Caramel-swirl apple cake, for Thom

Caramel-swirl apple cake
Caramel-swirl apple cake
My handsome man,

Happy birthday! Today you turn 30. Thirty. I know it freaks you out, but I’m hoping my surprise will help to ease the pain from the obvious fact that you’re no longer in your twenties. In two hours, we’re going to the airport. And we’re going to board a plane and fly to Phoenix for the afternoon. When we get there, a car will be waiting to take us to that restaurant you speak of incessantly. You know, that one with animal-style burgers and Neapolitan milkshakes?

I was going to get you a set of those fancy Wusthof knives, but I figured that would only add to the whole making-you-feel-old thing. Not to mention, the last thing either of us needs is more shit. So I decided to buy you an experience, because experiences are more important than things. Today – for your thirtieth birthday – we’re going to gorge ourselves on burgers (you) and fries (us) then fly back to Denver and take our fat bellies to the Green Russell for a drink. After that, I’m going to take you home and rub your back and.. well.. the rest isn’t exactly suitable for the this corner of the internet.

I love you. To the moon and back a thousand times. I don’t care that you’re 30. In fact, I think it’s sexy. Now get out of bed and get ready, we’ve got a plane to catch.

So much love,

PS – Seriously, get out of bed.

Caramel-swirl apple cake
Caramel-swirl apple cake

Notes: This cake is super moist and produces a light crumb, but it’s not nearly as fluffy as cakes made with all purpose flour. If you want it to have a lighter feel, substitute 2 tablespoons of potato starch for 2 tablespoons of flour. I like making cakes in 6″ pans because we have a small family. That, and all of my pretty cake stands are 6-7″ round. This recipe can be doubled to make a larger 9″ cake, but you’ll have to adjust the baking time accordingly. If you want to do the apple layer on the bottom, that would work, too. The cake will only have to bake for 30 minutes, though.


1 cup whole spelt flour
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
6 tbsp sucanat
1/4 cup vegan butter, melted
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup non-dairy milk
1 flax egg
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
1/4 cup caramel sauce, divided
2 tart apples, peeled and chopped

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line the bottom of a 6″ spring form pan with parchment paper and spray with oil; set aside. Pass the flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and sucanat through a sift set over a large mixing bowl. Create a well in the center and pour in the butter, vanilla extract, almond milk, and flax egg; beat with a hand mixer on high speed for 20-25 seconds. Fold in the pecans then pour half of the mixture into the prepared baking pan. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of caramel, then top with the remaining batter. Run a knife through batter in a figure-8 motion several times. In a small bowl, toss the chopped apples and remaining caramel, and add additional pecan pieces if desired. Place apples over batter and press to even. Bake at 350˚F for 40-45 minutes. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. Keeps in an air tight container for 3 days, but is best the day of.

Yield: 6 slices


21 thoughts on “Caramel-swirl apple cake, for Thom

  1. What an amazing Birthday Experience – Justin and I are all about the experience vs Birthday Gifts – each year for our Birthdays we plan a little Birthday getaway, our memories of those trips will last a whole lot longer than any gift :)Beautiful cake and super cute cake stand!

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