You guys, I needed a win. I’ve been having way too many recipe failures in the kitchen these days; not only is this discouraging, but it means I end up eating a lot of failures. (I have a hard time throwing out food).
Well, all that changes today. With THIS CAKE. I’m so excited by this one! It’s my only post this week, but it deserves its own week. I’m so happy to introduce you to this beauty. Soft, moist (sorry), lightly spiced cake riddled with chunks of tender, juicy apple layered with a rich, decadent salted caramel buttercream icing. Um, yeah. It’s GOOD!
See the mini apples on top of the cake? These were stolen…err…”borrowed”…from a tree down the street. I swear, these people don’t pick their apples and they’re all going to waste anyway so I’m really doing them a favour, right?
You may have already read about my raspberry raiding in the back alley, but I promise that’s where my thievery ends – except for the loofah that I discovered at home and realized Wally had shoved into the stroller at Wal-Mart the other day. *Sigh*. The apple didn’t fall very far from the tree (see what I did there).
So – how have you been enjoying fall!? Since I’ve finally embraced it, I’m loving it! It helps that it’s been so glorious outside lately – the trees and leaves are sooo beautiful this time of year. I truly, truly love it. As a wise friend stated the other day, fall is a very nostalgic time of year. Just looking out the window makes me smile – I’m reminded of that feeling of “back to school”, the upcoming excitement of Halloween, Thanksgiving and of course, Christmas just around the corner.
All of these feelings inspire me to bake, bake, bake. I thought I’d start off this glorious baking season with a cake that really embraces fall. What’s more fall than apples!? Maybe pumpkin. That’ll come later.
I’ve used three whole apples in the cake, diced into small pieces. I used sunrise apples, mostly just because I had a plethora, but I think granny smith apples would be amazing in this too.
To me, if there’s one thing that is uber important in a cake – it’s gotta be MOIST. I know we all hate that word, but seriously, it’s so important. A dry cake just isn’t even worth eating, amiright? To make sure this cake has max moistness (I’m just gonna keep saying it), I used applesauce, Greek yogurt AND butter. It worked.
While the cake is baking, I made my salted caramel sauce. If you can resist eating it by the spoonful, this will be used in the buttercream once the cake has finally cooled. SALTED CARAMEL BUTTERCREAM. I don’t think there’s a better icing out there!
The recipe makes enough icing to cover the entire cake, including a layer in the middle; I chose to pump up the top and middle layers for effect, but either option is equally as delicious.
To me, this cake just screams fall. I think you should consider this your dessert for your next gathering – maybe even Thanksgiving? Or, make it for you and your family and see how long it lasts 😉
Treat your guests to this lightly spiced double layer cake with chunks of juicy apple and mounds of salted caramel buttercream – your next favourite fall dessert!
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used 2%), room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten, room temperature
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 3 large apples, diced into small pieces (sunrise, granny smith, gala)
Salted Caramel Buttercream
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup salted caramel sauce (cooled)
- 3 cups powdered sugar (icing sugar)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 F and generously grease and flour two 9″ round cake pans. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the applesauce, yogurt, and brown sugar until no lumps remain. Add the eggs and combine thoroughly. Pour in the melted (cooled) butter, whisking the entire time.
- Combine the wet ingredients with the dry, stirring gently just until all of the dry ingredients are incorporated. Fold in the diced apples.
- Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans, and place in the oven for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Mine took about 32 minutes. Remove the cake pans and allow the cakes to cool for about 10 minutes before gently inverting and cooling completely on a wire rack.
- While the cake is baking, it’s a good time to prepare the salted caramel sauce (click on the link).
- When your cake has cooled completely, you’re ready to frost it. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using a handheld electric mixer, beat the butter for about 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add the salted caramel sauce and beat for 30 seconds to a minute to combine. Add the vanilla extract, and 1 cup of the powdered sugar and slowly combine, increasing the speed as the sugar begins to become incorporated. Repeat with the remaining 2 cups of icing sugar, using more or less sugar to achieve the right consistency. Frost your cake!
Cake will keep at room temperature for 4-5 days. Cakes (before icing) would freeze very well, up to 2 months if wrapped tightly in plastic wrap.