Make the apple and cinnamon layers:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare two 6-inch cake pans with butter and flour, crumbs or parchment paper.
Melt the butter and let it cool. Beat the eggs, sugars and vanilla until the mixture is very light and fluffy. Mix in the butter and beat the mixture a little more.
Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon in a separate bowl, then sift them into the egg mixture. Beat until the mixture is thoroughly blended.
Mix in the applesauce and grated apple and beat until the batter is smooth. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs.
Make the apple compote:
Mix all the ingredients for the compote in a saucepan and simmer, uncovered, for 10 to15 minutes or until the apples are soft. Pour the mixture into a clean jar and refrigerate.
Make the browned butter frosting:
Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Simmer while stirring constantly, until the butter is a fine golden color. Stir until the butter stops sizzling and smells like toffee. If you want to remove the brown spots, pour the butter through a fine-mesh sieve, coffee filter or cheesecloth.
Pour the butter into a bowl and let it cool for a while. Cover it and refrigerate it until it starts to firm up. Beat the butter until it is white. Add the confectioners’ sugar, cream and if desired, a pinch of cinnamon. Beat the mixture until it is fluffy.
Assemble the cake:
Slice each layer in half horizontally so you will have four thin layers for the cake. Place the first layer on a cake plate or board. Spread on a layer of apple compote. Repeat until you have covered three layers. Place the last layer on top, cut side down.
Place the cake on a cake turntable. Cover the cake with the browned butter frosting. Garnish with one or more tiny apples.
Recipe adapted from Lomelino’s Cakes: 27 Pretty Cakes to Make Any Day Special
by Linda Lomelino (Roost Books)