Showstopping Toffee Apple Cake for Halloween

Woman's hands holding plate with cake, drips of caramel and chocolate icing, 3 toffee apples coated in pistachios, spun sugar "cobwebs" between the chocolate sticks
Credit: Tesco

Dripping with layers of caramel and chocolate, with a centrepiece of toffee apples, this showstopping cake is wickedly irresistible. It can make your Bonfire Night go with a bang too!

Preparation Time: 1hr 10min
Cooking Time: 45min
Serves: 16
565 calories per serving

  1. Preheat the oven to gas 5, 190°C, fan 170°C. Grease the base and sides of 2 x 19cm round tins, then line with non-stick baking paper.
  2. To make the cake, whisk together eggs and sugar in a large bowl. Gradually pour in the oil, whisking as you go.
  3. Fold in the remaining cake ingredients, then divide between the tins. Bake for 30-35min until risen and springy. Cool in the tin for 2min, then transfer to a rack.
  4. Meanwhile, make the toffee apples. Wash the apples in hot water to remove the waxy coating. Put on a sheet of non-stick baking paper and spear each with a skewer.
  5. Heat sugar in a small pan with 50ml water until dissolved. Stir in the vinegar and golden syrup and bring to the boil.
  6. Cook for 10-12min, until a drop sets when drizzled into a glass of cold water. Stir in the cream and cook for 1-2min, then remove from the heat.
  7. Toss the apricots and 50g pistachios together on a plate. Swirl each apple in the toffee to coat, then dip into the pistachio and apricot mixture. Transfer to the baking paper to set. Remove the skewers and replace with the chocolate sticks, to give each apple a ‘stalk’ (see top tip).
  8. To make the icing, beat 250g of the softened butter together with the icing sugar and cocoa powder.
  9. For the salted caramel, put  remaining butter in a small pan with the condensed milk caramel. Heat, stirring, until you have a smooth sauce. Remove from the heat, stir in the salt and cool while you ice the cake.
  10. To decorate: Put one half of the cake on a plate and spread 2-3tbsp icing over the top. Sprinkle with 50g pistachios. Top with the other sponge, then spread remaining butter icing over the top and sides of the cake.
  11. Pour over half of the salted caramel. Spread to the edges so it runs down the sides.
  12. Chop 15g dark chocolate and stir into the remaining caramel until melted. Pour over the cake and allow to run down the sides, creating a distinct second layer.
  13. Arrange toffee apples on the cake, stalks upwards. Sprinkle with the remaining pistachios.
  14. Melt remaining chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Drizzle over the apples and cake.
  15. If decorating with spun sugar, melt the sugar in a small pan, without stirring, over a medium heat.
  16. Remove from the heat when the sugar turns golden brown and cool a little. Then hold the pan above the cake and, using a fork, flick the caramel over the cake and toffee apples.

Top tips

  • Short on time? Simply use ready-made toffee apples.
  • Don’t lose your drip effect! Chill the cake for 5-10min after applying each layer.