October 20, 2011

Caramel Apple Cake + Improv Cooking Challenge

I was invited to participate in a fun recipe link-up party by Sheryl at Lady Behind the Curtain.  Every month there are two secret ingredients that must be used.  Since it's fall, the ingredients for October are, not surprisingly, apples and caramel.

The Improve Cooking Challenge

Simple, right?

The hardest part was choosing the perfect recipe.

My mom used to make an apple cake that was a Weight Watchers recipe.  It always looked and smelled delicious.  But it tasted comparable to how I imagine a dried-out cinder-block would taste. (My mom's not offended.  She knows how I feel about "the" apple cake.  I think.)

I was inspired by the idea, however.  I found a base recipe for apple cake in a Taste of Home magazine.  I changed a few things and then added in the caramel.  This is good enough, in my book, to make for Thanksgiving dessert if you're not a pie person.  Add some ice cream to the top and it will be perfect.

Two interesting points about this Caramel Apple Cake:  #1 no butter or oil  #2 no electric mixer needed

This recipe is moist.  It's delicious.  It's fall-ish.  The caramel fits perfectly.  It's a perfect "cozy up by the fire" dessert.  (Note to self:  tell husband to turn the pilot light for the fireplace back on, as I do not know how.)

Caramel Apple Cake
makes a 9x13 pan

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup applesauce
2-3 (large) diced Granny Smith apples, or your favorite variety of apple
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 t. vanilla
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
2 t. cinnamon
1 t. nutmeg

24 caramels, melted in the microwave until smooth (I used Kraft Caramels, but you could also just use a jar of caramel sauce.)

Pre-heat oven to 350.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the sugar, apples, applesauce, and walnuts.  Add in the eggs and vanilla and mix well.

In a separate bowl, mix the flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg until well blended (you can sift if you want to, but I didn't).

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir to combine.

Pour into a greased 9x13 pan and bake for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out of the center clean.

Poke small holes (I used the end of a wooden spoon) all through the top of the cake.  Pour your melted caramels over the top and put back in the over for 5 more minutes.

It will set up a bit, but the caramel never completely hardened, so it was nice and ooey gooey. 


  1. These look yummy! I am a fellow Improv Challenge participant and your newest follower.


  2. I just pinned this recipe because it sounds fantastic! It was really fun being part of the first ICC with you.

    Amy @ A Little Nosh

  3. Your cake looks and sounds delicious!

    If you haven't already, I'd love for you to check out my Improv Cooking Challenge recipe: Caramel Stuffed Apple Cider Cookies.

    Cook Lisa Cook

  4. Sounds easy and looks delicious! LOL about the WW recipe! I added Caramel Apple Scones #53.

  5. Ooey gooey and super yummy is what this dessert is! I can't wait to try it. Love that you use apple sauce to make it lower in fat.

    Tracy Screaming Sardine

  6. That cake looks great!
    Following from Something Swanky.

  7. Yum, this looks so delicious!

  8. I've looked seeing all of the apple desserts. The caramel topping looks absolutely delicious. Thanks for sharing on Sweet Indulgences Sunday.

  9. What a delicious cake!! This look absolutely amazing! I love that there you used applesauce and wheat flour! What great idea for this month's challenge!

  10. I pinned this recipe because it sounds fantastic! I also doing a fun work with food and really awesome test of this food. I truly saying that The caramel topping looks absolutely delicious.

  11. Love that caramel topping!!!


  12. Delicious! I love the caramel. :) Thanks for sharing on Crazy Sweet Tuesday!


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