Apple-Cinnamon Cake with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

One of my Greek classmates had apparently never really baked a cake before. Fixing that seemed like a pretty good excuse to make a cake! She really likes caramel, so making this seemed a good place to start.

Villy's dressed to go out, I'm dressed to stay in...

Fashion!…

Ingredients:

Cake:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 Granny Smith apples (about 1 lb), peeled, cored, and shredded (I have no idea what kind of apples we used, although they were red so not Granny Smith… plus we don’t have a peeler, but I didn’t think the skin did anything to the texture of the cake)

Frosting:

  • 1 pound powdered sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 8 ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

The obligatory “these things are not like they are at home” pictures:

Tiny tubes of vanilla powder!

Tiny tubes of vanilla powder!

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease two 9″ cake pans. I really need to figure out how big the cake pans I have here are, because I think they may actually be huge, based on how thin cakes have been coming out.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and both sugars. No need to get out the mixer for this, by hand will do.

IMG_8564Add the oil and vanilla and whisk until well combined.

IMG_8568Add the bowl of dry goods and stir until just combined. It may feel pretty thick at this point, which is fine – the moisture of the apples will loosen it back up some.

IMG_8569Gently stir in the apples until combined.

1 pound of apple shreds!

1 pound of apple shreds!

IMG_8570Split evenly between the cake pans.

IMG_8571Bake 22-25 minutes, until browned around the edges and slightly pulled away from the sides. Let cool completely in the pans.

To make the frosting, spread 1/2 a cup of the powdered sugar around a small nonstick skillet. Place over medium heat and let sit untouched until it is mostly melted. It takes a very long time to begin to melt, but once it starts, it all goes fast.

A tiiiny bit in the middle has melted into a liquid!

A tiiiny bit in the middle has melted into a liquid!

Continue to cook until the sugar is all melted and an amber color, stirring frequently. Stir in 1/2 cup of the cream, the vanilla, and salt, being careful as the mixture is likely to bubble up significantly.

IMG_8574It’s ok if the cold cream causes some of the sugar to seize, as you’re now going to continue to cook until the any hardened lumps melt. Stir in the remaining tablespoon of cream, then remove from the heat and pour into a heat-safe bowl. Set aside to cool.

This is a good caramel color. You don't want it to get too much darker, or you've probably burnt it. If you think you may have burnt it, let it cool a bit and taste it before using it, because no amount of added powdered sugar will hide the grody flavor of burnt sugar.

This is a good caramel color. You don’t want it to get too much darker, or you’ve probably burnt it. If you think you may have burnt it, let it cool a bit and taste it before using it, because no amount of added powdered sugar will hide the grody flavor of burnt sugar.

In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese and butter, using the paddle attachment if you are using a stand mixer. Beat until light and fluffy, then gradually add the remaining powdered sugar, followed by the cooled caramel.

IMG_8576At this point you can refrigerate the frosting until it’s firm, if you intend to pipe it on, or just layer right away. We sure did not have the patience to wait for it to chill.

IMG_8577IMG_8578 IMG_8579

Everyone was very pleased with this! I really liked the caramel+cream cheese combination.IMG_8580

Apple-Cinnamon Cake with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

Adapted from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures.

Cake:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 Granny Smith apples (about 1 lb), peeled, cored, and shredded

Frosting:

  • 1 pound powdered sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 8 ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease two 9″ cake pans.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and both sugars. Add the oil and vanilla and whisk until well combined. Add the bowl of dry goods and stir until just combined, then gently stir in the apples.

Split evenly between the cake pans and bake 22-25 minutes, until browned around the edges and slightly pulled away from the sides. Let cool completely in the pans.

To make the frosting, spread 1/2 a cup of the powdered sugar around a small nonstick skillet. Place over medium heat and let sit untouched until it is mostly melted. Continue to cook until the sugar is all melted and an amber color, stirring frequently. Stir in 1/2 cup of the cream, the vanilla, and salt, being careful as the mixture is likely to bubble up significantly. Continue to cook until the any hardened lumps melt. Stir in the remaining tablespoon of cream, then remove from the heat and pour into a heat-safe bowl. Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese and butter, using the paddle attachment if you are using a stand mixer. Beat until light and fluffy, then gradually add the remaining powdered sugar, followed by the cooled caramel.

Refrigerate the frosting until it’s firm, if you intend to pipe it on, or just layer right away.

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About sparecake

My name's Corinne, and I like cake, cookies, and chocolate! Also, non-c-things such as ponies, Star Trek, and biking. I write a food blog and a blog about life, wide open spaces, and museum work. Nice to meet you!
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6 Responses to Apple-Cinnamon Cake with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Charisma says:

    Mmm, I love cinnamon in cake! Yours looks great!

  2. The cake was super- delicious I swear (because I ate 2 huge slices, and I got one more for home)!! and it was really amusing the whole process!!!

    • sparecake says:

      Good thing you ate/took as many as you did, because even after I shared more with other people, I still “had” to have some for breakfast the next day. Y’know, so it wouldn’t go bad.

  3. Mary Kate says:

    Hmmmm. I wonder how that frosting would be if I subbed in ingredients I could eat? Like coconut milk for the heavy cream? Because caramel frosting is awesome, and I have a ton of powdered sugar to use up.

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