Brown Butter Caramel Apple Cake

I can’t believe Fall is just about upon us. As always this Summer absolutely flew by, but I have to admit after the dry, scorching weather we had I am more than ready to welcome in the new season. I know a lot of Vancouverites wish the summer would never end, but admittedly once September rolls around I am usually pining for the beauty of Fall.

What are your favourite things about Fall? I love so many things about this glorious season, but if I had to choose my top three they would be as follows; the transition to crisp, chilly Vancouver mornings; the sound of crunching colourful fallen leaves under my feet; and baking with fresh local apples.

Trips to the apple orchard to fill up baskets and baskets of apples and racing home to make jars of homemade apple sauce, mulled apple cider, spiced apple pies, crumbles and upside down cakes are what I live for during the Fall.  I’m not sure if there is any smell more knee weakening for me than the smell of apples baking with warm spices like cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. For me it just doesn’t get any better than that.

Out of all of the apple baked goodies I make throughout the fall, this Apple Coffee Cake has to be my favourite.

We love it so much it pretty much makes a weekly appearance in our house throughout our apple season. I usually drizzle it with a cream cheese glaze, but this week I decided to try drizzling it with homemade caramel sauce, and it was hands down the best decision I made all week.

There is no better way to describe this cake than to say that it is a slice of comfort. It’s like a warm hug in cake form; Imagine a caramel apple wrapped up in a moist, warm spice cake topped with buttery brown sugar crumble, and you will have the flavours of this cake. How could one possibly go wrong?

So without further adieu, here is the recipe for one of my all time favourite cakes and I hope you all enjoy.

Happy apple baking…

KP xoxo

Brown Butter Caramel Apple Cake

Things you need…

3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup cubed butter, chilled

Spiced Apples
2 cups apples, chopped
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Apple Cake
1/2 cup butter, browned
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp lemon zest
2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cups pastry flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cloves
cooked spiced apples (recipe above

Brown Butter Caramel
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup butter, browned
2/3 cup whipping cream

How to make…

In a bowl, whisk together flour, sugars and cinnamon until combined. Add in the cubes of chilled butter and gently toss to coat in flour. Using your fingers or a pastry cutter, work the butter into the dry ingredients until it has the texture of coarse sand. Set aside.

Spiced Apples
In a small saucepan, add the butter, apples and brown sugar. Cook over medium heat until the apples are tender but not mushy. Remove from heat and stir in cinnamon. Set aside to cool slightly.

Apple Cake
Preheat oven to 350F degrees; Butter and flour a deep 9x9inch square baking pan. Set aside.

First prepare your browned butter. Place your butter into a sauce pan over medium heat to melt. Once melted, kick the heat up to medium high and cook until fragrant and golden brown. Remove from heat, and transfer to your mixing bowl.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together your brown butter and sugar until combined. Add the lemon zest and the eggs one at a time, beating well in between each addition. Add vanilla and beat mixture on high until fluffy – about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of your bowl as necessary to ensure even blending.

In a small bowl, whisk together flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices until combined. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the wet and beat on low to just combine. Add in 1/2 of the buttermilk and beat on low to just combine. Add another 1/3 of the dry ingredients and then the rest of the buttermilk, beating on low to just combine. Add the final addition of dry ingredients and beat on low until there are no lumps in your batter. Fold in the spiced apples.

Pour the batter into prepared pan and sprinkle with the prepared crumble. Place in the center rack of your oven to bake for 35-40 minutes or until the center is set.

Remove from the oven and set on a rack to cool for at least twenty minutes.

Brown Butter Caramel
** Note: This recipe makes about 1 cup of caramel – you will have extra

While your cake is cooling prepare your caramel. In a heavy bottomed sauce pan brown your butter using the method above. Pour into a separate bowl and set aside.

In the same saucepan, add the sugar and the water and set over medium high heat. Bring to a boil and allow it to bubble until the mixture reaches a golden brown colour. Remove from the heat and slowly drizzle the whipping cream into your caramelized sugar in a slow steady stream, whisking constantly as you pour it in. Next add in your brown butter and whisk until smooth.

Drizzle cake with prepared caramel before serving and enjoy!

6 thoughts on “Brown Butter Caramel Apple Cake

  1. If I had to sum up what I love most about fall, I would have to say it’s everything you mentioned above. The only problem is… I don’t get to experience a s.i.n.g.l.e. one of those things here in Texas! 😀 Oh well, I will just have to live vicariously through this amazing-looking Apple Cake. 🙂

    1. Haha, aw yes I have to say I do love the seasons we get here in Vancouver 🙂 Hope you give this recipe a try some time and let me know how it goes 🙂

      -KP xoxo

  2. Your desserts look amazing and I keep wanting to make something. This apple cake is no exception. However, I am desperate to see the inside of it:) With any baked good, I want to see the crumb…that’s how I know what to expect from the consistency. Thank you for the gorgeous pictures and wonderfully thought out recipes! Your site is magnificent!

    1. Hi Melanie!

      Thanks so much for the feedback! Next time I make a cake I will be sure to include a crumb shot 😉 This one is suuuper moist and delicious on the inside 🙂

      Happy baking!

      xoxo KP

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