, Ali!

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