Vanilla Bean Apple Bundt Cake

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This moist cake is loaded with chunks of apples.  The vanilla bean in the cake and the caramel sauce enhances the flavor in a wonderful way.

Vanilla Bean Apple Bundt Cake with Vanilla Bean Caramel Sauce

After tasting my mom’s version of Audra’s apple cake over the Jewish holidays, I couldn’t wait to put a spin on it myself.  My mom substituted butter for some of the oil and frosted it with cinnamon buttercream.  It was heavenly.  Of course I couldn’t leave well enough alone.

Vanilla Bean Apple Bundt Cake with Vanilla Bean Caramel Sauce

I made this cake almost a month ago but wanted to save it as the big Thanksgiving week post!  So if you have already finalized your dessert menu for Thursday, you might want to make some room because this cake needs to happen.

Vanilla Bean Apple Bundt Cake with Vanilla Bean Caramel Sauce

So many apples, moist cake, vanilla bean throughout AND in the caramel sauce… it is a winner.  I definitely ate more than my share but it was completely worth it.  Matt, actually, has not stopped talking about it.

Vanilla Bean Apple Bundt Cake with Vanilla Bean Caramel Sauce

And if you can’t figure out a way to make this happen for Thanksgiving, add the recipe to your list of desserts to make asap.  Trust me, you won’t regret it.

Vanilla Bean Apple Bundt Cake with Vanilla Bean Caramel Sauce

Vanilla Bean Apple Bundt Cake

Serves 16 – 20

Adapted from the Baker Chick

For the apples:
1 1/2 pounds (~3) granny smith apples (4 cups peeled and chopped)
1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 whole vanilla bean
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
For the cake:
13 7/8 ounces all-purpose flour (~3 cups)
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
8 ounces (1 cup / 2 sticks) unsalted butter melted and cooled
1/3 cup vegetable oil
8 1/4 ounces (~1 cup tightly packed light brown sugar)
3 3/4 ounces (~1/2 cup) granulated sugar
2 x-large eggs + 1 x-large yolk OR 3 large eggs at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat over to 350 degrees
Grease and flour a 12 or 14 cup bundt pan; set aside
Cut the vanilla bean open and scrape the seeds from inside into a large skillet with 1 tablespoon of butter; place skillet over stove on medium heat and stir until butter is melted
Add pod from vanilla bean, apples, and tablespoon of sugar; let cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally until apples are softened
In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt; set aside
In the large mixing bowl of an electric mixer beat together the butter, oil, sugars and eggs for 3 minutes on low to medium speed; add vanilla extract and mix until combined
Scrape sides of the bowl with a spatula and carefully add the dry ingredients while mixer is on low speed just until combined
Remove bowl from mixer and fold in the apples; do not overmix
Pour batter into prepared bundt pan and bake for 33-37 minutes, or until cake is lightly browned and a knife inserted into the cake comes out clean
Allow to cool for 15 minutes before inverting onto a cooling rack; set aside to cool while preparing caramel

Vanilla Bean Caramel Sauce

Makes 1 cup

5 5/8 ounces (~3/4 cup) granulated sugar
1/2 vanilla bean
3 tablespoons water
4 fluid ounces (1/2 cup) heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons milk, any type
1/2 teaspoon sea salt


In a heavy duty saucepan, combine granulated sugar, seeds scraped from vanilla bean, and water
Cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly until sugar is dissolved
Continue to cook for a few minutes until caramel reaches a deep amber (do not stir)
Remove from heat and immediately whisk in heavy cream
Stir in milk and sea salt
Drizzle liberally over apple cake or refrigerate until ready to serve

Make ahead tip:  Prepare cake up to two days ahead of time and wrap tightly with seran wrap.  Caramel sauce can be made up to one week ahead of time.  Just heat it gently over the stove or in microwave just prior to pouring over cake and serving

Vanilla Bean Apple Bundt Cake with Vanilla Bean Caramel Sauce

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9 Responses to “Vanilla Bean Apple Bundt Cake”

  1. Tracey November 26, 2013 at 2:13 am #

    Gah, I am seriously powerless to resist a bundt cake – have to make this! The vanilla bean caramel sauce is the perfect topping!

  2. Jessica @ Portuguese Girl Cooks November 26, 2013 at 2:59 am #

    Gorgeous cake, Lauren! Anything with caramel is a winner in my book!

  3. Kathryn November 26, 2013 at 9:31 am #

    Such a lovely sounding cake!

  4. Joanne November 26, 2013 at 11:31 am #

    This cake definitely has the air of being simple, but I can definitely see there is some complex flavor going on in here. The kind that always makes you crave just one more bite!

  5. Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction November 26, 2013 at 3:39 pm #

    The cake sounds wonderful! Definitely deserving of a spot on the Thanksgiving table!

  6. Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic November 26, 2013 at 7:27 pm #

    Lately I’ve been obsessing about apples and caramel together! This looks divine.

  7. Sarah & Arkadi December 1, 2013 at 2:08 am #

    Great combination of ingredients! Thanks for the recipe!

  8. Audra | The Baker Chick December 1, 2013 at 4:09 pm #

    I love this! Bundt cakes are one of my absolute favorite things- so beautiful and pretty. That caramel sauce looks just perfect!


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