Sorry for the radio silence for the last couple of weeks – I took a week and a bit off for a vacation with the mister.  And, you know how it is, if you’re going to take time off from work, you wind up doing long, busy days in the lead-up before you go.  So, all that to say, with work being at full-throttle and a Wondermutt who has been poorly since we returned, blogging has suffered.

So, I’m making up for the absence with this recipe.  If you’re in the mood for a little autumn, this is an entire New England fall in your mouth, leaf-peeping in Litchfield, moonlight in Vermont and all. 

Now, I’m going to include the whole schmear for the recipe, including making your own apple sauce and caramel.  However, if you don’t have the time to make your own, I think store-bought unsweetened applesauce would be fine as would caramel ice cream topping.  OR, make the caramel and applesauce the day before and pop them in the fridge.  Whatever you do, don’t let the recipe intimidate you – because, let me tell you, the final product is sooooo good you’ll be glad you made the effort!

Apple Cake with Caramel Frosting

Apple sauce

  • 6-8 fist-sized apples (I like Pink Lady, but Macintosh would also be good), cored, peeled and diced
  • 1/3 cup water
  • pinch cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp dark brown sugar

Caramel Sauce

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp corn syrup or golden syrup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 oz butter
  • 3/4  cup whole milk

Cake

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 6 oz butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups applesauce

Frosting

  • 1 lb butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup caramel sauce + more to drizzle
  • 4-6 cups powdered sugar

Okay, first things first – make the applesauce by putting the diced apples in a medium saucepan with the water, sugar and pinch of cinnamon.  Put the heat on medium and cover, cooking for about 30 minutes or so until the apples are easily pierced with a fork or knife.  Pop into a blender or use a blend stick to puree, then set aside to cool.

Next up, the caramel sauce.  Gently mix the sugar, corn syrup and water in medium saucepan – then, that’s the last time you’ll stir for a while.  Put the pan over medium-high heat and cook without stirring until it reaches 300 F on a candy thermometer.  Remove from the heat and add the butter and milk, stirring until combined and velvety.  Set aside to cool.

And now, the cake!  Preheat the oven to 350 and prepare two dozen cupcake cups.  Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices, sifting together using a whisk then set aside.  In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the egg and continue to beat, scraping down the sides.  Next, remove the bowl from the mixer and add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the applesauce, stirring gently to avoid overbeating.  Fill the cupcake cups 2/3 full and bake about 20 minutes until a tester comes out clean.  Remove and let cool on a wire rack while you make the frosting.

Beat the pound of butter until fluffy, then add about 2 cups of powdered sugar, mixing well and occasionally scraping down the sides.  Beat in the caramel sauce then continue to add the powdered sugar until the frosting is no longer runny and is sweet enough to your taste (I don’t particularly like overly-sweet frosting, so a total of four cups of powdered sugar is enough for me).  When the cakes are thoroughly cooled, frost them, then put some caramel sauce in a squeezy bottle and drizzle over the top.

Then, enjoy!  I think you’ll find that all your efforts will give you a delicious reward!

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