Apple Pie in a Cake – Caramel Apple Cake

The timeless smell and tangy taste of apple pie. You know fall has arrived when apple treats begin to spawn all around; candied apples, caramel apples, apple pie, apple turnover and of course apple cider. An apple treat that I stumbled across in my cookbooks over the summer resulted in a crowd pleasing favorite. Imagine apple pie made into a cake. Whimsy prompted me to choose this recipe for which I had never tried prior to the Fourth of July holiday and has since become the most requested meal of a dessert.

Not only was this apple pie in a cake, but this beauty is also gluten and dairy free. One of the many recipes I have modified for my best friend if we are to partake in gluttonous activities together.

If you are a fan of crumb cake, coffee cake, apple pie and or all of the above then this recipe is for you and surely to become a hit for whatever event you plan to cater. Most recently I was called upon by my husband and son to subject a gaggle of six and seven year old boy scouts (and their dads) to my creation. Wanting to exceed their wildest expectations I modified the recipe even further.

apple cake, apple pie, apple pie in a cakeWhile the recipe calls for 3 peeled and cored apples I went a step further, as I did in my original rendering, and used 4-5 medium-large apples. The more sour the more sweet the cake is as well, so I chose some of the finest organic granny smith’s this go around. Doing so results in a mouth orgasm of epic proportions as the moisture of the apples wicks into the batter for a moderately viscous, tender cake treat. Pretty much the cake melts in your mouth for anyone lacking imagination.

Choosing not to peel my apples as well because I think the skin adds a natural beauty, crunch if exposed just right at the crust while baking, plus I would rather not waste some of the best parts of the apple. I also did not core my apples but opted to chop and then clean up the flesh housing the seeds, again not wanting to waste precious apple.

Prep your pans by misting with non-stick spray and dusting lightly with flour. Again, I modified this from the original recipe as I was catering to a citizenry of boy scouts and their fathers (my husband and son included) so we opted for cupcakes. The original will call for a tube pan.

apples, granny smith apples, chopped applesDuring my chopping session which yields a great amount of pleasure and stress relief, our oven is becoming moderately warm (325*F). Prepping two bowls, one for mixing and one for the apples I start to combine some of our ingredients.

Entertaining two bowls in the baking process is helpful if you will be looking to sift flour, as you are combining and allowing certain ingredients to mix; the sifting can be performed during this time to maximize aeration of your dry ingredients. In my first bowl I have three (3) eggs that have been resting at room temperature, I can achieve a great amount of whip and volume in our cake using this logic. At this point I have only added half of the called for granulated sugar, three quarters of one cup (total recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of sugar), to our eggs. The other half has been sprinkled and tossed about in our apples. Why? You ask. The sugar will coat our apples and wick out the juices creating a wonderful glaze and aqueous rendering.

Continuing to beat our eggs…at a medium pace…add in 1 1/2 cups of vegetable oil, I opt for 1 cup of coconut oil and 1/2 cup of olive oil for the moisture. You may do as you wish and choose the full amount of either. Still mixing, fold in a half cup of packed, light brown sugar. When the mixture is smooth and creamy pour in the vanilla extract one teaspoon at a time for a total of two. Your wet ingredients should resemble a caramel color and be ready for the apple infusion; slowly add the apples to your partially completed batter, the chunks will cause bumps in the blending process however they will begin to coalesce.

apple cupcakes, crumb cakeLastly our dry components to our apple masterpiece. I mentioned gluten free so hold onto your shorts before they get into a bunch. Gluten free doesn’t always have to taste like cardboard and in fact you could use standard flour, again, I like to not eat alone just as alcoholics like to drink with a crowd. Using your finest sieve filter together two (2) teaspoons of cinnamon, one half (1/2) teaspoon of nutmeg, one (1) teaspoon of baking soda and three (3) cups of flour. I modified mine, using 1c coconut flour and 2c Pamela’s Artisan flour.

Slowly fold in these final elements until well blended. Your mixture should be a bit sticky, partially lumpy with your apples, yet exuding an awesomeness in aroma before even hitting the oven.

Using cupcake pans cut my cook time in almost half, bake these beauties until the top springs back when lightly pressed with your finger. Please do so with caution…I would rather not be held liable for your burns and shortcomings. If using a tube pan, prepare for 75-80 minutes if you would like to use a traditional timer, if going for cupcakes, allow at least 30-35 minutes. Cool for 25 minutes (for tube pan) and 5-10 minutes for cupcakes and transfer to a wire rack.

Finishing touches should be a caramel glaze:

3 T: butter, granulated (or turbinado) sugar, brown sugar, heavy (whipping) cream and 1/2 tsp vanilla. Boil for a minute and remove from heat and spoon over the cake.

My finishing touch, again…modified was a cream cheese caramel glaze. Using the caramel glaze above, substituting milk for the cream and blending while still hot with two (2) ounces of cream cheese and one cup of powdered sugar.

Most excellent with coffee. ENJOY!

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