As you can see, this cake with such simple decoration is really pretty. Or at least I think so. So, I do not have to convince you that it will looks pretty, it talks by itself. But I’m going to talk to you about its taste. Beauty is not the only thing that matters! I would say that the sponge cake is the secret of this cake, it is extremely juicy thanks to the applesauce and the amount of grated apple that the sponge cake has. And I think you already know that the combination of apple and cinnamon is always a hit. So if, like me, you are a fan of fruity and aromatic Christmas sweets, this is your cake!
This year I am just hopeless.. And now with that twisted wrist, my whole baking plan for Christmas has been ruined. But finishing this cake was a must. I was very excited to do it and had already planned the decoration and everything since long time ago. I even had the sponge cakes baked and frozen before I had the accident and destroyed my wrist, so it was also a pity to waste so many cake layers.
So, with my crappy hand and everything, and with the inestimable help of Marc, I put it on and I just did it to have it in time for a post before Christmas. By the way, Marc has turned out to be a great baker, when it comes to cutting even layers and setting perfectly straight cakes, he is a crack! I think they are the most straight and well-made layer cakes in history.
The fact that they have been finished with just one hand can give you a good idea of how simple this decoration is. In fact, the recipe in general is very simple and even if you do not want to make a layer cake or do not see yourself able to make the cinnamon buttercream, I recommend you to try at least the cake recipe, you will see how tasty it is..
This layer cake has helped me to experiment with gluten-free flour for the first time. The plan was to bring this cake to a pre-Christmas dinner organized by a friend here in Munich. She found out very recently that she has an intolerance to gluten, but she is a big fan of sweets and a faithful follower of my blog. So I decided to take a risk and look for a good gluten-free flour so that she could eat the cake, because the poor woman is just always looking at them and I am really sorry for her. To sum up, the day of the dinner was the same day that I sprained my wrist so there was no cake!!! Oh my God, I will never forgive myself for this 🙁
But at least I got the experience of having made a sponge cake with gluten-free flour. I was very afraid of it because I had heard that cakes do not rise the same way, that they do not look as good as with regular flour. But it was just the opposite, maybe it is only with the brand that I have bought in particular, which is already labeled as special for baking and is a mixture of many different flours, but the cakes were just great! I would dare to say that even better than with wheat flour, they raised super well, they were very even. Well, if it was not for the price, this special flour is very expensive, I would always use it for baking layer cakes.
Anyway, for the recipe I will just put normal flour, but for those intolerant to gluten or for any of those who have friends or family with this intolerance, and you feel just like I did, you are afraid to use flours that are not wheat. Leave away your fear and try them. But do not use any type, look for mixture special for baking and you will see how well it works! The quantities to use are the same as what any recipe in wheat flour indicates.
And finally I leave you with the recipe. I say goodbye for a while because tomorrow I’m travelling to Barcelona and I’ll be two weeks without posting anything. I wish you all a Merry Christmas. Thank you very much for being there, for the comments and for your support in this year very bad that I have had. Surely 2019 will bring us many good things, in any case many more sweets will be waiting for you here!
Apple naked layer cake with cinnamon buttercream
- CAKE LAYERS:
- 300 g butter
- 300 g applesauce
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3 apples
- A few drops of lemon juice
- 1 handful of raisins
- 6 eggs
- 300 g brown sugar
- 360 g flour
- 3 tsp of baking powder
- 3 tsp baking soda
- 400 g butter at room temperature
- 350 g icing sugar
- 150 ml whipping cream
- 1 Tbsp cinnamon
- A few sprigs of rosemary
- Christmas cookies
In a saucepan heat the applesauce with the raisins and just when it reaches a boil, remove from heat and reserve. Grate the 3 apples and mix them with a few drops of lemon so they do not turn brown.
Preheat oven to 170ºC and grease 2 pans of 20 cm. Melt the butter and let temper a little. In the bowl of the blender with the whisk attachment beat the eggs with the sugar at medium high speed for at least 5 minutes, until the mixture is whitish. While stirring, add the melted butter in the form of thread. Add also the vanilla essence.
In another bowl, sift the flour with the yeast, baking soda and salt. Add one half of the flour to the egg mixture, mixing just until it is integrated. Add the rest and beat until there are no lumps, without working too much dough.
To finish, add the cold apple compote and the grated apple, mixing with a spatula until the ingredients have been evenly distributed. Divide the batter into the two pans. Bake for about 50 minutes, in any case do the stick test to make sure the cakes are well cooked. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a rack before unmolding.
To prepare the buttercream, in the bowl of the stand mixer with the paddle attachment beat the butter at medium high speed until it is creamy, about 1 minute. Add the icing sugar and continue beating for at least 2-3 more minutes. While stirring at medium speed, add the cream in the form of thread. Add the cinnamon and beat for 1 more minute.
To assemble the cake, cut the layers into two even halves. Place one of the cake layers as a base. Cover with a layer of buttercream, about 1cm high. Place another layer of cake and repeat the operation until you have the 4 layers placed. Frost the whole cake with a thin layer of buttercream and refrigerate for 30 minutes so that everything hardens.
If you have buttercream left, you can choose if you want to frost the cake again with a thicker final layer or you can also use it to make some decoration with the pastry bag. I have left the cake with this "Naked" look because I like it. Decorate with the rosemary, cookies or any other Christmas decoration that you like.
The quantities of the recipe are only to make a cake of 20 cm and 4 layers. It is onlt the bottom tier of my cake in the photos. If you want to make it two tiers, the upper tier that I did is 4 layers of 16 cm. For baking the 2nd tier layers, divide all the quantities into 2 and repeat the steps for baking the cake but baking less time around 40 min. You will also need a little more buttercream, multiply all the amounts of the ingredients for the buttercream by 1.25.