Caramel Apple Shortcakes

by Kelly on October 24, 2011

Recently the boyfriend (Yes, I have one and the fuzzy feeling of using that title hasn’t worn off yet.) and I headed up to Indiana to do a day of fall activities. First on the agenda was apple picking at Garwood Orchard.

Apple Orchard-1

What’s been an annual tradition for me (albeit at different orchards having now lived in three states) was a first for him, so I had a blast sharing my love of apple picking, pumpkin patches, and changing leaves.  As usual, I over picked, ending up with nearly a bushel of apples as well as some u-pick bell and banana peppers.  I’ve never seen u-pick vegetables, so these were a fun first for me.

Caramel Apple Shortcake-6-2In a word, I was in heaven.  If I could make fall last all year round I would.  If someone knows of a place that is fall all year long perhaps a move is in order.   As if the day wasn’t good enough, we concluded it with wine tasting at the nearby Anderson Winery & Vineyard where we tasted a plethora of wines, before deciding on a bottle of Seyval Blanc, made from grapes from their own vineyard.

Wine Tasting in Indiana-1Enjoyed at a picnic table on their grounds, it was cool and crisp, the perfect compliment to an unseasonably warm fall day.  And once back in my own kitchen, I was inspired to create an apple-centric dish (expect a lot of these while I make my way through my bounty) which I brought to my cooking club potluck along with the Two-Bite Salmon en Croute with Figs and Caramelized Onions I previously blogged about.  With this dish I went for a sweet take.  I’ve always loved strawberry shortcake and thought it would be fun to do a version with apples instead.

Caramel Apple Shortcake-7With this version I pair sauteed apples with a vanilla bean scented caramel sauce for a dessert that is the perfect blend of sweet, decadent, crisp, and fresh.  I’m already thinking it would be equally amazing with some fresh bananas in place of the apples.  Perhaps that version will have to come when local, seasonal fruit is hard to come by.

Caramel Apple Shortcakes
Caramel sauce adapted from My Baking Addiction and shortcakes adapted from King Arthur Flour
Yields 10 servings


-1 and 1/2 cup heavy cream, divided
-1/2 vanilla bean
-1 cup plus 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
-1 tablespoon light corn syrup
-1/4 cup water
-1/4 cup unsalted butter, divided
-1 and 1/2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt, divided
-1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
-1/4 cup cornstarch
-1 tablespoon baking powder
-Coarse sugar, if desired, for sprinkling on the shortcakes
-2 large cooking/baking apples (I used Fuji), peeled, halved, cored and thinly sliced
-1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
-Whipped cream for serving, if desired


Warm the cream over medium-low heat. Split the vanilla bean and using your knife, scrape the seeds into the cream. Keep over low heat to allow the vanilla flavor to infuse while you make your caramel.

In a large saucepan, stir together the sugar, light corn syrup, and water until the sugar is completely moistened. Place your candy thermometer into the pot making sure that it is immersed in your sugar mixture.

Heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the syrup is bubbling. Stop stirring completely and allow it to boil undisturbed until it turns a deep amber (temperature will reach 380 degrees F). I like to keep a silicone pastry brush and a dish of water nearby to brush down the sides of the pan to keep any sugar that bubbles up onto the sides from burning. Immediately remove it from the heat and slowly and carefully pour the hot cream into the caramel. It will bubble up furiously.

Use a heat-resistant rubber spatula to stir the mixture until smooth, scraping up the thicker part that settles on the bottom. Stir two tablespoons of the butter and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Set aside to cool slightly while you make the rest of the shortcake components.

To make the shortcakes, stir together the flour, cornstarch, remaining salt, baking powder, and sugar. Stir in enough of the remaining heavy cream to moisten the dough thoroughly. (You’ll want to add it 1/4 cup at a time to ensure the right consistency.)

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, and very gently pat it into an 8″ circle about 3/4″ thick. Use a sharp biscuit cutter to cut rounds or alternatively, use a cookie scoop for a more rustic look. Melt two tablespoons of the butter. Dip the rounds into melted butter, and place them on a lightly greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with coarse sugar, if desired.

Bake the shortcakes in an oven preheated to 425 degrees F for 15 to 18 minutes, till they’re golden brown.

While the shortcakes are baking, make the sauteed apples. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add apples; sauté 6 minutes or until apples are just tender. Stir in the cinnamon and remove from the heat.

