Back in 2018, I hadn't started this blog yet. I just watched a lot of cooking shows and looked for any opportunity to bake and try all these things I was learning. One night, for a dissertation workshop, I decided to make a spice cake with apple filling and caramel frosting. I found the photo on my Instagram recently, and I decided to remake it with a few little twists. Now, it's a dulce de leche spice cake, and it's so much better than the past version.
This spice cake is soft and full of all your favorite fall flavors. Topped with a creamy dulce de leche frosting and a hidden layer of apple butter, and it's one of my favorite fall desserts. While fall is slowly coming to an end as winter is approaching, I will definitely be making this cake long past the end of November. It's too good to leave behind!
What kind of Dulce de Leche should I use?
You can buy any kind of store bought brand, but I make my own. It's super simple, and requires very little work.
Take 2 cans of sweetened condense milk, place in a crock pot and cover with water.
Turn it on high for 5 hours, let cool, and you're good to go!
Now, you have homemade dulce de leche, which is way better than store bought.
Why apple butter?
Look, you don't have to put the apple butter in there, but you'd be seriously missing out if you don't. I make my own apple butter (again, in a crock pot), but that takes all day. Just buy store bought, you really can't go wrong. There's so many great brands out there, any of them will be fine.
You can also peel and chop some apples and sautÃ© them in a pan with butter, brown sugar, and some cinnamon until the apples are tender. Just watch the "juice." You don't want to add too much liquid to the center, so it might be best to drain the mixture before adding to the center of the cake. Doing this option allows some fun textual contrast to the cake.
It's a win-win whichever one you choose.
How do I store this cake?
In the fridge!
Seriously, dulce de leche is a lot looser than caramel. If you don't put this in the fridge, you will have a mess on your hands, especially after your pour it on top of the cake. Save yourself the headache of cleaning up a sticky, sugary mess and just store yourdulce de leche spice cake in your fridge. I'm begging you.
Dulce de Leche Spice Cake with Apple Butter Filling
- 1 cup butter
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 large eggs
- ½ cup milk
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 ½ cups AP flour
- 2 tsps cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon all spice
- 1 cup apple butter
Dulce de Leche Frosting
- 1 cup dulce de leche
- 2 cups butter
- 5 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and line 2 8-inch cake pans.
- Cream together butter and sugar for 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs one at a time until full incorporate. Cream for 5 minutes until fluffy and light in color. In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients. Alternate adding milk and dry ingredients until full combined.
- Add batter to cake pans. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Let cool completely.
Frosting and Assembly
- Beat butter for 5 minutes until lightened and fluffy. Slowly pour in dulce de leche, continue to beat for another few minutes until mixture is fluffy again. Add in powdered sugar.
- Place your first layer of cake on your cake stand, covering with a generous layer of icing. Pipe around the edge of the surface to serve as a barrier for the apple butter. Place around 1 cup of apple butter in the center, smooth.
- Place second layer on top and dirty ice the cake. Place in fridge for 30 minutes until frosting is set.
- Frost the cake and put back in the fridge for an additional 30 minutes until set. Before serving, microwave around 1 cup of dulce de leche until it runs in a constant ribbon off of your spoon (about 30-45 seconds). Pour over cake and serve immediately.