No doubt about it, fall is in the air. Although, in this neck of the woods, just because it's 60-degrees-throw-open-the-windows-break-out-the-sweater-wave-bye-bye-to-humidity one day, doesn't mean it won't be a sweltering, steamy 90 degrees two days later. That's okay. We embrace the fall moments when they come and revel in the fading days of summer.
To celebrate the much anticipated glimpses of a changing season, I took the kids apple picking. We crunched through more then our share of Gala and Honeycrisp apples, slurped up freshly made cider and filled baskets brimful with rosy-cheeked fruit. When we got home, what was there to do with our bounty but make cake of course? A fall treat my kids beg for every year is this cake. Mind you it is no light and fluffy dainty, but a super-moist, chunky, fruit-studded delight.. The icing on the cake - literally in this case- is brown sugar and butter cooked together into a delectable sauce that it's hard to keep your fingers out of.
I will confess to you that I tried to "healthy" this recipe up by swapping in whole wheat flour, slashing the sugar, increasing the applesauce and leaving out the oil. Yeah, don't bother. It's cake, for Pete's sake. Go ahead and eat your broccoli because this ain't it. Then you can dive into cake - but only after you've eaten your veggies!
Oh - and by the way. When you do make this cake,
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup applesauce
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon soda
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves (not a deal-breaker if you don't have this ingredient on hand - just leave it out)
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups cored, peeled and finely chopped apples - look for a good tart baking apple
1 cup toasted, chopped walnuts (optional for those nut-haters out there - you know who you are!)
Preheat oven to 350.
Grease and flour a 9x13 pan, or a bunt pan or two 9 inch cake pans. Pick your cake shape according to what inspired you at the moment.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, eggs, vanilla, oil and applesauce and mix until well blended. In another bowl sift together flour, soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Fold in the apples and walnuts.
Bake for 55 minutes - 1 hour for a 9 x 13 or a bunt pan, a little less for the round cake pans. Cake is done when a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
1/2 cup butter
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar(or light brown)
1/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups sifted confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
In small saucepan, melt butter and sugar together. Add milk and salt. Bring up to a boil and cook for about a minute, stirring. Remove from heat and let cool for about 10 minutes or so. Whisk in confectioners sugar and vanilla. This icing sets up fast as it cools. Don't be afraid to add a few drops of hot water if you need to thin down the consistency.
Drizzle over warm cake. YUM!