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No-Bake Caramel Apple Cake

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Craving a delicious dessert but don’t want to turn on the oven? This No-Bake Caramel Apple Cake is the perfect solution. With layers of sweet graham crackers, caramelized apples, and a touch of cinnamon, this cake is not only easy to make but also incredibly scrumptious. Let’s dive into the recipe.

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Ingredients

For the Apple Mixture

  • 1 large apple, cored and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground hazelnuts
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Cake

  • 1 package (14.4 oz) graham crackers
  • Additional butter for garnish
  • Chopped nuts or caramel pieces for garnish (optional)

Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the Apple Mixture

  1. Cook the Apples:
    • In a medium skillet, melt the 2 tablespoons of salted butter over medium heat.
    • Add the finely chopped apple, brown sugar, cinnamon, and ground hazelnuts.
    • Cook, stirring frequently, until the apples are tender and the mixture is caramelized, about 5-7 minutes.
  2. Add Vanilla:
    • Stir in the vanilla extract and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
    • Remove from heat and let the mixture cool.

Step 2: Assemble the Cake

  1. Layer the Graham Crackers:
    • In a 9×13 inch baking dish, lay down a single layer of graham crackers, breaking them as needed to fit the shape of the dish.
  2. Add Apple Mixture:
    • Spread a portion of the caramelized apple mixture over the graham crackers.
    • Add another layer of graham crackers on top of the apples.
    • Repeat the layers, ending with a layer of graham crackers.

Step 3: Garnish and Chill

  1. Garnish:
    • Melt a bit of additional butter and drizzle it over the top layer of graham crackers.
    • Optionally, sprinkle with chopped nuts or caramel pieces for added texture and flavor.
  2. Chill:
    • Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight. This will allow the flavors to meld and the graham crackers to soften.

Step 4: Serve

  1. Slice and Serve:
    • Once the cake has chilled and set, slice it into squares and serve.
    • Enjoy your no-bake caramel apple cake chilled.

Cooking Notes and Tips

  • Apples: You can use any variety of apple you prefer, such as Granny Smith for a tart flavor or Fuji for a sweeter taste.
  • Nuts: Ground hazelnuts add a nice flavor, but you can substitute with ground almonds or omit entirely if you prefer.
  • Layering: Make sure to press down each layer gently to ensure the cake sets nicely.

Variations

Caramel Drizzle

  • Caramel Sauce: Drizzle store-bought or homemade caramel sauce over each layer of graham crackers for an extra caramel flavor.

Whipped Cream

  • Whipped Cream Layer: Add a layer of whipped cream or whipped topping between the layers of graham crackers and apple mixture for a lighter texture.

Serving Suggestions

  • Dessert: Serve as a delightful dessert after a hearty meal.
  • Potluck: Perfect for potlucks or gatherings as it’s easy to transport and doesn’t require reheating.
  • Tea Time: Enjoy a slice with a cup of tea or coffee for a delicious afternoon treat.

FAQs

Q: Can I use a different type of fruit? A: Yes, you can substitute the apples with pears or peaches for a different flavor profile.

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Q: How long does this cake last? A: This cake can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

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Q: Can I make this ahead of time? A: Absolutely! This cake is best made ahead of time to allow the flavors to meld and the graham crackers to soften.

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Q: Can I add nuts to the apple mixture? A: Yes, adding chopped nuts like pecans or walnuts to the apple mixture can add a nice crunch and extra flavor.

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Q: What can I use instead of graham crackers? A: You can use digestive biscuits, vanilla wafers, or any other type of crisp cookie that can hold up to layering.

This No-Bake Caramel Apple Cake is a simple yet delicious dessert that’s perfect for any occasion. With layers of caramelized apples, graham crackers, and a hint of cinnamon, it’s sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. Try it out and enjoy the delightful flavors!

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