Cinnamon Apple Crunch Cake
I decided the day before Thanksgiving that I was going to try something new and bake a cake. But I didn’t want to bake just any cake, and after some serious Pinterest scrolling, I came across a delectable-looking apple toffee crunch cake. However I was running against the clock (you know, because it’s the day before Thanksgiving), and I opted out of making the toffee sauce topping. I still made the cinnamon buttercream frosting, which was absolutely delicious, and I topped the cake with the pecan crunch instead of the toffee sauce. It was a huge hit, and next time I’ll definitely try the toffee sauce out, because more sugary goodness can only be an improvement.
The original recipe can be found here, on thecakeblog.com. I went ahead and posted the ingredients/directions I followed below.
Note: I was wary of using egg whites for the cinnamon buttercream frosting, but it turned out to be light and fluffy, it just melted in your mouth!
For the Apple Cake:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3 cups apples (peeled and diced into ½ inch cubes or smaller)
- ½ cup chopped pecans
For the Pecan Crunch:
- ½ cup quick cooking oats
- ¼ cup chopped pecans
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons honey
- pinch salt
For the Cinnamon Buttercream:
- 6 large egg whites
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 cups unsalted butter, softened
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ teaspoon cinnamon, or to taste
Make the Apple Cake:
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottoms of two 8-inch pans. Line the bottoms with parchment, then grease and flour the parchment and sides of the pans. Set aside.
- Remove 1/3 cup flour and set aside.
- Sift together the remaining flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Add the sugar. With the mixer on medium speed, cream the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract.
- With the mixer on medium-low, mix in the eggs, one at a time. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Working in alternating batches, mix in half of the dry ingredients followed by the milk. Add in the second half of the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
- Toss the diced apples with the reserved flour. Fold in the apples and pecans until evenly distributed.
- Divided the batter between the two pans. Bake for 32 to 35 minutes until golden on top and a thin knife inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 15 to 20 minutes before removing the cakes from their pans.
Make the Pecan Crunch:
- Raise the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment or silicone baking mat and set aside.
- Combine all of the ingredients together in a medium bowl. Stir together with a wooden spoon.
- Spread the mixture out on the prepared pan. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring halfway, until the crumbles are golden brown. Let cool and break into small pieces before use.
Make the Cinnamon Buttercream:
- Place egg whites and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer. Whisk briefly by hand until combined.
- Fill a saucepan with a few inches of water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Place the mixer bowl on top of the saucepan to create a double-boiler.
- Whisking constantly, heat the egg mixture until it registers 160 degrees on a candy thermometer. Once hot, carefully return the mixer bowl to the stand mixer.
- Using the whisk attachment, whip the egg white mixture on high speed for 8 to 10 minutes until the bowl is no longer warm to the touch and the meringue is fluffy, glossy and holds a stiff peak.
- Stop the mixer and swap out the whisk attachment for the paddle.
- With the mixer on low, add in the vanilla, cinnamon, and butter, a couple tablespoons at a time.
- Once all of the butter has been added, turn the mixer up to medium-high and mix until silky smooth. NOTE: If the mixture looks curdled, just keep mixing until it is smooth (this could take up to about 5 minutes). If it appears soupy, place the mixer bowl in the fridge for 10 to 15 minutes, then mix until smooth.