Not many people can turn away a slice of apple pie, myself included. So I decided to take this classic thanksgiving dessert and turn it into a cake. Yep, a cake!
Let’s be honest, after prepping a turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and gravy, who has time to make a cake from scratch? I definitely do not, which is why I made this cake with white boxed cake mix.
If you read my previous post, Toasted Hazelnut cake, you’ll remember I recommended the same recipe for that cake too.
Like I said in my last post, make sure to use white cake mix, not yellow or vanilla. You can enhance the white cake mix by using whole milk instead of water, ½ cup of oil rather than the recommended ⅓ cup, and adding ½ cup of sour cream.
For this particular recipe, add 1 tablespoon of cinnamon. If you’re allergic to cinnamon, nutmeg is a good allergy friendly alternative.
Thoroughly mix the batter, ensuring there are no pockets of powder left.
Divide the batter into 2 8 inch pans (greased) and bake for about 30 minutes.
Let the cakes cool completely before frosting.
In the meantime, you can move on to making the frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
I originally made this cake with my favorite vanilla buttercream, but found it a little too sweet for this cake. Cream cheese frosting is a great alternative for this cake!
Here’s my favorite cream cheese frosting reipe:
1 pound of unsalted butter
1 pound of cream cheese
2 pounds of powdered sugar
1 tablespoon of whole milk
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
First beat the butter on medium to high speed until it is smooth and fluffy- about 4 minutes.
Then add the cream cheese and continue to beat on medium to high for another 3 minutes or so.
Slowly add the powder sugar, in 2 or 3 parts, mixing thoroughly between each time you add more.
Add the vanilla extract and milk, and mix thoroughly until the frosting is light and airy- about 4 minutes.
Set aside until your ready to frost the cake.
Caramelized Brown Sugar Apple Filling:
Peel, core, and chop 4 granny smith apples into bite size squares.
Place the cubed apples into a bowl and add 1 tablespoon of cinnamon. Evenly coat the apples by tossing them with your hands.
In a medium sized skillet, heat 1 cup of brown sugar and 3 tablespoons of butter until melted. This will create a caramel.
Add the apples to the skillet and stir so that they are all evenly coated.
Allow the caramel apples to simmer for about 5-8 minutes. Once the apples are soft, and the mixture is bubbling, remove the pan from the heat.
Allow filling to cool completely.
“Apple Pie Crust” Crumbs:
Bake 6 Snickerdoodle Cookies.
(I used a Betty Crocker recipe for these)
Once cooled completely, crumble the cookies into bite sized pieces with your hands.
Trim the tops off of the two cooled 8-inch rounds.
Using a serrated knife, cut each one in half, leaving 4 discs in total. Take your time when doing this step. This takes practice. If you’re not comfortable with this step yet, having a two layer cake is perfectly fine.
Take a 12 inch cardboard round and place it on the center of a turntable. Take a small amount of frosting and spread it on the 12 inch board. This will act as “glue”. Then take an 8-inch cardboard round and place it on top of the 12-inch cardboard.
Why do I do this? It helps me transfer the completed cake onto a cake display and helps me keep an even layer of frosting when using the bench knife. More on that a little later.
Place the first cake disc on an 8-inch cardboard round. Spread a thin and even layer of frosting over the top with a baking spatula. Pipe a wall of frosting around the top edge of the cake, and fill it with the apple pie filling. Try to use more apples than caramel for this part. Sprinkle some of the cookie crumbs on top of the filling.
It should look like this picture:
Repeat this 2 more times and then top off the cake with the fourth and final layer.
Evenly frost the cake with a thin layer of frosting using a cake spatula. This will secure all the crumbs. Place the cake in the freezer for about 30 minutes.
Once you remove the cake from the freezer, use your cake spatula to apply a thick layer of frosting.
For this cake, I went with a messy frosting technique. You can do this by taking the spatula and making small indentations all along the sides of the cake. Imagine you’re writing the letter “U” over and over again with the flat side of the spatula. This will help you achieve this “tree bark” look.
Take some of the leftover caramel and draw a ring around the top edge of the cake. Then sprinkle some of the cookie crumbs along the ring.
Allow this completed cake to freeze for another 30 minutes.
If you want to transfer the cake onto a cake display when you take it out of the freezer, take a bench knife and wiggle it in between the 8-inch and 12-inch cardboard rounds. This will allow you to get your hands under the cake to transfer it.
Always remember to use the freezer and not the refrigerator when assembling a cake, so as not to dry your cake out.
I hope you love making this cake, and may you enjoy it with loved ones! RSVP to the blog, the link can be found in the footer below.