4 cups peeled, cored, and choppy Granny Smith apples, about 3-4 apples
1 bag (11 ounces) butterscotch chips, divided
1 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
5 cups confectioner's sugar
3/4 cup heavy cream, divided
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the bottoms of 2 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper then spray the pans with non-stick cooking spray.
Place pecans in a single layer on a cookie sheet and bake for 6 minutes or until nuts are toasted and fragrant; let cool.
Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg and 1 teaspoon of the salt in a medium bowl whisk until well blended; set aside.
Whisk sugar, applesauce, eggs and 1 tsp. vanilla in a large bowl until well blended. Stir in flour mixture until just combined. Add the chopped apples, ½ cup pecans and ¾ cup butterscotch chips.
Divide the batter between the two prepared pans and spread evenly. Bake, 30-35 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean and top is golden brown. Allow cakes to cool completely in pans before frosting.
Beat butter in the bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed until creamy. Add almond extract, 2 tsp. vanilla and remaining 1/8 tsp. salt beating until well blended. Add 2 cups confectioner's sugar and 2 tbsp. of the cream and beat on medium for one minute; scrape down the bowl. Add another 2 cups of the confectioner's sugar and 2 tbsp. of the cream and beat for another minute; scrape bowl again. Add remaining 1 cup powdered sugar and 2 tbsp. heavy cream and beat until frosting is light and fluffy. Fold in 1/2 cup of the chopped pecans. Resist the urge to eat the entire bowl of frosting.
Remove one cake from the pan (use a knife to loosen the edges first). Peel off the parchment and place cake on desired serving plate or stand, bottom side down. Spread ½ of the frosting on top of the cake, extending past the edges just slightly. Do not frost the side.
Remove the remaining cake from the pan as directed above, peeling off the parchment, and place the cake on top of the frosted cake. Spread the remaining half of the frosting over the top of this cake layer, in the same manner as the first. Do not frost the sides. Place cake in refrigerator.
To prepare the ganache, place the remaining 6 tbsp. of cream and the remaining butterscotch chips in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute and whisk until smooth and glossy. Allow ganache to cool until desired pouring consistency, approximately 15-30 minutes. Pour ganache over the top of the cake, spreading with an offset spatula, if necessary. Sprinkle ganache with remaining 1 cup of pecans. Return cake to refrigerator and chill for at least 1 hour before cutting and serving. Store cake, covered, in refrigerator.