Salted Caramel Apple Spice Cake

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I brought this apple spice cake to work for a co-workers baby shower and people asked me which bakery I bought it it from. I was thrilled! That is basically equivalent of telling me that I had just won a Miss America Pageant. The only thing I did differently than the original recipe from the Brown Eyed Baker is I added real apple chunks to the cake and I used a store bought salted caramel because I didn’t have time to whip up my own. Also, this is the first time I have made a cooked buttercream frosting. While it’s not ideal for piping, it’s got this amazing whip cream like texture and I personally really liked it because it lacks the over sweetness that normal powdered sugar buttercream recipes can tend to have. Enjoy!

Salted Caramel Apple Spice Cake
(makes one 3 tiered cake)

INGREDIENTS:

Cake:
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1½ cups unsalted butter, cut into small cubes, at room temperature
2½ cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
4 cups unsweetened applesauce
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and chopped into chunks

Salted Caramel Buttercream:
1½ cups granulated sugar
⅓ cup all-purpose flour
1½ cups whole milk
⅓ cup heavy cream
1½ cups unsalted butter, softened but still cool, cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
⅓ cup salted caramel sauce

To Garnish:
Salted caramel sauce
Chopped peanuts

DIRECTIONS:

Make the cake-

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour 3 8inch cake rounds. Also line with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, allspice and cloves.

3. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter until fluffy. Add the sugar mix about 2-3minutes. Next, beat in eggs one at a time.

4. Reduce speed of mixer to low setting. Add the flour mixture to the mixer bowl, alternating with the applesauce. Do not overmix, just until combined with no lumps.

5. Fold in the chopped apples with a spatula until evenly combined.

6. Divide the batter evenly among pans. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time. Check doneness with toothpick. Allow to cool on wire rack for 30 minutes. Then carefully remove cakes from pans.

Make the Salted Caramel Buttercream

1. In a medium saucepan, whisk the sugar and flour together. Add the milk and cream and cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until the mixtures comes to a boil and has thickened, about 10 to 15 minutes.

2. Place mixture in the bowl of a standing mixer. Using the paddle attachment beat for 5 minutes on high speed until mixture has cooled. Reduce the speed to low. Add butter and vanilla. Once thoroughly combined, increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy. Add the salted caramel sauce and mix. Refrigerate if mixture is still too soft.

Assemble the Cake-

1. Trim the cakes as necessary so that all have nice flat tops for stacking. Place one cake layer on a serving platter. Spread 1¼ cups of the frosting on top. Add the next layer and top with 1¼ cups of the frosting. Add the third layer on top and spread a very thin layer of frosting over the sides and top of the cake. Refrigerate for 15 minutes, until firm.

2. Frost the sides and top of the cake with the remaining frosting. Drizzle some additional salted caramel sauce on top and sprinkle with chopped peanuts. Return to the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes prior to serving.

3. Allow the cake to sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours before serving.

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