Tag Archives: cake

Caramel Apple Spice Cake…Perfect for Fall!

Now that November has hit, I’m in full fall force! Halloween was great, filled with costumes, candy, and actual trick-or-treaters this year (in past years, we never had anyone).  The trees have been putting on a show for weeks, continually dropping lovely crunching leaves in the yard. And the weather, well, it hasn’t really cooperated for fall, but I’m hopeful it will get cold soon. So, thankfully, with fall comes fall food. My favorite, despite the overabundance of everything pumpkin, are the apples! A few weeks ago to celebrate some important family birthdays, I made a delicious caramel apple spice cake with brown sugar Swiss meringue buttercream, and yes, it was as good as it sounds!

This recipe was features in Martha Stewart Living many years ago, and as soon as I heard the title and saw the picture, I knew I had to have it. The cake is a dense spiced cake, perfect for fall, and the icing is amazing!

To start, heat 1/2 stick butter in a large saute pan over medium heat until lightly browned. Add to the butter 4 cups Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and grated (about 2 lbs apples), 1/2 cup apple cider, and 1 cup sugar. Raise the heat to medium high and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes. Reduce heat to low and cook until liquid has evaporated, about 10 more minutes. Allow to cool.butterpeeled and coredgratedadd applescidersugargolden caramel applescoolingWhisk together 3 3/4 cups flour, 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, and 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger. Set aside.flour and spicesmore spicesall combined

Beat 2 sticks butter that has been softened to room temperature. Add 1 1/2 cups sugar and 1/4 cup brown sugar, and beat at medium high speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Reduce speed and add 4 eggs, 1 at a time. Beat after each addition. Add 1/4 cup flour mixture to the cooled apple mixture. With the mixer on low, add the remaining flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with 1/2 cup sour cream.  Fold in the apple mixture.more butterbeatingsugarbrown sugarcombinedeggsfloursour creammore flourapples

Divide the batter between 2 8×2 inch round cake pans that have been greased and floured. Bake at 350 degrees until golden and a toothpick comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Allow to cool completely before frosting.batterready for the ovenbakedTo make the buttercream, whisk 5 egg whites, 1 2/3 cups brown sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Heat and whisk the mixture for about 5 minutes until it reached 160 degrees. Remove from heat and beat the egg mixture on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 6 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium low and add 4 sticks room temperature butter (yes, I said 4 sticks), 2 tablespoons at a time. Beat for about 3-5 minutes after all butter has been added to make the frosting smooth. If the frosting is too soft, put the bowl in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to harden then beat the frosting to a spreadable consistency.seperating eggsready for the double-boiler160ready to be whippedwhippedeven more butterall addedfrostingfirst layersecond layer

The cake is delicious and the frosting is absolutely amazing. I know it has a lot of butter, but it’s a great splurge dessert! Happy fall!done

Birthdays with Chocolate Cake and Salted Caramel Milk Chocolate Frosting

finished cakeLast weekend, I had the pleasure of getting a birthday cake for someone special.  There is a great bakery near where I live, Bakers of Buffington, that makes amazing cakes, so I had planned on ordering from them.  However, one thing led to another at work on Friday, and I never placed my order.  So, instead, I had the opportunity to try something new.

I went searching for a recipe that involved salted caramel.  I wanted it to be the star of the cake, but had some trouble finding something that worked well.  I finally found a frosting recipe that had great reviews, but the cake itself had bad reviews.  I combined the best of both worlds and used the frosting fromparchmentAnne Thornton of the Food Network and the cake from Robyn and her “add a pinch” blog. The cake had amazing reviews for being moist, and that’s exactly what I was looking for. The results were…amazing!

The cake is a pretty simple one bowl recipe.  Start by adding to the bowl of a mixer (or any bowl really) 2 cups flour, 2 cups sugar, 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon espresso powder.  Give it a good mix with the mixer, on low of course, or just whisk together.

eggs and batterTo that mixture, add 1 cup milk, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 2 eggs, and 2 teaspoons vanilla.  Give that a good stir on medium until combined.  Then, with the mixture on low, add 1 cup boiling water to the mix.  Beat for 1 minute to add air to the batter.  She says to beat on high, but I had to keep it around medium otherwise there was chocolate flying everywhere in my kitchen.

Flour and butter two 9-inch cake pans. I also added disks of parchment paper after buttering to the bottom so it wouldn’t stick.  Then I buttered again and floured.  Actually, I say buttered, but really, I used a spray! 🙂 Pour the cakesbatter evenly into the two pans, then bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean from the center.

Allow to cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then turn them onto a cake rack to cool completely.  While that’s cooling, let’s make the frosting.

I will admit, this wasn’t the easiest recipe for frosting, but it is delicious. Start by putting 18 oz milk chocolate chips and 10 oz semisweet chocolate chips in a large bowl and set aside.  Next, add 1 1/2 cup sugar to a heavy bottom saucepan with 1/2 cup water.  Place sugarover medium heat and stir until the sugar dissolves and the mixture starts to boil. Boil until the mixture starts to turn caramel in color, about 8-10 minutes.  Don’t stir during this process though, or the sugar will crystalline.  You don’t want the sugar to burn either, you just want a caramel color.

Once it’s a good color, turn down the heat and carefully add 2 1/4 cups heavy cream.  The mixture will bubble up, so be careful.  Stir over medium heat to combine the cream, and melt any sugar that may have hardened from the cold cream.  Once it’s all incorporated and smooth, stir in 1/2 tablespoon sea saltcaramelShe calls for sea salt, but I’ll admit, I just used kosher salt because it’s what I had. It still turned out great.

Pour the caramel over the chocolate.  As the chocolate starts to melt, stir to combine.  It will start out looking like a mess, but quickly come together.  Put the mixture in the refrigerator until it is completely chilled, about 1 hour.

Once it’s chilled, take the frosting out and beat it with a mixer until it becomes a spreadable icingconsistency.  Add 1 1/2 sticks butter at room temperature, about 1 tablespoon at a time.  Use the mixer to combine well with the frosting.

The recipe says to refrigerate the frosting again for an hour, but I found it got too hard.  If it’s soft, then you can refrigerate it.  If it’s a good consistency, I say go ahead and start frosting.first layerfrostingsecond layerfinished cakeOne thing to note, it did make a LOT of frosting.  I probably had enough for another cake.  Feel free to keep it in the refrigerator and sneak a spoonful every so often, or you could just cut the recipe in half.leftoversEnjoy this delicious cake.  The cake itself is rich and super moist, and the icing is so good, caramely, chocolatey, and salty…perfect!  I got rave reviews for this one, and a very happy birthday boy!