It’s hard to forget those lovely European single layer, complex and sweet dessert cakes—the ones with no fancy icing—just layers of flavor.  Each small slice is equally delicious with an espresso or champagne.  Each bite is layered with the flavor of the cake, a soaked-in syrup or liqueur, and the fruit or nut topping.    Cakes are baked then flipped carefully to present bottom layers on top.  One complicated recipe after another—finally decided to try for simplicity.  A few pantry staple shortcuts still result in a simple but flavor-layered cake.

  • Peel and core 2 apples and slice thinly with mandoline
  • Melt 1 tblsp butter in sauté pan, add 1 tblsp brown sugar and apple slices—toss and simmer 5-6 minutes until apples soften
  • If you have a favorite spice cake recipe, use ½ recipe for one layer—or use ½ of a boxed mix, adding a bit more cinnamon or allspice and salt—follow pkg directions, but use 2 eggs
  • You can make your own caramel sauce in about 10 minutes-–or use a purchased sauce
  • Thoroughly butter a glass 9” or 10” pie plate
  • Spoon a generous layer of caramel sauce on bottom of plate—spread apples evenly over the sauce
  • Pour batter evenly over apples—making sure to cover the fruit
  • Bake as directed—usually 350’ for about ½ hour—until toothpick comes clean out of cake
  • Let cake rest about 10 minutes—then carefully invert on a large plate—topping will set up as it cools

The Kitchen Hive

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