Caramel Apple Layer Cake

Caramel Apple Layer Cake

Happy Monday everyone! I had a WHIRLWIND of a weekend – I was a culinary volunteer at the NYC Wine and Food Festival. I had shifts Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and by about 3 pm yesterday I was BEAT. It was a blast though. I met some amazing chefs, tasted some crazy good food, gained some invaluable cooking experience, and made new friends. And though I am exhausted today, it was totally worth it.

components of caramel apple cake

Over the next few weeks I’m going to be making some food inspired by things I saw and tasted at the festival, and I’ll expound on my experiences more, too. Today, though, we are having cake. I hesitated to blog this recipe, because mine didn’t really turn out as perfect as I’d hoped. But, it was delicious, and with a few recipe notes, I think yours will be quite successful.

caramel butter cream frosting

apple filling

There are three components to this cake, none of which are terribly difficult to make. The cake itself is a basic yellow cake batter; then there’s a sautéed apple filling that goes in between the cake layers, and then a caramel butter cream frosting, which was incredibly tasty. It comes together quite nicely.

Caramel Apple Layer Cake

caramel apple layer cake

So – recipe notes! I changed the original recipe a little. The cake batter called for the liquid to be half a cup of heavy cream and half a cup of applesauce. I hate applesauce, and I’m not buying it, even for baking. So I scoured the fridge and found some sour cream. Then I thought that the combination of sour cream and heavy cream might make the cake batter too thick, so I used whole milk instead of the cream. It worked perfectly fine, but if you want to go with the original ingredients, it’s half a cup each of heavy cream and applesauce.

Caramel Apple Layer Cake

Secondly, the filling was a hot mess, but I quickly realized (too late of course) that it didn’t have to be. The recipe instructed to slice the apples. For the love of all that is good and holy, do not slice your apples. Chop or even dice them instead. The cake doesn’t cut properly when you slice them and the filling slides out all over the place and hangs out and just generally makes the whole endeavor become an ode to sloppiness. There’s no reason for this. Chop the apples and you should be fine.

caramel apple layer cake

And lastly, just make sure your caramel sauce is cooled but pourable. Obviously you don’t want to melt the butter for the frosting. That would be sad.

caramel Apple layer cake

Source: adapted from Every Day with Rachael Ray, November 2007

2 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
1 tbs baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 sticks (16 tbs) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
½ cup whole milk
½ cup sour cream
2 tsp vanilla extract

3 tbs unsalted butter
3 crisp apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tbs heavy cream

2 sticks (16 tbs) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 cup caramel sauce, store-bought or homemade, cooled but pourable

First make the CAKE. Preheat the oven to 350 F. generously grease two 9” round cake pans. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Using an electric mixer, mix in the butter until the mixture is crumbly.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, milk, sour cream, and vanilla. Pour into the flour mixture and beat until just combined.
Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center of a cake comes out clean, about 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer the cake pans to a rack and cool for 10 minutes. Line the cooling racks with parchment (otherwise your cake will stick). Run a knife around the edges of the cakes to release the layers, then invert the cakes onto the racks. Let cool completely.
Make the FILLING. In a medium skillet, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the apples and the sugar. Cook, stirring often, until the apples are tender and the juice is syrupy, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the heavy cream and simmer another 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool completely. I immediately poured it into a small mixing bowl, which I think made assembling the cake easier.
When the filling and cakes are cool, make the FROSTING. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and confectioners’ sugar together until creamy. With the mixer on low, slowly pour in the caramel sauce. Mix until just combined.
Now assemble the cake. Place 1 cake layer (your ugliest one, if there’s a discrepancy) on a cake plate. It’s helpful, though not essential, to line the cake plate with two pieces of parchment paper. This will make your finished frosted cake look a lot neater. But, not necessary.
Spread the apple filling evenly in a layer on the top of the first cake. Top with the second (prettier) cake layer. Using an offset spatula or butter knife, cover the top and sides of the cake with the caramel frosting. Cut into wedges and serve.

3 responses to “Caramel Apple Layer Cake

  1. Julie,
    LOL at hot mess. I made what I’m privately dubbing a Hot Pink Mess for dinner the other night (involving red cabbage, beets, and brats) but it sure was tasty. Needs a better name, though.
    I bet you the cook who wanted you to slice the apples has one of those apple slicer corer thingies and wants further justification for the purchase.

    • Texan New Yorker

      Oh, you may be right, I never thought of that! Hmm…

      Your Hot Pink Mess sounds really good! Are you blogging it?

  2. Pingback: Pumpkin and Fried Sage Pizza, Plus a Thanksgiving Round-Up | The Texan New Yorker

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