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Toffee apple layer cake
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This beautiful ‘naked’ apple cake is easy to make – once iced, you can make the spectacular caramel decorations, right, or serve straightaway to guests with a cup of tea
400g Anchor Butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
300g Waitrose Golden Caster Sugar
100g Waitrose Light Brown Muscovado Sugar
6 large free-range eggs
400g self-raising flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 Bramley apple (about 150g)
FOR THE SALTED CARAMEL ICING
200g Anchor Butter
400g icing sugar
3 tbsp Waitrose 1 Salted Caramel Dipping Sauce
Splash of milk
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. Grease and line the bases of 3 x 20cm deep cake tins with butter and circles of baking parchment.
2. Make the cakes. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugars for 2-3 minutes until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking well between each one. Sieve the flour and cinnamon into the batter and fold through. Peel and core the apple, chop into 1cm chunks and fold through.
3. Divide the mixture among the tins. (It might be good to weigh the batter, then divide it into three that way.) Bake for 30 minutes or until golden, and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes then turn out on to wire racks.
4. Make the icing. Using an electric whisk, beat the butter until softened, then add the icing sugar, a bit at a time, until incorporated. Add the caramel sauce, whisking until you have a smooth icing, only adding the milk to loosen if needed.
5. Put one of the sponges on a cake stand and dollop a third of the icing into the centre. Use a palette knife to spread out evenly to the edges. Place a second sponge on top and repeat with another third of the icing. Place the last sponge on top, dollop on the remaining icing and spread over to cover the top and sides in a very thin layer so you can still see the cake layers showing through (this is called a ‘naked’ cake).
6. Decorate with toffee apples and caramel hazelnuts (make the caramel first, recipe below). Dried apple slices, right, would make it look really spectacular.
Make 2 batches of caramel if you’re making the toffee apples and caramel hazelnuts. For one batch, put 150g caster sugar and 85ml water in a saucepan over a high heat. Stir sparingly until the sugar has dissolved. When the caramel boils, stop stirring. Bubble for 5 minutes until 145°C on a sugar thermometer and it’s a deep golden brown.
Typical values per serving:
Excluding the decorations.