Friday, September 13, 2013

Apple Cake with Brown Butter Frosting

It's September which means fall, football, tailgates, soups and stews and the best time of year to eat apples.  Apple orchards are in full bloom that means an abundance of fresh apples.  So what's one to do with an overflow of apples?  Make an apple cake, of course!  I enjoy apple cakes throughout the year, but fall has to be my favorite time of all to make them.  Why?  Well, because apples are at their prime, there's nothing better than welcoming fall with the combinations of apples, cinnamon and brown sugar.  Even better, in the cake form.  Why else is apple cake one of my favorites?  Because it's so easy to make! 
So apples are one of my loves.  What's another?  Well, browned butter.  It's no mystery to you that I love my browned butter.  I may very well be an addict.  The stuff is just amazing, life changing.  It's just down right good, folks.  I use browned butter in so many recipes; both sweet and savory.  It just adds a depth of flavor that you can't achieve with anything else. 
So I got to thinking.  I love apples.  I love browned butter.  Why not take these two weaknesses of mine and combine them?  How about a moist apple cake topped with brown butter frosting?  Ohhhh yeah, that's what I'm talking about!  This is a combination that I recommend.  One that you actually need in your life.  This is no joke.  You truly need this. 
This apple cake is so simple to make, using only basic ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry.  A deliciously moist and fluffy cake that is studded by beautiful pieces of chopped apples.  This recipe has a double dose of apples, not only does it have pieces of apples floating around in the cake but it includes apple sauce as well.  This not only helps to provide a very moist cake, it also provides a apple flavor throughout the entire cake.  What could be better than this?  How about topping this perfect apple cake with a frosting? 
But not just any frosting.  Brown butter frosting.  Oh yes, I did   And yes, it's awesome.  This brown butter frosting adds a whole other level of flavor.  Not only does it provide a sweet topping that helps dress up the classic bundt cake, but the browned butter also adds a nuttiness and caramel-like flavor.  This isn't only unique but it helps to cut some of the sweetness from the powdered sugar and compliments the spices in the cake wonderfully. 
Now have I talked you into it?  A tasty cake that is so simple that is topped with a frosting that is life changing.  I mean it doesn't get any better than this.  Once you make this, you will make this every year to ring in the fall season.          

Apple Cake with Brown Butter Frosting

1 Cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 Cup + 1 Tbsp granulated sugar, divided
1 Cup + 1 Tbsp brown sugar, divided
2 Eggs
1/4 Cup apple sauce
2 1/2 Cups flour
2 Tsp baking soda
1 Tsp baking powder
1 Tsp salt
1 1/2 Tsp cinnamon
1/2 Tsp nutmeg
3 Cups (approximately 3) apples; peeled, cored and chopped (I used Gala)

For the frosting-
1/2 (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 1/2 Cups powdered sugar, depending on desired consistency
1 1/2 Tsp vanilla
3-5 Tbsp milk


Preheat oven to 350.  Spray and flour a bundt pan and set aside.

In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Set aside.

Place butter in a large mixing bowl and beat on high until creamy, about 1 minute.  Add 1 cup of both sugars and beat on high until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.  Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix to incorporate.  Once eggs are incorporated, mix for 2 minutes.  Add the apple sauce and mix to combine. 

Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until fully incorporated.  Remove bowl from mixer, if using, then fold in the apple chunks.  Pour the mixture in the prepared pan and spread into an even layer.  Sprinkle the cake with the white and brown sugar. 

Place in the preheated oven and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a toothpick comes out clean.  Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes.  Using a knife, gently run down the sides of the pan to loosen the cake.  Invert onto a cooling rack or serving plate and allow to cool completely.

For the frosting-
Place the butter in a small saucepan and place over medium-low heat.  Once the butter has melted, it will begin to crackle.  Swirl the butter around the pan and leave over the heat allowing to cook and brown.  Swirl occasionally until the butter is brown and fragrant.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Once the butter has cooled, add the powdered sugar and mix to combine.  Add the vanilla and mix to incorporate.  Add the milk, one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.

Frost the cooled cake.  Enjoy.

Store covered at room temperature.

Recipe source: A Lynsey Original 


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