Pecan-Apple Dumpling Cake

PApple Dumpling (9)

This week’s “National Day of” challenge foods are combined together into a delicious and easy treat….just in time for autumn’s apple harvest!  We combined a wonderful toasted pecan cake with homemade apple-pie filling, topped it with a butterscotch frosting decorated with pastillage (sugar paste) autumn leaves.

This cake would lend itself well to a bundt or a single-layer coffee cake…just chop up the apples smaller and pour it hot over the top…just use your imagination to make it your own….or better yet, create something of your own from this week’s National Day of group:

September 15 – National Creme de Menthe Day
September 17 – National Apple Dumpling Day
September 19 – National Butterscotch Pudding Day
September 20 – National Rum Punch Day
September 21 – National Pecan Cookie Day

Let your imagination be your guide and Enjoy!

Ciao for now!

V & K

===================================================================PApple Dumpling (1)
Makes One 6-inch Round Cake
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened, divided
  • 2 cups chopped pecans
  • 1 cup sugar + 2 tbsp
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Prepare pans:  Butter and flour (2)-6″ round cake pans.  (We used butter & floured parchment paper on the bottom to ensure success in removing from pan)
  3. Prepare pecans:  In a medium heavy skillet, melt 1 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp sugar over medium heat. Add 1 cup of the pecans to the pan and cook until toasted and fragrant, about 4 minutes.  Spread across sheet of foil to cool.  Once cool, toss in 1/4 cup flour to help prevent the nuts from sinking to the bottom of the cake.
  4. In a food processor, grind the other 1 cup of pecans until a flour-like consistency is formed.
  5. In a large bowl, sift together flour, ground nuts, baking powder, and salt.  Whisk to combine; set aside.
  6. In a separate large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat until the eggs have paled and the mixture is in a smooth ribbon. Beat in vanilla until mixed.
  7.  Add flour mixture alternating with milk in thirds; beginning and ending with the flour, only until combined.  Do not over mix.  Fold in toasted pecans.
  8. Divide batter between cake pans and bake 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack before removing from pans. Cool completely.

Apple Dumpling Filling

  • 3 Tbs. firmly packed brown sugar
  • 3 apples, peeled and grated
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon


In a medium saucepan over medium head, cook down the butter, apples, nutmeg, cinnamon, and lemon until all the liquid has evaporated and mixture just begins to stick.  Immediately remove from pan and set aside to cool.

Butterscotch Frosting

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 12 oz. confectioners’ sugar (3 cups, spooned and leveled)
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract


Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the brown sugar and stir almost constantly with a wooden spoon. After 2 to 3 minutes, the sugar will melt and smooth out, and the mixture will begin to bubble slightly. Once this happens, stir constantly for 2 minutes. Carefully add the 1/4 cup cream and stir constantly for another 2 minutes. The mixture will thicken and look smooth. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, add in the cooled butter and sugar mixture. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla using an electric mixer on low speed (this will prevent an explosion of powdered sugar in the kitchen). Continue beating, increasing the speed until medium high, and beat for 5 minutes. If the frosting seems a little dry, beat in more cream, 1/2 Tbs. at a time, until it’s thick, smooth, and spreadable.

To assemble the cake:

Place one layer of the cake on a cake board or cake plate.  Place 1/2 cup frosting in a piping bag with a large round tip (#1). Pipe a “dam” along the outside edge of the bottom layer of cake to hold in the filling.

Spoon the filling into the center of the lower layer and, with a knife, gently push toward the outer dam. (Laying the top layer on will push it further out).

Center the top layer on the bottom layer and gently push down to secure (not so hard that you squirt filling out the sides though!)  Frost and decorate.  Store covered in a cool place.



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