Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Caramel Cake with Apple Filling

apple pickin'

Fall snuck up on me this year. One day it was hot and humid, the next it was all golden leaves and cooler temperatures. The last few days have been down right chilly. I’m not complaining, I’m celebrating. Fall is my very favorite season!


The cake is quintessential fall. The richness of the caramel icing and the sweetness of the apple filling are things that just cant be fully appreciated in the heat of the summer. They need a cool breeze to feel at home.

It’s inspired a recipe in the September issue of Food and Wine, a cake called the Revelatory Cake. It’s from the cookbook The Southern Foodways Alliance Community Cookbook, which I cannot wait to get my hands on. It’s co-written by John T. Edge, whose work I have admired since I first heard about him on The Splendid Table.

Mine is quite different from the original though. I used Dorie Greenspan’s Perfect Party Cake and filled mine with an apple filling. The icing is the only thing I used from the original recipe, and it is delicious.


caramel cake with apple filling

Perfect Party Cake
from Baking: From My Home To Yours

For the Cake:

2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups whole milk or buttermilk
4 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Center a rack in the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 9-x-2-inch round cake pans and line the bottom of each pan with a round of buttered parchment or wax paper. Put the pans on a baking sheet.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Whisk together the milk and egg whites in a medium bowl.
Put the sugar and the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and, working with the paddle or whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat at medium speed for a full 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light. Beat in the extract, then add one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed. Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated. Add the rest of the milk and eggs, beating until the batter is homogeneous, then add the last of the dry ingredients.

Finally, give the batter a good 2-minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated. Divide the batter between the two pans and smooth the tops with a rubber spatula.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the cakes are well risen and springy to the tough – a thin knife inserted into the centers should come out clean. Transfer the cakes to cooling racks and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unmold them and peel off the paper liners. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up. (The cooled cake layers can be wrapped airtight and stored at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to 2 months.)

For the Filling:

2 large apples, grated
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Combine all ingredients in saucepan and cook until apples are tender.

For the Icing:
From The Southern Foodways Alliance Community Cookbook

3 cups sugar
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy cream

In a saucepan, stir 2 1/2 cups of the sugar with the corn syrup and milk. Cook over moderate heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Keep warm.
Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar in a deep, heavy saucepan. Cook the sugar over moderate heat, swirling occasionally, until an amber caramel forms. Carefully pour the warm milk mixture over the caramel. Cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until the caramel dissolves. Stop stirring and cook until the caramel registers 235° on a candy thermometer. Remove from the heat. Stir in the butter, vanilla and 1/4 cup of the heavy cream. Strain the caramel into the bowl of a standing mixer. Let cool for 15 minutes.

Beat the caramel at medium speed, gradually adding the remaining 1/4 cup of cream, until creamy, about 15 minutes.

Set 1 cake layer on a plate. Top with apple mixture. Add the top layer and pour icing over the top of the cake, letting it run down the sides. Working quickly, use an offset spatula to spread the icing gently around the cake. Let the cake stand for 2 hours to set the icing before serving.


  1. I am in love with all things apples (and caramel, obviously) - this sounds divine Hannah!

  2. So happy to have a new post from Honey and Jam! Gorgeous and looks delicious!

  3. Beautiful as always and delicious looking cake. That icing sounds perfect!

  4. are you kidding me. this sounds amazing. i may have to try it out for Thanksgiving! thanks, Hannah.

  5. I have an urge to climb through this here screen of mine and grab me a piece of that cake... it is a shame you don't live closer, and have a shelf on the window where you will place that to cool... as I would come bye and help myself to a piece or two:)

    Apparently a deed like that is punishable by hanging... in some states...
    maybe Texas, you don't live in Texas do you? tehee.

  6. Wow! This cake sounds spectacular, I think I need to try it...

  7. Yum, yum, yum! A perfect recipe for the upcoming weekend!

  8. oh my goodness this looks so good! love the apple shots, so beautiful! happy your back with the camera in toe, looks like your loving it ;)

  9. Glad to see a new post! Even though you swear to be "the worst cake froster ever," I think you a fine job. And as long as it tastes great, you shouldn't sweat a little poke of crumbs or uneven blog here and there.


