Well, I have been trying some different apple/spice cake recipes the past couple weeks, ones we made (I mean ate, that my mother made) growing up. Last week I tried, "Dan Lewis' Apple Cake", come to find out, that "Apple Cake" that I have been eating nearly my entire life, had no apples in it. Yep, none. Funny. It did have oatmeal, and it was pretty tasty, but it just wasn't what I was wanting to taste when I put a bite of "Apple Cake" into my mouth. Ha. I knew just one thing, okay maybe two, that I wanted it to have: some sort of creamy caramel sauce frosting, and no nuts. Hahaha. My mom is going to be appalled at what I did to her recipe! No raisins, no nuts, and certainly no coconut in this cake. Heh heh heh. But I think you'll like this one, mom! Come over, and I'll make it for you! Isn't that the best sandwich (or cake) you'll ever taste? The one you don't have to make yourself? And add-in our friend over at The Ardent Homesteader's salted caramel sauce? Yeah, we have a winner.
What you will need:
For the cake:
Two 9in cake pans
3 (overflowing) cups of diced apples (I use a mix of Granny Smith's and any sweet, red apple)
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
For the frosting:
1/2 cup (or 1 stick) butter, room temperature
4oz cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup salted caramel sauce, plus a couple tablespoons to drizzle on the top of the cake (we use The Ardent Homesteader's Cara-sel Caramel. You can buy it here)
What you will do:
Butter cake pans and sprinkle with flour, shaking out the excess. Cut parchment paper to fit the bottom of each pan, placing in the bottom of the butter/floured pan and repeat process on the parchment, butter and flour, shake to remove excess. Set aside. Do not skip this step!
Preheat oven to 350f
In medium sized mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
In another medium sized mixing bowl whisk together the sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla. Once completely incorporated add the flour mixture and stir to combine. *This batter is VERY thick, don't worry!*
Add the diced apples to the batter and stir.
Evenly divide the batter between the two butter and floured cake pans. The batter is very thick and sticky, so wet your hands and gently even out and flatten the batter in each pan.
Place in oven and bake on 350f for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, take a look, it should be browning nicely. Now reduce the heat to 325 and bake for another 15 minutes, or until inserted toothpick in the middle of each cake, comes out clean.
Remove from oven and allow the cakes to cool in pans on wire rack, around 30 minutes. Once cool to touch, take a knife and gently loosen cake from the edge of the pans.
Now place cakes in the freezer, for at least an hour. The cakes are crispy, and gooey and full of apple, so it is important not to skip this step. It makes removing the cakes from the pans infinitely easier.
While cakes are in the freezer, whip up the frosting.
In a small mixing bowl, with a hand mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese until creamy, around 2 minutes. Carefully add powdered sugar, one cup at a time. Once the powdered sugar is combined, add the salted caramel sauce. Things are starting to get tasty, try not to cry, and/or eat all of the frosting.
Remove cakes from the freezer, and again go around the edge with a knife, to loosen it from the pan. Flip the cake out of the pans, and gently remove the parchment paper from the bottom of each cake.
Now assemble the cake. Place one layer of the apple cake on a plate or cake stand and add a generous layer of the salted caramel cream cheese frosting to it. Carefully place the next apple cake on top of that, and add frosting to the top. I like to leave a good two-inch edge, to show off the crispy, gooey goodness of the cake, but do what you want! Finish off by applying a thin, "naked" layer of frosting to the sides of the cake, and drizzle with reserved cars-sel caramel sauce.
Divine! Cut and serve.