Kate’s Sticky Toffee Apple Caramel Cake:
The Great British Bake Off is one of my go-to Netflix shows when I have an easy run scheduled for the treadmill. I go to it for the inspiration and to be thankful that I am never forced to work with chocolate on super hot days or create a three-dimensional baking sculpture for a Tudor table. I will be forever grateful for the introduction to babka in Season 3.
When Prue, one of the judges, said in Season 8 that Kate’s sticky toffee apple caramel cake was the best cake she had ever eaten, I wanted to try it. And when the list of bakes in the reddit 52 week baking challenge included GBBO, I knew that this was the recipe I was going to try.
If you look at the recipe and you are an American baker, there are a few things you notice. First, weights are listed in grams. How much is 325g (cake) + 175g (buttercream) of butter? It’s better that you not know. No problem. My kitchen scale toggles between ounces and grams, and weighing ingredients in baking is the way to go anyway.
Here is the list of ingredients, with my interpretations and substitutions. I made an I-can’t-believe-I-did-that mistake of forgetting the salt when converting from self-rising flour. Doh!
125g medjool dates
5 tbsp “cloudy apple juice” = apple cider
325g unsalted butter, softened
250g light muscovado sugar – dark was what my grocery store had
300g self-raising flour – bleached all purpose + 1tbsp baking powder
Don’t forget a 1/2 tsp salt!
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground mixed spice – 1/8 tsp (each) all-spice, cloves, ginger, nutmeg
60g dried apple
175g golden caster sugar – granulated sugar
175g double cream – heavy cream
175g unsalted butter
100g icing sugar = confectioners/powdered sugar
125g cream cheese
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 bramley apples – I have no idea what Bramley apples are
175g golden caster sugar
The cake-making starts off very familiar with creaming butter and sugar. But with five eggs, the batter ended up very thick and I added what was probably a tbsp of whole milk to thin it out.
Next problem: I only have two 8″ cake pans. No problem. Use two pans and wait for one to cool enough to wash, dry, butter, line, and repeat. It would have worked just fine in two 9″ cake pans.
Unfortunately, time was not on my side for this bake yesterday. We had to go to the library to pick up some books on reserve and then to the playground. A zoom call with friends lasted an hour. Kiddo demanded that Sunday clean up of all the toys spread across the living room required assistance. Mr. uglyducklingbakery needed access to finish up dinner.
My buttercream was a lot darker in color than the image in the link, and there was barely enough to frost the cake. Maybe thick frosting is an American thing?
I slightly burnt the caramel for the toffee apples, and, instead of doing them again, I acquiesced to letting kiddo decorate with sprinkles.
Outcome: the cake was dense but moist and perfectly spiced, but this was not “the best cake I’ve ever eaten.” There were large holes – from my not chopping the dried apples enough? Too much baking soda? Too much gluten? Five eggs seemed like a lot, and I wonder if UK and US eggs are the same size. If I do the recipe again, I won’t omit the salt, and I’ll use cake flour instead.
Or perhaps I’ll just make this sourdough discard apple cake instead.
If you make this cake or have any questions about my experience making it, please leave a comment and/or share a pic.
Check out the uglyducklingbakery cake archives.
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Reddit 52 weeks of baking challenges:
Week 1: New Year new recipe – blueberry galette
Week 2: seasonal – Smitten Kitchen’s grapefruit pound cake
Week 3: Great British Bake Off – Kate’s sticky toffee apple caramel cake
Week 4: Australia – sausage rolls
Week 5: bite sized – cookies
Week 6: Chinese New Year – mushroom bao
Week 7: new tool – baguette baker
Week 8: chocolate – chocolate peanut butter bonbons
Week 9: timed bake – under 1 hour! chocolate chip scones
Week 10: allergy/diet restriction – macarons
Week 11: quick breads – kale and cheese quick bread
Week 12: signature bake – purple cow bread
Week 13: enriched breads (kale and cheese babka fail)
Week 14: childhood favorite –fudgy triple layer chocolate cake with chocolate ganache frosting
Week 15: decorating challenge – purple velvet cake
Week 16: crispy crunchy – bacon cheddar popcorn
Week 17: p52 of your favorite cookbook, or your favorite blog – chocolate peanut butter drip cake
Week 18: pâte à choux – bacon cheese puffs
Week 19: veggies turned sweet – red velvet beet waffles
Week 20: plating – chocolate chip cookie (butter challenge)
Week 21: Birthday Party! – chocolate orange cake
Weed 22: Scandinavian – Swedish apple cake (plus a bonus sourdough discard apple cake)
Week 23: Layers – Pecan apple oat bars (post is pending)
Week 24: Tarts – rainbow fruit tart