"Milk Bar Mondays" Apple Pie Layer Cake


Ok have you gone out and bought the Momofuku Milk Bar cook book yet? Because the more recipes I make from it, the more I’m convinced that Christina Tosi is a pastry genius. The 3 things I’ve attempted are some of the best treats I’ve ever tasted. And yes- her process is a complex one, but I promise you it’s worth every bit of effort. Each part of the recipe that you prepare layers on the flavors so that the final result is something really spectacular.


This cake is no exception. It starts with a soft and velvety brown butter cake- then you dunk a pastry brush into a cinnamon-y apple cider soak and cover the cake with it. On top of that goes a layer of liquid cheesecake,  (a creamy spreadable cheesecake concoction also used in these.) Then comes a layer of pie crumb bits and apple pie filling. The whole process is repeated again, topped with another layer of cake and pie crumb frosting. (Which may be one of the most delicious things I’ve ever had. It’s not too sweet and really tastes like pie crust.)


All the layering of this cake happens while using some new-to-me tools that I’m very excited about. The first is a cake ring- which looks just like it sounds- a metal ring used for shaping cakes. Inside the ring you place acetate strips- which are really just rolls of thick clear plastic that pastry chefs use. It allows you to keep the nice shape of your cake and then just peel it off once it’s set. It’s all a little hard to explain, but I really enjoyed using them and I honestly can’t wait to try to other cake recipes from her book. They are time consuming, but so worth it. Wouldn’t this cake be such an impressive holiday dessert? Either way I’ll take a slice any time of year…

Ms. Nicole from Sweet Peony chose the recipe this week so head over there to see the whole thing.

And also visit my other MBM friends whose cakes are absolutely gorgeous! It’s so cool to me to see how everyone’s turned out- my layers look a bit smashed together in comparison :)

Cassie from Bake Your Day
Erin from Big Fat Baker
Krissy from Krissy’s Creations
Jacqueline from Dusty Baker


  1. This looks amazing, and I don’t even like apples. You’re really temping me to get this book, even though I know I don’t have room for it in my house :P

  2. Yours looks absolutely stunning! I agree…that pie crumb is out of this world. I loved the whole thing and agree that Tosi is pure genius!

  3. I’ve been looking forward to this one since your teaser a few days back. Absolutely stunning! And all the best of cake, pie and cheesecake! I’m torn between trying this and the blood orange honey cake next!

  4. I totally agree…she is a genius when it comes to this stuff. I wouldn’t have thought putting all of those layers together then freezing would make this cake so good, but it really is amazing! Your cake turned out fabulous too :)

  5. Your cake is GORGEOUS, as expected. I, too, think Tosi is a genius, and her book is SO well written, no? I think any average baker could make her recipes to a T because of how well she builds them. And fun new things – yay! I’m gonna be making layer cakes that way from now on just because it’s so FUN!

  6. Oh my! How beautiful… Love the look, sound and everything else about this cake! I must check this cookbook out! Thanks for sharing this gorgeous treat!

  7. Really!?! Brown butter cake and cream cheese and apples and…oooooohhh, gimme this now. She is truly a genius, I recently made some of her cookies and they were the most complex most delicious cookies I have ever made. I will be buying this book very soon. Beautiful photos!

  8. Oh goodness…I can’t even stand how incredible this looks! The Milk Bar cookbook is totally going on my wish list :)

  9. Oh. my. GOD!! This looks ridiculously delicious! I love apple pie but in cake form…oh man! And the crumbled topping is totally making me drool, not like the rest of the cake isn’t. YUM! I absolutely have to buy this book.

  10. What a beautiful looking cake. It looks so professional. You have done an amazing job. But helped by a great recipe from an incredible cookbook!

  11. I’ve seen so many amazing recipes coming out of that cookbook that I just need to go out and buy it! Your cake looks absolutely delicious!! All that work definitely paid off, I’m craving a slice of this now!

  12. Dang it, no I have not bought the cookbook yet but I am working on it. This looks as wonderful as the rest you have posted from there so far.

  13. I got this book for Christmas, I haven’t made anything out of it yet, but everything looks divine, as does your cake!!!! Yum, this inspires me to get at this book :)

  14. It’s my mama’s 50th birthday next week, I’d like to try my hand at this complex cake. However, my mom prefers cakes that are not too sweet, can you please tell me how sweet the cake is?? Thanks very much :)

  15. All of the milk bar cakes are pretty sweet, but this one is so amazing I’m sure she’ll love it.

    An easy way to cut sugar is to skip adding it to the apple mixture!

  16. I’m making this this weekend! One thing that is worrying me is that it doesn’t look like I will get two perfect rings of cake, despite using a quarter sheet pan and the six inch cake ring. Did you have that problem? The recipe calls for a 10″ quarter sheet and I couldn’t find that size anywhere!

  17. So sorry for the late reply Beth. If you aren’t already done with this here’s what I’d suggest: The top layer is the only one that really needs to be all one piece. I think scraps are OK for the other two layers if needed. In fact- if memory serves, I didn’t even have a quarter sheet pan at the time of making this and ended up doing something similar. :)

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