October 20, 2020

Apple Cake with Sage Caramel ~ #TheCakeSliceBakers

“Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.” – Lauren DeStefano

The Cake Slice Bakers are down to our last three bakes from The New Way To Cake by Benjamina Ebuehi. For me this has proven to be an amazing cake-centric cookbook to bake from, and I have had a lot of fun re-creating the recipes and experimenting with flavors that I have not baked with before. It will certainly be a book that I continue to bake from in the future. Soon we will be choosing a new cake-centric cookbook to bake through in 2021.  If you are interested in baking along with us each month please send an email to thecakesliceabkers at gmail dot com.

Our choices for October 2020 were Apple Cake with Sage Caramel, Malted Chocolate Cake with Baileys Irish Cream Ganache, and Caramelized Plantain Upside-Down Cake. Honestly, I wanted to bake them all but I could only choose one for my October choice.  After much deliberation I decided to bake the Apple Cake with Sage Caramel because the idea of a slightly savory caramel intrigued me.

When looking at this recipe you will notice that there are quite a few steps, but please don't let this deter you from baking this cake. If you follow the steps in order it is quite easy to complete this cake in a few hours, and the effort is definitely worth it.  Just make sure you place the sage carmel out of your line of sight or you may be tempted to dip your caramel crisps in it while you wait for the cake to bake, which isn't a bad idea at all, but you do want to have enough left to decorate your cake later on. That sage caramel is da bomb and so onolicious!

This is the perfect cake to get your holiday baking started, and it has all the components to make it the star of your get-together - apples, sage caramel, and caramel cream cheese frosting, and such a tender crumb. It is also easy enough to make and enjoy on a simple weekend afternoon with a good cup of tea or coffee. The only change I will make when I bake it again is to work out the ratio to substitute butter for the oil as I am just not the biggest fan of oil as an ingredient in cakes, but I used it this time to stay true to the recipe from the book we are baking through. I also had a lot of apple crisps and caramel left over after decorating my cake. This turned out to be a very good thing as the apple crisps are great for snacking and the caramel makes a fantastic topping for vanilla bean ice cream. Can't stop, won't stop raving about that sage caramel - I'm pretty sure I am going to make batches of it and give it away as Christmas gifts this year.

Apple Cake with Sage Caramel
Printer Friendly Recipe

Apple Crisps ~
  • 1 apple of your choice
Cake ~
  • 2 apples of your choice
  • 60ml (¼ cup) water
  • 2 eggs
  • 150g (⅔ cup) light brown sugar
  • 120ml (½ cup) vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 175g (1⅓ cups) all-purpose flour
  • 8g (1½ teaspoons) baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • handful of roughly chopped walnuts
Sage Caramel ~
  • 120ml (½ cup) heavy cream
  • 8-10 fresh sage leaves, plus extra to decorate
  • 200g (1 cup) granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon flaky sea salt
Frosting ~
  • 50g (¼ cup) butter, slightly softened
  • 50g (⅓ cup) powdered sugar
  • 180g (¾ cup) cream cheese, slightly softened

Apple Crisps ~
  1. Preheat the oven to 140℃ (285℉).
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Take 1 apple and, starting from the bottom, slice it thinly through the core - use a mandoline if you have one to get thin, even slices or use a very sharp knife.
  4. Place the apple slices on the  baking tray, making sure not to overlap them.
  5. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, turning them over once, or until they're dry to touch and beginning to curl up (thicker slices will take longer to crisp, so keep an eye on them to make sure they do not brown too much).
  6. Transfer the apple crisps to a wire rack to cool completely.
Cake ~
  1. Increase the oven temperature to 180℃ (350℉).
  2. Spray a 20 x 20-cm (8 x 8-inch) with baking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  3. Pell, core, and roughly chop the 2 apples and place them into a small sauce, along with the water.
  4. Cook over a low heat for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the apples have softened.
  5. Remove from the heat and mash them lightly with a fork to make applesauce (it's fine to have a few chunkier pieces).
  6. Set aside to cool.
  7. Using a stand mixer, whisk together the eggs and the sugar for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the eggs are pal and thick.
  8. With the mixer still running, slowly pour in the oil and continue to beat for another minute.
  9. Stir in the applesauce, vanilla, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.
  10. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the cake is well browned and springy to the touch.
  11. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the pan.
Sage Caramel ~
  1. Add the cream and sage leaves to a small saucepan.
  2. Bring to a simmer, and then remove from the heat, cover and let it steep and cool for 20 minutes.
  3. Once cool, discard the sage leaves.
  4. In a separate saucepan, heat the granulated sugar over a medium heat until it dissolves and turns a light amber color (swirl the pan every now and again to help the sugar caramelize evenly).
  5. Once it reaches a golden amber color, slowly pour in the cream (be careful, as the caramel will bubble up rapidly).
  6. Whisk constantly and let the caramel simmer for 30 seconds before removing it from the heat and stirring in the salt.
  7. Pour it into a bowl to cool.
Frosting ~
  1. Add the butter and powdered sugar to the bowl of an electric mixer, and beat until the mixture is pale and creamy,
  2. Add the cream cheese and beat for 1 minute, or until smooth.
  3. Beat in 60g (3 tablespoons) of the sage caramel and set aside until you are ready to decorate.
  4. When the cake is completely cool, remove it from the pan and pace it on a cake stand or serving plate.
  5. Spoon on the frosting, spreading it evenly and leaving about a 1 cm (½ inch) border around the edges.
  6. Drizzle on the remaining sage caramel and then place the apple crisps, sage leaves, and walnuts on top.

    Each month The Cake Slice Bakers are offered a selection of cakes from the current book we are baking through. This year it is The New Way To Cake by Benjamina Ebuehi. We each choose one cake to bake, and then on the 20th - never before - we all post about our cake on our blogs. There are a few rules that we follow, but the most important ones are to have fun and enjoy baking & eating cakes!

    Follow our Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest pages where you can find all of our cakes, as well as inspiration for many other cakes. You can also click on the thumbnail pictures below to take you to each of our cakes. If you have a blog and are interested in joining The Cake Slice Bakers and baking along with us, please send an email to thecakeslicebakers at gmail dot com for more details.

    The Cake Slice Bakers also have a new Facebook group called The Cake Slice Bakers and Friends. This group is perfect for those who do not have a blog but want to join in the fun and bake through this book.

    It is a new year and a new book - The New Way To Cake - and our choices for October 2020 were ~ 

    Apple Cake with Sage Caramel

    Malted Chocolate Cake with Baileys Irish Cream Ganache

    Caramelized Plantain Upside-Down Cake 


      1. This was such a great cake...and perfect for the season!

      2. That is an amazing looking dessert. I got those same plates as a birthday gift this year. I love them.

      3. I love this cake and you're right, it's a great recipe to kick off the fall season. I'm looking forward to making this again after finding fresh sage. Great job and your apple slices look perfect!


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