Apple Almond Caramel Cake with Almond White Chocolate Buttercream


Sep 16

Apple Almond Caramel Cake with Almond White Chocolate Buttercream – apple spice cake layers with layers of almond white chocolate frosting, salted caramel, and candied almonds.

Apple Almond Caramel Cake

Apple Almond Caramel Cake

I love finding inspiration for new cake flavors from other types of desserts. I’ve been inspired by ice cream, sweet bread, cookies, brownies, pies, appetizers, charcuterie boards, and now… popcorn! A few years ago I tried the Almond White Chocolate Gourmet Popcorn from Choosy Chocolates, a local Salt Lake City candy company, and immediately had the thought that white chocolate and almond would be a great flavor pairing in a cake. Originally, I was just going to do an almond cake with white chocolate frosting, but that sounded too basic and the more I thought about it, I knew I wanted a few other flavors and textures in this cake. (You know me, basic isn’t really my style when it comes to cake flavors).

It’s like the book, “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie,” but goes more like, “If you give Courtney a cake flavor, she’s going to want to add another flavor to the cake. If she adds another flavor to the cake, she’s going to want to add some texture too. If she adds some texture, she’s going to want to add something savory or bitter to balance all the sweetness… My mind just doesn’t stop as I think these cakes up!

Top view of the Apple Almond Caramel Cake

As I thought about the white chocolate and almonds, I couldn’t help but think of how well apples and caramel would pair with the flavors.

Here’s what I settled on:

  • Apple spice cake layers (with tons of shredded apples in it)
  • Almond white chocolate buttercream
  • Candied almonds
  • Salted caramel

Flavor wise, you get sweet and salty. Texture wise, you get smooth and crunchy. It’s the best of all the worlds and one of the best fall cakes ever!

It’s also similar to my Caramel Apple Cake, but different enough that I totally suggest making both and then telling me which one is your favorite!

Inside look at the apple cake layers, almond white chocolate buttercream, candied almonds and salted caramel

How to Make the Most Delicious Apple Cake Layers

These apple cake layers are moist and full of flavor. You’ll want to shred your Granny Smith apples before making the batter, but don’t stress about soaking out any moisture. We want that moisture in the cake layers. You’ll also be blending all-purpose flour with a little almond flour for a bit of nuttiness in the layers. Make sure to stock up your pantry with the following ingredients and then take a look at my tips for making cake layers that rise (below).

Ingredients for the Apple Cake

  • Granny Smith apples
  • All-purpose flour
  • Almond flour
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Eggs
  • Unsalted butter
  • Granulated sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Vanilla
  • Milk

Apple Almond Caramel Cake

Tips for Making Tall, Moist Cake Layers

When making the cake layers, don’t forget to follow my go-to tips for getting your cakes to rise and bake well:

  • Preheat your oven for 30 minutes prior to baking.
  • Use good quality pans like Fat Daddio.
  • Spray your pans with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper.
  • Don’t over mix your cake batter once you add the dry ingredients.
  • Use room temperature wet ingredients.
  • Use fresh baking powder.
  • Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs on it

Apple Almond Caramel Cake

How to Make Almond White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

To get this silky smooth buttercream, make sure you follow my tips: HOW TO MAKE THE BEST BUTTERCREAM FROSTING.

  • Sift your powdered sugar
  • Use slightly cold butter
  • Use heavy whipping cream
  • Beat for 5 minutes
  • Stir by hand

You’ll want to check out the post linked above for more details on each step to make sure you get the best buttercream frosting. And remember, these steps can be used for any buttercream recipe on my blog.

IMPORTANT For chocolate buttercream specifically, remember to heat the cream and chocolate together first. You’ll then stir the mixture until it becomes a smooth ganache. Once the ganache has cooled slightly, you’ll add the mixture to the butter and continue making the buttercream according to instructions.

Ingredients for the Almond White Chocolate Buttercream

  • White chocolate
  • Powdered sugar
  • Unsalted butter
  • Salt
  • Almond extract
  • Heavy whipping cream

Salted Caramel

Easy-to-Make Homemade Salted Caramel

You’ll first combine the sugar, water, and corn syrup in a saucepan over medium heat. After you stir the mixture for a couple minutes to dissolve the sugar, you then just step back and let it do it’s thing. You’re looking for the mixture to boil and turn an amber color. This takes a little while, but don’t walk away. Once the mixture starts to change color, it gets to a gorgeous amber color quick. After the sugar is caramelized, you simply add some cream, vanilla, and salt. Easy peasy!

Ingredients

  • Water
  • Granulated sugar
  • Corn syrup
  • Heavy whipping cream
  • Salt
  • Vanilla

How to Make Candied Almonds

The candied almonds are super simple to make. Over medium heat, you’ll combine the almonds and sugar in a medium saucepan. Simply cook until the sugar melts and coats the almonds. Pour the mixture over parchment paper and allow to cool.

