Dutch apple cake is so simple to make. A basic madeira sponge mix with a little cinnamon, chopped apples pushed into the batter and a crusty sugary topping – every mouthful has a burst of flavour. This cake tastes just amazing on it’s own or warm from the oven with a dollop of cream.
Since we had another birthday in the family this week I made the dutch apple cake in a large tray and cut it out to serve mini cake style. As there is nothing in this life that can’t be improved with the addition of salted caramel I topped it off with salted caramel buttercream and a chocolate salted caramel sweet on top.
I loved how the mini cakes turned out, there’s something pretty decadent about eating a whole cake to yourself and they look a little more special than individual muffins or cupcakes.
I made the salted caramel – it’s very easy to do but you could just buy a jar of pre-made caramel sauce and some sweets to top the cakes. I’ve failed so many times to make caramel with sugar and water – I think it’s lack of patience on my part but it always crystallises. The recipe below is made with condensed milk and is much more forgiving!
Dutch Apple Cake
Makes enough for a large roasting tray – about 40*30cm. This will yield about 8-9 mini cakes depending on the size of your cutter. For a 20*20cm square tin half the quantities
350g Caster Sugar
teaspoon vanilla extract
250g self raising flour
teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 large cooking apples – peeled, cored and sliced
Demerara sugar to sprinkle on top
1. Grease and line your tin. Pre heat oven to 180C fan.
2. Whisk eggs, sugar and vanilla together for about 5 minutes until it has a mousse like consistency.
3. Melt the butter and combine with the milk and pour into the egg mix while whisking continuously.
4. Sift in the flour and cinnamon, folding it into the batter until well combined.
5. Pour into the tin and then arrange the slices of apple on the batter. Finally sprinkle your demerera sugar over the top (feel free to use caster sugar or muscovado if you don’t have demerara)
6. Bake in the oven for 10 mins, then reduce temp to 160c and leave for another 25 mins or until risen and golden brown.
7. Leave to cool in the tin.
1 397g tin of condensed milk
4 tablespoons of golden syrup
1 teaspoon sea salt
Place all the ingredients in a heavy bottomed saucepan on a medium heat. Bring to the boil, stirring constantly to prevent it sticking. After about 10 mins it will have darkened nicely and will be bubbling and coming away from the side of the pan. The longer you boil the darker and harder the caramel will be when cooled but be careful not to boil! Once done leave to cool.
Note: To make the salted caramel sweets take a teaspoon full of the cooled caramel, roll into a ball between your hands. Melt some chocolate in the microwave or over some hot water. Drop the caramel sweet into the chocolate to coat it fully. Then spoon it out and place on some baking paper to allow the chocolate to cool and harden.
Salted Caramel Buttercream
250g icing sugar
80g softened butter
50g of salted caramel
1. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl.
2. Add the butter, softened and cubed and mix well with an electric whisk or in a stand mixer until they are combined. It should resemble fine bread crumbs. Slowly add the milk, beating on a high speed until the icing is light and fluffy. Add the salted caramel sauce, keep beating until well combined.
To assemble the cakes
1. Use a scone cutter/cookie cutter or a glass to cut out rounds from the dutch apple cake.
2. Using an icing bag (Or just a palette knife if you like), sandwich pairs of the cake rounds together.
3. Pipe or spoon the icing on to the tops of the cakes and swirl/decorate as you want.
4. Pop a salted caramel on top.
Enjoy the deliciousness!
I had lots of salted caramel left – it will keep for about 2 weeks in the fridge. You can roll it out and cut into squares, drizzle some chocolate on top or keep it to heat and serve with icecream. The off cuts of cake can also be frozen and used in the future in a trifle.