12. Apple Harvest Cake with Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting
By Janine Knop aka Miss NiNi Fine Desserts
For the Cake:
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
3 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. apple pie spice
¼ tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. cloves
5 large eggs, room temperature
1-3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp. imitation vanilla extract
1 cup corn oil
1, 21-oz. can apple pie filling
For the Frosting:
1-3/4 cups powdered sugar
4 Tbsp. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, browned
2 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 ounce (1/3 cup) English walnut pieces, broken into medium size pieces, toasted
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. granulated sugar
10-inch metal round tube cake pan with removable bottom and a 9-inch metal baking pan for toasting walnuts.
For the Cake
1. Separate pieces of cake pan. Coat bottom and sides of pan with nonstick spray. In small dish, stir together granulated sugar and ground cinnamon. Sprinkle mixture on greased surfaces of pan. Turn both pan pieces upside down and tap on firm surface to remove extra coating. Discard remaining coating ingredients. Put pan pieces together.
2. Position rack in middle of oven. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
3. In medium-size bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices; set aside.
4. Using large bowl of electric mixer, beat eggs, sugar, and vanilla on medium speed for 1 minute. Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add oil. Beat until oil is incorporated. Increase speed to medium and beat until mixture is light and creamy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl. Reduce speed to low and slowly add flour mixture, adding about 1/3 cup at a time.
5. Add apple pie filling; mix until combined. Pour into pan. Bake for 65-70 minutes. Insert metal cake tester or toothpick into center of cake. It should come out clean without any evidence of crumbs or moisture.
6. Cool cake in pan 20 minutes. Run a thin sharp knife around inside and outside edges of pan to loosen. Remove outside of pan. Run a thin sharp knife between cake and bottom of pan. Invert cake on to a cooling rack. Gently turn cake right side up.
7. Increase oven temperature to 350 degrees.
For the Frosting
1. Toast English Walnuts
2. Put walnuts into baking pan. Bake 8-10 minutes. Nuts will begin to have a toasty brown aroma and oily appearance. Remove from oven and cool in pan.
3. Brown Butter: Put butter in small frying pan and place on cook top on low heat. Stir occasionally until butter changes from yellow to light brown, about 4 minutes. As butter is melting, there will be a crackling sound. When that sound stops, and there are small brown solids on bottom of pan, remove pan from heat and let cool slightly.
4. Put powdered sugar, browned butter with solids, milk, and vanilla into small mixing bowl and beat until smooth, about 1 minute. Spread over top of cake. Sprinkle with toasted walnut pieces.
5. In small bowl, stir together ground cinnamon and granulated sugar. Put in clean, empty salt shaker and sprinkle over top of cake.
Cake can be made 2 days ahead. Keep air tight and chill. Let cake stand at room temperature at least 30 minutes before serving.