Apple butter pound cake has delicious apple flavor with hints of cinnamon, a ripple of apple butter, and a creamy caramel glaze.
If you think you’re not a “sweets person,” you need to try this apple butter pound cake. Pound cake is a dessert that dates back at least to the early 1700s, named because the original recipe called for a pound of each ingredient.
The ingredients have changed since then, and variations have been created. This one replaces some of the butter with apple butter. Apple butter is a mixture of cooked-down apples and spices, like applesauce but thicker.
Pound cakes are typically less sweet than other cakes. Most cakes have equal weights of flour and sugar, if not more sugar than flour. Pound cakes, on the other hand, have less sugar than flour, by weight.
So, if you tend not to like sweet cakes, you’ll probably enjoy pound cake. In addition, since apples tend to be less sweet than tart, this helps keep the sweetness down. The caramel glaze adds flavor, but the small amount that is drizzled over the cake doesn’t increase the sweetness much, especially after it soaks into the cake.
This cake is baked using the “cold oven” method. The oven is not preheated. The cake pan is placed in the cold oven, then the oven is turned on. This results in the nice dense texture that you expect of a pound cake.
I’d never heard of the cold oven method until recently, and even after some research, can’t fully explain why to do it this way. Some suggest (though it’s not verified) that in this method, the cake rises more, because the bottom sets first, but the top crust doesn’t form right away like it would in a preheated oven.
For the cake
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups apple butter, divided
- 2 cups sugar
- 6 large eggs
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup heavy cream
For the caramel
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- Liberally grease a 10-inch bundt pan with nonstick spray. Set aside. Do not preheat the oven.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter, 1/2 cup of the apple butter and sugar. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating well before adding the next, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl.
- In another bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, salt and baking powder.
- Add one third of the flour mixture to the batter, and stir on low speed just until combined. Add half of the cream and stir on low speed just until combined. Repeat with another third of the flour, the remaining half of the cream, then the remaining third of the flour.
- Scrape half of the cake batter into the prepared bundt pan. Place dollops of the remaining apple butter in the center of the batter. Scrape the remaining half of the batter into the pan.
- Place the pan in the cold oven, and turn the temperature to 325 degrees. Set a timer for 1 hour. After 1 hour, insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is done. If not, place the cake back in the oven until completely baked.
- While the cake is baking, place the caramel ingredients to a small saucepan and set over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then turn heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in vanilla.
- Turn the cake out of the pan onto a serving plate. Drizzle the caramel over the cake. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Adapted from Southern Lady Magazine