I bake regularly for our young adults group at our church. There have been a lot of people there lately so I needed to bring two desserts. The first was a devil’s food cake, so I thought I should take a non-chocolate dessert along because there are people who (gasp!) don’t like chocolate desserts. I remembered seeing Jaime’s post about this apple cake last fall and knew that I wanted to make it. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity. I’ve probably mentioned before that I’m a chocolate fanatic and don’t always care for fruit desserts, but I would have no trouble eating this. When I tasted the batter I knew that it would be wonderful. The caramel sauce was delicious too, and could be used for other apple desserts and various baked goods.
This was an amazing cake! It was so incredibly moist and I loved the combination of the apples and caramel. The caramel made it a pretty rich dessert. The spices were great in this. Everyone in our group liked it as well. The only change I would make is to cut the apples into smaller pieces next time. Apples are one of my favorite fall foods, and I’m really looking forward to eating a bunch of delicious apples in the next few months and using them in baked goods!
Apple Cake with Caramel Sauce
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the dish
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the dish
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
5 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into a 1/2-inch dice
1 1/4 cups coarsely chopped pecans (I omitted these)
2 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
Caramel Glaze, recipe below (optional)
Vanilla ice cream (optional)
Heat oven to 325° F.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high, beat the butter and the granulated and brown sugars until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Using a wooden spoon, gradually add the flour mixture to the egg mixture. The batter should be very thick. Stir in the apples, pecans, and vanilla. Scrape the batter into a buttered and floured 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack. Let cool for at least 10 minutes while you make the Caramel Glaze, if using.
With a spatula, loosen the sides of the cake. If you want to remove it from the pan, invert it onto a baking sheet, then invert it again, right-side up, onto a platter. With a toothpick or fork, poke holes all over the surface. Pour on the warm sauce. Serve warm or at room temperature, with ice cream, if desired.
Tip: This rich, moist cake travels exceptionally well in its baking pan.