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Sticky Toffee Apple Caramel Cake Recipe

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This recipe for Sticky Toffee Apple Caramel Cake, by , is from Chris Van Houten Family Cookbook Project, one of the cookbooks created at We'll help you start your own personal cookbook! It's easy and fun. Click here to start your own cookbook!

Christopher Van Houten


125g medjool dates, pitted and finely chopped
5 tbsp unfiltered apple juice
1 c unsalted butter, softened
1 c brown sugar
5 eggs, beaten
2 c all-purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
tsp salt
tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground fall spice blend (spekulaas, pumpkin pie spice, or apple pie spice work well)
2 oz dried apple rings or slices, finely chopped

1 c superfine sugar (or granulated sugar)
1 c double cream
12 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 c powdered sugar, sifted
c cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla extract

2-3 apples
1 c superfine sugar (or granulated sugar)

1. Heat the dates and apple juice in small pan over low heat, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes until thick and soft. Remove from heat and mash to make a coarse, thick puree. Set aside to cool.

2. Grease and flour 3, 8-inch round cake tins, line with parchment paper, and grease and flour parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350.

3. Beat butter 2-3 minutes until very light. Cream sugar into butter until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition to incorporate. Sift the flour, baking powder, and spices into the bowl and fold in. Add the cooled date mixture and apple pieces and fold to combine.

4. Divide the mixture evenly between the cake tins. Bake until well-risen, golden, and springy, about 20-22 minutes. Cool in tins for 5 minutes, then turn out onto wire rack and cool completely.

5. Put sugar and 3 Tbsp water in medium pan over low heat, stirring occasionally. In a separate small pan, heat the cream until almost boiling and set aside. Once the sugar has dissolved, turn up the heat and boil until the syrup turns a golden caramel brown. Remove from heat and pour in the warm cream. Return to a low heat and whisk for 1 minute, until smooth and thick. Pour into a heatproof bowl, leave to cool, and cover and chill for about an hour.

6. Beat the butter until light, about 2-3 minutes in a stand mixer. Add the powdered sugar and beat another 5 minutes until fluffy. Beat in the cream cheese, cold caramel mixture, and vanilla. Cover and chill until spreadable.

7. Peel the apples and either cut them into appealing chunks or slices or use a melon baller to create apple "balls". If you can find very small, crabapple-sized apples from a farmer's market or produce store, simply peel those and use them whole. Pat the apples dry and set aside. Heat sugar and 3 Tbsp water in a medium pan, dissolve gently, and boil to a rich caramel. Remove from the heat and stir in the apples. Leave for 3 minutes until the caramel has thickened, then remove apples and set aside on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

8. Remove paper from cakes. Set one cake layer (top-side down) on serving plate, spread with ⅓ of the buttercream, and place ⅓ of apples on top of buttercream. Top with another sponge, then another layer of buttercream and apples. Cover with the final sponge top-side down. Spread a very thin layer of buttercream around sides and spread remaining buttercream on top of cake. Decorate with remaining toffee apples. Leave overnight to firm up before serving.

Number Of Servings:
Number Of Servings:
Preparation Time:
Preparation Time:
2 hrs 30 min
Personal Notes:
Personal Notes:
In the last few years I've been inspired by the Great British Baking Show. This cake created on that show intrigued me the first time I saw it, combining the allure of sticky toffee pudding with caramel apples. When I visited Cincinnati to teach a series of dance workshops, I found a bunch of tiny sweet crabapples being sold at a farmer's market, and knew I wanted to try my hand at making this cake using them. You can use any type of apple you like for this recipe, but I find tart and firm apples like granny smith hold up well with the sweet caramel flavors in the rest of this cake. Macintosh will also work very well if you want something less tart.




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