To assemble the shortcakes, slice each shortcake in half. Place the bottom half on a plate, top with sauteed apples followed by a generous drizzle of the caramel sauce. Dollop on whipped cream, if using, and top with the top half of the shortcake, cut side down.

I still have WAY too many apples on hand. What else should I make with my stash?

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Blog is the New Black October 24, 2011 at 7:23 am

Looks amazing! 🙂


Kelly October 24, 2011 at 1:30 pm

Thanks. 🙂


galangal October 24, 2011 at 1:51 pm

You can remove this post if you want, but thank you for posting on Bloggers Without Borders about the horribly mismanaged fundraiser. That took guts.


Kelly October 24, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Galangal – I would never remove this. 🙂 I appreciate the comment though I have to say, it honestlymakes me sad that expressing any sort of dissent or raising questions in the blogging community would have to require guts. In so many circles, discussion is encouraged and common. Why should ours be any different.

I’m sure there are some people who will think I am being a brat or a “hater” by speaking out about this, but I really just wanted to share my thoughts in as respectful a manner as I could as someone who was intrigued by this group. It honestly made me sad that it all came down the way it did. I’m willing to give everyone involved the benefit of the doubt and assume their intentions were good, but it was misleading any way you roll the dice.


Lauren October 24, 2011 at 6:21 pm

I came to your website for the first time today because I saw you speak out about BWOB. So there’s one good thing to come out of that mess in that I’ve now discovered your site! This recipe looks incredible. I never would’ve thought to use apples in a shortcake but now that you’ve floated the idea, I must try it.


Kelly October 24, 2011 at 7:14 pm

Lauren – Thanks for stopping by. It’s pretty tame and drama free compared to what is going on with BoB, but I like to think there are good recipes. 🙂


Reeni October 24, 2011 at 8:55 pm

I love the idea of an apple shortcake! So outside the box, very creative and unique! The caramel sauce just makes it crazy good.


Ranjani October 24, 2011 at 9:30 pm

This is such a great idea! For some reason it never occurred to me to make shortcake with anything but strawberries. Looks delicious!


Cara October 24, 2011 at 10:51 pm

Boyfriend?! yay! I hope he knows what a lucky guy he is 🙂


Carolyn Jung October 25, 2011 at 12:02 am

Love how you turned a summer dessert into an autumn one. Can’t wait to see how you rejigger it for winter, too. Mmm, maybe with pears or cranberries? 😉


NaNa October 25, 2011 at 4:01 am

Sounds like a lovely day. And the apples look very tasty. The last picture is just…wow. I’m drooling…



Lauren @ Healthy Food For Living October 25, 2011 at 10:08 am

Any recipes that includes caramel + apples sounds fabulous to me, and these shortcakes are no exception!

I recently made pumpkin applesauce from another blog (link to be posted soon) that was delicious – if you’re still looking for apple recipes =).


Kelly October 25, 2011 at 11:14 am

Reeni – Thank you. I LOVE shortcake and I found myself thinking that strawberries shouldn’t get to have ALL the fun. And yes, the caramel sauce does make it crazy good. I’ve been thinking I really should have a second batch around at all times.

Ranjani – It hadn’t occurred to me for quite awhile either. But now I’m thinking other versions are in order.

Cara – Awww thank you. I’ll be sure to let him know. 😀 He’s a good guy though so he definitely treats me as though he does.

Carolyn – I LOVE the idea of one with pears and cranberries. How gorgeous would that be atop a Thanksgiving table.

Lauren – YES. I will definitely keep a lookout on your blog for that one.


brandi October 25, 2011 at 11:26 am

that looks perfect! love the idea of a caramel apple shortcake


Pam October 25, 2011 at 4:13 pm

It sounds and looks great to me. Another yummy treat added to my must make list. Sounds like you had a fun time.


shannon October 27, 2011 at 10:04 am

apples and caramel, you certainly can’t go wrong!


Elina (Healthy and Sane) October 31, 2011 at 9:42 am

I was never that much into strawberry shortcake… it’s too airy for me. I like my dessert to be intense. But Adam LOVES it. I think this apple version sounds even better. The apples seem to give it warmth and heft 😉


Kelly October 31, 2011 at 10:40 am

Brandi – Thanks. I was pretty smitten with the idea too.

Pam – Thanks and I definitely did. I can never turn down apple picking.

Shannon – I agree. It’s one of my favorite flavor combos right now.

Elina – It’s interesting how people favor one dessert and not another. 🙂 I definitely agree the apple version is even better. Like you said, it makes it more substantial.


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