My 12 year old is the King of Apples. He must go through a kilo of apples a day, and he eats everything but the seeds and the stem. I know this because I constantly find stems and seeds in couch cushions, under desk chairs, in the car…you could track him quite easily by the trail he leaves behind. I remember a few years back finding a hoard of apple stickers under a ledge on our entryway wall, not sure where he’s currently hiding his stickers these days, but I’m sure they’re somewhere. And so it’s no surprise that regardless that it’s the middle of summer, his birthday cake flavour choice is ALWAYS apple.
I’m not a huge fan of apple cakes so I’ve tried a lot of different recipes in an effort to find the perfect one and Tessa Huff’s Apple Toffee Crunch Cake is the closest we’ve gotten thus far. (To be honest there hasn’t been a Tessa Huff layer cake recipe I haven’t loved, so she’s become my go to when it comes to cake recipes.) Layers of apple cake with a honey brown sugar oat and pecan crunch, cinnamon buttercream and a toffee sauce drip…this cake looks and sounds like comfort food heaven. Her cake decorating is always so perfect, and her flavour combinations blow my mind (I’m still dreaming of the day I have the excuse to revisit her London Fog Cake or the Chocolate Brownie Rosemary Cake).
The cake we made turned out great, the crunch, the toffee sauce and the Swiss meringue buttercream (that I’ve perfected having made it probably a dozen times by now) but it’s the decorating part that is always the gamble, especially in the middle of summer. But the cake sat up perfectly, I iced it so smoothly, I actually thought this might be the best looking cake I’ve ever made. Poured the toffee sauce on carefully, still good…that is until I put rosettes of leftover buttercream on top. The toffee sauce became a slide and the next thing I knew the rosettes were migrating slowly down the side of the cake. I was devastated. We tried really hard to get them back up without wrecking the drip but it was no use. So some quick thinking and we’ve got a toffee swirl buttercream instead. We did get some rosettes on top eventually (I think on the third or fourth try), with lengthy refrigeration times in between. I really have no idea how she managed to get her cake to look so perfect.
Regardless of the drip look, we all agreed it was the best apple cake I’ve made for our boy. And the leftovers didn’t last very long either. It might actually be the cake I make for him next year too, just need to work out what to do next time I’m faced with a toffee sauce drip!