Honey Apple Cake with Salted Vanilla Bean Cashew Frosting is the perfectly subtle yet decadent Autumn cake you’ll want to whip up for special occasions or just a Friday night. Crisp and sweet fall apples are shredded into the batter, along with fragrant and flowery honey. The cake is quickly layered with an easy Vanilla Bean Cashew Frosting and flecked with sea salt. You’ll be thinking about this one long after it’s gone.
In my mind, I’ve always held tailgating on a pedestal.
It’s amazing. It’s fall. It’s booze. It’s BBQ. It’s rowdy embarrassing husband. It’s tons of people pretending to be your friend or enemy based on which animal you have on your shirt.
Well, until I went tailgating.
Don’t get me wrong, I used to go tailgating all the time…but that was 21 yr old me. That was the me that was self-conscious yet could unknowingly drink twice as much as she thought she could. That was the me that could down a few cookies and then enough BBQ to feed 4 and be ok (because I was going to go to the gym tomorrow anyways). That was the me that could stay up till midnight if needed.
This weekend we drove 2.5 hours to tailgate. And it was FREEZING cold. And I’m not a drinker so I was dead sober and my toes were numb. I was WEAK SAUCE. Fo’ sho.
So terribly embarrassing.
I had to tuck Hot Hands in my socks, yet my toes still went numb. I was whiny and as soon as the game became tied (let’s take count, we left at 11:30am, drove, tailgated, the game started at SIXpm…) I asked my husband when we could go home. Chuckles all around because clearly I was joking.
I was joking, right?
Anyways, it dawned on me that I tailgated 1 year. The year my now-husband and I were first dating. It was awesome. I was so cool and easy going. Because everybody can be when they’re first dating. The next year, I’d drop him off at the tailgate, stay for just an hour or so then drive home and bake or craft or do something fun. Yeah, I’m totally not cool.
And so, I’m not tailgating anymore. Maybe MAYBE if it’s 72 degrees and breezy, but other than that, I’m out. I’ll just idealize it in my mind instead.
Now, on to the cake, which is what you all came here for anyways…
- ½ cup coconut milk (canned, full fat)
- 1 tsp. vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
- ½ cup coconut margarine (or butter or coconut butter/oil), melted, cooled
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¾ cup honey
- 1 Tbs. vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- ¼ tsp. cardamom
- 2 cups gluten free flour blend
- ½ tsp. xanthan gum
- ½ cup coconut flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. salt (kosher or sea)
- 2 cups shredded apples (3 apples)
- ½ cup cashew butter
- ¼ cup coconut margarine (or butter or coconut butter)
- 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- honey and sea salt for topping the cake
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a jelly roll (or ½ sheet roll) pan with nonstick spray and line the bottom with parchment, then spray again. In a small bowl, combine the coconut milk and vinegar and set aside.
- In the mixing bowl of your mixer, combine the melted “butter”, brown sugar and honey. Beat for 2 minutes. Then add the vanilla, then the eggs (one at a time, making sure they’re mixed in between additions), then the cardamom.
- Turn off your mixer. Add all of the dry ingredients. Let the mixer very slowly mix in the dry ingredients. As it’s starting to combine, add the coconut milk/vingar. Stop the mixer just as the batter looks mixed. Add your shredded apples and let mix until well dispersed.
- Pour batter into your greased pan and spread into an even layer (it’ll be thin, don’t worry). Bake for 28 minutes, or until a test stick comes out clean and the cake is golden, pulling away from the sides of the pan.
- Let the cake cool on a cooling wrack while you make your frosting.
- In your mixer (clean, yes I know this is a pain, but it’s time to make frosting, so get happy!) combine the cashew butter, vanilla and butter. Beat on medium speed until combined and “whipped”. With the mixer off, add the powdered sugar. Slowly turn on the mixer and let the powdered sugar mix well into the frosting. Stop when it looks smooth. Set aside.
- Use a 6” cake ring to punch out two layers from the completely cooled sheet cake (I used a paring knife to cut around the ring, tracing). Carefully remove the first layer and place on your cake stand or plate. Use a pastry brush to brush the sides lightly with coconut or almond milk to get rid of pesky crumbs. Spread ½ of the cashew frosting onto the layer. Add a drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of sea salt. Add the second layer and repeat with frosting, honey and sea salt.
- Tip: You can serve the cake now if you wish. Cut it up and serve it! OR you can wrap the whole thing carefully in plastic wrap (I’d hold off on the top drizzle of honey if you’re going this route) and place in the freezer until you’re ready to serve your cake. Let the cake thaw and then drizzle with honey, cut and serve.