Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Applesauce Cake with Caramel Sauce

This applesauce cake is another one of the treasured recipes my mom would make for us growing up.  It wasn't a special holiday tradition or a cake I have specific, special memories attached to.  I just remember this cake making a lot of appearances.  I remember the smell when it was baking and I remember my mom keeping jars of applesauce in the pantry that we never opened to eat–they were there just for this cake.

As I was baking this cake it was like a wave of nostalgia, I was baking in my mom's kitchen and the smell was so wonderfully overwhelming that for a few minutes I imagined I was a little girl again, standing on a stool, baking with my mom, swiping my finger into the batter.  That is the kind of memory that I want to create for my little Lily.
Smelling this cake is like smelling warm, spiced apple cider.  When that realization hit me I knew I had to add something to this cake–caramel sauce.  Because what goes better with spiced apples?  The cake turned out delicious and I really enjoyed the addition of caramel, it reminded me a lot of the Starbucks carmel apple cider.  I don't think any other food would have given me quite the same feeling of urgent anticipation for cool, fall weather to arrive.
In the future I would leave the icing off the top.  For me it ended up being a necessity because I lost the top of my cake in the pan and needed some glue to hold everything back together.  Learn from my mistake and do a really great job of greasing and flouring your pan.

Applesauce Cake with Caramel Sauce

1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cup thick applesauce
2 1/2 cup sifted flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup water
1 cup walnuts, optional

Caramel Sauce

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1-14oz cans sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup butter, divided
2 tsp vanilla extract

Icing (optional)

2 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbsp milk

For Cake:

Grease and flour a bundt pan.  Preheat oven to 350.  Stir butter and sugar together until fluffy.  Mix in the egg and then applesauce.  In a mixing bowl combine the flour, baking soda, salt and spices.  Sift into the butter mixture and mix until just combined.  Add the water and mix to combine.  Fold in nuts if using.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread to even.  Bake on the middle rack of the oven for about 40-50 minutes or until the cake bounces back or toothpick, when inserted, comes out clean.  

Let cool for 3 minutes on elevated cooling rack.  Using a knife, carefully separate the cake from the edges, and middle of the pan.  Jiggle and bounce the cake pan a little to loosen the cake.  Place a plate on top of the pan and flip the cake over.  Allow the cake to cool.


Mix the milk and sugar together and pour over the cake while it is still very warm.

For Caramel Sauce:

Combine the sugar and water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until it comes to a boil.  Let boil without stirring for 10-14 minutes until the cool is a deep caramel color.  Remove from heat immediately.  Pour in the sweetened condensed milk and stir (do not scrape the sides).  Stir in 1/4 cup butter, 1 Tbsp at a time.  Add in the rest of the butter and the vanilla and stir until smooth.  Serve warm over the cake.

Source: Caramel Sauce- Very Best Baking

Printable Recipe

Linking up with Ashley and Jessica for Taste of Tuesday


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Kerry, it is pretty fantastic! Make it soon!

  2. This cannot be something you made?! This looks SO perfect! I am beyond impressed! And the combination of all the ingredients sound delish! Thanks for linking up! :)

    1. Thanks Ashley! I am pretty happy with how it turned out!

  3. Everything should be covered in caramel sauce!

  4. I need you to send me this asap! :) Love everything about this post.. pictures, presentation - everything! Thanks for linking up with Ash and I!