From Farmgirl Gourmet  


  • 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 vanilla bean, halved
  • 4 cups apples, peeled, cored and diced small
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream


Put 1/2 stick butter into a large saucepan. Using a paring knife, scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the saucepan and add the pod. Cook over medium heat until the butter is lightly browned, about 2-3 minutes. Add the apples, cider and 1 cup of granulated sugar. Raise the heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.Reduce the heat to low and cook until apples are golden and tran slucent and the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Discard the pod and let cool.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter two 9-inch round cake pans (or 8-inch if you don’t have 9’s). Dust with flour and tap out the excess. Set aside. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. Reserve 1/4 cup of spiced flour mixture. Set all aside.

Beat remaining 2 sticks of butter, remaining 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar and the brown sugar with a mixer on medium-high until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Reduce speed to medium and add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Reduce to low and alternate the flour and sour cream in 2 batches each. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of flour and caramelized apples and fold gently to combine.

Divide batter between the prepared cake pans. Bake until tops are dark golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Run a knife around the edges and turn cakes out onto a cooling rack. Cool completely. Enjoy!