This is the Ultimate Fall Harvest Cake. It is a semi-naked cake inspired by the rustic country side during the Fall Harvest. It is vegan and all natural without any artificial ingredients or colors. It is moist, rich and has the perfect balance between sweet and tart every time you bite into a cranberry.
Step 1: Make the Maple Bourbon Caramel Sauce
MAPLE BOURBON CARAMEL SAUCE
¾ cup almond milk
2/3 cup vegan or organic sugar
¼ cup pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon molasses
1 teaspoon corn starch (sifted)
2 tablespoons vegan butter
1 tablespoon bourbon
Place almond milk, sugar, maple syrup, molasses and sifted corn starch in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil on medium heat. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking for approximately five minutes or until it has thickened. Remove from heat and add vegan butter and bourbon. Blend well and set aside to cool.
Step 2: Make the Vanilla Butter Cream Frosting
Vanilla Butter Cream
2/3 cup vegan butter
2 cups vegan or organic powdered sugar
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
In a stand mixer or with hand mixer beat the butter for about 30 seconds, or until smooth. Add powdered sugar ½ cup at a time, mix well and scrape sides. Add the vanilla extract and continue whipping for about 2 minutes or until frosting becomes white and fluffy. Place in a piping bag and set aside (if premade and refrigerated, remove from refrigerator an hour before use, or until it softens and is easy to pipe).
Step 3: Make the Pecan Cinnamon Sugar
PECAN CINNAMON SUGAR
¼ cup pecans
2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
Place all ingredients in a stand mixer and chop for about 15 seconds, set aside.
Step 4: Bake the Apple Cake
APPLE CAKE – Please note, this recipe makes a two layered
cake. Make this cake twice for a four layered cake as shown in this Instructable.
1 ½ cup unbleached all purpose flour
½ cup vegan or organic sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
½ teaspoon ginger powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup almond milk
1/3 cup vegetable, canola or sunflower oil
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons unsweetened apple sauce
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Coconut or olive oil spray
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of a 7 inch spring form pan with a round piece of parchment paper and spray the parchment paper and sided of the pan with the coconut oil. Sift all dry ingredients. Mix all wet ingredients. Combine wet and dry ingredients and mix well. Place the cake batter into the pan and bake for approximately 35-40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean from the center of the cake.
Once baked, remove and let completely cool.
*Repeat process if you are making a four layered cake if you only have one 7 inch spring pan. Double the recipe and split batter between two pans, if you have them and bake at the same time.
Step 5: Make the Apple, Pear and Cranberry Topping
Apple, Pear and
2-21/4 cups chopped apples (one type or mixed variety, about two large apples)
1 cup chopped pears (about two pears)
1 cup fresh cranberries
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons sifted cornstarch
1 tablespoon vegan or organic sugar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Place all ingredients in a large sauce pan and cook for about two minutes on medium/high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and cover. Continue to cook for another two minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, let cool and refrigerated until ready to use.
Step 6: Prepare the Cake for Decorating
Once everything is prepare and cooled, the fun part starts. Decorating the cake.
Cut the "cake top" off, and set aside for a bonus dessert.
Step 7: Assemble the Layers
Place wax or parchment paper onto your cake plate in pieces and place the bottom layer cake onto the wax or parchment paper. The paper will catch any crumbs, drips and frosting so it won't mess up the plate.
Add about two tablespoons of maple bourbon caramel sauce onto the cake and spread out evenly. Pipe frosting around the perimeter of the cake to create a nest for the apple, pear and cranberry topping. Place about 1/4 cup of apple, pear and cranberry topping into the nest and add another cake layer on top. Repeat this step for the next two layers.
Step 8: Even Out the Frosting and Decorate the Top Layer of the Cake
Even out the frosting and add just a little bit. Add about two tablespoons of maple bourbon caramel sauce to the top of the cake and spread it to the edge son that you get a bit of a drizzle down the side. Even the drizzle out to give the cake a bit of dimension. Pipe a nest around the edge of the cake and fill with more fruit filling. Sprinkle the pecan cinnamon sugar on top of the cake and sides.
Step 9: BONUS- Dessert
Use the saved cake top and leftover fruit, frosting and sauce to make a bonus triffle dessert. Break up the cake and place it into a container and layer it with all the ingredients. Repeat the process, so you have about two or three layers. You should have enough leftover for about two triffles.