And all of a sudden, it’s fall!
Layer cakes are possibly the best way to showcase a season. For the summer, I made this stunning Very Berry Chiffon Layer Shortcake and today, I’m introducing you to this Apple Orchard Caramel Layer Cake. Besides the actual cake, my favorite part of this recipe is the name 🙂
Speaking of the name, I am in desperate need of taking a break from school (I know, it just started) and taking a trip to an apple orchard. Baking and posting the recipe for this cake is the closest to that I guess I will get.
I find that the best apples for this cake are any type of red apple, although specifically macoun. Macoun apples have a soft, tender texture but are simultaneously juicy and crisp unlike McIntosh. However, McIntosh would also work in this cake although I would reserve those for pies J And stay away from green apples for this cake since I find that they seem to get lost in the brown sugar and spices. They’re also just a bit too tart…
If you make this recipe, be sure to tag your creation with the hashtag #foodfinessa.
Apple Orchard Caramel Layer Cake.
- 1-1/2 cups light, packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 cup canola or melted coconut oil
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups all-purpose or cake flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 4 cups macoun (or any red apple), cleaned and shredded
Brown Sugar Meringue Frosting
- 3 large egg whites
- 3/4 cup light, packed brown sugar
- 2 cups white, granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- 1/2 cup whole milk or heavy cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of two 8” diameter pans with parchment paper. Set aside.
To make apple cake, in the bowl of an electric mixer, beat brown sugar, applesauce, oil, and eggs. Beat in flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. Fold in shredded apple. Divide cake batter in half, and pour into each cake pan. Bake halves for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow cake to cool completely.
While cake is cooling, prepare the frosting. In a double boiler over low heat, whisk together egg whites and brown sugar. Heat until sugar has completely dissolved in egg whites. Remove from heat, and pour into a very clean mixing bowl. Beat mixture until stiff peaks form, about 15 minutes.
To make caramel, , in a small saucepan over low heat, melt white sugar until a light golden brown color. Add in butter, 1 to 2 cubes at a time. The sugar will bubble and sizzle. Add in milk or cream, and whisk until well incorporated. Remove from heat.
To assemble cake, spread about 1 cup of meringue on one cake layer. Add second layer on top. Top with remaining frosting, and pour/drizzle caramel on top of cake, allowing caramel to drip down the sides. As a special garnish, dip apples in remaining caramel, and top the cake with them. Slice, serve, and happy autumn!