Imagine those caramel apples you loved as a kid, now all grown up and baked into a cake, courtesy of John Barricelli.

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Read the full recipe after the video.

Recipe Summary

prep:
45 mins
total:
2 hrs 20 mins
Servings:
12
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Ingredients

For the buttercream
For the cake

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter three 8-inch-round cake pans; line bottoms with parchment paper. Butter, then flour paper and sides (tapping out excess); set aside.

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  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together butter, sugar, and eggs until well combined; fold in grated and diced apples. Add flour mixture; mix just until combined. Divide batter among prepared pans; smooth tops.

  • Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool cakes in pans 20 minutes, then invert onto wire racks; peel off parchment. Invert cakes again, and let cool completely on racks.

  • Make buttercream: In a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a pan of simmering water, whisk together egg whites, sugar, and salt until sugar has dissolved; remove from heat. Using an electric mixer on medium, beat mixture until fluffy and cooled, about 15 minutes. Increase to high; beat until stiff peaks form. Reduce to medium-low; gradually add butter, beating until fully incorporated, about 3 to 5 minutes.

  • Assemble cake: Place one layer on a serving plate; spread top with buttercream. Top with another layer; spread top with buttercream. Top with third layer; spread remaining buttercream over top and sides of cake. Refrigerate at least 1 hour (or up to 4 days). To serve, bring cake to room temperature; slice with a serrated knife.

Cook's Notes

You can also bake the cake in a 13-by-9-inch pan; the baking time will be about the same. Also, if the buttercream separates, continue beating -- it will come together.

Reviews (11)

208 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 52
  • 4 star values: 88
  • 3 star values: 40
  • 2 star values: 21
  • 1 star values: 7
Rating: 4 stars
09/22/2018
I made the recipe exactly as the recipe reads. Overall, it’s fantastic! It is not a light & airy cake, but rather a dense, moist cake that is FULL of apples... exactly what I was after! I did not care for this buttercream, however, and if/when I make the cake again I will try a cream cheese frosting. This buttercream uses too much butter and though I opted to leave the sides of my cake naked, it was still too much for my taste.
Rating: 5 stars
01/28/2018
First of all, the flavor of this cake is beyond heavenly. I made the recipe, but after taking the cakes out of the pan, I knew it wouldn't be high enough so I made the recipe again and used 5 layers, which really made an impressive-looking cake. I did, however, use a cream cheese frosting. Everyone went crazy over this cake. Yes, it's a fair amount of work, but really worth it. Once it was all frosted, it was quite heavy.
Rating: 5 stars
03/06/2017
Absolutely love this recipe!
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Rating: Unrated
12/21/2015
Made this in a double batch for a 6-inch tall stack cake. I creamed the sugar, butter and eggs until at least doubled in volume - at least 5 minutes. Used 4 6x3 pans. The cakes sunk in the middle but when I evened them out (after the cake was VERY cold) the four layers stacked nicely. I used a no-bake cheesecake filling and the salted caramel buttercream and it was a flavor explosion! The apples made the cake more challenging to cut but was completely worth it.
Rating: Unrated
10/24/2012
SO....I just made this cake and its the stickiest cake I have ever made. Let the cake cool for a long time before applying frosting--if you don't you end up with a melting mess. I'm having to salvage mine. :-( The presentation won't be the best but it tastes amazing. The frosting recipe has too much butter for my taste, so I added some more brown sugar, cinnamon and a little lemon juice. It worked wonders! I'll definitely make this one again.
Rating: 5 stars
08/11/2012
This was so delish! I had to make two batches, I have no idea how one batch can fill three pans. Even with the doubled recipe, I only had two layers (although they were thick). I also used a cream cheese maple frosting, using imitation maple extract. I didn't even melt the butter and didn't dice the apples fine enough, but this cake was still delicious with great presentation. I topped it off with a homemade caramel sauce!
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Rating: 5 stars
08/08/2012
This cake definetly looks nice! For some reason, I had to make the batter twice because the first one did not even come close to filling three cake pans, let alone two. I think I did not dice the apples finely enough...I also used the maple cream cheese frosting using maple extract but I kept finding it didn't have a distinct enough maple flavour.. maybe it would've worked better with maple syrup. Overall though, pretty good!
Rating: Unrated
04/02/2012
GREAT!! So easy and moist and full of flavor! We loved it! To make this easier, I halved the recipe and put it all in one 8 inch round cake pan. I cut the sugar by 1/3 cup and used all grated apples. It was very easy to whip up and smelled great. Instead of trying the icing recipe provided here (sounds like a TON of butter!) I made my own cream cheese frosting: 2 oz. cream cheese, 2 T. butter, 1 cup 10x, 1 t. vanilla. Really, really good sprinkled with some cinnamon sugar. Will be making again!
Rating: Unrated
11/25/2011
I have made this recipe 3 times since Sept '11...it rocks every single time. I changed it a bit by adding dulce de leche between layers along with the cream cheese frosting instead of the frosting suggested. ABSOTIVELY YUMMY!!!!
Rating: Unrated
09/23/2011
Oh goodness! I made this recently for my friend's birthday and I thought it would be good, but it exceeded my expectations by far! It was like pure heaven!
Rating: Unrated
09/19/2011
This is the cake that everyone wants me to make for them. I have tried it with different types of icings and even make little bundt style cake and wrap them in cellophane for gift giving. The cake is "wonderful"!