Every day, Yahoo Food features delectable cakes. They taste good, they look good, and they’re made by good people — talented bakers from around the world. Today, Peggy Porschen shares a stunning fall cake just in time for Thanksgiving from her new cookbook Lovely Layer Cakes that hits bookshelves January 2016.
Toffee Apple Cake that will steal the show this Thanksgiving. (Photo: Georgia Glynn Smith)
Makes one 6-inch round cake, serving 8 generous slices.
This is a deliciously moist apple cake, packed with nuts and spices. I decorated it with tiny apples form my neighbor’s garden, dipped in golden caramel.
For the spiced apple sponge:
1 cup unsalted butter
1 1/8 cups packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 medium eggs
2 cups self-rising flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
A pinch of salt
7 ounces cooking apples, peeled and chopped
1/3 cup hazelnuts, toasted and finely chopped
Zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
For the vanilla syrup:
5/8 cup water
3⁄4 cup superfine sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract (or to taste)
For the caramel frosting:
1 cup cream cheese, softened
Generous 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
5 1⁄4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
5 1⁄4 ounces dulce de leche (alternatively, use caramel made from sweetened condensed milk)
For the dipping caramel:
1 1/8 cups packed brown sugar
1⁄2 cup water
1⁄2 teaspoon vinegar
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
2 tablespoons butter
For the decoration
3 mini crab apples Bay leaves or apple leaves
Step-by-step directions for decorating the Toffee Apple Cake. (Photo: Georgia Glynn Smith)
Make the sponge one day ahead.
Preheat the oven to 347°F.
Line three 6-inch sandwich pans with oil spray and wax paper.
Place the butter, sugar, and vanilla extract in an electric mixer and, using the paddle, beat at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy.
Lightly beat the eggs in a separate bowl or pitcher and slowly pour into the mixer, while beating at medium speed. If the mixture starts to curdle, add 1 Tablespoon of flour to bring it back together.
Sift the flour, cinnamon, and salt into a bowl and fold into the batter until just combined.
Fold in the apple, hazelnuts, and lemon zest, transfer the batter to the lined pans, and gently spread it out toward the edges with a step palette knife. The batter should be higher around the edges than in the middle, to ensure that the cake bakes evenly and that the height is level.