Applesauce Cake with Caramel Frosting

This moist cake reminds me of a classic spice cake without all the overwhelming spice flavors of some. Delicate and delicious, even better topped with homemade caramel frosting!

Applesauce Cake with Caramel Frosting

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. Keep working.

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.

Caramel Frosting

This is my favorite caramel frosting!

Caramel Frosting

1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 1/2 cups powdered sugar

In a large pot over medium high heat melt together the unsalted butter, lightly packed light brown sugar and salt. Once melted together, stir and cook for 2 minutes until lightly brown and bubbly.

Add in the whole milk and pure vanilla extract. Stir together. Remove from heat.

Beat in the powdered sugar until smooth.

Use immediately.

Knock You Naked Brownies

Originally published on “Blaise the Baker” November 7th, 2017

I found a Facebook video a couple days ago for “Knock You Naked Brownies” and they looked so delicious! I had heard of them before from Ree Drummond, “The Pioneer Woman”, and have had them on my “to try” list for awhile now. I decided that I needed these in my life NOW – so I made them – and oh my! I am so glad that I did! What took me so long to try these? They are fabulous! They are also made with a CAKE mix – not a brownie mix like what you may think – but the finished result tastes just like a brownie and I PROMISE people will never know you started with a boxed mix! Layers of chocolate, caramel, chocolate and more caramel make for a decadent dessert that you will want to make again and again!

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Knock You Naked Brownies

1 box Devil’s Food cake mix
1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup evaporated milk
11 oz caramel squares, unwrapped
1/3 cup evaporated milk
12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray containing flour.

In a large bowl combine the cake mix, melted unsalted butter and cup of evaporated milk. The mixture will be thick and this is desirable.

Spread half of this mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes.

While the base is baking, make the caramel by combining the prepared caramel squares and 1/3 cup of the evaporated milk in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Stir until melted, smooth and glossy.

After the base has baked, remove from the oven and sprinkle with the semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Next, drizzle over the caramel. Take teaspoons full of the remaining cake batter and dollop on top. Do not worry about spreading the batter out because it will spread as it bakes. Plus you want to see a little caramel peaking through, right?

Place back into the oven and bake for 30 minutes.

Remove and allow to cool at room temperature. You can cut these after they have cooled slightly and serve or you can do like what I like to do and wrap with aluminum foil and chill in the refrigerator for several hours before cutting.

Enjoy!

CHEW THIS! Banana Brownies with Caramel Frosting

Banana Brownies with Caramel Frosting

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The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, July 2nd 2017 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

Banana Brownies Perfect for Summer
Blaise Doubman

In my latest recipe development processes I have been taking the typical chocolate brownie and transforming them into something new and different. How new and different? How does strawberry brownies sound? What about lemon brownies? Both of those can be found inside my cookbook – but what about pineapple brownies or even cherry brownies? Brownies can be fruity and light just as easy as they can be dense and fudgy. People are always a little skeptical but once they take a bite they quickly become fruity brownie believers!

I love banana bread and my love for it is what inspired this recipe. Only several days after I developed it, did I dream up the frosting. Why not pair caramel and bananas? I took my foolproof caramel frosting, made a few tweaks and added it to everyone’s delight, including my own! They were fabulous! These are perfect for making ahead too because the longer they sit the more moist they become. If you choose to, make ahead, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few days. Frost the same day you plan to serve.

Banana Brownies with Caramel Frosting

You can frost these, or leave them plain. I think the caramel frosting pairs nicely with the banana flavor. Experiment and have fun with these! Sometimes I will sprinkle a little ground cinnamon in the caramel frosting or even add a can of crushed pineapple for a caramel and tropical flavor. So delicious!

For the brownies…
2 large ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 large egg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup white all-purpose flour

For the frosting…
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons whole milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8×8-inch square baking pan with non-stick cooking spray containing flour.

In a large bowl combine the mashed bananas, softened unsalted butter and light brown sugar. Beat until ingredients are combined and light in color and fluffy in texture.

Beat in the large egg, pure vanilla extract, ground cinnamon and salt.

Finally, gently fold in the white all-purpose flour.

Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and spread evenly. Place in preheated oven for 32 minutes. Remove and allow to cool completely before frosting.

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 brownies.

Cut and serve.

Ask and Answer: I have gotten several messages about how to transform chocolate chip cookies into something a little more special. Here is what I do – I use semi-sweet chocolate chips and milk chocolate chips in the cookies. Before placing them into the oven to bake, sprinkle the tops of each with a little sea salt. People will go crazy over the combination of the two different types of chocolate as well as the salty on top to pair with the sweet.

Apple Cake with Caramel Glaze

Originally published on “Blaise the Baker” October 7th, 2014

I made this cake a couple of days ago and it was delicious! It is a spin off an OLD recipe from the 1940’s. I love finding old recipes and updating them to meet today’s flavors! I WILL admit that this recipe produces a cake that is NOT to photograph! Ha! It’s…just not the prettiest cake. But cake is about taste, and less about presentation right?! At least, that’s the way I look at it…

It’s important to start on the glaze the minute the cake goes into the oven. Why? Because you need to cook it and immediately pour it over the cake as soon as it is out of the oven.

It produces a delicious cake that stays moist the longer it sits! Make sure and store any leftovers (I did not have many) in the refrigerator. When reheating – place in the microwave for a few seconds. AND if you want a dessert that is simply over the top – cut a piece and serve it with vanilla ice cream. Oh – and a little caramel drizzle wouldn’t hurt either…but it is really up to you and your tastes. (My tastes are SWEET!)

Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature before starting…

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Apple Cake with Caramel Glaze

For the cake…
2 cups diced and peeled apples (you can use any apple but I prefer Granny Smith)
1 cup white granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 egg
1 cup white all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda

For the glaze…
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
2 tablespoons white all-purpose flour
1 stick unsalted butter (4 oz)
1 cup water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees F.

Lightly grease an 8-inch square cake pan with baking spray.

Start making the cake by combining the white granulated sugar and the diced and peeled apples in a large bowl. Mix well to make sure the sugar is coating all of the diced apple pieces. Let stand for about 5 minutes (while you prepare the other ingredients) until the sugar is dissolved.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, ground cinnamon and baking soda. Whisk together to sift and combine.

In the bowl with the sugar and apples, add the egg and stir well to coat and combine.

Add the flour mixture to the sugar, apples and egg and stir well to combine.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and spread out evenly.

Place into preheated oven for exactly 37 minutes.

Start making the glaze by placing the brown sugar, white granulated sugar, flour, butter, water and vanilla in a medium sized saucepan and stir over medium / low heat.

Stir and melt all of the ingredients together slowly.

Once it comes to a boil, cook until thickened – which should take around 10 minutes.

Once the cake is finished baking, remove from oven and immediately poke holes all over the top with a fork. Do not be afraid to poke A LOT of holes all over. The more holes – the more moist!

Pour on the hot glaze SLOWLY all over the top of the cake, being sure to coat evenly.

With the back of a spoon, spread out to make sure there is glaze in each and every hole.

Try to wait for it to cool slightly before serving.

Enjoy!