Apple Layer Cake with Maple-Cream Cheese Frosting


My daughter requested an “apple-cinnamon layer cake with frosting” for her birthday dessert– pretty sophisticated for a 7-year old! 🙂 I think she needed something new after her vanilla birthday party cupcakes and “number 7” sugar cookies.

This cake was very moist and flavorful. The frosting had just a hint of maple flavor. Caramel frosting would also be nice. I had frosting leftover but included the complete recipe (as leftover frosting is unusual!). The cake recipe was adapted from Everyday Food. She loved it. 🙂

For the Cake:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pans
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pans
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 4 LARGE Granny Smith apples, peeled, two coarsely grated and two diced

For the Maple Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 T maple syrup
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 9-inch-round cake pans; line bottoms with parchment paper. Butter (cooking spray works well too), then flour paper and sides (tapping out excess); set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together butter, sugar, and eggs until well combined; fold in grated and diced apples. Add flour mixture; mix just until combined. Divide batter among prepared pans; smooth tops.
  3. Bake, preferably side by side in the center of the oven, until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 28 minutes (on convection) to 40 minutes. Cool cakes in pans 20 minutes, then invert onto wire racks; peel off parchment. Invert cakes again, and let cool completely on racks.
  4. Make the cream cheese frosting: In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and cream cheese on medium speed until thoroughly mixed. Add the confectioners’ sugar and mix on low speed until fully combined. Beat in the maple syrup and vanilla.
  5. Assemble cake: Place one layer on a serving plate (I put parchment paper under the edges to prevent frosting from reaching the serving plate.); spread top with frosting. Top with another layer; spread top and sides with frosting (then remove the protective parchment paper). Refrigerate at least 1 hour to set (or up to 4 days). To serve, bring cake to room temperature; slice with a serrated knife.


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