I’ve been out picking apples this week – they are perfectly ripe and ready to be included in one of my Pieday Friday recipes. I think we can officially call it autumn now, and I want to celebrate this by making a cake that is spiked with festive spices and includes the fruit of the season – the caramel apple!
I decided to chop my apples into small chunks and mix them through the cake batter, which resulted in soft pockets of fruit throughout the cake. I wanted to create a carrot-cake-esque flavour so I added a few spices and it tasted extra-yummy with the cinnamon mixed in. This also dictated the cream cheese topping which was a slightly sour contrast to the sweet caramel-coated apples. Here is a three-part recipe for the cake, the icing and the caramel apples:
To make the caramel: Melt 75 grams of butter in a non-stick pan, then add 50g soft light brown sugar and 50g caster sugar. Allow to melt into the butter then add 50g golden syrup and let the sugary mixture simmer for a minute. Give it a stir and make sure the sugar has completely dissolved then add in 125 ml double cream and mix together to make a light brown caramel sauce. There will be plenty of sauce to coat slices of apples which can then sit on a tray lined with greaseproof paper until ready to add to the top of the cakes.
To make the cakes: Mix 250g of softened butter with 200g light soft brown sugar. Add in 3 eggs and a tablespoon of table apple sauce (or another egg if you dont have apple sauce) and 200ml milk. Mix together with a whisk then add in 280g self-raising flour, 1/2 a teaspoon of baking powder, 1 tablespoon of mixed spice, 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. Peel and core 3 or 4 apples then chop into small chunks and add to the bowl and mix together to create a lumpy cake batter. Put into cupcake cakes (like these silicone flower pots from Dunelm Mill) or onto a greased/lined deep baking tray. Bake at 180C/160C fan/gas 4 for around 25 minutes for cupcakes and 35-45 minutes for the tray – keep an eye on them and check with a cocktail stick and if it comes out clean, they are cooked!
To make the icing: Mix 100g softened butter with 300g soft cheese and 100g of sifted icing sugar. Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract if the mixture is too firm, or even a squeeze of lemon juice would be good to thin it down a little. Spread on top of the cakes and add a swirl of caramel apple slices to decorate.
You may well have some caramel saucer left over that you can enjoy on ice-cream or on drizzled into porridge (my favourite!) and you might have some cream-cheese topping left after you have decorated your cakes, and this can be kept in the fridge in a sealed container ready for the next batch, or can be spread onto crumpets for a tasty, sweet snack. I hope you enjoy making these seasonal apple cakes and that they get you in the mood for more festive baking! Let me know how you get on the with the recipe by leaving me a comment below 🙂
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