  10. Gorgeous entry like always, you have a great eye

  11. What a great take on the perfect party cake. That sounds so delicious especially with those wonderful flavors blended together. I'll definitely have to save this recipe for future use. Thanks for the great ideas.

  12. What a wonderful twist on Dorie's party cake! My favorite season is fall, too. :-)

  13. So tempting... must find more people to bake for...

  14. this looks great for fall! it's great to have up back to blogging.. you were missed!

  15. I'm so glad fall is here! This has nothing to do with the fact that I've made it through one hot and sweaty Georgia summer while pregnant (okay, maybe a little bit) and everything to do with scarves, pumpkins, apples, and crisp air!

  16. Best combination ever! you know at first I thought I had read "Apple cake with caramel filling" which can't be a bad idea either, but this one is much more original! Thank you, I adore your site.



  17. Apple cake is what I need. Could you send a slice to sunny Mexico please? ;-)

    oh, and I love the new banner and the new honey&jam logo.

  18. gorgeous gorgeous pictures! as for the cake - i had my eye on it for a while. now i need to make it!

  19. I don't know of anything more perfect for fall!

  20. Yum! Beautiful pictures and delicious-sounding recipe... I just might bake this this weekend. :)

    Thanks for sharing

  21. Fall is my favorite season too and your cake sounds heavenly

  22. It looks like a good classic cake. I'm glad you have your camera back!

  23. Gorgeous photography! I drool over blogs like yours. I'm so glad twitter thought that I might like you and suggested me your name 'cos it was right.. I LOVED your blog :-)
    Looking forward to seeing you around.

  24. Not many things are better than apples and caramel! The cakes sounds delicious.

  25. Yumm. quintessential fall indeed. Your pictures are so perfect! i love them!

  26. Your pictures are absolutely stunning. I would love a slice of this cake!

  27. I found your blog on another bloggers side bar. The name(of your blog) is adorable first off, and your eye for composition is fantastic! I'm a baker at heart, and love photography as well, so the combo of such wonderful photos and all the baking is doing my head in( In a good way :)

  28. Yum, that cake looks delicious. I'm wondering if you can give a few tips on the frosting. I tried to make the Gourmet version of this cake and the frosting never thickened, which seems to be a common problem. How did you get yours to thicken so nicely?

  29. I love apples... That cake looks lovely! And, your pictures are absolutely stunning, as always.

  30. I'm going apple picking tomorrow and am SO excited! I've never been. I was supposed to bake that caramel cake in Food & Wine for a friend's birthday but I didn't end up having time! It's still on my to-do!

    Your pictures are gorgeous, as always!

  31. I think I'm making this this weekend. It looks perfect.

  32. oh wow! this is one awesome cake! perfect for Fall!

  33. Ah, yes, I bookmarked this one, also.

    Happy Fall, to you, Hannah. It's grand, isn't it?

  34. Apple and caramel is such a heavenly combination. Thank you for sharing the recipe. Yum! Have a wonderful Fall!

  35. Not only does it sound wonderful but your photos are amazing! Great JOB!

  36. This is the most perfect Autnum cake I have ever seen. Just lovely

  37. Yum! Unfortunately, it's still kind of hot and humid here. :(

  38. stellar. you've taken the perfect party cake and improved upon it--well done!

  39. Love that Southern Alliance Community Cookbook. How rad is that?! Not sure why I haven't been over to your site recently Hannah, but it's lovely as ever. Here's to crossing my fingers it'll start to feel a little more like fall in the Bay Area soon. Happy (almost) Friday!

  40. This is a fabulous recipe, Hannah! It really IS the perfect fall party cake.

  41. Apples! Thanks for the post. Even here in northern Italy the apples now are amazing.

    As usual, always look forward to the next post!

  42. Oh, now this is going to have to be made!

  43. i love caramel! i want a slice so bad! i wish i could make more of it.

  44. Hi Hannah. I left you an award over on my blog. I hope this finds you doing well as we haven't heard from you in a while.

  45. Hannah, the photos are gorgeous as always, you're such a talented photographer and cook, the cake looks and sounds delicious!

  46. Ok, so that looks absolutely wonderful!

    Love the icing, love apples, love caramel...

    making it....

  47. These pictures are making me feel all warm inside, not wanting to wait another minute for summer. Will try one of your recipes and post it on my blog soon :) Love your page Hannah!

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