Sunday, August 25, 2013

HEAVEN in a Pan: Caramel Apple Cake (a caramel cream cheese icing!)

-1 Box cake mix and required amount of oil and eggs (I HIGHLY suggest using Duncan Hines, it is more moist.  I used Betty Crocker today and I was not nearly as content with the texture)
-1 C CHUNKY applesauce (I really like Meijer's best)
-1 tsp cinnamon
-1/4 tsp ginger
-dash of nutmeg
-1/2 jar* caramel ice cream topping (I have decided I like Hershey's best)
-1 block reduced fat cream cheese
-1 lb powdered sugar

Mix the cake mix, oil, egg, applesauce, and spices together.  Grease a 9x13 inch cake pan and pour in, baking as per box instructions.  Well, as per instructions unless you are using a dark nonstick in a gas oven.  Mine always seems to bake much faster here than at home, so you may want to just keep an eye on it as it gets within the last few baking minutes. 
 When the cake is done (I use the toothpick test method) you can pull it out and use the back of a wooden spoon or a knife to stab a few holes in it, just like you would a poke cake.  Spread/drizzle a thin layer of caramel over the cake while it is hot. 

With the whisk attachment, whip the cream cheese and about 3 TB of caramel together until incorporated.  Mix in the powdered sugar.  You may find that you need a little bit of water to thin it back out a little.  I added just a half tablespoon or so of warm water to mine, as I had no concern if it ended up setting later and wanted a soft icing.

When the cake is COMPLETELY cool, top with the caramel cream cheese icing. Use a knife or similar to drizzle more caramel on top.  I swirled the knife around the jar a few times and then pulled it out quickly and let it drizzle around on the cake.  It is not exact science. The only thing you need to know is that everybody loves a caramel drizzled dessert.
It is really up to you how much caramel you put under and on top of the icing of course, which is why I put the * next to that ingredient. 

I made the cake the night before a party and put it in my refrigerator in one of my cake carriers.  I was fortunate enough that my cake pan fits perfectly in my bright green cake carrier.  I was so ready to give that thing a good toss (I only paid $5 for it, nothing fancy) but now that I know my pan fits it...whole new ball game.  I can take yummy pans of yumminess anywhere!

It is really ironic because I actually don't even like caramel apples, I think they are hard to eat.  However, if you put them in a cake they are very simple to DEVOUR.  I left the remaining slices with my friend but brought one slice back that I intended on eating tomorrow at work...

Yea, all great and good except I ate it in my car on the way home.  True story.  Guess I could pour some of the caramel on applesauce and pretend it is the same...

This cake got rave reviews, and it was a nice change of pace for me.  We spend a lot of time doing fancy cakes with beautiful decorations and so on and they are both beautiful and tasty, but I also think that some of the best cakes come out of 9x13 inch pans.  There is something really comforting about the classics, the pineapple upside down cakes and oatmeal cakes and whatever else cakes of the world.  They are the family reunion type cakes, tradition-bearing cakes, the things that really take you back to your childhood.  And let's face it...they don't take 3 hours to decorate.


Happy crafting! Pin It Now!

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