A Southern Grace: the height of deliciousness

December 5, 2017

the height of deliciousness


Apple cake with brown butter frosting. For the record, this is the tallest one-layer cake I've ever made.

It's pretty magical too--as tall as it is, the edges didn't get dried out or dark before the center cooked, which I still can't quite wrap my head around.

I love an apple cake, and while this one was undeniably good, the aspect of it that has been permanently ingrained in my memory is the DELICIOUS frosting. While I've used brown butter before in various dishes, I hadn't added it to frosting until now. Why, oh why, haven't I been adding it to EVERYTHING? Sorry to be yelling at you, but this was some seriously scrumptious stuff. It doesn't take that much effort to brown butter, and as a bonus, it makes the house smell amazing for a few hours!


I encourage you to try this combination of cake and frosting as soon as you can. The cake is moist (and stays moist!) and full of warm, fragrant spices and toothsome apples, and the gift from God in the form of frosting is buttery and nutty and will make you sigh deep sighs. Make it in a 9-inch square pan unless you too love a freakishly tall cake, in which case use an 8-inch square pan like I did.

(printable recipe)
Serves 12
  • 2 cups apples (about 2 medium), unpeeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • This fork is no match for my cake.
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 8 tablespoons (4 ounces) butter
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 tablespoon milk, plus more as needed
  • 1/4 teaspoon coffee extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8x8-inch pan (or 9x9-inch, if you prefer a cake of normal height).
In a medium bowl, combine the apples, brown sugar, flour, lemon juice, cinnamon, and cardamom and stir to coat.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.
Add in the Greek yogurt, oil, and vanilla extract.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and cardamom.
Add the flour mixture and milk alternately to the sugar mixture, ending with the flour.
Fold the apple mixture into the batter in as few strokes as possible, then pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Gently tap the pan on the counter several times to settle the apples.
Bake for 60-70 minutes for an 8x8-inch pan (35-40 minutes for 9x9) or until a toothpick pressed into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Let cool completely before frosting.
While the cake cools, prepare the frosting: Place the butter in a medium saucepan and melt over medium low heat.
Once melted, raise the heat to medium high.
Stay close and swirl occasionally, until the butter starts to foam and smell nutty. Once this happens, take it off the heat and pour into a heat-safe bowl to cool a bit.
With a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat the cooled brown butter and powdered sugar together until fully blended.
Add in the milk until thinned to the desired consistency, then add the extract and mix until smooth.
Spread over the top of the cake and enjoy!


Angie Schneider said...

Must bake this for our next family gathering. The cake looks moist and tempting with browned butter frosting.

Gingi Freeman said...

Whoa! I made two of these this fall, but yours wins! That looks delish!! <3 - http://www.domesticgeekgirl.com

Velva said...

Crazy delicious!!!The brown butter frosting is perfect for your apple cake. Just need a really good cup of coffee and it would be heaven.

As always, enjoy your blog very much.


Pam said...

I am always on the lookout for moist apple cake recipes and it sounds like this is the one since it looks delicious and you say it is moist and stays moist. Brown butter is delicious too so it sounds perfect for the cake. I think you've won the prize for the tallest one-layer cake! Thanks for sharing!

The Underground Restaurant Chef said...

This looks like the kinda cake i'd love. I'm inspired to try some baking. Thanks for posting.

Katerina said...

I love apple cakes too! This jumbo one looks super tasty!

Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen said...

Brown butter frosting is unbelievable isn't it? Like, the BEST THING EVER! This cake looks so fabulously moist I just want to reach into my screen and grab a slice for breakfast!

Pam said...

Brown butter makes everything better - especially frosting. Great looking cake! My kids would totally dig it!

Marjie said...

It looks terrific! Perfect fall dessert.

Emma - Bake Then Eat said...

Wow - this is simply stunning I would love a slice or two of this and that frosting.... yum!

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

Love a good apple cake and this frosting takes your cake over the top.

Food Gal said...

I love brown butter in anything. In cake? Even better! This is one treat that really epitomizes the deliciousness of autumn baking.

All That I'm Eating said...

Brown butter frosting does sound pretty amazing, this cake sounds so delicious!

Inger @ Art of Natural Living said...

Your cake looks wonderful! I always wonder why apple cakes aren't done more often!