That’s an interesting combo, right? I made it to fulfill a challenge for a foodie group I’m in on Instagram. Each month we have a seasonal foods challenge. We create dishes using one or both of the challenge foods. September’s was…can you guess…?? Yes, cabbage and apple. I thought it would be funny to try the combo in a dessert. So, let me present my contribution- cabbage and apple cake. Weird dessert, right? This is a good example of being able to disguise veggies in foods. I chose a cake with strong flavors, plenty of cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar. The icing was a cream cheese and I topped it with caramel apple chunks.With all those flavors, there is no way you could taste the cabbage. So, when I presented it to my hubs, I didn’t exactly tell him what was in the cake. He tried it, loved it, raved about it and then I told him what was in it. His reaction was a little mixed. I could see he wanted to be grossed out, but was enjoying it too much to stop. So, he finished the piece he started and another, just to be sure. Hah!
Start by chopping your cabbage and apples. I made sure to do it in a food processor. Although I’m willing to take on this challenge, I still didn’t want to have stringy cabbage in my cake!
Next, mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.
In another bowl. combine the oil and sugars. Next add the eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and yogurt. Mix to combine.
Add in your cabbage and apples and pecans. Fold carefully. Add dry ingredients, again fold carefully.
Divide between 2 cake pans. You can cook it in one, but it is easier to bake, without over baking in 2.
Bake until cake is cooked and a toothpick comes out clean.
Once it’s cooled a few minuted, then remove from pan. Continue to let it cool.
Next, start the caramel apple chunks. Melt the butter and brown sugar together.
Add in apple chunks and cook until it caramelizes.
By the time it has cooked for several minutes, the apples will be cooked, but not mushy, still a touch firm.
Set it aside to cool.
Next up is the cream icing. Be smarter than I was and make sure you make it in a stand mixer or a bowl with higher sides. I made a mess I didn’t want to clean up.
Now, start assembling. I cut each layer in half, so I had 4 pieces all together. in between each layer I spread the cream cheese icing, some of the caramel from the apples and pecans.
I filled each layer.
You can decorate the top however you choose. I did piped swirls with pecans.
Then I topped the whole thing with all the caramel apple chunks and let all that tasty caramel drip down the sides. Just look at that!
Here’s a view of a what a piece looks like, all 4 layers of goodness.
Now, I know you might be hesitant to try this. It sounds weird to put cabbage in a cake, but honestly, it was really good.
Cabbage and Caramel Apple Cake
- 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup canola oil or other neutral flavored oil
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cups brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 3/4 cup shredded cabbage
- 3/4 cup shredded apples
- 3/4 cup chopped pecans
Caramel Apple Chunks
- 2 apples, cut in chunks
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
Cream Cheese Icing
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 stick butter, softened
- 5 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- milk this is a variable, depending on the consistency you are looking for.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.Prep cake pans. I used 2- 8 inch pans. Spray or butter well, set aside.In a small bowl, mix flours, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. In another, larger bowl, mix the sugars and oil. To this add in the greek yogurt, eggs, vanilla and buttermilk. Next, add the cabbage, apples and pecans to mix.Combine the wet and dry ingredients and fold carefully. Don't overmix. Pour into prepared pans. Bake until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pans for about 5-10 minutes. Remove cakes carefully from pans and set on cooling racks to finish cooling. While the cakes are cooling, start the caramel apple chunks. Instructions below.
Caramel Apple Chunks
- Add butter and brown sugar to heavy bottomed pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring pretty regularly , until butter is melted and combined well with the brown sugar. Add apple chunks to pan and continue to cook, stirring regularly, about 7 minutes. The apples should be slightly soft, but now mushy. Set aside and allow to cool.
Cream Cheese Icing
- Combine all ingredients and mix well. I like to beat mine on high to get it nice and fluffy.Once it's ready and the cake and apples are cool, start assembling. I cut each layer in half, giving me 4 pieces. Spread each layer with the cream cheese icing, chopped pecans and some caramel from the caramel apples. On the top, pipe the icing how you choose, then top with the apple chunks and remaining caramel. It's okay if it drizzles down the side and soaks in!