Caramel Apple Cake Shooters

Before we jump into today’s post, I must apologize for the lack of posts in the last week or so.  I’ve been a bad blogger!  Some of it’s related to our upcoming move to Southern Florida.  Some of it’s related to on-going projects, that while amazingly fun, are time consuming and not ready to share.  Whatever the case, you’ve been neglected my friends.  So to make up for it, I have a fabulous Fall recipe to share today!

Remember last week when I mentioned that we took my daughter apple picking for the first time?  She had a ball!  Each apple was placed into our sack via her little hands!  Then, what was mommy to do with all of those apples?!?

Well, today I’m sharing one of the goodies that came from those apples.  Four delicious fall flavors, layered in a tall shot glass.  In this one little mini dessert you get all of the best flavors of Autumn.  Cinnamon, caramel, cream cheese and of course, apples!  It starts with a layer of cream cheese icing, topped with a layer of cinnamon swirl cake, topped with apples that have been sauteed and lightly caramelized, followed by another layer of cream cheese icing and finished with a drizzle of caramel sauce. While this recipe is not for the faint of heart, it is decadently delicious. So delicious that I will post the full blown, multi-step recipe along with a quick and easy (although not quite as good) recipe. Either way you slice it, I hope you enjoy my Caramel Apple Cake Shooters.
Caramel Apple Cake Shooters by The Cake Blog

Caramel Apple Cake Shooters by The Cake Blog

Caramel Apple Cake Shooters by The Cake Blog

Caramel Apple Cake Shooters
(makes 20 shooters)

For the Cinnamon Swirl Cake:

  1. Start with your favorite basic white cake recipe.   If you don’t have a favorite recipe, try this one from Martha Stewart or even use a box mix. (Gasp! It’s okay to take a short cut because their are sooo many steps to these little treats.)
  2. Pull out several tablespoons of batter and mix in tablespoon or more of cinnamon until the batter is a nice light brown color.
  3. Pour white cake batter into pan(s).  Using a knife, swirl cinnamon batter through white cake batter.  Bake as directed for a 9-by-13-inch pan.
  4. Once cooled, cut cake in half horizontally, creating two layers approximately one inch in height.  Using a cutter the same size as your shot glass (or one of the actual glasses) cut out circles of cake and set aside for layering.

For the Caramelized Apples

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
2 sticks of unsalted butter
4 cups petite diced apples  (Granny Smith or another firm variety)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 pinch of salt

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and water, and bring to a boil.
  2. Lower heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved.  Continue cooking 7 to 10 minutes, swirling pan occasionally, until amber in color.
  3. Add butter and stir until melted.
  4. Add apples, cinnamon and salt.  Stir and cook over medium heat until mixture thickens and apples are tender.  About 10 – 15 minutes of bubbling away.
  5. Remove from heat.  (Spoon off just a little of the caramel sauce to reserve for the final drizzle.)  Mixture will continue to thicken as it cools.

For the Cream Cheese Icing

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
2 sticks butter, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 lemon, juice

Beat all ingredients with a mixer until light and fluffy.  Fill piping bag fitted with large round tip.

To Assemble

  1. Pipe a small amount of cream cheese icing into shot glass, filling glass 1/4th of the way up.
  2. Add a circle of cinnamon cake. Using a small rolling pin, clean finger or muddler, push cake down into glass until flush with icing.
  3. Add 2 tsp of apple mixture.
  4. Top with cream cheese icing until glass is full.
  5. Drizzle with reserved caramel sauce, if desired.

Like I said, this recipe is not for the faint of heart!  But the results are delicious!  If you want to achieve a similar dessert without the time commitment, just simpify one or more steps along the way.  Swap out a layer or two with something pre-made.  Use store bought cake, icing or apple pie filling.  The end result will look just as impressive and will taste *almost* as good.  Besides, you do have a life to live outside the kitchen!

I hope you embrace the abundance of Autumn and try out my Caramel Apple Cake Shooters! Happy Friday everyone!!

Carrie Sellman , Founder & Editor

Carrie Sellman is the Founder & Editor of The Cake Blog. Her work has been published in BRIDES Magazine, Country Living Magazine and featured online at People, Today, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Redbook, Real Simple, TLC, The Cooking Channel and more.


  1. 3

    Martha says

    These sound amazing, but should they be eaten with a spoon? I’m not sure how else they would get from the glass to your mouth.

  2. 12

    Nicole Miller says

    When you say petite diced apples… do I do this myself or buy them that way? If I do it myself, do I leave the skins on?

  3. 13

    Carrie Sellman says

    Nicole – you’ll want to remove the skin and then cut up the apple into small, petite little squares. About the size of a pair of dice.

    No need for these to be perfectly cut, they will cook down! Hope this helps!

  4. 15

    Leslie says

    How far in advance can you make them? I don’t want everything to goosh together, but I don’t know if I’ll have time to make them the day-of. Can you make them the night before?

  5. 16

    Carrie Sellman says

    Leslie – I made these the day before the party and they were still good the next day. You could make all of the layers a few days ahead of time and refrigerate until ready to assemble. It does take a little bit of effort to assemble, so definitely give yourself some time.

    Hope you enjoy!

  6. 17

    D. Cotter says

    To simplify, I used the cream cheese and powdered sugar (making a little thinner than frosting) as directed; but as Sandra Lee would do, I used apple pies filling chopped up a bit and cinnamon and drizzled with caramel sauce, and countinued layering. I omitted the cake. Use drizzle of caramel sauce on top with finely crushed Health bar or pralines.. Yum!


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