From Katie Jacobs:
Wow! This cake … Weeks before the planned day out at Bloomsbury Farm, Brent and I listed all our favorite fall dessert flavors: chocolate, peanut butter, caramel, apple, pumpkin, coffee, and bourbon. I got to work, playing with ingredient combinations, and this cake was born. You’re welcome.
See more about Katie’s cookbook: So Much to Celebrate: Entertaining the Ones You Love the Whole Year Through
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- 1 cup applesauce
- ½ cup canola oil
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup hot strong brewed coffee
- To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour three 8-inch round cake pans, lining each with parchment paper. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt until just combined.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the eggs, applesauce, canola oil, and vanilla until smooth.
- Slowly add the flour mixture to the egg mixture with the mixer on low until there are no clumps of flour. Add the hot coffee, and mix until just combined.
- Pour the batter equally into the three cake pans and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the cakes are set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool completely.
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup honey
- ½ cup bourbon
- ½ cup apple cider
- 2 cups heavy cream
- ½ cup 1 stick butter
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- To make the salted caramel, place the sugar, honey, bourbon, and apple cider in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Let the mixture boil, without stirring, for about 9 minutes until it is light golden in color. Add the heavy cream, butter, and vanilla, slowly stirring them into the pan. Boil for 10 to 15 minutes or until a candy thermometer reads 210 degrees, stirring frequently. Remove the sauce from the heat and add the kosher salt. Cover and store the caramel at room temperature until you are ready to pour it over the cake.
Peanut Butter Icing
- 1 cup 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 4 ounces cream cheese softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/3 cup salted caramel cooled, recipe above
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- To make the icing, add the butter, cream cheese, and powdered sugar to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat them together until the butter is light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the peanut butter, 1/3 cup of the cooled caramel, and vanilla, then beat, scraping down the sides as needed, another 2 minutes or until there are no streaks.
- To assemble the cake, spread icing between the layers and over the top and sides of the cake. Place the cake in the refrigerator to set.
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- ½ cup heavy cream
- To make the chocolate drizzle, place the chocolate and cream in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval until the chocolate is melted. Allow the sauce to cool for 3 to 5 minutes, and then pour the sauce onto the middle of the cake and spread it to just the sides, allowing the sauce to drip down the sides of the cake. Place the cake in the refrigerator, preferably overnight, but for at least an hour, making sure the chocolate is set and the icing is firm.
- ½ cup salted peanuts for garnish
- Flaky salt for sprinkling
- 3 small apples
- Twigs or wooden sticks for apple handle
- Makes 1 three-layer round cake approximately 12 servings
- To make the caramel apple garnishes, place the pot of salted caramel back over medium-high heat and bring it to a boil. Boil for 15 to 20 minutes or until a candy thermometer reads between 220 and 230 degrees. Remove the sauce from the stove, and let it cool for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring every so often. Make sure the caramel does not become too stiff. If it hardens you will not be able to dip the apples. While the sauce cools, push the twigs or wooden sticks into the top of the apples. Line a baking sheet with wax paper.
- When the caramel has cooled enough to touch, pour about half the caramel over the cake and allow it to fall down the sides of the cake. Working quickly, dip the apples into the remaining caramel and place them on the center of cake. Sprinkle the cake with flaky salt and peanuts.
- Refrigerate the cake until the caramel is firm, at least 30 minutes. Once the caramel is firm, store the cake in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve it. Allow the cake to sit 30 minutes at room temperature before serving.
- The recipe will make extra caramel. Store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to two weeks.