Rustic Spiced Toffee Apple Cake

Fantastic autumn cake, just what you need to cope with the clocks changing and the weather cooling.

This recipe is really easy to make, and fun to play around with. Enjoy! And let me know if you have any questions.

Ingredients

Cake
Zest and juice of 1 orange
50g Sultanas
2 Eggs
150ml Oil – vegetable or coconut
170g Self-raising flour
140g Sugar
1tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
2tsp Mixed Spice
50g Walnuts – roughly chopped
2 Apples – Cored and Peeled; 1 Grated, 1 Diced

Apple Topping
1 apple – 1mm thick slices; cross centres of the apple to show the star

Icing
100g soft cheese
30g butter
100g icing sugar – sifted

Caramel
20g butter
50g sugar
2tbls water

Method

Cake
Heat the oven to 180 C/ 150 C Fan.
Line a loaf tin with parchment and lightly brush with oil
Soak the sultanas with the orange juice and zest
Beat together the eggs and oil
Mix all the dry ingredients together. Add in the apples and egg mixture. Mix well. Pour into the loaf tin and bake for 1 hour or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

Apple Topping
Reduce the heat of the oven to 150 C/ 130 C Fan
Line a baking tray with parchment
Place the apple slices evenly across the tray and bake turning every few minutes until crisp. Keep an eye on them so that they don’t burn. Once they start to crisp up. Put them to one side to cool.

Icing
Cream together the butter and icing sugar
Mix in the soft cheese

Caramel
Put all the ingredients into a saucepan on medium heat. Allow to melt. Do not stir. Once the mixture starts to foam and bubble time it for 5min until it starts to thicken into a sauce.

Tips and Variations for Icing the Cake
Ensure that the cake is completely cooled before icing. I like to dip the apple crisps into the caramel before putting them on the cake, just ensure they are cool before decorating otherwise the icing will melt. Once the caramel is cool, pour over the top of the cake.

You could make a salted caramel instead of the cream cheese frosting. Add a pinch of salt to the mixture before melting and once the caramel comes off the heat, mix in the cream cheese into the mixture. Keep stirring as it cools to stop the cream cheese from curdling.

The other option is to make an apple brittle instead of the apple crisps and caramel. To do this, bake the apple slices the same way. Make the caramel the same way, but start the timer from when the mixture starts to make big bubbles rather than when it first starts to bubble. This will give it more time to thicken. Once the caramel mixture has started to thicken and turn a little gloopy, pour it over the baked apple slices and allow to cool. Make sure that you the waxed side of the baking parchment is facing up, otherwise the brittle will stick to the paper!

Tips and Variations for Making the Cake
The diced apple should be small enough so that it floats in the mixture, but not too small that you lose the pieces of apple. I find about 1cm squares work quite well.

This cake is a variation on a carrot cake, so if you would rather have carrot than apple, just replace the apple with 140g grated carrot.

Play with the spices. You can use nutmeg or cinnamon, a little chilli powder. Or take the spices out to just have an apple cake.

Switch out the saltanas for mixed peel for a more Christmassy feel.

 

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