Candy Apple Dreams
One of my family traditions as I grew up was going to local carnival and fair every summer. Now, such summer events are a long way off, but memories of those days recently left me craving caramel apples. Maybe I'll make that a weekend event, but I also could do something about the craving in the meantime. My solution to my craving was to let it become the inspiration for a delicious cake. I already had leftover applesauce and buttermilk on hand from a class project for Itty, so it was a matter of taking those two ingredients and my craving and going from there. A simple apple cake packed with cinnamon and nutmeg gets sweet pockets of apple filling layered in and a thick coating of rich caramel sauce and crunchy chopped peanuts. The result is the best of caramel apples in a piece of cake. What's more, it's simple to make!
Tea or a glass of milk is a must alongside this sweet treat. The cake is sweet on its own and the caramel sauce only adds to that. I cut it into smaller pieces than I might normally since a little really goes a long way. This would make a fantastic ending to an all-American grillout or Sunday chicken dinner. It adds an element of nostalgia and makes everything a little more special. Enjoy!
- 2 c. flour
- 1 tbsp. cinnamon
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 c. applesauce
- 1/2 c. canola oil
- 1 c. sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 c. buttermilk
- 1 (21 oz.) can apple pie filling
- 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened, condensed milk
- 1/4 c. chopped peanuts
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13" baking pan and set aside.
Stir the dry ingredients together (flour through nutmeg). Cream together the applesauce, oil, sugar, eggs, and buttermilk. Gradually add the dry ingredients until well blended. Pour into the greased 9x13" pan.
Spoon the apple pie filling over the top of the cake batter. Bake the cake in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until done.
Meanwhile, pour the sweetened, condensed milk into a small, nonstick pan and heat until boiling over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Once it begins to boil, stir constantly and boil lightly (you might need to reduce the heat) until the milk thickens more and turns a pale caramel color. Pour the still hot caramel sauce over the baked cake and sprinkle liberally with chopped peanuts. Cool completely before serving.
- Yields: 20 servings
- Preparation Time: 1 hour