Caramel Apple Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

 

Caramel Apple Layer Cake

I’m madly in love with this caramel apple cake! Don’t judge. It could be worse.

You don’t stand a chance against its wily charms with fresh apples, caramel sauce baked right into the batter, cinnamon cream cheese frosting and yet more gooey caramel gracing the top.

You may find yourself gazing longingly at it with adoring eyes, lashes fluttering and heart beating faster. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.… 

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Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Sour Cream Frosting

Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Sour Cream Frosting & Walnuts

A cocoa laced cake packed with chocolate goodness and covered in a tangy sour cream frosting. Not to mention zucchini. Shredded zucchini adds incredible moistness and body to the cake making it dense but not heavy.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think zucchini cake could taste so heavenly good! You may think it sounds odd if you’ve never experienced it before but trust me when I say it’s not. It’s exactly like inserting applesauce or banana into your baking…. 

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Lemon Layer Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

A luscious layer cake bursting with the bright flavor of sunshine! Fresh lemon zest and juice permeate every corner of this sweet and tart cake, from the moist crumb to the delectable cream cheese frosting.

It’s scrumptious straight from the fridge, like drinking cold, sweet lemonade on a sweltering summer day when your mouth is as parched as a desert. Similar and a whole lot better, because it’s in dessert form! And what could be better? Dessert trumps everything…. 

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Blueberry Coffee Cake

A lightly sweet tea cake enriched with the all the wholesome goodness of blueberries. This fruity cake has a crumbly cinnamon sugar topping and a tender, sturdy crumb that is hard to resist. The blueberries stay suspended in the thick batter and lend their moistness to the cake, especially if left to sit overnight…. 

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Cassata Cake

One would think growing up in an Italian-American family that the cassata cake would of graced our dessert table as often as the dear cannoli, but it did not. I can’t recall one time ever eating it and wasn’t even sure what it was…a sad tale to tell that’s entirely true.

I know now that it is typically made with a sponge cake, filled with sweetened ricotta cheese and then covered in a glaze…. 

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Mardi Gras King Cake with Strawberry Cream Cheese Filling

Mardi Gras King Cake

It wouldn’t be Mardi Gras without a King Cake or two ten!

King cakes commemorate the Epiphany, a celebration of the Wise Men’s discovery of baby Jesus. A small plastic baby is tucked inside the cake, bringing the finder good luck and the task of supplying the next cake. Believe me when I say there will be a next cake, since they are eaten everyday during the season of Epiphany that begins 12 days after Christmas and lasts until Mardi Gras. A tradition I can fully immerse myself in.

Who knows King Cake better than New Orleans native Chef John Besh? No one I know of. Made from a soft, buttery brioche dough with copious amounts of cinnamon and lemon zest, the cinnamon fiend in me rejoiced.

Covered in a confectioners’ sugar icing and decorated with colored sugars to represent justice, faith and power, this is a cake you will revel in eating every day. It is everything anyone could ask for in a coffee cake and more. I don’t think I would get sick of it. In my version there’s a decadent strawberry jam cream cheese filling and half whole wheat flour in the batter. It is the most perfectly delicious thing to accompany a cup of coffee or tea.

Although I’m far from New Orleans, a mere bite of cake magically transported me there, if only in spirit. My heart was glad.

Mardi Gras King Cake

Strawberry Cream Cheese King Cake Filling
(by Reeni)
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup strawberry jam
1 and 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1. Beat cream cheese until light and fluffy, beat in jam and confectioners sugar. Refrigerate.

2. Instead of dividing the dough into 3 pieces, roll into a rectangle on a large floured surface, about 20×15 inches. On one of the longest edges about 3 inches in spoon the cream cheese in an even straight line. Carefully fold dough over the filling and continue until you have a long log.

3. Carefully move to a large, parchment lined baking sheet and form into an oval, pinching ends together well. Bake according to directions in original recipe.

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Mini Caramel Apple Cakes

Mini Caramel Apple Cakes

This delectable caramel apple cake recipe is packed with a flavor duo that was meant to be. I’m convinced of it. Caramel and apples marry together so well it’s obvious they can’t get enough of each other. I’m more than happy to help them out whenever I can.

Sticky-sweet caramel bits dot the batter along with a mosaic of fresh, tart apples. It gives them a natural moistness that is two-fold with the addition of applesauce. They have a welcoming, warm spiciness to them that only cinnamon and nutmeg can bring. The caramel flavor is intensified with a brown sugar frosting followed by a sprinkling of walnuts over top.

I know these little caramel apple cakes may look completely harmless and unassuming. I think it’s only fair I should warn you – after a bite or two you will realize how wrong you are. And how you’ve been ensnared. By their addictive qualities. Don’t blame me if you can’t stop at one, eat more than you intended or are tempted to skip lunch or dinner. In lieu of cake. Not that I would know anything about that!

Mini Caramel Apple Cakes

Mini Caramel Apple Cakes
(adapted from King Arthur Flour)
2 cups whole wheat, all-purpose or white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1 + 1/4 cups brown sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup (4 ounces) applesauce, unsweetened
3 cups peeled, chopped apples (about 3 apples, 3/4 pound before peeling)
3/4 cup caramel bits (like Kraft) or butterscotch chips
frosting:
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
3 tablespoons milk
1 + 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
topping:
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the wells of a 12 cup muffin pan.

2. In a medium bowl whisk flour, baking powder, salt, and spices together. In a separate large mixing bowl cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, scraping sides and bottom of the mixing bowl, then mix in the dry ingredients, vanilla and applesauce, stirring until evenly moistened. Fold in the apples and caramel bits or walnuts.

3. Divide the batter evenly to make 12 cakes, an ice cream scoop works well for this. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until a cake tester/toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool the pan on a wire rack for ten minutes, turn out to wire racks, frost while still warm.


4.  To make frosting melt butter in a medium-sized sauce pan over medium heat, whisk in salt, brown sugar, and corn syrup, cook, until the sugar melts. Whisk in the milk, bring to a rolling boil, and pour into a mixing bowl to cool for 10 minutes. Stir in the sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon, beat well; if the mixture appears too thin, add more confectioners’ sugar. Drop a generous spoonful over the top of each cake and spread, sprinkle with nuts.

Mini Caramel Apple Cakes
Warm spices + caramel + walnuts + apples = true love.

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