Spiced Apple Chocolate Cake


Recipe by Chef Sarah Tibbetts, Valrhona Pastry Chef.  
Category: Cakes and Tarts.
Serving: One 9" Cake.
Difficulty: Easy


1 cup + 6 Tbsp butter (unsalted/soft)
1 ¾ cup dark brown sugar (packed)
2 ea eggs (room temperature)
2 Tsp vanilla extract
1 ⅔ cup all purpose flour
1 cup Bahibé Milk Chocolate (chopped)
1 ½ Tsp baking powder
1 cup water (room temperature)
Chocolate Walnut Glaze:
1 ¾ cups Caramélia Milk Chocolate (chopped)
½ cup walnut milk
Apple Topping:
5 ea honeycrisp apples
¼ Tsp apple pie spice
⅓ cup light brown sugar
¼ cup sugar
¼ Tsp cornstarch
¾ cup apple cider
½ cup walnuts (toasted/chopped)


  • Butter and line the  bottom of a 9” spring form or cake pan with a parchment round.
  • Combine the soft butter and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer.
  • With the paddle attachment, mix until lighten.  Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition and mix just until incorporated.
  • Add the vanilla extract.
  • Melt the chocolate just until it's warm, in a microwave safe bowl for 20 second intervals.
  • Add the melted chocolate to the butter mixture and mix until smooth.  Combine the flour and baking powder, then add to the bowl.  Finish with the water, pouring in slowly as the mixer runs on low speed.
  • Once fully incorporated, scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix on medium just for 30 seconds to ensure the batter is homogenous and smooth.
  • Pour into prepared pan and bake at 350°F for 40-45 minutes, or until the center is set and a cake tester comes out clean.
*Chef's Tip: JIVARA or Caramélia can be substituted for Bahibé in this recipe.   
Chocolate Walnut Glaze:
  • Melt the chocolate just until its warm, in a microwave safe bowl for 20 second intervals.
  • Bring the walnut milk to just under a bowl.  Slowly add the hot milk to the melted chocolate, stirring thoroughly after each addition, until all the liquid is incorporated.
  • Process with an immersion blender to smooth the mixture and let cool to 82°F before pouring over the top of the cooled cake.
*Chef's Tip: Glaze can be made and stored in the refrigerator until ready to use.  Microwave for 10 second intervals until slightly melted but not hot- process with an immersion blender, temp the mixture and use.
Apple Topping:
  • Combine the spice, sugars, and cornstarch.  Peel and cut the apples into thick slices.
  • Toss with the reserved dry mix to completely coat and place in a medium saucepan.  Cook over medium heat until apples begin to soften.
  • As the apples cook, add the apple cider in small increments to keep the apples from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  • Cook until the apples are soft and translucent but have not completely broken down. Cool completely before using.

Assembly & Finishing

  • Pour the warm glaze over the top of the cooled cake, allowing some to drip down the sides.
  • Place the cake in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes to slightly set the glaze.
  • Once set, gently place the apple topping in a mound in the center of the cake. 
  • Finish with toasted, chopped walnuts and serve.
  • Completed cake can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.
  • Serve at room temperature.