Caramel Apple Cake

YIELDS: 10 SERVINGS
PREP TIME: HOURS 20 MINS
TOTAL TIME: HOURS 30 MINS
INGREDIENTS
FOR THE CAKE
box spice cake mix, plus ingredients called for on box
apples
1/3 c. chopped peanuts, preferably roasted
3 c. chocolate chips
1 1/2 c. heavy cream
FOR THE CARAMEL BUTTERCREAM
1 c. (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 c. caramel, plus more for decoration
4 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 tsp. cinnamon
3 tbsp. heavy cream
Pinch of kosher salt
DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 350° and line two 8” or 9” cake pans. Prepare cake batter according to package instructions. Divide between pans and bake according to package instructions. Let cool for 10 minutes in pan, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  2. Make ganache: In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, heat heavy cream until bubbles begin to form around the edges. Add chocolate chips to a large heatproof bowl, then pour hot heavy cream on top. Let sit for 5 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Let cool slightly.
  3. Make buttercream: In a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat butter and caramel until light and fluffy. Add vanilla then gradually beat in powdered sugar. Add heavy cream and mix until smooth.
  4. Assemble cake: Place bottom layer of cake on your serving platter. Spread with buttercream and pour ganache over the buttercream. Place the second layer of the cake on top then frost cake entirely with buttercream. Pour ganache over the buttercream, letting the ganache drip over the edges. (For perfect drips, use a squeeze bottle.) Refrigerate until ganache sets, about 10 minutes.
  5. Pour caramel over ganache, letting it drip over the edges. Dunk apples in caramel then place on top. Sprinkle chopped peanuts around the apples. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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SOURCE: DELISH, Lauren Miyasharo