On occasion you find a recipe that just looks sooo good that you can’t resist it. Apple Pie Cake is and was that recipe for me.
I saw it on Pinterest (but of course), and I knew I had to try it.
When I see a recipe, it usually gives me an idea to build from, but this cake I made almost exactly as the recipe stated.
The only differences were in the decorations. I did not even attempt the fancy lattice work that Olivia at Liv for Cake did. Her’s is perfect. Mine is nice….After looking at my pictures, which are good, but then going back and looking at Olivia’s ….yikes.
My main reason for making this cake besides how beautiful it is, is how delicious it sounded.
It was more than delicious, it was perfection in layers! Layers of moist spice cake, topped with flaky pie crust, filled with apple pie filling (homemade of course), and covered in a rich indulgent buttercream frosting.
I never, ever used to make cakes from scratch, but now that I have started, well there is no other way. I tried a cake mix a few weeks ago….ugh….not good!
To be honest, this cake is not for the faint of heart. It takes time, and you need basic baking skills. That being said, the end result was worth all the effort.
I made it a two day project. First day I baked the cakes, made the pie filling and did all the pie crust work. I made two braided circles for the top and bottom, making the bottom one large so it could slide over the cake. I baked way too many leaves, but they were made of pie crust so, pie crust snacks!
Day two, I made the frosting. This was my first attempt at real, egg white, sugar, butter, and buttercream frosting. To my amazement, it was a great success. I will definitely make it again.
Some assembly required was true. You need to be very careful with the braids. I had to cut mine a bit to make them fit as the crust did not shrink as much as I would have liked.
My icing wan’t as smooth as Olivia’s, I was disappointed but I guess that made mine more rustic????
Even though mine was not picture perfect, it was picture worthy, and it was taste perfect.
If you want to try a stunning dessert for Thanksgiving, or any fall meal, give Apple Pie Cake a whirl. I promise it will be worth the effort!!!!
- For the Cinnamon Brown Sugar Cake:
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- pinch cloves
- 1 ½ tablespoons cocoa powder (optional – for color)
- ½ cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar (packed)
- 2 large eggs (room temperature)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup buttermilk (room temperature)
- For the Apple Pie Filling: 2 ½ cups peeled & chopped Granny Smith apples (about 2 apples)
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup light brown sugar (packed)
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch nutmeg
- pinch salt
- 1 cup water
- For the Vanilla Buttercream Frosting: 3 large egg whites
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 ½ cups unsalted butter, cubed (room temperature)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- For the Pie Crust Inside the Cake, Accents, & Braid:
- Four 11” store bought pie crusts (or homemade)
- 1 egg lightly beaten with a splash of milk
- For the Cinnamon Brown Sugar Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350F and grease and flour three 6″ cake pans, line bottoms with parchment.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and cocoa powder until well combined.
- Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter until smooth. Add sugar and beat on med-high until pale and fluffy (2-3 minutes).
- Reduce speed and add eggs one at a time, fully incorporating after each addition. Add vanilla extract.
- Alternate adding flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour (3 additions of flour and 2 of milk). Fully incorporating after each addition. Do not over-mix.
- Spread batter evenly into prepared pans. Smooth the top with a spatula.
- Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean.
- Place cakes on wire rack to cool for 10 minutes then turn out onto wire rack to cool completely.
- For the Apple Pie Filling:
- Toss chopped apples in lemon juice, set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Add water and stir to combine. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Add chopped apples and bring back to a boil. Simmer until apples are tender (approximately 10 minutes). Remove from heat and cool completely before using on cake.*
- For the Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:
- Place egg whites and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer**, whisk until combined.
- Place bowl over a pan of simmering water to create a double-boiler. Whisking constantly, heat the egg mixture until it registers 160 degrees on a candy thermometer. Carefully transfer the bowl onto the stand mixer.
- Using the whisk attachment, beat the egg white mixture on high speed for 8 to 10 minutes until the bowl is no longer warm to the touch and the meringue is fluffy, glossy and holds a stiff peak.
- Switch to the paddle attachment. With the mixer on low, slowly add cubed butter and mix until incorporated.
- Add vanilla and whip on medium-high until silky and smooth, about 3 to 5 minutes.***Preheat oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment.
- Roll out each crust and cut out two 7” circles. They will shrink a bit, so it’s important that they are larger than the 6” cake. I placed a 6” cake pan on top of the crust and used my knife to cut out a slightly larger circle.
- Re-roll the dough and cut 3 long ¼” wide strips for the braid. Trace a 6” circle onto parchment. Braid the dough and place it on the outside of the circle (again, it will shrink a bit so make it a tad bigger). Cut more strips and braid as needed until the braid goes all the way around the circle.
- Use remaining pie dough to cut out leaves and flowers if desired. Re-roll pie dough as needed.
- Transfer pie discs, leaves, braid, and flowers onto baking sheet. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush with egg wash. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until golden. Cool completely on pan.
- For the Pie Crust Lattice:
- ” cake ring
- Preheat oven to 400F. Place oven rack in lowest position. Place a 6” cake ring on its side on a sheet pan. Anchor it as best as possible to prevent it from rolling. I used two folded silicone baking mats around the sides. Lightly spray outside of cake ring with cooking spray.
- Roll out pie dough and cut into ½” strips. Take 4 of the longest strips and place them together. Use the other strips to create a lattice effect. I used a small brush dipped in water to help adhere the pie dough pieces to each other.
- Trim edges and cut lattice into 6” sections.
- Repeat until you have enough to go around the cake. Apply leaf and flower cutouts using the egg wash as glue if desired.
- Place a 6” lattice section on top of the cake ring. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush with egg wash.
- Bake for 15-17 minutes or until golden. Cool completely on cake round.
- Very carefully, transfer to parchment lined baking sheet.
- Repeat with remaining sections.****
- For the Assembly:
- Place one layer of cake onto a cake stand or serving plate. Spread a thin layer of frosting on top and place a disc of pie crust on top. Using a large round tip, pipe a dam of frosting along the top of the pie crust to hold the filling.
- Top with approximately ½ cup of apple pie filling and spread evenly.
- Repeat with next layer and place final cake layer on top. Crumb coat the cake and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Frost the cake and smooth the sides and top. Apply lattice or pie crust cutouts to decorate as desired.