Rustic Apple Cake
Welcome to part two of the apple fest! This time, I bring you cake, glorious glorious cake. A cake that originally started out with the infinitely longer title of ‘Cinnamon Apple Cake with Browned Butter Frosting’, but thankfully after reading back over it a few times, I realised that I just couldn’t go through with it. Too long, too dull, & by the time you would’ve finished reading it you probably would’ve forgotten why you clicked over here onto this little corner of the internet. Enter ‘Rustic Apple Cake’. A much more appropriate title that also has the added bonus of bringing some intrigue to the cake – is there a special ingredient that makes this cake extra rustic & chic? Not exactly… but it is decorated with some oh-so-chic leaves from our very own apple tree. That qualifies as rustic, am I right? (Yes.)
You see, I made this cake twice. The first time was for Boyfriend’s brother’s birthday party, the second was for a dinner Boyfriend & I were throwing. The first time I didn’t give myself enough time to do everything, which resulted in the cake being frosted while still warm & turning into a giant mess, which in turn resulted in Boyfriend calming me down with a large glass of white wine. (Everything was fine after that.) The second time I didn’t give myself enough time either (I never learn). The plan was to whip up a caramel sauce & artfully drizzle it over the sides of the cake before photographing it & getting ready for the dinner. What actually happened was that after realizing I was short on time, I quickly snapped a handful of shots without making the caramel, set the table, & convinced Boyfriend to come out for a speedy drink with me before our guests arrived. This resulted in two things: there was only one good photo of the cake, & the guests arrived before we got home. No big deal, we totally laughed it off & came across as the most laid back hosts ever – success!
Despite failing (twice) to make this cake attractive, it went down a treat both times. To my utter shock, everyone at Boyfriend’s brother’s party loved it – random strangers were coming up to me & complimenting what I could only see as a cake puddle on their plates. After cutting a slice for myself, I felt instantly relieved – the cake was moist, flavorful, dotted with cinnamon, studded with apples, lathered in browned butter frosting, & damn near perfect for the chilly autumnal air whistling through the house. I mean, what more could you ask for?
One note: the second time I made this cake, I baked the layers a day before I planned on frosting & serving. Although still delicious & flavorful, the layers were a little denser, & nowhere near as light & airy as they were when baked & eaten on the same day.
Print this recipe!
Serves 10-12 | Inspired & adapted from Linda Lomelino
- 3 cups plain flour, divided
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup salted butter, softened
- 2 cups caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3 cups apples, peeled & grated
- 140g butter, browned & left in the fridge to cool until it starts to firm up
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 1/3 cup cream
- Preheat the oven to 170C. Grease two 8-inch cake tins with butter & line the bases with parchment paper. Set aside. Remove 1/3 cup flour & set aside.
- Sift together the remaining flour, baking powder, & cinnamon. Set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Add the sugar, & while the mixer is on medium speed, cream together the sugar and butter until it is light and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla extract.
- With the mixer on medium-low, mix in the eggs one at a time, ensuring to scrape down the sides & thoroughly combine after each addition.
- Working in alternating batches, mix in half of the dry ingredients followed by the milk. Add in the second half of the dry ingredients & mix until just combined.
- Toss the diced apples with the flour you set aside at the beginning, & fold into the batter until evenly distributed.
- Divide the batter between the two tins & bake in the preheated oven for 32 to 35 minutes until golden on top & a skewer inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack for 15 to 20 minutes before removing the cakes from their tins.
- While the cakes are baking, make the browned butter frosting. Use an electric whisk to beat the cooled butter until it is creamy & almost white. Add all of the remaining ingredients & beat until well combined & fluffy. Set aside.
- When the cakes are completely cooled (trust me on that one!), slice each in half horizontally, giving you four even layers. Place the first layer on your cake stand & spread an even layer of the frosting across the top. Repeat with the remaining layers. Using an offset spatula, evenly coat the outside of the cake in a lovely layer of frosting. Finish off with some hand picked apple leaves!