3¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1½ teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
1½ cups light brown sugar
¾ cup canola oil
¾ cup unsweetened applesauce
¾ cup jarred caramel ice cream topping
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1½ cups buttermilk
For the Apple Frosting:
7 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 cup apple cider or apple juice (I used Simply Apple Juice)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 350*.
- Grease and flour (or use cooking spray) three (9-by-2-inch) round cake pans; set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
- In a second large bowl, beat sugar and oil together with an electric mixer until well combined, about 30 seconds.
- Add applesauce, dulce de leche and vanilla, beat for 30 seconds, then add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Add flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk, and continuing to beat until well combined.
- Pour batter into prepared cake pans and bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle of each cake comes out clean, about 40 minutes.
- Set aside to let cool for 10 minutes, then gently loosen cakes and turn out onto a cooking rack; set aside to let cool completely.
- For the frosting, put sugar, butter, cider, cinnamon and salt into a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
- Arrange one cake on a large plate and spread about 2/3 cup of the frosting evenly over the top. Arrange second cake on top then frost top and sides of entire cake with remaining frosting.
- Set aside at room temperature or in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to allow frosting to set before serving.