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Tiered apple spice naked cake on a cake tray with apples and a green backdrop

2 Tiered Apple Spice Naked Cake with Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

Ready to take your baking up a level - literally? This warmly spiced cake was so delicious we just had to have even more! Adding the second tier turns this tasty cake into a sweet masterpiece. Decorate it to suit any special occasion and get ready to steal the show.

YIELDS

16 to 22 servings

PREP TIME

40 minutes

COOK TIME

35 to 45 minutes

INGREDIENTS

For the cake:

  • 3½ cups (438 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2½ tsp (13 g) baking powder
  • 2 tsp (6 g) ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp (4 g) ground ginger
  • 2 tsp (4 g) ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp (6 g) salt
  • 1 tsp (5 g) baking soda
  • ½ tsp (1 g) black pepper
  • ½ tsp (1 g) ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp (1 g) ground allspice
  • ¼ tsp (1 g) ground cloves
  • ¾ cup (170 g) butter
  • ⅓ cup (80 ml) vegetable oil
  • 1¼ cup (271 g) Redpath® Dark Brown Sugar, packed
  • ¾ cup (150 g) Redpath® Granulated Sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup (188 ml) milk
  • 2½ cups (300 g) grated apples (Granny Smith or Honeycrisp), peeled

For the frosting:

  • ½ cup (109 g) Redpath® Dark Brown Sugar, packed
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) heavy cream
  • ⅔ cup + 2 tbsp (179 g) butter, divided
  • 1 tsp (6 g) salt
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups (340 g) brick-style cream cheese, room temperature
  • 4 to 5 cups (480 g to 600 g) Redpath® Icing Sugar

Garnishes (Optional):

  • Lady apples or any small variety of apple
  • Dehydrated apple slices

INSTRUCTIONS

For the cake:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Lightly grease two 8 x 2-inch round cake pans and one 6 x 3-inch cake pans. Line bottoms with a round of parchment paper. Flour sides and tap out any excess flour. Set aside.

2. In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, salt, baking soda, black pepper, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves. Whisk until thoroughly blended and no lumps remain.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, oil, the Redpath® Dark Brown Sugar, and Redpath® Granulated Sugar until fluffy and pale in colour; at least 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides periodically.

4. Add the eggs one at a time, ensuring each egg is fully incorporated into the batter before adding the next. Mix in the vanilla extract.

5. Add in a third of the flour mixture. Mix on medium-low speed until just combined. Add in half of the milk. Mix on low speed until just combined. Repeat process with the remaining flour and milk, ending with the dry ingredients; do not overmix.

6. With a rubber spatula, fold in the grated apples.

7. Fill the prepared baking pans ⅔ full with the batter and smooth off tops; each of the 8-inch pans takes about 3 cups of the batter. Place the remaining batter into the 6-inch pan.

8. Place cake pans into the preheated oven. The 8-inch cakes will take between 30 to 35 minutes. The 6-inch cake will take approximately 45 minutes to bake.

9. Cakes are done when a skewer inserted into the centre of each cake comes out clean or when the tops are gently pressed and they spring back. If an indentation remains, the cake needs a few more minutes in the oven.

10. Remove cakes from the oven and allow to cool in pan for about 5 minutes. Carefully run a small offset spatula around the edges of each cake. Quickly invert cakes and place right side up onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

11. Once the cakes are completely cooled, with a sharp serrated knife carefully divide the 6-inch cake into 2 layers. Set aside.

For the salted caramel cream cheese frosting:

1. In a medium heavy-bottomed pot, combine the Redpath® Dark Brown Sugar, heavy cream, two tablespoons (28 grams) of butter, and salt. Place pot over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly until sugar and butter melt. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally; 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Place into fridge to chill completely; about 30 minutes.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream the cream cheese until smooth and no lumps remain. Add in the remaining butter (⅔ cup / 151 grams). Beat on medium speed until pale and fluffy; 2 minutes.

3. Add in half (⅓ cup / 80 ml) of the cooled caramel sauce and blend until fully incorporated. Sift in about a cup of the Redpath® Icing Sugar, blending on low speed to prevent sugar from escaping the bowl. Increase speed to medium-low and beat until smooth. Repeat with remaining sugar. Frosting should be smooth and thick. Cover and place into the fridge to firm up; about 30 minutes.

To assemble:

1. Place a small amount of frosting onto a cake board that is the same size or slightly larger than the cake itself. Remove parchment paper from one of the 8-inch cake layers. “Glue” the cake onto the frosting. Transfer some of the salted caramel cream cheese frosting into a piping bag fitted with a ½-inch round piping tip. Evenly pipe concentric circles onto the cake layer.

Piping circles of frosting onto a layer cake

2. With an offset spatula, smooth out the frosting. Carefully flip and place the second 8-inch cake round onto the frosting. The flat bottom of the cake should now be the top of the cake.

Placing the top layer on a round layer cake

3. Remove parchment paper. Pipe concentric circles on the top of the cake. Carefully smooth out using the offset spatula. Pipe more frosting where the two cake layers meet.

Piping frosting on the side of a layer cake

4. Smooth out frosting. Do not cover sides completely with frosting.

Smoothing icing on the side of a round layer cake

5. Place cake into the fridge to chill; at least 15 minutes or until icing is firm.

6. For the 6-inch cake, secure the layer onto the same sized cardboard round. Repeat procedure and place into the fridge.

7. Remove the 8-inch cake from the fridge. Using either the bottom of the 6-inch cake pan or another 6-inch cake board, centre it onto the frosting and gently press to imprint the round onto the surface of the frosting. Remove.

Marking a tiered cake with a cake pan

8. Mark 4 points, using the end of a dowel or a paring knife, within the circle, 2 inches apart, and about ½ inch in from the outline.

9. Firmly push a dowel (that is taller than the cake) straight into the cake at one of the markings. With a sharp knife or pencil mark the height of the cake on the dowel and remove. Mark the other three dowels using the marked dowel as a reference. With a sharp knife or scissors (depending if you are using wooden or plastic dowels, or straws), cut all four dowels to the same height. Firmly push all dowels into the markings on the cake.

Dowels pushed into a tiered layer cake

10. Pipe a thin ring of frosting within the marked circle on the 8-inch cake. Remove the 6-inch cake from the fridge. With the help of an offset spatula, position the smaller cake over the imprint and onto the piped frosting.

Placing the top layer on a tiered layer cake

11. Cover any gaps with frosting.

Piping icing between the levels of a tiered layer cake

12. Drizzle with reserved caramel sauce, and decorate as desired.

Apple Spice Cake

CHEF'S TIPS

*The cake layers can be baked in advance, cooled completely, wrapped well in plastic wrap and left in a cool place. If baking a few days in advance, wrap cakes in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil and place into freezer.

*For best results ensure all ingredients, including those for the frosting, are at room temperature before proceeding.