This is one of those Southern heirloom recipes that just can't be kept secret. My mother showed me how to make the traditional version with orange juice, and I substitute the OJ with Gran Marnier. It takes a bit of work to cut the apples but is completely worth it. This apple cake is perfect for Rosh Hashanah or any autumn occasion. It's very rich, dense and freezes well so wrap the leftovers and store them in the freezer to keep for dessert on busy weeknights.
Total Time: 3-4 Hours
Active Time: 30-45 Minutes
- A bundt cake pan
- Enough butter to grease the bundt cake pan
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups of sugar
- 1/4 cup Gran Marnier
- 1-1/2 cup of vegetable oil
- 3 cups of all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
- 3 cups of fresh apple that's been peeled, cored and finely chopped
- 1 cup of shredded coconut
- 1 cup of chopped pecans
Salted Caramel Sauce
- 4 tablespoons of butter
- 1 cup of brown sugar, firmly packed
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon of sea salt
- Wooden spoon
Preheat oven to 325 F and grease the cake pan with butter.
In a large bowl, combine the sugar, eggs, oil, Gran Marnier, flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and vanilla extract. Mix well with a spoon, then fold in the apples, coconut, and pecans.
Pour the batter into the cake pan and smooth it with a spoon until it's even. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, approximately 1-1/2 hour. Let cool and then turn out onto a pretty plate. (This cake is so dense that you can move it around on the plate a bit and wipe the crumbs once it's out of the pan, so don't worry about centering it when it's time to turn it out onto the plate.)
Making the Salted Caramel Sauce
You'll want to start the sauce as soon as the cake's out of the oven, because you'll pour it on while the cake's still hot.
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and stir just until the butter wets all of the sugar.
Without stirring, let the mixture come to a boil. But keep an eye on it so that it won't burn. It should become a bubbly liquid in about 3 minutes.
When the mixture has become a bubbling liquid, turn the heat to low and mix in the heavy cream very quickly with a whisk. You'll need to work a bit to completely combine the heavy cream and, when you do, turn the heat back up to medium and allow it to boil slowly for 10 minutes.
Turn off the heat and let it cool. When it's room temperature, add the vanilla extract. Now add the sea salt, tasting along the way, until it's just salty enough.
Serve by pouring the salted caramel over the whole cake or serve the salted caramel separately in a pretty bowl, allowing guests to add it to each slice of cake on their own.