Thursday, November 8, 2012

Apple Spice Cake with Honey Ginger Buttercream Frosting

Several weeks ago my aunt and uncle were visiting from Oregon so we put together a little dinner party.  Since they only make it to visit once a year, I wanted to make something special for dessert.  I was looking for something that incorporated some of the usual flavors of Fall - apple, ginger, honey, molasses, cloves - it doesn't get more Fall than that. 

Now, I have to admit that this recipe is a bit time consuming.  So I would suggest making the filling, which ends up having a consistency like a a chunky applesauce, the day before so it can cool completely. Also, be careful when separating the layers, I ended up breaking one into pieces so I ended up one layer short.

The cake was not too moist and held up great with the chunky saucy apple filling.  The frosting added just the right amount of sweet zing.  Of course, I adore ginger so I may be a bit biased.

Everyone loved the cake, with a couple of people asking for seconds.  However, I have to say it was even better the next morning with a cup of coffee. :-D

Four-Layer Appalachian Stack Cake
Source:  Modified from a recipe from Martha Stewart
5 cups apples, pealed and rough chopped
2 cups apple cider
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 dark brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pans
3 cups sifted all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
1 large egg
1 cup unsulfured molasses
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt


For the filling:
Bring apples and cider to a boil in a large pot. Reduce to a simmer; cook, stirring occasionally, until apples begin to break down and liquid has reduced 30 - 40 minutes. Add 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup dark brown sugar and 1/2 cup water; simmer until apples are very soft, about 15 minutes. Let cool completely.

For the cake:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Butter two 9-inch round cake pans. Line bottoms with parchment paper, and butter parchment. Set aside.

Put butter and the remaining cup sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until creamy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low; mix in egg, molasses, buttermilk, baking soda, flour, spices, and salt.

Divide batter evenly between prepared pans. Bake until a cake tester inserted into centers comes out clean and tops spring back when lightly touched, about 35 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges of pans to loosen; invert to unmold. Remove parchment; reinvert onto racks. Let cool.

Using a long serrated knife, cut each cake in half horizontally. Place 1 bottom layer on a serving platter. Top with 1/3 of the apple mixture, spreading to edges. Stack 1 top layer on top of apples, and top with another 1/3 of the apple mixture. Repeat with remaining cake bottom and apples, and top with remaining cake top. Let stand at room temperature at least 1 hour before serving.  (I ended up only having 3 layers because I broke one into 3 pieces when trying to get it on the cake plate...whoops!)

Honey Ginger Buttercream Frosting
Source: Laura's Little Kitchen
3/4 C softened butter
1 to 1 1/2 C powdered sugar
1/3 C honey
1 T powdered ginger
2 to 3 t frsh grated ginger
1 t vanilla extract

Start with softened butter in the bowl of the mixer.
Beat until creamy.
Add powdered sugar until it reaches desired stiffness.
Beat on high until smooth.
Mix in honey, powdered ginger and fresh grated ginger.
Beat for a few minutes until smooth again
Mix in a teaspoon of vanilla extract.
Add additional powdered sugar to adjust the thickness if needed.
Use an offset spatula to front just the top of the cake.

If you haven't  already, I hope you stop by to link up to the Thanksgiving Treats & Fall Fun link party. Claiming Our Space has joined up with Love and Laundry, House on the Way, One Creative Mommy, Mamal Diane, Jane's Adventures in Dinner and 4 You With Love to bring you our own Thanksgiving Treats and Fall projects!


  1. This recipe looks Ah-Mazing! I do want to know if you have any tips on cutting the cake horizontally. Whenever I try, it always falls apart. :(

    1. What I found works best for me is to wait for the cake to cool completely. Then I use a large/long serrated knife to cut into the cake about 1-2 inches from the edge all the way around so I know that the layers will be even. I then start to cut all the way through making sure to keep to the "line" I had already cut. I am not sure if that makes sense the way I wrote it out. Let me know if I need to be clearer.

  2. This is a Wonderful cake!
    It looks great and sounds amazing! I really like the honey-ginger frosting

  3. This cake look delicious. I love "spice" flavored cakes and your Buttercream is amazing! Thanks for sharing :)


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