Apple Cider Layer Cake with Dairy Free Caramel Buttercream

An apple cider cake styled on a light background with dairy free caramel drizzling on top.

This apple cider layer cake with caramel buttercream has chopped up apples, cinnamon, and apple cider baked right in! Combined with caramel buttercream, its the perfect way to celebrate fall.



Ingredients for the cake:

For the dairy free caramel sauce: (Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction)

For the dairy free caramel buttercream:


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and spray 3 -9” baking pans with baking spray or line them with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium sized pot, add the sparkling cider and bring it to a boil. Continue boiling until reduced by half, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the diced apples to the cider and put the mixture in the fridge to cool.
  4. In a large bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Mix and set aside.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the sugars and oil, and beat on medium speed just until combined.
  6. Turn the mixer to low add the eggs in one at a time after each one is incorporated.
  7. With the mixer on low, add in 1/3rd of the flour mixture and mix until combined.
  8. Next add half the rice milk, mix, and then another 1/3rd of the the flour mixture.
  9. Add in the last of the rice milk along with the cider mixture, mix until combined and then add in the last of the flour.
  10. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pans and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the cake edges separate from the pans and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  11. Cool.

To make the caramel:

  1. In a medium sized pot over medium heat add the sugar and stir continuously with a heat proof spatula or wooden spoon.
  2. As the sugar heats up it will clump together and turn a golden amber color. Keep stirring well and eventually the clumps will melt.
  3. Stand back and add in the Earth Balance or margarine. The coldness of the margarine will cause the sugar to boil vigorously so make sure you are not too close.
  4. Stir until the margarine melts, and then slowly add in the coconut cream, standing back again!
  5. Add in the salt and stir until combined.
  6. Allow the caramel to cool just a little, then add it to a heat proof container.

To make the buttercream:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add in the cold Earth Balance or margarine and the confectioners sugars and mix on medium speed until combined.
  2. Add in the rice milk, and caramel sauce and continue to mix on medium speed. You may have to scrape down the bowl once or twice to mix it well.

To assemble:

  1. When the cakes are cool, slice off the dome tops with a long serrated knife to make them straight and even.
  2. Place one cake layer on a cake board or plate, and top with ⅓ cup or so of buttercream, smoothing it out evenly over the cake.
  3. Add another cake layer, and more buttercream.
  4. Top with the last cake layer and frost the whole cake with the remaining buttercream.
  5. Take the apple slices (for garnish) and arrange them along the top of the cake, and then drizzle the top with the caramel.
  6. Keep in the fridge and enjoy!



Keywords: the best fall cake, fall dessert, apple cake for holidays, thanksgiving cake, thanksgiving dessert