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Caramel Apple Poke Cake

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Photo of finished Caramel Apple Poke Cake

Caramel Apple Poke Cake

This recipe is a great sweet to follow our savory breakfast entrées or as a delicious and different coffeecake dish.  Apples are still abundant in Central Virginia, even though our fall was very dry.  We like to serve local fruits and vegetables whenever possible to our guests so this dish fits that criteria very nicely.  And since Thanksgiving is just around the corner, why not impress your family and friends with this dish that works for breakfast or dessert?


  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup apple butter (without pectin)
  • 3 cups finely chopped apple (3 medium)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 14-oz. can dulce de leche
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease and flour two 8×4 or 9×5 loaf pans.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a large bowl beat butter with a mixer 30 seconds.  Gradually add sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, beating until combined.  Scrape bowl; beat 2 minutes more.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each.  Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla.  Add flour mixture and apple butter alternately, beating on low after each addition until well combined.  Fold in apples.  Divide batter evenly between pans, smooth tops.
  4. Bake about 40 minutes or until tops are golden and a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool cakes in pans on a wire rack 10 minutes.  Remove cakes from pans.  Place top sides up on wire racks.  Using the handle of a wooden spoon, poke 1/4- to 1/2-inch holes three-fourths of the way through cakes about 1 1/2 to 2 inches apart.
  5. Meanwhile, in a bowl gradually whisk milk into dulce de leche until smooth.  Reserve 2 tablespoons of the dulce de leche mixture for the whipped cream topper, and set aside an additional 1/2 cup.
  6. Slowly spread remaining 3/4 cup dulce de leche mixture over cakes, allowing mixture to seep into holes.  Let cool completely.  Meanwhile, in a chilled large bowl beat heavy cream, the 2 tablespoons reserved dulce de leche mixture and 1 teaspoon vanilla on medium until stiff peaks form.  Before serving, top cakes with whipped cream and drizzle with reserved 1/2 cup dulce de leche mixture.  Serves 16 generously.
Caramel Apple Poke Cake, poke holes into cake when cooling

Poke holes with a wooden spoon into the cake

Caramel Apple Poke Cake-spread the topping onto the cake

Make sure the dulce de leche topping goes into the holes.

Helpful Hints:

Room temperature eggs are easy!  Place your eggs into a stainless steel bowl.  Put the bowl into a larger pan filled with warm water, about an inch deep.  Stir the eggs periodically over the next two minutes.  Test the temperature of the eggs with your finger.  When they have reached room temperature they will not feel cool or warm.

Since the eggs have been combined, when adding to sugar mixture add about half of the room temperature eggs at a time.

I used Granny Smith apples, as we like them since they hold their shape and crunch when baking.