Ingredients

  • Slivered almonds
  • Granulated sugar

Other Apple Cakes Perfect for Fall You’ll Love

Apple Almond Caramel Cake

Yield 1 3-layer 8-inch round cake

Apple spice cake layers with layers of white chocolate frosting, salted caramel and candied almonds.

Ingredients

For the Apple Cake

  • 2 2/3 cup (320 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (100 g) almond flour
  • 3 teaspoons (18 g) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (6 g) salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (6 g) cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1.1 g) nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cup (339) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (110 g) brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons (8.4 g) vanilla extract
  • 6 large eggs, room temperature 
  • 2 cups shredded green apple (about 2 large apple)
  • 1/2 cup (120 g) whole milk, room temperature 

For the Candied Almonds

  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 2 tablespoons (25 g) granulated sugar 

For the Salted Caramel

  • 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons (59 g) water
  • 2 teaspoons (41 g) light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon (5.6 g) kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon (4.2 g) pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (57.75 g) heavy cream 

For the Almond White Chocolate Buttercream

  • 2 cups (452 g) unsalted butter, slightly cold
  • 6 cups (750 g) powdered sugar, measured then sifted
  • 1 teaspoons (4.2 g) almond extract
  • 8 ounces white chocolate
  • 1/4 cup (57.75 g) heavy whipping cream
  • Pinch of salt
  • *This buttercream makes enough to fill and frost the cake. If you want additional buttercream for piping, I suggest making an additional 1/4 to 1/2 batch. 

Instructions

For the Cake

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 325 degrees F. Spray three 8-inch cake pans with non-stick spray and line the bottoms with parchment paper rounds. Spray the paper and set aside.
  2. In a medium size bowl, sift together the flour, almond flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until smooth.
  4. Add both sugars and mix until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes).
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time and mixing well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix for another 30 seconds.
  6. With the mixer on low, add half of the dry ingredients, followed by the milk, and the remaining dry ingredients. Stir until combined.
  7. Fold in the shredded apples.
  8. Evenly distribute the batter between the three pans and bake for about 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out with just a few moist crumbs on it. 
  9. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before inverting the cake layers to cool completely on wire racks. 

For the Candied Almonds

  1. Combine the almonds and sugar over medium heat in a large pan.
  2. Stir continuously as the sugar melts and coats the almonds. Try to spread the almonds evenly across the pan to ensure they all get toasted.
  3. Continue until the almonds are golden brown.
  4. Remove from heat and pour the candied almonds onto parchment paper to cool completely. 

For the Salted Caramel.

  1. Combine the sugar, corn syrup, and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Let the sugar mixture sit on medium heat and start to boil. You don't want to stir while the sugar is cooking because it will cause the mixture to crystalize. Stay close to the pan and keep an eye on the boiling sugar. When it turns a dark amber color (takes about 5-10 minutes) and you can start to smell the caramel, remove the pan from the heat. (Once the mixture starts to turn yellow, it will get to an amber color quickly, so don't turn your back for too long.)
  3. Very slowly add a little of the heavy cream, while stirring vigorously. Continue to add a little cream at a time. You're tempering the caramel so it doesn't turn into a rock-like ball.
  4. Once all the cream is added, stir in the salt and vanilla extract. Set aside until cooled completely. 

For the Almond White Chocolate Buttercream

  1. In a microwave safe bowl, heat the cream. Pour the warm cream over the white chocolate chips and stir to melt the chips. Set aside.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until light and fluffy.
  3. Turn the mixer to medium speed and add the white chocolate ganache.
  4. Once the ganache is mixed, gradually add the powdered sugar, followed by the almond extract and pinch of salt. 
  5. Turn the mixer to medium-high speed and beat the buttercream for about five minutes.
  6. Before frosting, mix the frosting by hand with a wooden spoon to push out air bubbles and create a more silky texture. 

Assembly

  1. Level each cake layer.
  2. Place the first cake layer on your cake board and cover with about 1 cup of buttercream, followed by about 1/3 cup candied almonds and a drizzle of caramel. Repeat with another cake layer, buttercream, almonds, and caramel. Place final cake layer top-side down.
  3. Frost the cake with a thin coat of buttercream to create a crumb coat. Chill in the freezer for about 10 minutes to set the crumb coat.
  4. Apply a final coat of buttercream and decorate as desired. 

5 thoughts on “Apple Almond Caramel Cake with Almond White Chocolate Buttercream

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  1. Hi! Looks lovely! Is there a general rule for baking time if I were to go with a 13×9 pan instead? And then if it’s glass would I teduce temp by 25 degrees??? Thanks for any help!

  2. Hi there! I noticed that the ounces v. grams measurement for the white chocolate in the frosting isn’t right. Should we be using 6 ounces or 150 grams? Thank you!

      1. Thanks for the response! I’ve just been looking for a white chocolate frosting and I’m still unsure what to use. For the white chocolate frosting in your white chocolate peppermint pretzel cake, it says 8 ounces or 150 grams of white chocolate (not the 6 ounces above), and then your chai white chocolate raspberry cake says 6 ounces of white chocolate is 112.5 grams. Please help!