The following “Chew This!” column originally appeared in “The Courier-Times” and / or “The Shelbyville News”. Check their websites for further information and dates.
Applesauce Cake with Caramel Frosting
My Grandma Barbra loved applesauce cakes and I remembered making this one and adding the caramel frosting on top and how much she loved it, so I decided to share it here with all of you. Applesauce cake is really like a less-spicy version, if you will, of the typical spice cake. Some spice cakes are full of spice, along with even raisins, carrots and sometimes even coconut. This recipe that I am sharing, gets its spice from ground cinnamon and that is it. There is something about the ground cinnamon and the applesauce that really pairs well with the caramel frosting. It is important, with this recipe, to add the applesauce chilled and to make sure and not worry when the batter seems to have curdled. You have not messed up the recipe, it is just a chemical process that happens with this cake and is totally fine. I even use this caramel frosting recipe to top chocolate brownies or even chocolate mayonnaise cakes. It really is rich and delicious!
Applesauce cakes are known for having a richness and a moist crumb compared to most other cakes and that is because of the applesauce ingredient itself. You can even add applesauce to your white and yellow cake mixes for an extra boost of moistness and flavor. With a cake like this one, you can actually leave the caramel frosting off all together and instead substitute a thin layer of apple butter and a sprinkling of powdered sugar. If you are going to opt for this, instead of the caramel frosting, remember that the apple butter will sink into the cake once sat and chilled, so if serving after a length of time, you will need to re-frost with the apple butter. Any and all ways are delicious! Experiment and let me know your favorite way of eating this!
Applesauce Cake with Caramel Frosting
This cake can be kept covered, at room temperature, for up to 4 days.
For the cake…
1 stick unsalted butter, soft
1 cup white granulated sugar
1 cup chilled applesauce
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups white all-purpose flour
For the frosting…
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons whole milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F.
Line a 9×9-inch square pan with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray containing flour.
In a large bowl, cream together the soft unsalted butter with the white granulated sugar.
Add in the chilled applesauce and combine. Will look curdled but that is desirable.
Beat in the baking soda, ground cinnamon and salt.
Beat in the white all-purpose flour.
Pour into prepared pan and smooth out the top.
Bake in preheated for 40 minutes.
Remove and allow to cool.
To make the frosting combine the unsalted butter, light brown sugar and salt in a saucepan over medium heat. Allow this mixture to melt and cook for about 2 minutes.
Add in the whole milk and pure vanilla extract.
Cook another 40 seconds and remove from heat.
Gently whisk in the confectioner’s sugar.
Evenly pour and spread over cooled cake.
Cut and serve.
Ask and Answer: Peggy Roell of Shelbyville, wrote in to me and said that she had made my Ritz Cracker Cookies using the addition of chocolate and peanut butter chips and they turned out delicious! She also wondered if I had a recipe for good, chewy, fudgy chocolate brownies. I wrote back to her with two of my favorite brownie recipes, that you can find on my website by typing into the search bar, “Double Fudge Brownies” and “Better Than Boxed Brownies”! They are delicious! Thanks again Peggy for your continued support and dedication.