From Sweet Auburn Desserts by Chef Sonya Jones, © Sonya Jones, used by permission of the publisher, Pelican Publishing Company, IncYields 1 (7-layer) cake
- 5 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 ½ cups light brown sugar, firmly packed
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup buttermilk
Spiced Apple Filling
- 1 pound dried apples
- 5 cups water
- 2 cups light brown sugar, firmly packed
- 2 teaspoons fresh ground nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- Pinch salt
- Divine Caramel Sauce, see recipe below
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Grease and flour 7 (9-inch) cake pans and set aside.
In a large bowl combine the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.
In a separate mixing bowl beat the butter at medium speed until creamy. Gradually add in the sugar, and continue to beat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Alternately add the flour mixture and the buttermilk to the butter mixture, beating at a low speed after each addition until just combined. The dough will be stiff.
Divide the dough evenly among the prepared pans, placing approximately ¾ cup dough into each pan. With floured hands, press the dough into the pans evenly. Bake the cakes for 10 minutes or until a golden crust forms. Remove from the oven and turn the layers out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Each cake layer will be ¼- to 3/8-inch think.
To make the spiced apple filling, pulse the dried apples in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Bring the water to boil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the apples to the boiling water, reduce the heat to medium and cook uncovered, stirring frequently, for 20 to 30 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. Add the sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and salt and simmer for 15 more minutes, stirring frequently.
To assemble the cake stack, spread each layer with approximately ¾ cup hot apple filling. Top the cake with the remaining apple filling. Wrap with plastic or place on a cake stand with a cover. Allow the cake to stand for at least 24 hours before serving.
When ready to serve, drizzle the cake with Divine Caramel Sauce, letting the sauce drip down the sides. Garnish with chopped walnuts.
Divine caramel sauce
Yields 3 cups
- 2 cups light brown sugar
- 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
- ½ cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine the sugar and condensed milk in a medium saucepan and stir until well blended. Cook voer medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and add the butter, stirring well. Add the milk and vanilla, stirring to combine. Let the sauce cool to room temperature. Store the sauce in a covered container until ready to use.