Just because it’s spring, doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice a good ol’ serving of apple crumble! In cake, of course.
This post is kind of a throwback to a lovely cake I made back in autumn 2016 because I’m really craving a huge slice of this right now.
The cake begins with fluffy layers of cinnamon-laced goodness which are then filled with a buttery crumble, the yummiest cinnamon & apple filling and wrapped in a tight layer of buttercream. I finished the cake with extra filling and crumble as well as the most luxurious caramel recipe EVER.
Okay, so maybe that’s a bit enthusiastic but, honestly, this caramel sauce is a winner. It’s spiced with cinnamon and mixed with white chocolate for extra creaminess to give you a super smooth caramel.
Apple crumble is a dessert I hold dear to my heart mainly due to the fact that it’s so easy and quick to prepare but also the nostalgia. I remember mini-me dawdling about in the kitchen with my sister late on a Saturday evening baking up a dish of apple crumble or coming home from school to smell freshly baked apple crumble that my mum had made.
Oh, apple crumble. What sweet memories we have shared together.
So, if you, like me, adore apple crumble, then this cake is definitely the one for you. Serve with extra apple and cinnamon filling or, of course, warmed slightly with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!
Yield: 1 4 layer rectangular cake
For the cake:
- 340g self-raising flour
- 6 eggs
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 255g brown sugar
- 50ml honey
- 227g butter/margarine
- 120ml oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
For the crumble:
- 150g butter/margarine
- 100g sugar
- 250g flour
For the apple filling:
- 2 large apples, finely diced
- 50g brown sugar
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tbsp water + 1 ½ tsp cornstarch
- Juice of 1 lemon
For the caramel sauce:
- 100g brown sugar
- 4 tbsp water
- 90g butter
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 or 2 squares of white chocolate
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/177°C and grease and line two 8-inch square cake pans.
- Using a stand mixer, cream together the butter/margarine and sugar and honey for at least 5 minutes using a paddle attachment on high until extremely light and fluffy. It should be really pale in colour, almost white.
- Crack all the eggs in a separate bowl and whisk them together lightly. Mix in the vanilla, cinnamon and oil.
- With the mixer on low, pour the egg mixture into the butter-sugar mixture slowly until well incorporated.
- Add in the self-raising flour and baking powder and mix until just combined.
- Either by eye or weight, divide the batter equally between the two pans (I only have one so I had to bake 1 cake at a time) and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/177°C and grease and line a baking tray.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt and sugar.
- Add in the cubed butter/margarine and, using your hands or a whisk attachment on a stand mixer, crumble the mixture together until it resembles bread crumbs. I prefer chunkier crumbs rather than a flour-y consistency. If you prefer the latter, reduce the fat by 20g.
- Spread the crumbs in an even layer on the baking sheet (I did this in two batches) and bake for 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown on the edges.
- In a separate bowl, combine the diced apples, lemon juice, sugar and cinnamon and toss to cover all the apples in the mixture.
- Transfer this mix to a saucepan and heat on high. The water from the apple should seep out and the mixture should be bubbling. Heat it on high for 5 to 7 minutes until the syrup has deepened in colour and the apples are softer.
- Add in the cornstarch mixed into the water and continue to cook for a further 3 to 5 minutes. Leave to cool and set aside.
- In a saucepan on medium heat, combine the sugar and water and heat until dissolved and bubbling.
- Once the sugar has melted into a syrup and there are no large crystals, add in the butter and stir continuously until fully incorporated.
- Remove from the heat, stir in the ground cinnamon and the white chocolate. Leave to cool, you may need to reheat slightly before using.
- Level both cake layers using a serrated knife and stack them on top of each other. Using a knife, slice down the middle of the cake layers so that you have four rectangular and equal layers.
- Stack the cake layers on top of each other: first spread a thin layer of buttercream. Then pipe a double border of buttercream around the edges (two rings of buttercream one on top of each other) and spoon on a layer of apple filling that comes up to the first line of buttercream. Next, spoon on a layer of crumble to just below the buttercream border. Pipe a few extra splodges of buttercream on top of the filling and layer on the next piece of cake. Repeat until all layers have been stacked. Alternate cake layers so that you have the first cake with the uncut side showing, then the cut piece of cake and then the uncut side of cake and so on.
- Using a small amount of buttercream, apply a thin crumb coat around the cake, piping in extra buttercream in the gaps between layers and then chill for 30 minutes in the freezer.
- Next, apply a thin coat of buttercream by applying a mound of buttercream on top and smoothing it down onto the sides. Use a bench scraper and off-set spatula to scrap down excess buttercream to reveal the sides of the cake layers.
- If needed, slightly heat the caramel and transfer it to a Ziploc bag with a small corner cut off. Pipe small drips around the sides of the cake and then spoon extra caramel sauce onto the top and smoothen it out using an off-set spatula.
- Top with extra crumble, apple filling, gold leaf and small piped stars of buttercream.