FAVORITE FALL RECIPES: CARAMEL APPLE CAKE

When I was a kid, my mom would make us a cake or pie everyday... usually it was pie but on occasion, she would make Apple Dapple Cake... a recipe she got from someone along the way. It was one of the few recipes she actually used and I have a copy of it in her handwriting... a treasured possession. I took that basic recipe and made it into one of my favorite fall desserts by adding the hot caramel because what is more fall than caramel apples? I like to serve it slightly warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

I served this cake to over 300 guests at the after-party following the Hangout's Oyster Cookoff in November to rave reviews. My mom would be so proud.

 Caramel Apple Cake is a wonderfully easy cake to make for fall tailgates, festivals, or Saturday morning coffee.

Caramel Apple Cake is a wonderfully easy cake to make for fall tailgates, festivals, or Saturday morning coffee.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour plus 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 cups pecans, chopped fine

3 apples, peeled and chopped fine

1  1/2 cups vegetable oil (like Wesson)

2 cups sugar

3 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

HOT CARAMEL SAUCE

1 cup packed brown sugar

3/4 cup whole milk

3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks)

DIRECTIONS:

Spray a tube pan with Baker’s Joy or grease and flour it. Preheat oven to 350.

For the cake: Sift together flour, salt, and baking soda. Add apples and pecans. Stir to coat the fruit. Mix together oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Add to the fruit mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Remove from the oven and sit on a wire rack to cool. While the cake is still hot, pour the caramel sauce over it and then let it cool completely before removing from the pan.

For the hot caramel sauce: Put the sugar in a saucepan over low heat until it starts to melt. Add the butter. Swirl the pan until the butter melts. Add the milk. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly so it does not burn. Pour the hot caramel directly over the hot cake while it is still in the pan. Be careful- the hot sugar will burn!

NOTE: It is important to pour the caramel over the cake in the pan because it creates this great coating on the bottom, side and top of the cake. As much as you want to eat it, you have to allow it to cool completely before you remove it from the pan. Run a knife around the edge of the pan to help release it.

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