Apple Whiskey Cake with Cheesecake Frosting + Salty Caramel
After suffering through a lingering Indian summer, I can happily say that fall is alive and well in New York. While some agonize over seasonal affective disorder during the winter months, I belabor the stickiness and sweatiness of late summer. With open arms, I welcome the first cool breeze, the crisp air, and wrapping myself up in my favorite blanket.
One of the many glorious perks of living in the northeast is apple season. The varieties are endless and in choosing, you can't go wrong. My husband and kids love tart green apples. I love blush apples; pink ladies, honeycrisps, jonagolds, winesaps, etc. Every year, we pile in the car and head to our favorite apple orchard upstate to inevitably pick enough apples to feed an army. And then, like clockwork, I spend the next month of my life trying to reinvent the apple pie and convincing my kids that they do, in fact, love applesauce.
This cake is a knockout and beyond simple to throw together. The cake is moist and bursting with apples and a hint of whiskey. The cheesecake frosting is sweet and tangy and fluffy and all those other appropriate adjectives. I finished the cake with a salty caramel to really just take it over the top. Enjoy.
1 cup [225 grams] granulated sugar
1/2 cup [115 grams] light brown sugar
1 cup [300 grams] vanilla yogurt
1 cup [205 grams] canola oil
4 whole eggs
2 tablespoons whiskey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups [385 grams] shredded apples
3 cups [400 grams] cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 tablespoons buttermilk powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
On the sidelines:
Cheesecake frosting, recipe as follows
Caramel sauce, store bought
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare three 9-inch cake pans by greasing and lining them with parchment paper.
In the first bowl, whisk all the wet ingredients together.
Add the shredded apples to the wet ingredients and stir to combine.
In the third bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until evenly mixed.
Portion the batter evenly among the three prepared cake pans. For me, this equaled 580 grams of cake batter per pan. Smooth the batter so that it is evenly spread in the pan.
Bake until the cakes are set and spring back when lightly pressed, about 38 minutes. Check them periodically and rotate if needed. Remove and let cool.
You can use the cakes as is to create a three layer cake. I decided to carefully cut each cake in half and create a six layer cake. Totally up to you. Frost as much or as little as you like. Drizzle with caramel sauce.
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
10 tablespoons butter, softened
4 cups [550 grams] powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste or extract
Cream together all ingredients until light and fluffy. Depending on the size of your cake or love of frosting, you may want to make a double batch. The frosting will save very well in the freezer.