Urb’n’Spice Ultimate Recipe Series
Homemade apple cake is a favourite any time of the year. What makes it so appealing is the versatility of how these delicious cakes can be served. There is a multitude of apple cake recipes to be found, but I wanted to give you a recipe that kicks up the flavour, texture and versatility up another notch. My Ultimate Caramelized Apple Cake uses a unique technique as well as a distinctive ingredient that is all about building flavour. This special apple cake will be a hit for breakfast, or that next coffee party, or served warm for dessert with softly whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. You are going to love it as much as we do!
The Ultimate Caramelized Apple Cake
CHEF TALK: I used Ambrosia apples for this Caramelized Apple Cake recipe since they maintain a firmer shape and texture when cooked. There are a number of varieties of apples such as Granny Smith, Fuji, Honey Crisp, etc. that will hold their shape. This recipe makes two 8-inch round cakes – one to enjoy and the other to give away or freeze for later. For those larger crowds or coffee parties, make the Caramelized Apple Cake in a large pan (9-inch x 13 inches).
Equipment and Yield: 2 x 8-inch spring form pans or 1 – 9-inch x 13-inch pan
For the Caramelized Apple Filling
- 6 apples, peeled, ¼ inch dice (about 8 cups, diced)
- ½ cup (80 g) light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) cinnamon
- pinch of cardamom
- pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) boiled apple cider (See recipe below) or maple syrup
For the Caramelized Apple Cake:
- 3 cups (400 g)
all purposeflour or gluten–free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill 1 – 1 Baking Flour)
- 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) baking powder
- ½ teaspoon (2 g) fine sea salt
- 1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup (105 g) organic cane sugar or granulated sugar
- ½ cup (80 g) light brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
- 1 cup (250 ml) milk
For the Crisp Oatmeal Topping:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour or gluten –free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill 1 – 1 Baking Flour)
- 1 cup (155 g) loosely packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup (110 g) oats large flake or quick oats
- 1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
- ½ (3 g) teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 350oF/325oF if using a convection oven setting. Prepare the pans: if using springform pans, spray the pans with pan spray. Sprinkle liberally with flour to coat the inside of the pan – tap out the excess flour. If you are using a 9 x 13” pan, spray the pan with pan spray and then place a large piece of parchment paper into the pan, pushing into the corners neatly (this makes it easier to remove the cake from the pan for cutting). The sides of the parchment should extend beyond the top of the pan for easy removal.
- Prepare the Caramelized Apple Filling: In a large frying pan over low-medium heat, melt the butter and the brown sugar. Add the diced apples and toss to coat the apples with the butter and sugar mixture. Allow the apples to caramelize (this will take from 20 to 30 minutes), stirring the apples in the pan occasionally. When the apples are nicely caramelized, add the two tablespoons of boiled apple cider or maple syrup. Toss to combine. Allow the apples to cool while you make the cake batter.
- Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Prepare the cake batter: In a mixer using a paddle and medium speed, combine the butter and the sugars and mix until it is light and fluffy (about five minutes). Add the vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well in between to combine smoothly. Combine the sour cream and the milk together until smooth.
- As with most cakes, add the flour mixture and the milk mixture alternatively using low speed, beginning and ending with the flour. Scrape the sides of the mixing bowl often during this process.
- Spread the cake batter into the prepared pans, separating the batter between the two springform pans. If you are using the large pan, spread the entire amount of batter into the prepared pan and use a spatula to smooth and level the batter.
- Spread the caramelized apple filling evenly over the top of the cake batter.
- Prepare the Crisp Oatmeal Topping: In a medium-size bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, oats, salt and cinnamon.
- Add the cut up pieces of cold butter and work it into the mixture with your fingers or a pastry cutter until the mixture forms a crumble.
- Sprinkle the crisp topping over the caramelized apple filling in each of the pans. The crisp topping should cover the apple filling completely.
- Bake the cakes for 50 – 60 minutes for the springform pans and one hour for the 9 x 13-inch pan or until the cakes are golden brown and bubbly. Check with a cake tester inserted into the centre of the cake – it should come out clean.
- Let the springform cakes cool on a rack for 30 minutes. Cool the larger pan until it is room temperature. It will then be easier to lift the cake out onto a cutting board using the parchment as handles.
- Cut the round cake into wedges. Serve warm or room temperature. If you are using the larger 9 x 13-inch cake, cut into 30 small pieces (rows of 6 across x 5 down). Serve as is or with some softly whipped cream.
How to Make Boiled Apple Cider
CHEF TIP: My secret ingredient in this Caramelized Apple Cake recipe is Boiled Apple Cider. Although it is possible to buy Boiled Apple Cider, you can easily make your own. It is merely a matter of reducing apple cider to a syrup consistency. In a heavy 3-quart saucepan, place 2 litres of apple cider. Place over high heat (uncovered) and allow the cider to boil away until it becomes syrupy. This reduction process will take approximately 60 minutes – your house will smell amazing! You will notice that the bubbles change during the process from small to large bubbles as it is reducing. Towards the end of the reduction time, keep an eye on the mixture so that it doesn’t burn. I turn down the heat for the last 10 minutes and keep pouring the mixture into a glass measuring cup and checking the reduction. The syrup will coat the back of a spoon. You will end up with approximately one cup of boiled apple cider when you are done. The boiled apple cider will thicken as it cools. Store, refrigerated, in a covered container. Use this secret ingredient in the Caramelized Apple Cake recipe as well as for the following suggestions.
What Else Can I Do With Boiled Apple Cider
- Apple Cider Soda: Pour a tablespoon of boiled apple cider in a tall glass filled with ice. Fill the glass with seltzer or soda water, stir and enjoy this refreshing and healthy drink!
- Ice Cream Topping: Drizzle some boiled apple cider on top of vanilla ice cream for a delicious treat
- Flavour Enhancer: Use boiled apple cider as a flavour enhancer in apple pies, apple crisps or applesauce
- Breakfast Topping: Drizzle the boiled apple cider on top of your morning Oatmeal or on Greek yogurt for a delicious breakfast
- Glaze: Brush Boiled Apple Cider on ham during the last hour of roasting for a delicious glaze
Please CLICK the link above to access my Urb’n’Spice LEARNING TIPS, which are listed alphabetically on the Learning Tips blog post under the following subheadings:
- Parchment Paper
- Favourite Kitchen Tools: Spatula
- Extracts: Vanilla Extract
- Cutting Tarts and Cakes
- Oven Temperature Accuracy
- Internal Thermometers
You Might Also Enjoy these Urb’n’Spice Apple recipes:
If you try my recipe for The Ultimate Caramelized Apple Cake, please leave me a comment below with your feedback. Don’t forget to pin this recipe for later!
The Urb’n’Spice Chef
Follow me on Social Media
Did you Make my Recipe?