This beurre noisette/brown butter apple cake is the true taste of autmn/fall for me. It’s rich and moist with the crunch of pistachios and hazelnuts and the juiciness of apples too.
Some cakes come about from lots of planning and tweaking, This super tasty apple cake came about completely by accident.
Idgy was home for the weekend and I wanted to bake a cake for her. Actually a chocolate cake. Suffice to say I managed to completely cock-up two different chocolate cakes.
One I was trying to be too clever with the ingredients and it just wouldn’t rise. The other I tried out a silicone mold and the damn thing was welded in like glue.
The cake tasted great when I spooned it out of the fancy mold but it looked like chocolate pudding.
Inspiration for this apple cake
So As I looked around the kitchen at the total chaos I had created with my two aborted chocolate cakes I spoptted an apple.
Idgy had left an apple sitting on the kitchen table. That was it. I’d use the apple, her apple she’d brought home and make it into a cake.
Well, I was clean out of chocolate now so I had to do something!
Beurre Noisette/Brown Butter
What the heck is this I can hear you asking. Well it’s quite simple really. Beurre Noisette (doesn’t the French name sound so much better than ‘brown butter’. Beurre noisette translates as ‘nut butter’.
It gets this name because when you heat up the butter it turns brown and takes on a nutty flavour.
Apple * butter * self raising flour * ground cinnamon * ground cardamom * salt * Greek yogurt * milk * vanilla extract * sugar * eggs
For the frosting/filling and topping
butter * cream cheese * icing sugar * hazelnuts * pistachios
How to make beurre noisette apple cake
First make that all important beurre noisette/brown butter. All you need to do is melt the butter in a small pan and let it simmer for about 5 minutes.
It’ll foam and go golden brown in colour. Then you get that gorgeous nutty aroma.
Remove it from the heat and pour into a small bowl. skim off the foam and leave to cool.
Sieve together the dry ingredients.
Mix together the milk, yogurt and vanilla extract.
Beat together the remaining butter with sugar until it’s light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time to the butter mix and half the dry ingredients and half the milk mix. Then add the rest.
The apple bit
Peel the apple saving the peel for later. Finely chop the apple into tiny pieces about 2mm square.
Add the apple to the cake batter and fold it through. Now divide tha batter into two 15cm/6″ baking tins and bake for approximately 35 minutes till golden and risen.
I’m using a basic cream cheese butter frosting for my apple cake and adding in some maple syrup for that autumnal flavour that kind of all ties in with the apple and nuts.
You can’t have to put a layer of jam into your apple cake but I wanted to really make this apple cake sing of autumn and so used my plum and apple jam that I made last week.
Topping the cake
This buerre noisette/brown butter apple cake is low on the frosting. I have used the frosting inside the cake along with the jam and on the top. The sides have been barely skimmed with the remaining frosting.
Now the topping for this cake is all about autumn. It kind of looks like a mini pile of fallen leaves. I’ve used some crushed hazelnuts and pistachio nuts and toasted them in a dry pan then added sugar to make them into candied nuts.
The same technique has been used on the apple peel. I used all the peel and snipped it into small pieces about 1mm wide and 1cm long. tossed them into a dry pan and let the heat toast them just a bit. Now throw on some sugar and watch as it melts and clings to the apple peel.
Let the candied apple peel dry out on a piece of baking parchment along with the candied nuts.
Scatter them on top of the apple cake and finish off with the merest whisper of icing sugar like a gentle fall of the lightest snow n an Autumn afternoon just as winter is about to come calling.
How many will this cake serve
You will get either 6 large slices or 8 more modest slices from this cake.
How long does apple cake last
This apple cake will keep for about 3 days under a cake dome. It’s a very moist cake due to the fresh apple so doesn’t dry out quickly.
Can you freeze apple cake?
yes you can but before doing all the frosting stuff. Simply wrap the apple cake well in cling film then pop into freezer bags and label. It will keep for up to 3 months in the freezer. Defrost completely and decorate as above.
Looking for more fun and easy cakes to try? Then check out these recipes before you go;
Whisky and chocolate marble cake
Coffee and walnut cake with cardamom
Gin and tonic lemon drizzle cake
Finally, if you do try this recipe don’t forget to leave a comment/star rating below as I just love to hear from readers. Want more Larder Love? Then follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter and sign up for my newsletter too of course.
Buerre Noisette/Brown Butter Apple Cake
- 150 g unsalted butter
- 150 g self raising flour
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- 1 pinch salt
- 60 ml milk
- 60 ml plain yogurt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 large freerange eggs
- 125 g caster (super fine) sugar
- 1 apple peeled, cored and diced into 2mm pieces – save the peel
Frosting and topping
- 70 g cream cheese
- 70 g unsalted butter
- 250 g icing sugar
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 3 tbsp plum and apple jam optional
- 2 tbsp hazelnuts crushed
- 2 tbsp pistachios crushed
- apple peel
- 1 tsp icing sugar to dust finished cake
- preheat oven to 180C and grease and line 2 x 15cm/6" baking tins
- Melt 85g of the butter in a small pan and cook on medium heat for approximately 5 minutes till it turns golden and gets a lovely nutty aroma. Remove from heat and pour into a small bowl skimming off the foam and leave to cool
- Sift together the flour, salt and spices
- Mix the milk, yogurt and vanilla extract till smoothly combined
- Beat the remaining butter with the sugar till light and fluffy
- Add the eggs one at a time and half the dry mixture with half the milk mix, add the buerre noisette/brown butter then beat and add the rest of the mixes. Lastly fold through the diced apple
- Spoon into 2 baking tins and bake for approximately 35 minutes or until well risen and golden and just coming away from the sides of the tin. A skewer inserted into the centre of the cake should come out clean. If not pop it cack into the oven for a few minutes more
- let the cakes cool in tins for 5 minutes then cool completely on a wire rack
- Beat together the butter, cream cheese and iceing sugar and the maple syrup
- Toast the crushed hazelnuts and pistachios in a dry pan for barely a minute till they are golden and aromatic, Add the sugar and shake pan for sugar to melt and coat the nuts. Tio out on to baking parchment to cool.
- snip the apple peel into thin slithers about 2mm wide and 1cm long and toast in dry pan for about a minute then add sugar and let it melt and shake to coat the little pieces of apple peel. Tip out on to baking paper to cool
Assembling the cake
- Spread a layer of frosting on the base of the cake and top this with a layer of jam if using
- Add the second cake and cover the top with frosting, leave a little frosting just to smear round the sides of the cake
- Sprinkle the top of the cake with the candied nuts and apple peel and then finish off with a dusting of icing sugar
Freiberger Claudia says
This is the absolute best apple cake . The taste is heavenly and this cake will be our fall and Christmas season cake for the years to come . Thank you for sharing this recipe,
Karon Grieve says
Wow, what a compliment. I’m thrilled you liked this apple cake so much. It’s one that I really love myself.
Keira Ball says
Wow… I know what to make on weekend.
Karon Grieve says
Hope you make this one, it’s such an amazing cake.
Margo D says
Sorry, but I missed how much maple syrup in the frosting. It doesn’t shoe in the recipe.
Karon Grieve says
Thanks for pointing that out. Just a teaspoon of maple syrup. Have popped that in the recipe card now.