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Apple Butter Cake with Bourbon Caramel & Mascarpone Icing

Apple butter cake

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups apple butter
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs

Bourbon caramel

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 ounces butter
  • 1 tbsp bourbon
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Mascarpone icing

  • 8 ounces mascarpone
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp vanilla sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla

For apple butter cake:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray three 6" cake pans (or 2 - 9" ) and line with parchment.

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, blend dry ingredients together thoroughly. Add soft butter; mix until coarse crumbs.  

2. Combine the apple butter and buttermilk in a separate bowl. Add to butter and flour mixture and blend on medium speed for two minutes.  

3. Add eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Beat on medium speed another two minutes.  

4. Divide batter evenly among prepared pans and bake for about 35-40 minutes. Cakes will be nicely browned and starting to pull away from edges of the pan. Allow to cool completely.

For the caramel:

1. Place sugar in a heavy-bottomed pot. Add just enough water to hydrate sugar, stirring gently to combine.  

2. Allow sugar to boil without stirring until it reaches a dark amber color. Begin whisking to incorporate browning evenly.  

3. Remove from heat and very carefully add cream while whisking - the mixture will expand and steam quite a bit.  

4. Add bourbon and salt; stir to blend. Pour into a clean container and allow to cool. 

For the mascarpone:

Place mascarpone, heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip on high until soft peaks form.

To assemble:

1. Cut tops of cakes flat  to even out, if needed.

2. Remove about one cup of the mascarpone and place it in a small bowl. Add 1/4 cup of caramel and gently fold in. Use about half of this mixture to spread on the first layer of cake.  

3. Top with a thin layer of caramel. Add second layer of cake and repeat.  

4. Add final layer of cake and press gently to seal.  

5. Apply crumb coating with mascarpone whip. Chill.

6. Apply final layer of icing and frost as desired.  

7. Pour caramel over cake, starting in center and swirling out towards the edges. Start with less than you think - the caramel will flow and cascade over the edges on its own. Tilt the cake lightly if needed for desired effect.  

Cake will be best eaten at room temperature, but should be stored in the fridge if you're not eating it right away.

PS: If you’d like a recipe for homemade apple butter, check out this recipe!

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