This giant caramel apple cake is very exciting for many reasons.
1. It’s a giant caramel apple. How is that not exciting? I know pumpkin gets all the shine this time of year, but I’m a classic apple gal. I love trying all the different varieties, picking apples at my local PYO farm, and baking all sorts of tasty apple treats.
2. It’s a super impressive looking sculpted cake, but thanks to my trusty giant cupcake pan, it’s low-carve. Not no carve, unfortunately, but the pan gives you a terrific head start.
3. This project marks me finally getting my act together in terms of video. Man, making videos is tough. I’d been slapping them together on my phone for Darby and making them just to make them, frankly. What I hadn’t done is really sit down and plan what I want my video style to be, what they should look like, and what’s the point in me making them at all?
It took me a minute to feel comfortable with the answers to all of those questions, but I’m finally at a place where I’m not just scrambling through to get a video made. I can’t believe I actually feel pretty great about the finished product. I hope to do some with my face on camera, but this is just the start. Gold star for me for finally reading my camera manual.
How to Make a Giant Caramel Apple Cake
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- 1 batch of my Vanilla Birthday Cake recipe found in Erin Bakes Cake (or 10 cups of your favorite cake batter)
- Giant cupcake pan
- Large serrated knife
- Smaller serrated or paring knife
- Piping bags
- 1 batch of your favorite buttercream from Erin Bakes Cake
- Green gel food coloring
- Large icing tip
- 1 bag of Salted Caramel Candy Melts (or toffee, chocolate, anything brown)
- Pretzel rod
- Spray and flour the giant cupcake pan and divide the batter between the sections. Bake according to your recipe’s directions. Allow the cake to cool completely in the pan before continuing on, about 30 minutes.
- Use a serrated knife to level the dome of the top half of the giant cupcake cake while it’s still in the pan. Turn the bottom part out of the pan and level the domed part of that as well. Move the cake to a cake board or plate to work on.
- Spread a layer of buttercream on the bottom cake layer and top it with the other cake.
- Trim away the edges of the top cake so that the sides are level with the bottom cake. Use a smaller knife to cut a cone-shaped plug out of the top of the cake, mimicking the part of an apple where the stem comes out. Trim the carved edges to round them out a little.
- Tint the remaining buttercream green (or whatever color apple you’d like to make) and use it to fill a piping bag that’s been fitted with a large icing tip. I highly recommend using the icing tip with this project since the rounded edges of the cake can be a little challenging to frost.
- Pipe a layer of buttercream all over the cake and smooth it with an offset icing spatula. Pop the cake in the fridge until the buttercream has firmed up, about 20 minutes. Go over the cake one more time with an offset icing spatula that’s been dipped in warm water first. This last part is totally optional, but it will help give the buttercream a smoother appearance.
- Melt the candy melts or chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Pour the melted candy into a piping bag and use it to pipe on the “dipped” portion of the apple. Start at the top and work your way around the sides of the cake. Working quickly, smooth the candy over before it starts to set up. Set the cake aside.
- Pipe a large puddle of melted candy onto your cake stand or serving platter. Use an offset spatula to help lift the apple cake from the board you’ve been working on. I stuck my finger in where the apple stem is going to go to help steady the cake while I moved it. Place the cake in the puddle of melted candy and use the offset spatula to smooth over where the cake meets the puddle.
- Add a pretzel rod for the caramel apple stick. If you’re making the cake in advance, store your giant caramel apple cake in the fridge lightly covered with plastic wrap and add the pretzel rod shortly before serving.
Here’s a classic apple variation on this giant caramel apple cake using a Twix bar as the stem and pieces of green AirHeads as the leaves. I had attempted to make a video of this cake around back-to-school time, but I rushed through the process and totally screwed it up. Hey, maybe next year!
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