Delicate caramel notes of the seasonal brown sugar cake, compliments perfectly with chocolate ganache and sweet apple caramel glaze.
Have you brainstormed on something you wanted to make, had it made, and it resulted into something completely different? Yea, so have I. In fact, that’s exactly what happened here! The design of this cake was not intentional.
My plan was to lay thick-sliced apples around the top with caramel drizzle. Then I realized, I had the wrong apples; they needed to be big and red. I instantly became lazy by the thought of having to leave my home to buy the RIGHT apples. On top of this, I was fighting the clouds as the sun kept hiding making the photo shoot all the more difficult. With that said, I immediately tossed the vision of my original plan and had to quickly decide on something else.
I never intended on making caramel apples. To tell you the truth, I never made them until now. Luckily for me, I had tiny apples on hand but didn’t know how to make them. Many videos I watched, showed the process taking over an hour and it required pounds of sugar. I didn’t have time for this.
Luck was on my side, yet again, when I found a bag of caramel bits Completely forgetting I bought these, I read the back of the package and lo and behold, caramel apples can be made in less than 10 minutes! Exactly what I needed!
Took a few steps outside to grab sticks. The rest was a cinch!
I also didn’t plan on making chocolate ganache but wouldn’t you agree, this gives an added layer of flavor?
Honestly, the chocolate pairs very well with the boiled cider caramel glaze. Oh! Speaking of boiled cider, I’ve used this product a good handful of times (see it used in this cinnamon apple twist bread) and now I’m a huge advocate for boiled cider. By no means has the brand sponsored me. I just love how it greatly enhances the sweet apple flavor in a variety of ways.
As for the cake itself, hope I didn’t disappoint with brown sugar but trust me, you’ll think it’s perfect.
The chocolate ganache and apple caramel glaze together gives it a sweet, lightly tart flavor which compliments well with the dense brown sugar cake which adds a subtle natural caramel note. Have a bite of caramel apple as you bite into the cake, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how rich it all comes together.Print
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 4 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup milk
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 6 oz semisweet chocolate chips or baking chocolate, chopped
CARAMEL APPLE GLAZE
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon boiled cider
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
- 3 small apples
- 3 small sticks, 5-8 inches in length
- 11 oz bag Kraft caramel bits or soft caramel candies, unwrapped
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray coat the bottom and sides of a 3-inch deep, 9-inch round baking pan with baking spray with flour; set aside. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
- In a large bowl fitted to a stand mixer, beat on high speed brown sugar, granulated sugar and butter for up to 1 minute or until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla for another minute.
- Alternating flour mixture and milk, beat in until just combined. Pour batter into prepared baking pan.
- Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Allow to cool for about 2 hours. In the meantime, prepare ganache, glaze and caramel apples.
- In a small saucepan over low-medium heat, heat heavy cream until a light simmer; remove from heat.
- Stir in chocolate until completely melted. Allow to cool for 15 minutes. To quickly thicken ganache, chill in refrigerator for 15-30 minutes. One light stir may be necessary after chilling before spreading ganache over cake.
CARAMEL APPLE GLAZE
- In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, whisk together brown sugar, butter, heavy cream and salt to a boil for 1 minute.
- Remove from heat and stir in boiled cider and powdered sugar. Allow to cool for 15 minutes. For a thicker glaze, chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes. Glaze will thin to its original consistency if left at room temperature. Pour and spread evenly over chocolate ganache.
- Thoroughly wash and dry apples with warm water. Once dried, insert one stick through the core of the stem end of each apple; set aside.
- In a small, deep microwavable bowl, microwave caramel with 2 tablespoons of water for up to 2 minutes or until all caramel has melted. Stir after each 30-second interval to prevent burning.
- Grabbing the apple by the stick, dip apples in melted caramel until evenly coated. Allow excess caramel to drip off and lay to rest bottom-end onto the silicon baking mat.
- In separate small microwaveable bowl, melt chocolate for 30 seconds, stir and repeat until chocolate is completely melted. Pour melted chocolate into one corner of a zip lock plastic bag, twist bag to push chocolate toward the tip. Using scissors, cut the tip of the plastic bag. Gently push melted chocolate from the back of the bag in a zig-zag motion to create a drizzled look. Place caramel apples in center of cake or as desired. ENJOY!