This cake came about because I had buttercream to spare, and I wanted to find a tasty way to use it. Earlier this year, I made a resolution to bake more cakes, plus Canadian Thanksgiving was right around the corner, so the opportunity was just too good to pass up.
I flipped through my favorite cake book, Layered, and found the perfect platform to showcase the aromatic and silky smooth buttercream I had originally created to fill macarons. The apple cake is moist and slightly dense, like a carrot cake, and it is delightfully aromatic, thanks to the use of comforting spices. I grated half the apples to create a lovely texture and finely diced the remaining half so that you’d bite into tiny, juicy pieces of fruit while eating the cake.
For the buttercream, you need to caramelize the apples first, and then blend them to create a thick apple butter of sorts. You mix this into softened butter, sweeten it with powdered sugar, and end up with a dreamy frosting. It’s one of the tastiest buttercreams I’ve ever made, with the fresh taste of apples and the slight smokiness from the caramelization process combined into a creamy package.
You could simply spread the buttercream over the cake and serve it as is, but to make it truly special—hey, I don’t make cakes every day!—I topped it with a picture-perfect fan of thin caramelized apple slices and a sky-high mound of crunchy crumble. Both garnishes are quick and easy to prepare, and I think they make the cake even more perfect for fall. If you know any apple lovers, this cake would make a perfect birthday surprise! But really, don’t wait for a special occasion to make this dessert, or you’ll be missing out on a memorable treat.
Makes 10 servings.
Layered Apple Cake with Caramelized Apple Buttercream and Maple Walnut Crumble
- 2 large eggs
- 1 large apple, a crunchy variety such as Cortland, Honeycrisp, or Granny Smith