This week, as part of Club Baked, we tackled the Caramel Apple Cake (hosted by Lulu the Baker). This is a three layer, spiced apple cake with a caramel butter cream frosting. The cake, and it's six sticks of butter, is otherwise known as "the cake that induced a heart attack". Fettuccine Alfredo has nothing on this cake.
Just pretend you didn't read that last bit as you enjoy your slice and then pawn off very small slices to unsuspecting friends and family.
It wasn't a very complicated cake to make, just a bit time consuming. I first had to hunt down a third 8" pan. Perhaps real bakers have three, but I was really thinking I was doing pretty good when I upgraded to two just a short time ago.
The morning of, although you could just as easily tackle this part the night prior, I made the caramel sauce. I was tempted to make cinnamon cajeta since I knew that recipe was foul proof, but I went ahead with the Baked caramel recipe and I am glad I did. It's much thinner than the cajeta, but I think mine turned out a bit too thin. The thinner consistency comes in handy when whipping the frosting, but as a topping, it's a mess. Once I got all the equipment, and restocked my butter, and had set aside the caramel, I was ready to begin the cake.
The apples and spices in the cake remind me of apple bread, a good thing since I looove apple bread. I used unsweetened store bought apple sauce, although if you are adventurous you could make your own. It's not hard to make applesauce at home, but this cake is quite involved as is, so I gave myself a bit of a reprieve on that one. It's not like I'm worried about the nutrition value...
Once I had the cakes out of the oven (which took a bit longer than the recipe indicated, about 50 minutes), I began to work on the frosting. I was truly nervous here since I had heard some other bakers had trouble, but mine came together without a hitch. I did heat the goat's milk, sugar and flour in a cast iron dutch oven, so the temperature was quite stable and slow to heat. Once it started to thicken, I poured it into my mixing bowl and whipped until cool and then, of course, added
three sticks of a little butter and the caramel sauce. Seriously, I read the recipe several times just to be sure that was the correct amount of butter.
With the cakes cool, I assembled the cake into three layers, with lots of butter cream frosting in between. I also snuck in a bit more caramel, drizzling a thin layer on top of each cake layer. It quickly soaked into the cake after which I smothered it in frosting. With
an added drizzle a moderate pour of caramel to the top, it was ready to serve.
I served the first slice to my hubs and I (we shared as I was still getting over the butter) and he told me that I wasn't eating fast enough to stop him from eating the whole thing (He doesn't know about the butter...). He even said that I was getting better at baking cakes (I'm a pie person) and that I had perfected frosting. Needless to say, this cake was a winner. It wasn't too sweet as I had feared it would be. It does have a very moist, dense consistency similar to an apple bread, with the light sweetness of the frosting. The frosting is like a sweet, buttery cloud. I thought the thickness of the frosting layers was obnoxious at first but, once I tasted them, it all made sense.
I would say that if I had been more adventurous and made homemade applesauce, leaving little chunks of apple in there so not to be quite as homogeneous as store bought, it would have been even better. Like off the charts good. The hubs wished it had a bit more caramel, but that was easily remedied with a drizzle from the jar left in the fridge.
All in all, as if you couldn't tell, this was a great fall cake. The spice, the apples, the caramel - pure fall. <3 Check out Lulu the Baker's blog for the recipe!