Brown Butter Apple Spice Cake with Whipped Dulce De Leche Cream Cheese Frosting

Have I ever told you guys I suck at baking?  Probably not something I should tell you but it’s true, don’t worry I’m working on it.  But this cake?  This cake holds a special place in my heart.  Honestly, I just based this recipe off of my blueberry muffins because they are the best things I’ve ever baked LOL.  Somehow, someway, it actually turned out fabulous.  The texture is a little different than your average cake but it is oh so moist.  AND THAT FROSTING.  Listen, I hate frosting, so this is nothing like the classic buttercream that is normally slathered on cakes.  Heavy cream, cream cheese, vanilla bean, and dulce de leche all get to know each other really well while they are whipped together to create utter perfection.  Basically what I’m trying to say is, make this cake.  Even if you suck at baking, give it the ol’ college try, you won’t be disappointed.

 

Photography by Sophie Marie Creative

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1 stick + 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar; packed
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup full fat buttermilk
  • 2 eggs; beaten
  • 2 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon apple pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 lemon; juiced
  • 3-4 gala apples; peeled and diced

Frosting

  • 1 pint (2 cups) heavy cream; ice cold
  • 1/2 block cream cheese; softened
  • 1 vanilla bean split and scraped
  • 3 heaping tablespoons dulce de leche (you can add more or substitute with caramel sauce)
  • Tiny pinch of salt

Method

  1. In a small saucepan, add in 1 stick (8 tablespoons) of butter.  Heat over medium heat.  Stir occasionally until it turns a beautiful golden brown, careful to not burn it.  It should bubble slightly but not a full boil.  Pour the browned butter, ensuring you get all of the golden bits that collect at the bottom of the pan, over 2 tablespoons of cold butter in a medium size mixing bowl.  Whisk until the cold butter is melted.  Let it cool for at least 5 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Add the vanilla, brown and white sugar, buttermilk, and eggs to the browned butter.  Whisk until combined.
  4. In a separate mixing bowl, combine 2 cups of flour, baking powder and soda, apple pie spice, and cinnamon.
  5. Squeeze the lemon juice over the apples and sprinkle over 2 tablespoons of flour (so they don’t sink to the bottom).  Give them a toss.
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until almost all the way combined (at this point you will still be able to see some flour.  Fold in the apples until everything is combined but do not over mix.
  7. Spray two 9″ round cake pans with cooking spray.  Split the batter equally between the two pans.  Bake for 20-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the thickest part of the cake.  Remove from the oven and allow them to cool completely.  Slice off the tops so they are flat and not rounded.
  8. Combine all of the frosting ingredients (for best results, put a metal bowl in the freezer to get it really cold before making the frosting) in a large mixing bowl.  Using a hand or stand mixer, whisk until stiff peaks form (if you don’t know what that means, keep mixing until it looks like frosting LOL).  Frost the cake however your heart desires.  For optimal results, consume with an ice cold glass of milk.

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