My Fall Harvest Cake is the perfect cake to snuggle up with. Moist carrot cake with apples and plums that have been sautéed in butter. All held together with cinnamon infused Italian Meringue Buttercream and topped with homemade maple caramel.
I'm bring Fall to the How To Cake It (don't forget to subscribe!) kitchen. Fall is my favourite time of the year. Where I am from it includes mild weather, beautiful changing colours of the leaves, and most importantly comfort food. What’s more comforting than cake? Nothing, in my books.
** Before you get baking, gather up all your favourite Fall ingredients. If you're having a hard time finding anything, I've organized all of my ingredients and tools in a Parsel collection right here! **
Let's Create a Fall Harvest Cake!
Creating Carrot Cake Layers
You Will Need:
3 x 8" carrot cakes baked and cooled - find my recipe here
Making Gooey Maple Caramel
Ingredients & Tools You Will Need:
1 cup + 2 Tablespoons sugar
3 Tablespoons water
½ cup unsalted butter, cold
¼ cup whipping cream
3T pure Maple Syrup
Heavy duty pot with lid
Place the sugar into your heavy duty pot and pour the water on top. Place your pot on medium high heat and cover with lid.
In the meantime, place the cold butter into a heatproof bowl and rest the sieve on top. Heat your whipping cream in the microwave for about one minute, or until bubbling. You don’t want it to boil over. Keep your butter and cream close by.
Once you hear your sugar mixture beginning to boil, remove your pot lid.
If your sugar is crystallizing along the sides of the pot, wash it down with water and a pastry brush.
Continue to watch your sugar until it begins to amber. This usually happens in one area. Stir the amber sugar around gently, to ensure that all your sugar caramelizes evenly.
This is where your senses come in! When all of your sugar becomes a lovely amber colour, and you can smell caramel and see tiny bubbles on top, it’s show time!
Put on your oven mitts and remove your pot from the heat. Working quickly and safely, pour the hot whipping cream into your caramel slowly. Stir the cream in with your wooden spoon- it will bubble wildly. Then pour your caramel through the sieve onto the cold butter. This will cool the caramel down and stop the cooking process while melting the butter.
Let the butter melt into your caramel on its own for about 5 minutes. Then gently stir the mixture until it comes together. Stir in the maple syrup. I know how heavenly your caramel smells right now but don’t dip your finger in yet. Be careful not to burn yourself!
Set your caramel aside to cool completely and thicken.
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Time to Sauté Your Harvest Fruits!
Ingredients & Tools You Will Need:
6 tart apples, I used Granny Smith
6 firm plums
Apple corer and divider
½ cup unsalted butter
Begin by peeling the apples. Use your corer and divider to cut the apples into eight wedges. Cut all eight wedges in half, so that you end up with 16 wedges per apple. If you don’t have a corer and divider, you can slice your apples with a knife.
Prepare your plums by cutting them in half along the pit with a paring knife. Remove the pit, and cut your plums into eight wedges.
Heat the butter in your frying pan over medium heat. Add a layer of apple wedges. You don’t want to over crowd your pan. Make sure every apple wedge is laying flat in the pan. Once the apples begin to brown, turn them over gently with your tongs. Sauté until the second side is golden as well. Remove your apples from the pan one by one, and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a non stick mat. Repeat this process until all your apple wedges are cooked.
Then cook your plums in the same manner, being careful not to overcook them and make them mushy. Leave your fruits to cool completely.
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Assembling your Fall Harvest Cake
Ingredients & Tools You Will Need:
1 x recipe Italian Meringue Buttercream - find my recipe here
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Small Offset Spatula
#805 round tip
Begin by removing your carrot cakes from there pans and leveling them. You can watch me do that - HERE. Level off the bottom of one of the layers as well, and save that for the middle layer of your Fall Harvest Cake.
Time to flavour your Italian Meringue Buttercream. Take a small amount of buttercream out of your batch, about ½ a cup, and place it in another bowl. Add the cinnamon, a little at a time, and stir it into the buttercream. Make sure the cinnamon is well incorporated into your ½ cup of buttercream, then add that buttercream back into your whole batch. Stir well until all of your Italian Meringue Buttercream is speckled with cinnamon.
Gather all of the components of this Fall Harvest Cake, and have them close by. The cake layers, cinnamon buttercream, sautéed apples and plums, and your maple caramel. Fill your piping bag fitted with a #805 round tip with some cinnamon buttercream. Keep that close by as well.
Lay the bottom layer of carrot cake, bottom down, onto your platter or cake board. Spread a thin layer of cinnamon buttercream. Now pipe a buttercream border along the outer perimeter of your cake layer. Lay your sautéed apple wedges in a fan pattern to fill in the circle. Lay a couple of wedges to fill the middle as well. I used 24 slices per layer. Now drizzle your homemade maple caramel over your apples making sure to keep it within the buttercream circle.
Rest your middle layer of carrot cake, the one with no bottom, on top. Repeat the same steps you used in the first layer - spreading cinnamon buttercream, piping a ring, and filling it with apples wedges topped with caramel.
Finally place your last layer of carrot cake on top, bottom up this time! Give your cake a nice crumb coat, and place it in the fridge to chill for 10 minutes.
Time to ice, ice baby! Ice the whole cake with your cinnamon buttercream. Use your offset spatula to create soft lines around your cake. Just press in slightly with the tip, as you ice around the sides, moving back and forth. Lift your spatula, little by little, to continue the pattern. Chill your cake once again for 30 minutes.
Top your cake with all of the sautéed plums in a fan pattern around the top. Repeat the fan working inward, until your plums are piled high, Now drizzle all of the plums with your maple caramel and allow it to drip down the sides of your cake as well.
Time to dig into this luscious Fall Harvest Cake! Carrot Cake filled with cinnamon buttercream, sautéed apples and plums, and tons of homemade maple caramel. Let the hibernation begin!