Monday, June 2, 2014

Paco's Apple Cake with Caramel Cream Cheese Icing

Inspired by the strawberry cake I've been making with chunks of sliced strawberries in the batter AND by my friend's love for apples, I've come up with an apple cake. Super easy and fool proof, I had my 11 year old son make the cake part.

Preheat oven: 350°F
Prep time: 10-20 minutes
Baking time: 25-30 minutes

Ingredients:

Cake:
5 Granny Smith apples-peeled, cored, sliced and cut into quarters
1 box of French Vanilla Cake mix
3 eggs
½ c olive oil
¾ c water - if using canned apples, use juice
2 tsp cinnamon

Caramel Cream Cheese Icing:
½ c packed light brown sugar
⅓ c heavy whipping cream
¼ c butter-room temperature
1 c powdered sugar
1 box of cream cheese (8oz)
½ c sliced almonds (optional garnish for icing)

Directions:

Cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F.

Peel, core, slice, and quarter apples using an apple/peeler/corer. Place in a bowl with water and a dash of lemon juice to keep from browning.

In a stand mixer with a flat paddle, add cake mix, cinnamon, eggs, oil & water (water from the soaking apples will work). Mix on low-med speed until lump free, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Fold in drained apples using a wooden spoon.

Spray a 9"x13" baking dish or bundt pan with baking spray. Pour cake batter into dish and bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Icing:
While the cake is cooling, dissolve brown sugar, butter and whipping cream in a small sauce pan on low-med heat, stirring constantly. Once sugar and butter is dissolved, continue to cook for one more minute. Remove from heat and let cool to touch.

While caramel is cooling, in a stand mixer using a wire whisk attachment, mix on low-med speed:  powdered sugar and cream cheese, scraping and poking cheese out of the whisk occasionally, about 3-5 minutes. Add slightly cooled caramel to cream cheese/powdered sugar and continue to mix in the stand mixer until blended and no lumps.

Pour icing onto cooled cake and garnish with almonds.

Refrigerate cake. Remove from fridge 30 minutes before serving.

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