Capture the taste of the season with our delightful Gingerbread Apple Cake! This recipe cleverly blends the warm spices of gingerbread with the rich essence of caramel apples, featuring a few clever shortcuts for a deliciously simple baking experience.

Looking for more gingerbread treats? Try one of these holiday-ready recipes: Easy Gingerbread Snack Cake, delectable Gingerbread Cupcakes, and Gingerbread Pumpkin Bars.

Be sure to sign up for my email… to get new recipes and ideas in your inbox!

apple gingerbread cake on a white plate with a fork, topped with whipped cream and caramel syrup

Why You’ll Love Gingerbread Apple Cake

Create a scrumptious holiday treat effortlessly thanks to a gingerbread cake mix and canned pie filling! Indulge in the deliciousness without the hassle.

  • Nostalgic: The classic combination of caramel, apples, and homemade gingerbread flavors evokes memories of holidays past.
  • Effortless Baking: With a simplified ingredient list, this recipe is a breeze for even the novice baker, delivering a moist and flavorful cake that will leave everyone thinking you spent hours in the kitchen.
  • Flavor Fusion: Experience the perfect marriage of sweet, cinnamon-spiced apples and rich gingerbread, creating a harmonious blend that’s both comforting and irresistible.
  • Versatile:  Whether for a cozy family dessert or a festive gathering, the apple gingerbread cake adapts effortlessly to any occasion and can be served warm or room temp, with or without toppings.
  • Occasions: Cozy gingerbread cake with caramel sauce works for casual family gatherings and holiday parties.
  • Time-Saving: Two hacks in one! With canned pie filling and a boxed gingerbread mix, this deliciously spiced cake is ready in no time!
ingredients for apple gingerbread cake on a counter

Ingredients You’ll Need

This recipe is the epitome of fall and the holidays. Every flavor in it reminds me of the season: fragrant spices, soft gingerbread, tender apples, and sweet caramel sauce topped off with homemade cinnamon whipped cream, and each element shines through.

For specific amounts, please refer to the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  • Gingerbread Cake Mix – The dry mix is the base of the apple cake, do not follow the cake mix instructions.
  • Water – room temperature
  • Unsulphured Molasses – adds a rich, caramel-like flavor and moisture to the cake. I use Grandma’s Unsulphured Molasses
  • Large Egg – room temperature to ensure even blending and a smooth, uniform texture in the cake batter.
  • Ground ginger – peppery, sweet, and citrusy ginger enhances the warm, spicy notes in the gingerbread.
  • Apple Pie Filling – canned. A mixture of sliced apples cooked and softened in a delicious sugar and spices sauce.
  • Caramel Sauce – save time and choose your favorite caramel ice cream topping.
  • Cinnamon Whipped Cream – Four ingredients and five minutes adds a touch of special, plus it’s super easy to whip up!

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy here.

How To Make Gingerbread Cake With Apple Pie Filling

With two time-saving hacks, this delectable holiday treat is prepared and baked in under an hour from start to finish! One bowl, one mixing spoon, one lightly greased 9x9x2-inch baking pan, and a preheated oven; now we are set!

When you are baking, you’ll want to use the full recipe at the bottom of the page.

  1. Mix and vigorously stir dry gingerbread cake mix, water, molasses, egg, and ginger.
  2. Fold in apple pie filling and spread gingerbread cake batter into the prepared baking pan.
  3. Bake gingerbread cake for 30 to 35 minutes, or when a toothpick near the center comes out clean, cool for 30 minutes. 
  4. Serve the cake warm or room temp with whipped cream and caramel sauce drizzled over the top; dust with cinnamon.
drizzling caramel syrup over a piece of apple gingerbread cake with a spoon

Recipe Notes/Tips

  • Use a rubber spatula to get all the sugar-spiced sauce from the pie filling can for the right moistness in the gingerbread batter.
  • If you want to serve the gingerbread apple cake right out of the pan, line your pan with parchment paper. Leave an overhang to easily pull the apple gingerbread cake from the pan after cooling.
  • Mist a measuring cup with cooking spray before measuring molasses; this avoids waste and makes clean-up easier. 
  • If you want to make this cake recipe with apple pie filling in advance for more than a few days, it is best to freeze it. Freezing will keep the flavor and texture of the cake fresher longer.
overhead shot of apple gingerbread cake with caramel sauce.

