I'm back! Thanks so much everyone for the good wishes for our vacation. We had a really good time relaxing, watching the nightly shows, exploring the Alaskan cities, and I have a new addiction to slot machines (since I now understand the way the buttons work haha).
The Hubbard Glacier, which looks small but we're just a distance from it in this photo.
And we ate way too much. There was a buffet and one restaurant, where we ate dinner almost every night. But buffets are seriously dangerous. You don't wait to eat until you're hungry, you wait to eat until there's room in your stomach. So while I can't wait to see what you guys have all been up to and what you've been cooking, I've been a little wary of looking at lots of food photos right now. I'm sure I'll get over it soon though! It was nice not having to cook, but I'm happy to be back to my regular food.
Our cruise ship with the tender boat. I had no idea what tendering meant before!
Anyway, sorry to be so mean and withhold the cake recipe from you! So here it is. The cake has diced apples, walnuts apple liqueur and cinnamon. The icing has homemade caramel (so addictive), cream cheese and butter. Uh can an icing get any better than that? I halved the recipe and unfortunately forgot to half the amount of caramel in the frosting so my frosting was way more liquidy than it was supposed to be, but delicious nonetheless! My family and I really enjoyed this cake and I'll definitely make it again.
If this sounds good, you might also like:
Tres Leches Cake
Maple Walnut Cake
Brown Sugar Apple Cheesecake
Applesauce Spice Bars
Apple Walnut Cake with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted from The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook
Makes 1 two layer 9 inch cake
Note: The caramel needs time to cool completely so it would be best to make it the day before.
Makes 1 3/4 cup (you will have about 1/2 cup leftover)
1/2 cup cold water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
3 cups (3 large) golden delicious apples, cut into 1/4" pieces
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
3 tbsp apple liqueur or apple brandy
1 pound (2 eight ounce packages) cream cheese, softened slightly, cut into pieces
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened slightly, cut into pieces
1 cup cold caramel
To make caramel:
In a small saucepan, combine the water and sugar. Set over medium low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves (about 3 minutes), making sure no sugar is sticking to sides of pan. Increase heat to high and boil without stirring, until the syrup becomes a deep amber colour, about 15 minutes. To prevent the syrup from becoming grainy, use a pastry brush dipped into cold water to brush down any sugar crystals sticking to the sides of the pan. Swirl the pan occasionally for even browning.
Once the syrup turns deep amber in colour, immediately remove from heat. Slowly and carefully add the cream to the syrup (mixture will bubble vigorously), whisking constantly, until cream is incorporated.
Return the pan to medium-low heat, stirring until sauce is smooth, about 1 minute.
Remove from heat and allow to come to room temperature before refrigerating. Can be stored for up to one month in refrigerator.
To make cake:
Preheat oven to 325F. Grease two 9x2 inch round cake pans, then line the bottoms with waxed paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the oil with the sugar until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until light, about 1 or 2 minutes. Add the dry ingredients in thirds, beating after each addition until smooth. The batter will be extremely thick and dough like. Fold in the apples, walnuts, and apple liqueur until just blended. Divide the batter between the prepared pans and bake for 45-55 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean. Let cakes cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely on wire rack.
To make icing:
In the bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the cream cheese and the butter until smooth, about 3 minutes. Gradually add the caramel and beat until well incorporated.
To put the cake together:
When cake has cooled, ice between the layers, then ice top and sides of cake. Drizzle remaining caramel over top of cake. Garnish with walnuts.