Fall Flavors Tour: Caramel Apple Cake

If you’ve been watching my facebook page at all, you know that today is the beginning of my Fall Flavors Tour… basically, it means that I’ll be spending the week exploring some exciting autumn flavors throughout some really great recipes! If you want to make sure you see all of the posts, subscribe by email in the right sidebar, or like me on facebook, also in the sidebar.

Today, we’re starting with some very fall-ish flavors– Caramel and Apple.

I want to give a little backstory on this cake. When I was in college, I had some friends over for a Halloween party, and we decided to make this outrageous cake that had a fudge cake base and then caramel, sweetened condensed milk, whipped cream, chocolate sauce, Snickers, all kinds of really insanely rich things, all piled into one cake.

The cake was really crazy rich, obviously, but it stuck with me, and I thought I just had to try to modify the concept a little bit, with a lighter, fresher fall flavor.

Start by taking one Duncan Hines yellow cake mix (any brand will do, though), 3 eggs, and a can of Duncan Hines Comstock Wilderness Apple Pie Filling (again, any brand will do if you don’t have Duncan Hines handy). Dice up my pie filling into small chunks if possible, then mix the ingredients together. That’s it– no oil, no water, nothing else. Just the eggs, cake mix, and pie filling.

Pour that into a greased 9×13 pan and bake it at 350 for 35 minutes, then remove from the oven. Go ahead and turn off the oven so it can begin cooling, and then poke holes into your beautiful cake using a straw.

All over. Everywhere. Leave an inch or so between the holes, of course, so you don’t go too horribly overboard!

Now, pour an entire jar of Hershey’s Caramel Ice Cream Topping on top. No, I’m not kidding. The whole jar. Do it. Just trust me. Spread it so it covers the entire cake and starts seeping into the little holes. Then, put that into the warm (but NOT on!) oven for 10 minutes.

After the 10 minutes is up, let it cool, then stick it in the refrigerator until completely cool, at least 3 hours, but preferably overnight. Once it’s totally chilled, go ahead and dump about a cup or so of Cool Whip on top.

Then, grab a bag of Limited Edition Caramel Apple Milky Ways. Yes, they taste just like an incredibly sweet caramel apple, perfect for fall, crisp and delightful.

Go ahead and cut each mini up (I cut mine into fourths, because I’m OCD, but go ahead and just dice those up however you’d like). Now, sprinkle them all over the top of that cake.

And, viola!

Seriously, this cake encompasses so much that is fall, and it’s got a really great texture.

My taste testers had some amazing ideas, as well, to either leave the Cool Whip frosting and Milky Ways off entirely, or substitute a different frosting. We also discussed adding walnuts, which you could absolutely do on top of the caramel (or below the caramel, or on top of the Cool Whip, or mixed into the cake…). You could frost the entire thing with Caramel Frosting (Duncan Hines Frosting Creations, anyone?), or just leave it naked. It truly is a versatile cake that could be eaten many different ways, but personally, I love mine with the Cool Whip and Caramel Apple Milky Ways… it’s better than that crazy rich fudge contraption of my college days, for sure. Plus, isn’t it just so pretty?

This cake is perfect for potlucks, family functions, or even just an evening playing board games with the family. I had taste testers of all ages who loved this dessert, and it’s easy to transport (plus you can always bake it in a disposable pan, of course!)

Caramel Apple Cake

1 box Duncan Hines yellow cake mix
1 can Duncan Hines Comstock Wilderness Apple Pie Filling
3 eggs
1 jar Hershey’s Caramel Ice Cream Topping
1 Cup (approx. 8 oz) Cool Whip
1/2 bag Caramel Apple Milky Way Minis

Cut pie filling into smaller pieces, and mix with eggs and cake mix. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes. Remove from oven. Poke holes in cake, pour jar of caramel ice cream topping over cake and spread to cover. Place cake back in warm (turned off) oven for 10 minutes. Let cool, then refrigerate for 4 hours or more, overnight if possible. Spread with Cool Whip. Dice Caramel Apple Milky Ways and sprinkle over the top of the cake. Serve chilled.

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Stay tuned as we continue along the Fall Flavors Tour and see what other exciting flavors we encounter next. See you tomorrow with another fun recipe!

If you’re trying any of these recipes along with me, I’d love to see photos or comments about it in the comment section below!

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