Apples and caramel are always a perfect match. So, celebrate this apple season with a caramel apple cake. Made with fresh apples, a hint of spice, layered with caramel buttercream and drizzled with more delicious caramel sauce. Whether you make this for a celebration or festive dinner this apple cake will have everyone talking about it for days.
Oven / Pan - Preheat the oven to 325°F / 165°C / Gas mark 3. Grease and line 3 x 6-inch round pans or 2 x 8-inch round pans.Pro tip - When you line the pan with parchment leave an overhang so you can pick the cake out of the pan.
Apple mixture - Use a vegetable peeler to peel the apples, and a corer to core the apples. Then, dice them into small ¼-inch cubes. Place in a medium bowl, and add the lemon juice, salt, and spices. Then add the flour and combine well Pro tip - Do not cut the apples too early to prevent them from oxidizing. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent them as well.
Dry ingredients - In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt.
Cream - In the bowl of the stand mixer with the paddle attachment cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time followed by the apple sauce and vanilla extract.
Wet to dry - Next, add the flour mixture and buttermilk in three additions. Followed by the apple mixture. Combine well but do not over-mix.
Pan - Divide the batter between the baking pans and spread evenly.
Bake - Transfer to the oven and bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes clean.
Cool - Cool in the pan for 10 minutes then invert onto a wire rack until cool completely. Pro tip - you must cool all cakes completely before frosting. Otherwise, the frosting will melt on the warm cake.
In a saucepan over medium heat add the sugar, corn syrup, lemon juice, and water. Continue to cook until the sugar has dissolved and starts to change color. Pro tip - Shake the pan as you need but do not use a spoon. It is important to keep the heat on medium-low so the sugar will caramelize not burn.
Once the sugar reaches a deep amber color add the butter followed by the heavy cream and salt. Turn the heat to low and swirl the pan slowly guiding the heat distribution. If necessary, turn the heat off.
Cool for a few minutes in the pan then pours into a glass jar or pot. As the mixture cools it will get thicker.
In the bowl of the stand mixer with the paddle attachment cream the butter and salt for a minute. Then, gradually add the caramel sauce and powdered sugar. Then, whip until light and fluffy.
Prepare simple syrup - cool completely before using.Pro tip- Simple syrup is just sugar water that has been boiled and cooled. Used to keep cake layers moist.
Using a bread knife or cake leveler cut the domes off the cake layers. Brush each layer with the cooled simple syrup
Fill - Place a cake layer on the cake board or cake stand. Top with a big dollop of the caramel buttercream – spread evenly with a straight-edged spatula. Top the second cake layer on top followed by more frosting followed by the third layer. pro tip -if you plan to move the cake again, it is best to use a cake circle under the cake on the cake stand, so you can pick the cake with its base and without any accidents.
Chill - Place the cake in the fridge for 15 minutes so the layers hold together. Pro tip - Chilling the cake at this point will ensure the layers don't move when you frost the outside. Though, if you leave the cake uncovered in the fridge for too long it can dry out. So, 10 minutes is all you need.
Frosting - Next, spread more buttercream on top and around the cake. Chill the cake for another 10 minutes to help the buttercream set. Pro tip - A straight-edge spatula for the top, an off-set spatula, and a bench scraper for the sides work better.
Drip - Gradually pour the caramel sauce on top of the cake and use a spatula to guide the drip. Pro tip - do not pour all the sauce at once otherwise you will have a mess (like mine in the video)
Swirls– put any remaining frosting in a piping bag with a star piping tip and pipe some swirls. Chill the cake until ready to serve.
Any apple works with this recipe but granny smith or golden delicious hold their shape well.
Measure the ingredients with a kitchen scale for accurate measurement.
Make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature. Cold butter will make a very lumpy cake batter that will bake unevenly.
Grease and line the pans with parchment for easy release.
Cool the cakes for a few hours before frosting or the frosting will melt on warm cakes
The caramel sauce can be made 3 to 4 days ahead. For the buttercream make sure to use cooled buttercream preferably one that has been made the previous day.
Make sure to whip the buttercream well so it holds its shape. If not the buttercream will be too soft.
Keep cakes moist by brushing the layers with simple syrup – simple syrup is a mixture of sugar and water boiled until the sugar is dissolved.
The nutrition information and metric conversion are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee its accuracy. If this data is important to you please verify with your trusted nutrition calculator. Thank you