Iron Chef Shellie

Apple Cake with Sage Caramel

Savour the beauty and bliss of this winter cake, picture perfect and irresistibly light.


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Apple Cake with Sage Caramel
May 30, 2023
Recipes , Shellie Faves

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Apple Cake with Sage Caramel

Get ready to treat yourself with this mouthwatering Apple Cake with Sage Caramel recipe. This recipe is by Benjamina Ebuehi, one of my all time favourite contestants from the Great British Baking Show. She might not have won, but she had two great cookbooks out which I can highly recommend. This cake has an incredible light and fluffy texture, which pairs really nicely with the cream cheese frosting. The creamy cream cheese frosting is infused with sage caramel, and adds the perfect balance of flavours, while the apple crisps add a fancy touch.

Apple Cake with Sage Caramel

Benjamina Ebuehi
Print Recipe


For the crisps

  • 1 apple of your choice

For the cake

  • 2 apples of your choice
  • 60ml water
  • 2 eggs
  • 150g light brown sugar
  • 20ml vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 175g plain flour
  • baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 handful of roughly chopped walnuts

For the sage caramel

  • 120ml heavy cream
  • 8-10 fresh sage leaves, plus extra to decorate
  • 200g caster sugar
  • ¼ tsp flaky sea salt

For the frosting

  • 50g butter, slightly softened
  • 50g powdered sugar
  • 180g cream cheese, slightly softened


  • Preheat the oven to 140℃ (285℉). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Take 1 apple and, starting from the bottom, slice it thinly through the core – use a mandoline if you have one to get thin, even slices or use a very sharp knife. Place the apple slices on the  baking tray, making sure not to overlap them.Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, turning them over once, or until they're dry to touch and beginning to curl up (thicker slices will take longer to crisp, so keep an eye on them to make sure they do not brown too much).Transfer the apple crisps to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Increase the oven temperature to 180℃ (350℉). Spray a 20 x 20-cm (8 x 8-inch) with baking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  • To make the cake, peel, core, and roughly chop the 2 apples and place them into a small sauce, along with the water. Cook over a low heat for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the apples have softened. Remove from the heat and mash them lightly with a fork to make applesauce (it's fine to have a few chunkier pieces). Set aside.
  • Using a stand mixer, whisk together the eggs and the sugar for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the eggs are pal and thick. With the mixer still running, slowly pour in the oil and continue to beat for another minute. Stir in the applesauce, vanilla, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the cake is well browned and springy to the touch.Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the pan.
  • To make the sage caramel, add the cream and sage leaves to a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer, and then remove from the heat, cover and let it steep and cool for 20 minutes. Once cool, discard the sage leaves.
  • In a separate saucepan, heat the granulated sugar over a medium heat until it dissolves and turns a light amber colour (swirl the pan every now and again to help the sugar caramelise evenly). Once it reaches a golden amber colour, slowly pour in the cream (be careful, as the caramel will bubble up rapidly). Whisk constantly and let the caramel simmer for 30 seconds before removing it from the heat and stirring in the salt. Pour it into a bowl to cool.
  • To make the frosting, add the butter and powdered sugar to the bowl of an electric mixer, and beat until the mixture is pale and creamy. Add the cream cheese and beat for 1 minute, or until smooth. Beat in 60g (3 tablespoons) of the sage caramel and set aside until you are ready to decorate.
  • When the cake is completely cool, remove it from the pan and pace it on a cake stand or serving plate. Spoon on the frosting, spreading it evenly and leaving about a 1 cm border around the edges. Drizzle on the remaining sage caramel and then place the apple crisps, sage leaves, and walnuts on top.

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Apple Cake with Sage Caramel

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Shellie Froidevaux

All content on this site is by Shellie Froidevaux - aka Iron Chef Shellie. Her skills include recipe development, food styling in her kitchen studio, lifestyle and travel photography, restaurant photography on location, styling and shooting social media for her clients and photography workshops for people who really want to change their game :)

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