Apples and Honey-Bourbon Caramel Crumb Cake
What’s a celebration without a big, fancy cake? With its addition of apples and honey (and just a smidge of bourbon!), this one is sure to usher in a very sweet new year. Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients—everything comes together easily, forming one very special holiday treat, whether you eat it after your holiday dinner, lunch or pre-services breakfast (we promise we won’t tell).
- Honey-Bourbon Caramel
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 3 tablespoons water
- 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, sliced
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons honey-flavored bourbon
- 4 large cooking apples (Pink Lady or Granny Smith work well), peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon apple pie spice blend
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- Cake Batter
- ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¾ cup milk
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- Crumb Topping
- 1½ cups flour
- 2/3 cup light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9-by-13-inch pan. Set aside.
- To make the caramel sauce, in a medium-sized saucepan, bring sugar, water and honey to a boil without stirring. Let mixture boil until it becomes amber in color. Immediately turn off heat, and vigorously whisk in butter (mixture will bubble up). Add cream and salt. Whisk well until smooth. Add bourbon last, whisking well. Pour into a clean heatproof bowl. Mixture will thicken as it cools.
- In a large sauté pan over medium heat, sauté apples, butter and spices until slightly softened, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Add half of the caramel mixture and 1 tablespoon flour to the apples. Toss together and set aside.
- In a large electric stand mixer, cream butter and sugar (for batter) until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, mixing until well incorporated. Mix in milk on low speed. In a separate bowl, whisk to combine flour, salt and baking powder. Add dry ingredients to the mixer, and beat on low speed until combined and smooth (20 to 30 seconds). Pour mixture into greased pan, spreading in a thin layer. Top with caramel-apple mixture.
- In a mixing bowl, combine all crumb topping ingredients in order. Toss well with a fork or clean hands, packing together to form crumbs. Sprinkle evenly over apple layer in pan. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until center is just done when tested with a toothpick. Cool completely. Cut into squares and serve drizzled with remaining caramel sauce.