Browned Butter Apple Spice Cake


This delightful browned butter apple spice cake is a perfect fall treat, packed with the cozy flavors of crisp apples, warm spices, and homemade caramel sauce.


For the Cake:

1/2 cup salted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk
1/3 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup whole or 2% milk
3/4 cup chopped apples (such as Honeycrisp)

For the Browned Butter Caramel Frosting:

1 1/2 cups salted butter, softened
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup caramel sauce (homemade or store-bought)
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons heavy cream

Optional Toppers:

1/2 cup homemade caramel sauce for drizzling
1/2 apple, chopped and tossed in caramel sauce
Greenery for garnish


For the Cake:

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease and flour or spray three 6-inch cake pans and line each bottom with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter, granulated sugar, and dark brown sugar until light and fluffy.
Add the egg and egg yolk, beating well after each addition. Mix in the sour cream and vanilla extract until well combined.
Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt, baking powder, all-purpose flour, and whole wheat flour. Mix well.
Pour in the milk and mix until incorporated. Gently fold in the chopped apples.
Divide the batter evenly between the three prepared cake pans and smooth the top with a spatula.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes before transferring them to wire racks to cool completely.

For the Frosting:

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt 1/2 cup of salted butter until golden brown. Remove from heat and let it cool slightly.
In a mixing bowl, beat the remaining 1 cup of unsalted butter until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar, mixing well after each addition.
Pour in vanilla extract and caramel sauce, continuing to mix until well combined.
Slowly incorporate the cooled browned butter into the frosting mixture, mixing thoroughly until evenly distributed.
Beat the frosting until it reaches your desired consistency.
Spread or pipe onto cooled cake. Drizzle with caramel sauce, top with chopped apples, and garnish with greenery if desired.
Store any leftovers covered at room temperature for up to three days.
Enjoy this delicious fall treat!

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