Monday, October 13, 2014

Caramel Apple Cake

We are loving apple season right now. Beautiful, delicious, fresh apples have been abundant lately--one of my most favorite things about New England. We've been buying tons from the farm stand and last weekend went to the orchard to get them fresh off the tree. There's just something about eating an apple right off the tree while walking in the orchard that makes it taste that much better. Of course, with the abundance of apples, we've been eating a few a day (each!) but I've had my eye on some recipes as well. I'm not a huge baked fruit fan--like pies--but there are some recipes I can get behind, one of which is the awesome Caramel Apple Cake. That just sounds like fall, right? And I got to tell you, it's delicious. The cake is tender and full of flavor, with shredded apples throughout, a nice brown sugar boost and then topped with a caramel sauce drizzle, it doesn't need anything else. Well, maybe to be served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Yeah, that happened. And it was a very good thing. I'm so glad that I got to make this recipe for this month's Secret Recipe Club!

Boy did I luck out this month. Not that I don't love my matches every month, but I've been looking forward to baking from Miz Helen's Country Cottage ever since I joined SRC three (!) years ago. And since it's the second Monday, that means it's reveal day for Group B! What's Secret Recipe Club?  Each Monday a group of bloggers post a recipe they've made from another blogger's repertoire.  Nobody knows who's featuring their blog until that day and it's a fun chance to visit new blogs and try something different. Visit some of the other bloggers in my group by checking out the blog hop at the bottom of this post.  To learn more about Secret Recipe Club, click here. Miz Helen is one of those lovely bloggers who every time you read her posts, or even her comments that she is sure to leave after every reveal, you wish you knew her in real life--like she was a neighbor down the street and you could pop by for coffee (and maybe some of this cake) any time. My excitement about her blog stems from wanting to make all of her recipes. She's got a great Tex-Mex variety, so I surprised myself by not going that route. Looking through her recipes, I considered Spicy Cheese Bread, Mexican Rice Casserole, Cheeseburger Casserole, and Mac N Chicken, as well as her Slow Cooker Cheesy Potato Soup (this might happen next week, though), Pumpkin Surprise and Sopapillas. But the apples won me over so I settled on her Fresh Apple Cake, with a bit of a twist. Dave and I enjoyed a piece fresh from the oven, then I immediately sent about half of it to our friends Felise and Nick (who commented on how good it was as soon as I next saw him). And I served some when we had out friend Ben over for dinner. That's when we decided that warmed up a bit with a big scoop of ice cream was exactly how this cake is supposed to be served.

I did make a few modifications to Miz Helen's recipe. After deciding Granny Smith apples would be best, I also substituted half of the sugar for brown sugar, used some cake enhancer to lift the texture as well as some baking spice to give it a kick, and nixed the pecans at Dave's request. Then, once baked, I decided it needed some sort of topping, but decided not to use the orange glaze Miz Helen chose (since I forgot to by an orange). So I warmed up some caramel sauce and drizzled it over the top after poking some holes throughout. the result was pure fall flavor and complete cake heaven. A perfect snack cake or simple dessert. You'll love everything about this, I promise. Please go visit Miz Helen's blog and say hello. I promise she'll have something cooking (or somethings) that you'll fall in love with as well!

Caramel Apple Cake


3 cups flour
3 Tablespoons cake enhance, optional
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking spice
1 1/2 cups oil
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and shredded
4 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 Tablespoon water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup caramel sauce, warmed

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cake enhancer, salt, cinnamon and baking spice.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a large bowl with a hand held mixer, combine oil and both sugars, beating until smooth.

Shred apples (I used my food processor) and add to sugar and oil combination. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Dissolve baking soda in water and add to apple mixture with vanilla and stir.

Gradually add flour mixture to apple mixture and stir until incorporated.

Line a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with foil or a silicone mat. Pour batter into pan and tamp down to level.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 50 minutes, but start testing for doneness at 40 minutes by inserting a toothpick or cake tester in the center and checking for dry crumbs.

Remove from oven and while still warm, poke a few holes in the top. Drizzle warm caramel sauce over the top. Serve warm (with ice cream) or let cool and serve.

Makes 24 servings.

Happy Baking,
The Cookie Princess

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  1. Mmm, caramel and apples . . that cake has autumn written all over it. Good choice!

    1. Thanks Lisa. This really is *the* perfect recipe for this time of year.

  2. Hi Colleen,
    Thank you so much for your kind comments, you are so sweet! I am so excited that you like the Apple Cake and what a great idea to add the caramel, I can't wait to try that, we will love it. Hope you are having a wonderful day, it is always fun cooking with you in the SRC!
    Miz Helen

    1. Thanks for having such a fun blog! let me know what you think if you try the caramel sauce.

  3. Oh how I love caramel apples and this cake looks amazing! Perfect way to use some apples from picking this weekend!

    1. After apple picking, it seems all I do is look for more apple recipes.

  4. Gosh what a good looking cake! I just love Miz Helen's blog.

  5. Perfect flavors for fall. Visiting from SRC B. G reat choice.

  6. A flavor match made in heaven! Love apple recipes... So glad to be in Group B with you all :)

    1. So many good apple recipes from Group B this month!

  7. Miz Helen is awesome. And this reminds me of an apple "cake" my mom used to get at Delicious Orchards in NJ when I was growing up. So good!

    1. This is such an easy cake--would be perfect to recreate childhood memories.