How To Store This Recipe

Refrigerate/Leftovers

Once cooled, cover the apple gingerbread cake and store it in the fridge to stay fresh for up to five days.

Freeze

Well-wrapped gingerbread apple cake can last in the freezer for 2-3 months.

a piece of cake with whipped cream and caramel syrup

FAQs

Are there any substitutions for the box cake mix?

Certainly! If you prefer a homemade route, you can replace the box cake mix with a homemade gingerbread cake batter. Adjust the spice levels to your liking for a personalized twist.

What is molasses?

Molasses is a sweet, rich, viscous syrup extracted and concentrated from sugar cane or sugar beet. It has a characteristically deep brown collar with caramel and toffee-like notes.

Can you use sulfured molasses instead of unsulfered molasses in gingerbread cake?

It’s not recommended to use sulfured molasses in home baking, as it imparts a harsh taste.  Unsulfured molasses is the best choice with its sweet rich taste without the bitterness. Therefore, if a recipe calls for molasses, it’s best to reach for unsulfured molasses for better flavor in your baked goods.

What’s the history of gingerbread cake?

Gingerbread has ancient origins tied to medicinal uses, and over time, it evolved into a festive treat, with molasses adding its distinctive flavor in the 19th century. Gingerbread cake, now beloved for its warm spices, holds a special place in holiday traditions.

gingerbread cake with a bit on a fork

Serving Suggestions

  • For an extra touch of elegance, serve a square of gingerbread apple cake topped with whipped cream, a cinnamon stick or gingerbread cookie, and a drizzle of caramel sauce.
  • Pair gingerbread cake with a cup of pumpkin spice hot chocolate, coffee, or warm apple cider for a cozy afternoon snack.
  • You can’t go wrong with a slice of warm apple gingerbread cake and a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream!
apple gingerbread cake photo collage

Like This Recipe?

I’d love to hear what you think! Leave a review below and let me know how you liked the recipe!

a piece of cake with whipped cream and caramel syrup

Gingerbread Apple Cake

Yield: 9 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Capture the taste of the season with this Caramel Apple Gingerbread Cake! This recipe cleverly blends the warm spices of gingerbread with the rich essence of caramel apples, featuring a few clever shortcuts for a deliciously simple baking experience.

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9x9x2-inch baking pan with no-stick spray and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl add gingerbread cake mix, water, molasses, egg, and ginger. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until well blended. Fold the apple pie filling into the batter.
  3. Spread batter into prepared pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
  4. Let cool for about 30 minutes. Serve the cake warm or room temp with caramel drizzled over top and whipped cream with a sprinkle with cinnamon.

Notes

  • If you don't want to use a cake mix (or can't find it) you can simply prepare my Gingerbread snack cake recipe, fold the pie filling into the batter and continue to follow the recipe as written.
  • CoolWhip or canned whipped cream work if you're in a pinch for homemade whipped cream.
  • If you want to serve the cake out of the pan, line your pan with parchment paper. Leave an overhang, to grab and remove the cake from the pan after cooling.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 9 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 160Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 126mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 1gSugar: 21gProtein: 2g

Nutrition information is estimated based on the ingredients and cooking instructions as described in each recipe and is intended to be used for informational purposes only. Please note that nutrition details may vary based on methods of preparation, origin, and freshness of ingredients used and are just estimates. We encourage, especially if these numbers are important to you, to calculate these on your own for most accurate results.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

a serving of apple gingerbread cake on a plate with a fork