Spiced Brown Sugar Cake With Cinnamon Apple Filling

Prep Time:
60 minutes (plus 4 hours to chill)

Cook Time:
30 minutes

Total Time:
1 hour, 30 minutes (plus 4 hours to chill)

8-12 slices

Spiced Brown Sugar Cake with Cinnamon Apple Filling and Maple Caramel German Buttercream

Layers of spiced cake with a spiced apple filling, finished with a silky maple caramel German buttercream and a maple caramel drip, from Cloudy Kitchen.



  • Preheat oven to 350°. Grease three 6” cake pans and line with parchment paper on the bottom.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, vanilla, milk and sour cream.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fit with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice and cloves. Mix briefly to combine.
  • With the mixer on low, add the butter a cube at a time, until fully incorporated.
  • Add half of the wet ingredients into the mixer. Mix until just combined, then add the second half of the wet ingredients. Mix on medium speed until just combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold with a rubber spatula to ensure that no dry ingredients remain.
  • Divide batter between the three cake tins. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the cakes are springy to the touch and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven and cool for 15 minutes. Turn onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely.


  • Place the maple syrup in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. Place the heavy cream, corn syrup, vanilla and salt in a small saucepan and heat on low just to warm.
  • Over medium heat, cook the maple syrup, stirring frequently with a whisk, until it registers 250° on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat and add the butter, whisking to combine. Add the heavy cream mixture and whisk until incorporated. Transfer to a container and allow to cool, then place in the fridge and allow to cool completely.


  • Place the chopped apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and vanilla into a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the apples are tender, approximately 10-12 minutes.
  • Transfer to a container and allow to cool completely.


  • In a bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, egg, egg yolk, corn starch and salt. In a medium saucepan, heat heavy cream, milk and vanilla to just shy of a simmer. Remove from the heat.
  • Whisking constantly, pour half of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture. Whisk until incorporated and then pour back into the saucepan.
  • Heat the milk and egg mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it begins to bubble. Once it has thickened, cook for one minute, then remove from heat. Pour into a shallow container or bowl of a stand mixer and cover with plastic wrap to avoid a skin forming. Refrigerate until cold - at least four hours, preferably overnight.
  • Place the pastry cream in a mixing bowl. Using the whisk attachment, whip the mixture on medium until creamy and lump-free. Begin adding the butter, a few cubes at a time, until fully incorporated. Once all of the butter has been added and is mixed well, add the caramel and whip on high speed until incorporated. Switch to the paddle attachment and mix on low for 2-3 minutes to help remove any air bubbles.


  • Level off the cake layers. Transfer some of the buttercream to a piping bag fit with a medium round tip - this will be used to make a buttercream dam to hold in the spiced apple filling.
  • Secure one of the layers of cake to a cake turntable or stand using a little buttercream. Add about 1/3 cup of buttercream onto the first layer of cake and smooth using an offset spatula. Create a buttercream dam using the buttercream in the piping bag by piping a ring of frosting around the outside edge of the first layer. Fill in the ring with spiced apple filling - strain the filling with your spoon, leaving the liquid behind. Place the second layer of cake onto the first, pressing very lightly to secure and sealing the joins with a thin layer of buttercream. Repeat the layering process. Return the rest of the buttercream in the piping bag to the bowl with the buttercream.
  • Coat the outside of the cake with a layer of buttercream using an offset spatula, then using a cake scraper, smooth the sides, exposing some of the cake for a semi-naked finish, or covering the whole cake for a more solid finish. Smooth off the top edge of the cake using an offset spatula, wiping between strokes.
  • Add a caramel drip to the top edge of the cake if desired. Transfer some of the remaining buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a French star tip. Pipe buttercream stars on top of cake.
  • Chill the cake until ready to serve. Remove from the fridge about one hour before serving to bring to room temperature. 

Recipe and images courtesy of Cloudy Kitchen.