Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Apple Walnut Cake with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

I'm back! Thanks so much everyone for the good wishes for our vacation. We had a really good time relaxing, watching the nightly shows, exploring the Alaskan cities, and I have a new addiction to slot machines (since I now understand the way the buttons work haha).

The Hubbard Glacier, which looks small but we're just a distance from it in this photo.

And we ate way too much. There was a buffet and one restaurant, where we ate dinner almost every night. But buffets are seriously dangerous. You don't wait to eat until you're hungry, you wait to eat until there's room in your stomach. So while I can't wait to see what you guys have all been up to and what you've been cooking, I've been a little wary of looking at lots of food photos right now. I'm sure I'll get over it soon though! It was nice not having to cook, but I'm happy to be back to my regular food.

Our cruise ship with the tender boat. I had no idea what tendering meant before!

Anyway, sorry to be so mean and withhold the cake recipe from you! So here it is. The cake has diced apples, walnuts apple liqueur and cinnamon. The icing has homemade caramel (so addictive), cream cheese and butter. Uh can an icing get any better than that? I halved the recipe and unfortunately forgot to half the amount of caramel in the frosting so my frosting was way more liquidy than it was supposed to be, but delicious nonetheless! My family and I really enjoyed this cake and I'll definitely make it again.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Tres Leches Cake
Maple Walnut Cake
Brown Sugar Apple Cheesecake
Applesauce Spice Bars

Apple Walnut Cake with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted from The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook

Makes 1 two layer 9 inch cake

Note: The caramel needs time to cool completely so it would be best to make it the day before.

Makes 1 3/4 cup (you will have about 1/2 cup leftover)

1/2 cup cold water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup heavy cream, at room temperature

2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
3 cups (3 large) golden delicious apples, cut into 1/4" pieces
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
3 tbsp apple liqueur or apple brandy

1 pound (2 eight ounce packages) cream cheese, softened slightly, cut into pieces
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened slightly, cut into pieces
1 cup cold caramel


To make caramel:
In a small saucepan, combine the water and sugar. Set over medium low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves (about 3 minutes), making sure no sugar is sticking to sides of pan. Increase heat to high and boil without stirring, until the syrup becomes a deep amber colour, about 15 minutes. To prevent the syrup from becoming grainy, use a pastry brush dipped into cold water to brush down any sugar crystals sticking to the sides of the pan. Swirl the pan occasionally for even browning.

Once the syrup turns deep amber in colour, immediately remove from heat. Slowly and carefully add the cream to the syrup (mixture will bubble vigorously), whisking constantly, until cream is incorporated.

Return the pan to medium-low heat, stirring until sauce is smooth, about 1 minute.

Remove from heat and allow to come to room temperature before refrigerating. Can be stored for up to one month in refrigerator.

To make cake:
Preheat oven to 325F. Grease two 9x2 inch round cake pans, then line the bottoms with waxed paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the oil with the sugar until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until light, about 1 or 2 minutes. Add the dry ingredients in thirds, beating after each addition until smooth. The batter will be extremely thick and dough like. Fold in the apples, walnuts, and apple liqueur until just blended. Divide the batter between the prepared pans and bake for 45-55 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean. Let cakes cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely on wire rack.

To make icing:
In the bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the cream cheese and the butter until smooth, about 3 minutes. Gradually add the caramel and beat until well incorporated.

To put the cake together:
When cake has cooled, ice between the layers, then ice top and sides of cake. Drizzle remaining caramel over top of cake. Garnish with walnuts.


Joanne said...

I'm so glad to hear that your vacation was fun! THe photos you've shown look gorgeous.

I know how you feel about the cruise food. It's good for the first day or so. And then after that you just want something green and not fried!

This cake looks fantastic. I love the apple/caramel/cream cheese combo! Pretty sure it can't be beat.

Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said...

Ah I'm so glad the recipe is here as this cake looks dynamite. I mean, who could ever resist all that drizzly caramel? Glad you guys had a great time on your vaca and those shots are stunning :).

Sherry G said...

Thanks for sharing the recipe to that gorgeous cake! Glad you had a fun vacation. I have heard cruises have the best buffets; a blessing and a curse;)

City Share said...

It sounds like it was a great vacation. Thanks for sharing the recipe - it looks amazing. I will file it away for a special occasion.

grace said...

i'm gonna answer your obviously rhetorical question--no, nothing could be better than caramel cream cheese frosting. :)

kimberleyblue said...

Those photos look amazing; it would be great if you could post a few more? I'd love to see them.

And thanks for the cake/frosting recipe. I kinda hate the process of making caramel, but love having it afterwards. That frosting really does sound like the most delicious thing in the world.

Ricki said...

Glad you had a good time! The photos are stunning--really makes me want to go visit! And I know that your readers have been waiting with bated breath for that recipe. . . that cake just looks SO rich and gooey!

kickpleat said...

Sounds like a great holiday! I don't know if I could ever go on a cruise, but I certainly could eat a slice of this cake. I love how sticky and gooey it looks.

Deborah said...

There are 2 things I would love right now - 1, to go on an Alaskan cruise, and 2, a big slice of that cake!!

Johanna GGG said...

wow too much caramel sounds really tough for you - ha ha!

great cake and great holiday pics - glad you had a good time and glad you are out of buffet land - sounds like that was a tyranny of choice - though am curious to hear how they catered to vegetarians

Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

I love Magnolia Bakery's recipes. Plus caramel! YUmmy!

katiez said...

I love apple cake - and caramel frosting... Yum! Perfect for fall.
Oh... and nice photos!

Jenny said...

Hi! I just made this cake today and was looking up reviews for it. Mine came out pretty tough around the edges..was your like that? I am trying to figure out if I did something wrong or if the cake is just like that. Any input is much appreciated! Thanks!!

eatme_delicious said...

Jenny: My cake didn't come out tough around the edges. I did half the recipe and make them in 5"x2" pans but that shouldn't have made a difference for the edges. If only the edges were tough then maybe it was baked too long? Hm I'm not sure.

Anonymous said...

My cousin recommended this blog and she was totally right keep up the fantastic work!

eatme_delicious said...

Anonymous: Aw thank you!! :)

Anonymous said...

I seriously love your blog. I have a Julie/Julia infatuation with it. I've tried close to over 30 recipes from your site! :) I was wondering if you've ever made Lamington's? It's a really popular dessert in my home country - South Africa. I would love your take on it, and a good recipe for it.

Carmen said...

I seriously love your blog. I have a Julie/Julia infatuation with it. I've tried close to over 30 recipes from your site! :) I was wondering if you've ever made Lamington's? It's a really popular dessert in my home country - South Africa. I would love your take on it, and a good recipe for it.

eatme_delicious said...

Carmen: Aw thank you. :) I'm so happy you enjoy my blog so much. I've never made Lamingtons and have only tried them once. It's something I do want to try making though!

Maeve said...

Yum bum!!! made it today and the cake was perfection as was the caramel. the frosting was slightly trickier had never even heard of frosting and it turned out totally too runny like big time so had to reheat and simmer again and add a good bit of icing sugar and then threw in a splash of vanilla for good measure threw it in freezer and it worked. Yippeeeee v happy :0)