Preheat oven 350, line a 10” springform or two 8” cake pans in parchment paper or butter and flour.
Softly whisk all dry ingredients together.
In a separate bowl, cream together butter and maple syrup/sugar. Add eggs, one at at time, stirring between each. Blend in apple butter or sauce, cider and vanilla. If using maple syrup, it will be a bit separated, that’s ok.
Pour dry ingredients into wet, mix softly until just combined. Use a spatula to get the bottom of the bowl properly mixed. Batter is thick!
Pour into prepared pan and smooth. Bake in middle rack of the oven until cake is golden, pulls away from the edge and tester comes out clean, about 40-45 minutes.
Cool for ten minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely before spreading with frosting.
Apple Cider Cream Cheese Frosting
Mix together all ingredients until smooth and creamy. Do your best to actually ice a cake with this instead of eat it by the spoonful. (If yo not up for making caramel just add an additional TBL of maple syrup and it will still be delish!)
Apple Cider Caramel Sauce
In a large heavy bottomed pot, bring the apple cider to a boil. Reduce heat to a lively simmer and generally ignore until the cider reduces to about a cup. At this stage hang tight and refrain from stirring or risk crystallization. To test for doneness: dip in a spoon! If the caramel can coat the back of a spoon its done. Remove the pot from heat and stir in the butter, vanilla and salt. Let cool. Seriously, it will burn your mouth to no end. Then try not to just slurp it up its so dang good.