This moist cake is loaded with chunks of apples. The vanilla bean in the cake and the caramel sauce enhances the flavor in a wonderful way.
After tasting my mom’s version of Audra’s apple cake over the Jewish holidays, I couldn’t wait to put a spin on it myself. My mom substituted butter for some of the oil and frosted it with cinnamon buttercream. It was heavenly. Of course I couldn’t leave well enough alone.
I made this cake almost a month ago but wanted to save it as the big Thanksgiving week post! So if you have already finalized your dessert menu for Thursday, you might want to make some room because this cake needs to happen.
So many apples, moist cake, vanilla bean throughout AND in the caramel sauce… it is a winner. I definitely ate more than my share but it was completely worth it. Matt, actually, has not stopped talking about it.
And if you can’t figure out a way to make this happen for Thanksgiving, add the recipe to your list of desserts to make asap. Trust me, you won’t regret it.
- For the apples:
- 1½ pounds (~3) granny smith apples (4 cups peeled and chopped)
- ½ ounce (1 tablespoon) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 whole vanilla bean
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- For the cake:
- 13⅞ ounces all-purpose flour (~3 cups)
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 8 ounces (1 cup / 2 sticks) unsalted butter melted and cooled
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- 8¼ ounces (~1 cup tightly packed light brown sugar)
- 3¾ ounces (~1/2 cup) granulated sugar
- 2 x-large eggs + 1 x-large yolk OR 3 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat over to 350 degrees
- Grease and flour a 12 or 14 cup bundt pan; set aside
- Cut the vanilla bean open and scrape the seeds from inside into a large skillet with 1 tablespoon of butter; place skillet over stove on medium heat and stir until butter is melted
- Add pod from vanilla bean, apples, and tablespoon of sugar; let cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally until apples are softened
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt; set aside
- In the large mixing bowl of an electric mixer beat together the butter, oil, sugars and eggs for 3 minutes on low to medium speed; add vanilla extract and mix until combined
- Scrape sides of the bowl with a spatula and carefully add the dry ingredients while mixer is on low speed just until combined
- Remove bowl from mixer and fold in the apples; do not overmix
- Pour batter into prepared bundt pan and bake for 33-37 minutes, or until cake is lightly browned and a knife inserted into the cake comes out clean
- Allow to cool for 15 minutes before inverting onto a cooling rack; set aside to cool while preparing caramel
Make ahead tip: Prepare cake up to two days ahead of time and wrap tightly with seran wrap.
- 5⅝ ounces (~3/4 cup) granulated sugar
- ½ vanilla bean
- 3 tablespoons water
- 4 fluid ounces (1/2 cup) heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons milk, any type
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- In a heavy duty saucepan, combine granulated sugar, seeds scraped from vanilla bean, and water
- Cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly until sugar is dissolved
- Continue to cook for a few minutes until caramel reaches a deep amber (do not stir)
- Remove from heat and immediately whisk in heavy cream
- Stir in milk and sea salt
- Drizzle liberally over apple cake or refrigerate until ready to serve