Apple-Spice Layer Cake with Goat Cheese Frosting {Guest Post}

Homemade spiced applesauce layer cake with a creamy frosting made of goat cheese and cream cheese.

GUEST POST: Apple-spice layer cake with goat cheese frosting by Tracey’s Culinary Adventures

Apple-Spice Layer Cake with Goat Cheese Frosting by Tracey's Culinary Adventures on bakedbyrachel.com

Hi everyone! I’m Tracey from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures and I’m thrilled to be back participating in Rachel’s Apple A Day Party for the second year in a row. I have to admit I’ve been clinging to these last few weeks of summer and all of its bounty like you wouldn’t believe, so the fall baking hasn’t started in earnest at my house yet. I really am looking forward to apple season though, especially the annual trip to the orchard to pick apples and grab a freshly fried cider doughnut. Rachel’s party gives me the perfect excuse to slowly start making the transition to fall, and I’m sure the recipes that will be featured here this month will have me itching to get into the kitchen even more!

Apple-Spice Layer Cake with Goat Cheese Frosting by Tracey's Culinary Adventures on bakedbyrachel.com

When Rachel invited me to participate this year, I knew I wanted to share a cake. I love making layer cakes, but so rarely have a reason to make one. Even though this is a virtual party, I decided to go all out and make a huge cake as if we were actually getting together in person to celebrate apples. Something to think about for next year maybe, Rachel? :)

Apple-Spice Layer Cake with Goat Cheese Frosting by Tracey's Culinary Adventures on bakedbyrachel.com

No doubt about it, this apple-spice layer cake with goat cheese frosting is a showstopper! Standing three thick layers tall and surrounded with a mass of fluffy frosting, it’s one of the biggest cakes I’ve ever made. You start by preparing a homemade caramel applesauce (though store-bought could be subbed in a pinch) which is incorporated into the cake batter, keeping it exceptionally moist as it bakes and infusing it with great apple flavor. Warm spices like cinnamon, allspice, ginger, and nutmeg add even more fall goodness. The frosting, made with both goat cheese and cream cheese, is creamy, rich and tangy – a really unique and fun alternative to traditional cream cheese frosting, and a perfect complement to the cake.

I haven’t tried it, but I bet you could halve the recipe and make cupcakes instead of a layer cake if you’re not feeding a small army. In one form or another, this cake is definitely worthy of a spot on your fall baking list!

Apple-Spice Layer Cake with Goat Cheese Frosting by Tracey's Culinary Adventures on bakedbyrachel.com

Apple-Spice Layer Cake with Goat Cheese Frosting

Homemade spiced applesauce layer cake with creamy goat cheese and cream cheese frosting.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time3 hrs
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cake
Servings: 8 plus

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 1/3 C granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 lb apples roughly 4, chopped
  • 2 tsp lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • 3 1/4 C all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground all spice
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg freshly grated
  • 1/2 C whole milk room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 C unsalted butter softened
  • 1 3/4 C granulated sugar
  • 1/4 C honey
  • 4 large eggs

Frosting:

  • 10 oz goat cheese room temperature
  • 8 oz cream cheese softened
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 C powdered sugar

Instructions

  • Add 1/3 cup sugar to a medium saucepan and spread in an even layer. Set the pan over medium heat, but do not stir the sugar. Eventually it will start to melt around the edges and turn golden. When that happens, gently stir until all of the sugar has melted and the mixture becomes amber/caramel in color. Add the apples and the lemon juice and stir to coat with the caramel (some of the caramel may seize, but don't worry, it'll melt as the applesauce cooks). Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pan, and cook until the apples start to fall apart. Remove the cover and continue cooking, stirring often, until the mixture becomes a golden applesauce. Transfer to a heatproof bowl or measuring cup and allow to cool completely.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray three 8-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray with flour, then place a round of parchment in the bottom of each and spray the round with nonstick cooking spray with flour.
  • Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices together in a medium bowl. Whisk the milk and vanilla together in a small measuring cup. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, remaining 1 3/4 cups sugar, and the honey on medium speed (stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice) until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. One at a time, add the eggs to the bowl, beating for one minute after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then with the mixer on low, alternately add the dry ingredients in three additions, and the milk mixture in two, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, and beating just until combined. Mix in 1 1/2 cups of the cooled applesauce until combined (you may have extra applesauce - it makes an excellent snack!).
  • Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean. Remove the pans to wire racks, and allow the cakes to cool for 20 minutes, then turn them out onto the racks (removing the parchment round from the bottom) and cool completely.
  • To make the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the goat cheese, cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes (stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice). Add the confectioners' sugar about 1 cup at a time, beating until incorporated before adding the remainder. I like to refrigerate the frosting for about 30 minutes before using so it's slightly more firm. (The frosting can be made up to 3 days in advance - cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to use. Bring to room temperature and beat for a few minutes before using.)
  • To assemble the cake: Place one layer of the cake on a cake plate. Spread a thin layer of the frosting over the cake, then top with a second layer of cake. Again, spread a thin layer of frosting over the surface of the cake. Top with the final cake layer. Frost the top and sides of the assembled cake with the remaining frosting. Chill the cake for at least 1 hour before serving. Right before serving, garnish with toasted, chopped pecans or caramelized apple slices.
  • The cake can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Notes

Recipe serves roughly 8-12, yields 1: 8-inch layer cake.

An apple a day party at bakedbyrachel.com
Tracey has a way of always wowing me with her desserts and photography in general! Just gorgeous!! Don’t you wish you could reach out and grab that prepared slice on the plate? Now I’m craving a slice of moist spice cake!  -Rachel

You can find Tracey on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
Be sure to check out these other seasonal favorites from Tracey:
Apple cider caramels, Caramel apple cheesecake bars, and Baked apple dumplings with gooey caramel sauce.

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