When we discussed our favorite things about the season over breakfast the other morning, I mentioned that I love the nostalgia of things…even if those are things which I have never experienced. But setting aside the time to dip apples in caramel, carve a pumpkin, or go on a hayride can often be the highlight of the season and the thing by which all future autumn seasons are defined.
I had never been apple picking, so when our church’s young adults group proposed the idea, we were both thrilled to go. I spent the morning stewing a pot of chili, baking a loaf of bread, and glazing an apple cake in homemade salted caramel in anticipation of our late afternoon picnic (between apple picking and a hayride, all to be concluded with a bonfire, roasted marshmallows, and cider). How perfect could a day be?
The only problem was that my sweet husband began that day with a long distance run, and by that afternoon his body was rebelling against him. He willingly went, but our apple picking was a little slower than we had hoped, he couldn’t eat much of the dinner that I packed, and we had to cut our evening short of the hayride and bonfire. We did have a great time, though, despite his ailing body, and we are definitely making plans for a repeat trip next year.
I don’t think that he even had a piece of this cake on Saturday night, but he made up for it with about four pieces on Sunday as he made his recovery.
I first came across this apple cake on All Things Farmer. It is a homey cake, and is delicious with Elise Bauer’s Caramel Sauce (with an added pinch of salt) drizzled over the top, but you are welcome to use store-bought variety for an easier version.
Caramel Apple CakeApple Cake from All Things Farmer
Caramel Sauce from Simply Recipes
2 cups sugar
1 ½ cups canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 cups chopped apples (about 3 medium apples)
1 cup toasted chopped pecans
1 cup caramel (homemade or store-bought)
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
vanilla ice cream or sweetened whipped cream (optional)
Preheat the oven to 335 degrees.
In a medium bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla extract. Add the soda, salt, flour and cinnamon and stir until just combined. Mix in the apples and pecans.
Pour the batter into a buttered and floured bundt pan. Bake for 1 ½ hours, testing with a toothpick after about 1 ¼ hours. When the cake is done, cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes, and then turn out onto the rack to cool completely.
Meanwhile, prepare the homemade caramel and cool until slightly warm and thick, or warm the store-bought caramel until stirrable, but still thick. Stir in the kosher salt to caramel. Drizzle about ½ cup of warm caramel over the cooled cake. Slice and serve with ice cream or sweetened whipped cream and drizzle with more caramel sauce.