Caramel Apple Snickers Cake
October 25 2020
Don't you want a scary, oozy, drippy cake for Halloween? I think you do...
You get all of that in this amazing layer cake! I'm not going to tell you that this is one of the quickest cakes to make, but it is absolutely worth it! All of the steps can be made in advance so that all you have to do is assemble it.
This confection consists of cake, buttercream, caramel sauce and chocolate ganache. Each one on their own is delicious, but put them all together, and this is an unbelievable party in your mouth!!!
Start with 3 layers of a spiced chocolate cake, flavored with apple sauce and coffee. Spread a filling of Snickers Buttercream between each layer along with some Apple Cider Salted Caramel Sauce. Frost the outside of the cake, then drip the chocolate ganache over the top.
While this is firming up in the fridge, make your caramel apples. If you can find tiny ones, use them. That way you can add more to the top of the cake for a very dramatic effect. I made a 6-inch cake and couldn't find tiny apples, so that's why I only have 2 apples on top. But, if you check out my photo below the recipe, you'll see another look using tiny apples!
Finally, drip Apple Cider Salted Caramel Sauce over the entire cake and let it drip down the sides (even off the cake stand)! Sprinkle with crushed peanuts and flaky salt, place the caramel apples on top and you will impress even the most jaded cake-lover (is there such a person??)!
I'm telling you...this cake is insane!!
Makes: 8 servings
Prep Time: 1 hour Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours
Chocolate Spice Cake:
2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/4 tsp baking soda
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cup, no sugar added, apple sauce
3/4 cup canola oil
1 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup + 2 tbsp strong brewed coffee, hot (or warm apple cider)
Snickers Frosting (See Chef's Notes)
3 your favorite small apples (see Chef's Notes)
6 twigs or wooden sticks
1 package of Kraft caramels
2 tbsp salted peanuts, chopped for garnish
Flaky sea salt, for garnish
Chocolate Spice Cake:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease three 8-inch (or 9-inch) round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter/spray with cooking spray.
In a medium size bowl combine the flour, sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a hand held mixer) beat together the eggs, apple sauce, canola oil and vanilla until smooth.
Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients with the mixer on low until there are no longer any clumps of flour. Add the hot coffee and mix until combined. Batter should be pourable, but not super thin.
Pour the batter among the 3 cake pans and bake 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are just set and no longer wiggly in the center. Remove and let cool five minutes, then run a knife around the edges of the pan. Invert the cakes onto parchment-lined wire rack. Let the cakes cool completely before frosting.
While cake is baking, make the Apple Cider Salted Caramel Sauce and cool to room temperature.
Make the Caramel Apples by following the instructions on package to dip caramel apples using either wooden sticks or twigs to dip with.
Make the Chocolate Ganache and let cool.
Once caramel sauce is cool, make the Snickers Buttercream.
Assemble the Cake: Place 1 layer of cake, flat side up, on a plate or cake stand. Drizzle the cake with a little salted caramel sauce (from the reserved 1 cup, not from the pot of caramel). With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and drizzle with caramel. Spread the frosting evenly on the top. Add the final layer of cake and drizzle with the remaining caramel. Frost the top and sides of the cake. Don't worry about it being too perfect as you will be covering most of it up. Place the cake in fridge for at least 20 minutes.
Pour the chocolate ganache onto the middle of the cake and spread to just the sides, allow the sauce to drip down the sides of the cake. Place the cake in the fridge preferably overnight, but at least 1 1/2 hours. You need the chocolate to be completely set and the frosting firm.
To Finish: Once the cake is cool, pour the remaining caramel sauce over the top and allow it to drip down the edges (you might need to microwave the sauce a bit to soften). You may not need all of it...it just depends on the effect you want. Sprinkle the top with chopped salted peanuts and flaky salt.
Store the cake in the fridge until ready to serve. Allow the cake to sit 15 minutes at room temperature before serving. Carefully place the caramel apples on top. Please note that this is a delicate and with all the toppings it is a bit tricky to slice. Your slices will not be perfect.
For the Snickers Buttercream, you can choose to eliminate the crushed peanuts from the buttercream if you want a smoother look to your frosting. If so, sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the chopped nuts on each layer of cake after you've spread the buttercream. Do not spread nuts on the top layer.
For the Caramel-dipped apples, I used Granny Smith and Honeycrisp. I have found tiny apples at my local Farmer's Market...the smaller, the better!
Cake inspired by Half Baked Harvest