27 October 2009

Skillet Apple Cake with Caramel Frosting

After seeing this recipe on The Pioneer Woman's website, I knew I wanted to make an apple cake in my cast iron skillet.  I made a beautiful one last year, but I wanted something a bit different.  I couldn't make The Pioneer Woman's recipe because it called for sour cream, which I didn't have on hand. 

So I used the scientific method I rely on when I need a recipe - I googled until I found a recipe whose ingredients matched my pantry.  Recipe Zaar had a cake that fit my ingredients.  Originally published in The Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook, this apple cake is a delicious ending to any fall meal.  (And it makes a great breakfast too!)

Apple Cake with Caramel Frosting
adapted from this recipe

2-1/3 c. flour
1-1/2 c. sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
4 c. peeled, grated apples
1/2 c. softened butter
2 eggs

1/3 c. butter
1/2 c. brown sugar
3 tbsp. skim milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1-1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/2 c. chopped walnuts

View my apple grating setup - note, it took me a long time to grate four cups of apples.  And a lot more apples than I was anticipating.  Just be prepared.

To make the cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 10" cast iron skillet with cooking spray.  Lightly dust with flour - I used a pastry brush to move the flour lightly over the greased pan. 

Mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl.  Add the apples, butter, and eggs to the bowl and beat with an electric mixer until well combined. 

As you can see below, I forgot to add the sugar until this step. Oops!

Spread the batter into the greased and floured skillet. I used a spatula to make sure it was evenly spread.

Bake 40-45 minutes, cool in the pan.

To make the frosting

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. 

Add the brown sugar until it dissolves completely.  Add the milk and bring to a boil. 

Stir thoroughly, then transfer to a bowl and let the frosting cool for at least ten minutes. 

Whisk in the vanilla and powdered sugar.  The frosting will get much thicker during this stage.

Spread over the cooled cake.  Don't mess around at this point - the frosting starts to cool and harden quickly, and the longer you play with it, the less smooth it will be.

Sprinkle with the chopped walnuts.

People will really like you when you serve them this cake.  It is so moist, with just the right amount of frosting to add sweetness.  Andrew's brother took his first bite of cake, then when he heard I made it, blurted out (with his mouth full of cake, I might add):  "you made this cake?"  Thanks Jimmy!

Here I am, serving some cake at Andrew's parents' house:

Then, Andrew started doing the Austin Powers "work it, work it" as he was taking the picture, so I laughed and he took a picture of that too.

The leftover cake is really good if you microwave it for 25 seconds or so - the caramel frosting gets melty and starts to ooze into the cake and...

...I better stop now.  Grating those four cups of apples is still fresh in my memory, and I'm sure Andrew won't agree to grate them for me.  Darn.


Amy said...

That looks/sounds amazing!

Jessica - The Novice Chef said...

Looks great! Love all the pictures haha made me feel like I was really there :-)

Jenna (Favorite Sissy) said...

I want this cake too! I'm leaving you comments of what to cook me when I come visit... since I'm coming today!