#67 Apple Walnut Cake with Caramel Cream Cheese Icing


“We made this exceptionally pretty cake for special orders only, but so many customers requested it that it became part of our standard cake repertoire. ”

Excerpt From: Jennifer Appel. “The Complete Magnolia Bakery Cookbook.” iBooks. https://itun.es/us/idq2G.l


This recipe makes Magnolia Man think so much of his beloved France – walnuts from our trees, golden delicious apples, Bonne Maman caramel, and fine calvados from Normandy.

This cake was not difficult to make – but I cheated a little bit. I didn’t make the caramel myself. The Magnolia cookbook has the recipe, but I had a jar of Bonne Maman Caramel and I couldn’t resist the ease of using it (this time).

The recipe calls for this cake to be a two-layer cake. I decided to split the batter between three pans for three layers. All I needed to do was watch the bake time which was reduced a bit. It worked out.


SOMETHING NOT-AS-USUAL: This recipe had three cups of flour – 2 cups all-purpose, 1 cup whole wheat. That is not unusual in the baking world, but it is for the Magnolia cookbook. The whole wheat created a cake more easy than usual to break and crumb. I managed to keep it together, but I did need to pay attention when handling it. The whole wheat also tends to “burn” more easily. This started to happen so I turned on the fan of our lovely convection oven.

Walnuts. Lots of walnuts.
Merci, maman – Bonne Maman.

I smiled after piping the caramel onto this cake. The cake doesn’t look like the Magnolia pictures – and I like mine more. Ha!

SWRILS? The instructions in the cookbook asks that you swirl the caramel on top of the cream cheese icing. I have NOT been able to swirls that looked like anything other than a heavy-handed mess. So, what to do? Google it! of course.

I got a good idea from a cupcake decorating video (which I can’t find at the moment) using a plastic sandwich bag.


CHUNKY GOOD: Inside this cake are 1inch big chunks of apple and coarsely chopped walnut chunks.

Nothing delicate about this cake. It’s a dense, moist, pack-a-flavor-punch cake.


#44, Devil’s Food Cake with Seven-Minute Icing and Coconut

This is the same recipe Allysa’s family has made for every birthday since the beginning of time, and the same cake we served at the bakery—but a different icing and the coconut garnish give it a whole new taste.


I promised to bake a birthday cake for three of my students whose birthday’s are in November. I told them to choose any Magnolia Bakery recipe that I had not yet cooked and that I would make it for them. They chose Devil’s Food Cake. I chose the version in the book with the seven-minute icing and coconut.

Helas! This is all that is left


of this


But, it started like this..


and then turned into this

camoji (1)

which folded into this…..


then lastly to this (see below)

camoji (2)

MY CUP OVERFLOWETHED: The recipe called for three 9 x 2 inch cake pans. As I poured the batter in, I thought that the pans were too full and that a fourth pan could have been used. I was right. The cakes rose and poured over the sides of the pans – not disastrously. When a cake overflows the pan, the cake is actually pulled back down and flattened a bit. I was worried that the cake would not cook correctly throughout and there was a fear that the edges would burn. These fears did not come true. I just trimmed the droopy edges off and all was fine.

CONFETTI COCONUT: Dried, sweetened coconut is not available in Doha; at least I have never found it. Family Foods has freshly shredded coconut available sometimes. (Request at the vegetable weigh stations.) I recently found frozen, unsweetened coconut at Mega Mart. I toasted the shredded coconut in the oven (5 minutes under low broil). I didn’t try to sweeten it because the icing was already SO sweet. I had FUN throwing the coconut onto the iced cake. It turned out rather well.