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

Apple Cider Layer Cake with Dairy Free Caramel Buttercream

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.
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Course: Cake
Cuisine: American
Keyword: apple cake for holidays, fall dessert, thanksgiving cake, thanksgiving dessert, the best fall cake
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours 52 minutes
Servings: 1 large cake
Calories: 390kcal
Author: Sam Adler


  • Ingredients for the cake:12 oz. sparkling apple cider1 medium size gala apple peeled, cored, and diced small. Plus 1 medium sized apple cored and sliced thin, for garnish.4 cups all purpose flour1 tablespoon baking powder1 ½ teaspoons baking soda1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon½ teaspoon kosher salt1 ½ cups brown sugar½ cup granulated sugar1 cup vegetable or canola oil4 large eggs¾ cup rice or soy milk or regular milkFor the dairy free caramel sauce: (Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction)1 cup granulated sugar6 tablespoons Earth Balance or margarine, diced½ cup coconut cream- not milk! Such as Trader Joe's brand and preferably cold. ½ teaspoon kosher saltFor the dairy free caramel buttercream:1 cup Earth Balance, cold or margarine, softened 3 ½- 4 cups confectioners sugar3 tablespoons dairy free caramel sauce1 teaspoon rice or soy milk


  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and spray 3 -9” baking pans with baking spray or line them with parchment paper.In a medium sized pot, add the sparkling cider and bring it to a boil. Continue boiling until reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Add the diced apples to the cider and put the mixture in the fridge to cool.In a large bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Mix and set aside.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.Turn the mixer to low add the eggs in one at a time after each one is incorporated. With the mixer on low, add in 1/3rd of the flour mixture and mix until combined. Next add half the rice milk, mix, and then another 1/3rd of the the flour mixture.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.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.Cool.To make the caramel:In a medium sized pot over medium heat add the sugar and stir continuously with a heat proof spatula or wooden spoon.As the sugar heats up it will clump together and turn a golden amber color. Keep stirring well and eventually the clumps will melt.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.Stir until the margarine melts, and then slowly add in the coconut cream, standing back again!Add in the salt and stir until combined.Allow the caramel to cool just a little, then add it to a heat proof container.To make the buttercream: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.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:When the cakes are cool, slice off the dome tops with a long serrated knife to make them straight and even.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. Add another cake layer, and more buttercream.Top with the last cake layer and frost the whole cake with the remaining buttercream.Take the apple slices (for garnish) and arrange them along the top of the cake, and then drizzle the top with the caramel.Keep in the fridge and enjoy!


  • Squeeze some lemon juice on the apple slices that are for garnish, it will prevent them from turning brown.
  • If the buttercream is too liquidy, add in more confectioners sugar. If it is too dry add in more liquid starting with ½ teaspoon at a time.
  • Its best to use the Earth balance straight from the fridge because it melts quickly. If the buttercream softens quickly, stick it in the fridge for a few minutes to harden slightly.


Nutrition Facts
Apple Cider Layer Cake with Dairy Free Caramel Buttercream
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 390 Calories from Fat 189
% Daily Value*
Fat 21g32%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Polyunsaturated Fat 17g
Cholesterol 62mg21%
Sodium 207mg9%
Carbohydrates 44g15%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 20g22%
Protein 6g12%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.