Once I had the idea for a caramel apple cake I literally couldn’t choose between a classic one with sprinkles, and my ultimate favorite Disney treat, an apple pie Mickey apple. Hence two cakes (I can be a bit extreme, ha!). Obviously I had to use applesauce cake, but I forgot to leave out the nuts which was annoying when I was trimming the cakes, so keep that in mind when you’re choosing your flavor.
The procedure is much the same for both designs, with a few differences at the end. In this post we’re doing the apple pie Mickey apple version. Here are the instructions for the classic apple with sprinkles.
bake and assemble the layers
The classic apple is a 6” diameter spherical pan, and the Mickey one is 5”. For each, you also need one layer in the same diameter as the sphere (so for the 6” sphere, I bake one 6” layer. This is so you don’t have to put enough batter in the sphere to fill it all the way, which would overbake the edges).
Brush shortening inside, then roll flour around. Gently tip the flour out without tapping so there’s a good layer left, fill halfway with batter, and bake. Once they’ve baked and cooled, turn them out of the pans. Wash and dry the pans, and line them with plastic wrap.
Cut each sphere cross ways in half. Turn the top over and lay it in the bottom of the lined pan and spread a layer of frosting on top (I used my salted caramel buttercream). Put the other half of the sphere on top, and add more frosting. Cut the regular layer into two layers, and put one half on each sphere, to fill each pan to the top.
Chill them thoroughly, at least several hours but overnight is great.
trim and crumbcoat
Tip one cake out and unwrap. To make the bottom of the apple, use a serrated knife in a gentle sawing motion to cut a steeper slope all the way round. Cover in buttercream and stick back in the fridge.
For the top, tip the second cake out and unwrap. Cut a little bit off the top, and with a paring knife pointing in at an angle, cut a divot out. Crumbcoat with buttercream and chill.
For both halves, add a thick layer of buttercream and smooth. The easiest way for curves is with a flexible plastic mat- this one is a strip cut off a larger cutting mat, so it’s easy to handle. For the divot, it’s easiest to chill, then use your fingers to smooth.
Sandwich the halves together with buttercream, and fill in the gap. I started frosting and it wiggled around so I sharpened a 1/4” dowel, stacked several cake boards and hammered the dowel through the center into the boards. That gives you something to hold, along with keeping the cake still while you’re working. Above right you can see the kind of cutting mat that works so well for smoothing buttercream on curves.
Once the cake is perfectly smooth, chill.
cover with fondant
- white fondant
- rolling pin
- fondant smoother
- sugar shaper
- scalpel or exacto knife
- palette knife
- jumbo marshmallows
- cinnamon sugar
- graham cracker crumbs
- plastic clay knife
Roll out your white fondant and run the smoother firmly over it to press out any dents or bubbles.
Lay it carefully over the apple, lowering it straight down over the dowel making sure you’re not pulling outward. Working quickly, gently smooth the fondant over the top to keep the weight of the extra fondant from pulling down. Once it’s secure, use your hands to smooth downwards. Fondant can be a bit random, and covering a sphere can be a challenge. But for whatever reason this one went really easily – to see how to do a more realistic version, check out the other version I did.
The main thing to keep in mind while you’re fiddling with the bottom on a spherical cake is to not allow the fondant to pull down. Continually push the excess inward, and when you cut, push in, not down (the fondant will want to tear). It’s no big deal in this case because the graham cracker crumbs will hide a lot!
To polish and work out the last little imperfections, I like to make a little pad out of extra fondant and briskly and gently rub it over the cake in a circular motion. Trim the last bit of fondant from around the dowel, and smooth with your fingers and a sugar shaper. If the fondant has gotten a bit sticky while you worked, dip your finger in cornstarch.
For the little puddle of white chocolate, roll out a rope of fondant and wrap it around the bottom. Rub hard with your finger to flatten it.
Cut about one third off of the jumbo marshmallows. Brush a little bit of corn syrup over them and cover with a thin layer of fondant. Trim the excess, and stick on top of the cake. Smooth the seams with the sugar shaper.
Brush water over the top half of the apple, including the ears. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar over, carefully tilting the cake as necessary. Brush water or corn syrup over the bottom half, and press the graham cracker crumbs on with your cupped hand (very messy! Do this on a rimmed tray or baking pan).
Now just step back and admire your super cute apple pie Mickey apple cake!!