Apple Spice Layer Cake with Caramel Mascarpone Frosting

.  Well that title sure is a mouthful!

But a mouthful of this cake and you won't really care how long the title is.  All you'll be thinking is that it's one good cake.  One Fabulous.  Dense.  Rich.  Fall-ey.  Cake.

But let's rewiiiind a bit.  Because you're probably wondering why I would spend a good chunk of a beautiful Sunday indoors slaving away over this cake.  Well...I guess you do crazy things for those special people in your life.

Okay, cheesy.  Barf.

But for reals.  Robbie's birthday was August 18th [hey, a late post is better than none at all!] and he requested an apple cake for the big 2-7.  So while he and his brother, Danny [who flew in for the night on his way to his new home in NYC], went to a Cub's game, I spent the afternoon with the pups baking one of the best quality cakes I've ever made.  Ever.

Now I realize I say this quite a bit, but I'm always amazed at the superb quality of recipes I find on the world wide web.  And granted there might be a botch or two in between, but it seems that the recipes just keep getting better.  And better.  And better.

Props to you, bloggers.

So let me explain this decadent treat.

The cake itself is dense, as I said earlier.  Filled with bits of tart apple and spiced to perfection with cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and ginger.  Not quite sure you could fit one more spice in there actually.  Now that's what I call Fall.

Moving on to the frosting.  The Caramel Mascarpone Frosting, that is.  It's quite lovely.  The classic frosting is mixed with a homemade [easy peasy] caramel sauce that really brings the cake to an entirely new level.  And to top it off, toasted pecans line the outside.  Along with a slathering of that homemade caramel sauce.  I mean, if you think about it, this cake is really like a huge, fat, gourmet caramel apple.  Yeah, basically.  But not.

Yes, Robbie got to eat his homemade birthday cake while watching a football game AFTER coming home from the baseball game.  Spoiled...

You get the idea.

Regardless, I absolutely adore this cake.  And fortunately for you, I whipped up this post just time for Fall baking season and the food frenzy we call the 'holidays' [okay, I realize they're still a couple of months away but it's just never too early!].  It's truly a show-off-my-baking-skills goodie and who doesn't want to impress the relatives?!  That's what I thought.

Anywho, hope you're all having a wonderful weekend wherever you are.  Happy baking!  .

My Notes:
  • As you'll see below in the ingredients list, the recipe calls for two batches of the caramel sauce.  But PLEASE NOTE, you must double the caramel sauce ingredients here to get two batches if you want to use the caramel in the frosting as well as on top of the cake.  Please and thank you.
  • Make sure to let the caramel sauce completely cool before adding into the frosting.  I think I added it a bit too early [shocked that my patience got the best of me...?] and my frosting ended up a touch runny.

Salted Butter Caramel Sauce:
1 c. sugar
6 tbsp. butter
1/2 c. heavy whipping cream

Spiced Apple Cake:
1-1/2 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 c. sugar
2 tbsp. molasses
6 eggs
3 c. cake flour
1-1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 c. sour cream
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled and shredded
1 tbsp. vanilla extract

Mascarpone Frosting:
2 batches of the Salted Butter Caramel Sauce
1-1/2 c. butter, at room temperature
2 tbsp. heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 c. powdered sugar
1 c. mascarpone
2 c. chopped pecans, toasted

  1. For the caramel sauce, melt the sugar over medium to high heat in a large pot, whisking to make sure the sugar heats evenly and is a dark copper color.
  2. Add butter, whisking continuously.  When the butter has melted and incorporated, turn off the stove and pour in the heavy whipping cream.  The mixture will foam and rise but continue to whisk until the sauce is smooth.
  3. Pour the sauce into a glass bowl and set aside to cool until ready to use.
  4. For the cake, heat oven to 350°F.  Grease two or three 9-inch cake pans depending on your preference and/or the size of the cake pans [if they're deep, you can most likely just use two].  Line each pan with parchment paper.
  5. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar together until light and fluffy [about three minutes].  Beat in molasses, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.  Add eggs, one at a time, thoroughly incorporating each egg.
  6. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and ginger.  Add sour cream and flour mixture alternately to the butter mixture, starting and ending with the flour.  Drain the shredded apples a bit and stir into the batter along with the vanilla extract.
  7. Split the batter evenly among the cake pans.  If using two cake pans, put on the same rack in the oven.  Bake 35 to 40 minutes if using three pans or 50 to 55 minutes if using two, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Remove from the oven and let cool 10 minutes before unmolding to a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. For the icing, cream the butter on medium-high speed until fluffy [about three minutes].  Add the powdered sugar over low speed until combined.  Then add heavy whipping cream and vanilla extract.  Increase speed to medium-high and beat until fluffy [about three minutes].  Add mascarpone and beat over low speed just until incorporated.  Take one batch of caramel and stir into frosting, using large strokes to create swirls.  
  10. To assemble, place one cake layer on a serving plate and spread icing over the top.  Top with the second cake and repeat.  Cover the cake with an even layer of frosting.  Pat the toasted pecans onto the sides of the cake.  Melt your second batch of caramel to just room temperature.  Pour the second batch of caramel over the top and, using a spoon, spread it almost to the sides of the cake.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Yield: 16 servings

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  1. This sounds so awesome and perfect for the autumn months too!

  2. What an awesome cake and perfect for the fall season:) Doesn't get much better than this cake! Lynn @ Turnips 2 Tangerines

  3. wow it looks delicious!!! Thanks for the recipe and can't wait to try it! pinning!

  4. that seriously looks SOOOO amazing! Wow, that cake... drooling. I'm featuring this in my weekend features.. I've shared to all my social media, would love for you to reshare it too! Thanks! Emily @nap-timecreations

  5. Your cake sounds so delicious!!! That frosting sounds absolutely amazing!!!!!! I love mascarpone, I love the flavor and how creamy it is, and it sounds so good in the frosting and with the sweet spice cake!!!! YUM!!!

  6. This looks amazing!! I love it!!
    I would love to invite you to link it up at our new party Lovely Ladies Linky where you link up once and get seen on 6 blogs!!
    Link up starts Wednesdays!
    Hope to see you there :)
    Parrish @ Life With The Crust Cut Off

  7. I'm making this for my husband's birthday. But I noticed there's no salt in the salted caramel sauce.


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