My Maple Pecan Apple Pie Cake combines all the amazing flavors of fall into one spectacular cake! I love a good slice of delicious, warm and aromatic apple pie and that’s the inspiration behind this incredible cake. It’s made with a maple-flavored cake dotted with chopped pecans, filled with apple pie filling and frosted with my favorite ‘Salted Caramel Frosting’. I add more pecans and chocolate ganache on top as a garnish! This apple pie cake is perfect during the fall season and for Thanksgiving. I just love how this recipe fills my whole house with that incredible, warming aroma of fall and apples and cinnamon!
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Ingredients for Apple Pie Cake
Here are the main ingredients you’ll need for this delicious fall cake recipe:
- Apples: I recommend using firm and crispy apples for making the apple pie filling.
- Pecans: add diced pecans into the cake batter for crunchy and nutty flavor.
- Maple Syrup Extract: using this extract is the best way to add a ton of maple flavor without adjusting the recipe too much.
- Chocolate: use semi-sweet chocolate chips for the chocolate ganache.
- Caramel: I use dulce de leche, which is cooked sweetened condensed milk, for making the salted caramel buttercream.
- Butter: for making the cake layers and for the buttercream.
Making the Maple Pecan Cake Layers
This delicious apple pie cake is made with delicate and flavorful maple and pecan cake layers! For this recipe, I’m using my ‘Simple Vanilla Cake’ recipe and add my desired flavors. To add the maximum amount of maple flavor without disrupting the cake batter, I recommend adding maple syrup extract (affiliate link). It adds so much incredible flavor. I also add lots of chopped pecans to the cake for extra crunchiness and nut flavor!
- Make sure to let the cake layers cool completely before frosting and assembling the cake! If the cake layers are warm, they will melt the caramel frosting!
Making the Apple Pie Filling
This apple cake wouldn’t be complete without the best cinnamon-flavored pie filling! It’s made with diced apples, brown and white sugars and just a touch of nutmeg and cinnamon. The filling needs to be cooked until the apples are tender and the filling is thickened. As the filling stands and cools, it will continue to thicken. The pie filling needs to cool completely before assembling the cake! You can even prepare it the day before making the cake and keep it refrigerated!
How to Make a Maple Pecan Apple Pie Cake
- Start by preparing the maple pecan cake layers. Cool the cake layers completely before assembling the cake.
- While waiting for the cake layers to bake and cool, prepare the apple pie filling. This easy filling also needs to cool completely before you use it in the recipe!
- Prepare a batch of my ‘Salted Caramel Buttercream’ . This thick and creamy buttercream is perfect for this apple cake recipe!
- Level the cooled cake layers with a serrated knife first. First pipe a barrier ring around the edge of the cake layers, then fill the inside with the apple filling. Doing this will prevent the cake filling from coming out the sides!
- Frost the top and sides of the cake with the caramel buttercream, reserving some frosting for garnishing the top of the cake.
- To garnish the cake, use my ‘Chocolate Ganache’ recipe! I usually allow the ganache to cool for 20 minutes at room temperature before using it. It will thicken and be easier to use.
- Finish the cake by adding dollops of the salted caramel frosting, sprinkle more chopped pecans on top and add the chocolate ganache, if desired!
Enjoyed this delicious autumn cake? Check out some of my other recipes you’re sure to love for Thanksgiving and the fall season!
- Maple Pecan Cake with Maple French Buttercream – this delicious cake is made without any added sugars, just pure maple syrup, even for the frosting!
- Easy Caramel Apple Cake – the best simple apple cake with caramel, diced apples, apple butter and whipped cream!
- Caramel Pecan Pumpkin Cake – the best ever pumpkin cake with caramel frosting!
- Apple Pie Caramel Cheesecake – rich, caramel cake topped with apple pie filling!
- N0-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake – light and fluffy and so delicious! This no-bake cake is amazing!
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Maple Pecan Apple Pie Cake (video)
For Maple Pecan Cake Layers:
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temp
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup extract
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
For Apple Pie Filling:
- 4 large apples, peeled and diced
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons butter
For Chocolate Ganache:
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup heavy cream, steaming hot
For Salted Caramel Buttercream:
- 2 cups unsalted butter, softened at room temp
- 14 oz dulce de leche
- 2 to 3 cups confectioner's sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp fine sea salt, adjust to taste
- additional chopped nuts, for garnish
For Maple Pecan Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line 2, 8-inch cake rounds with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl, beat together softened butter, sugar, maple and vanilla extracts until fluffy. Add the eggs and beat again until creamy and smooth. Next, pour in the milk (I recommend using warm milk).
- In a separate bowl, combine all the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder and salt. Sift the dry ingredients into the cake batter and whisk by hand to avoid over-mixing the batter. Add the pecans and fold them in last.
- Divide the batter evenly between the two pans. Bake in preheated oven for about 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cakes cool completely on wire racks, then using a serrated knife, split each layer in half.
For Apple Pie Filling:
- Meanwhile, prepare the apple pie filling. Peel and dice 4 large apples. Preheat a large pan and add the apples, water and white granulated sugar. Cover the pan and bring the apples up to a simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add the remaining ingredients, except for butter: brown sugar, vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon. Continue cooking the apples over medium heat until apples are tender and sugar begins to caramelize, about 15 minutes. Add the butter last and allow it to melt in the pan. Remove the filling from heat and allow it to cool completely before using to fill the cake.
For Salted Caramel Buttercream:
- Next, prepare the frosting: Place softened, unsalted butter into mixing bowl. Whisk on high speed for about 5 minutes, until butter is light and fluffy. Scrape down sides of mixing bowl often to get all the butter mixed well. Add the dulce de leche (cooked sweetened condensed milk). If you cannot find dulce de leche, use a similar caramel sauce. If necessary, increase the amount of confectioner's sugar to thicken the frosting.
- Add the vanilla and salt. Start by adding 1/4 teaspoon salt, then add more if needed. Begin adding the confectioner's sugar 1 cup at a time, scraping down sides of mixing bowl often to get everything incorporated. Make sure to sift confectioner's sugar before adding to avoid any clumps. After adding all sugar, whisk on high speed for 2 to 3 minutes to get frosting very fluffy. Transfer half the frosting into a pastry bag tipped with a large star tip; I used Ateco tip #847.
Assembling the Cake:
- Assemble the cake. Pipe a barrier ring of frosting around the edge of each layer before adding the apple pie filling into the center. Repeat for the first 3 layers. Top with the final layer, then use the remaining buttercream to frost the top and sides of cake. Allow the cake to chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before garnishing the top.
- If desired, garnish the cake with a simple chocolate ganache. Heat the heavy cream in the microwave until steaming hot, then add the chocolate. Stir to melt completely until a smooth ganache forms. Allow the ganache to cool at room temperature to thicken. Pour over the top of the cake and garnish the cake as desired.