Thanksgiving Prep – Applesauce Cake with Caramel Glaze

Remember when I asked you to make applesauce?  Here is why I made mine:

So I could make Food 52’s applesauce cake with caramel glaze.  Isn’t it beautiful?

Although I had this flagged as a Thanksgiving possibility, it could work at absolutely any point in apple season because why would you wait to make a cake like this?  It’s an everyday cake, with a little panache.  And it helped me conquer my fear of caramel.

Making caramel is a process in which a daring home cook lets sugar sit on a burner until it starts doing things that are likely caused by one chemical reaction or another.  Making this sauce isn’t quite as intimidating, as it requires stirring, creating the illusion that you are somewhat in control of what is happening under your eyes.

Earlier this week, my interpretation of hunkering down for a hurricane meant that I would cook my brains out while I still had power and days off of work.  This would ensure my husband and I would not starve.  And if worse came to worst, I would have a little container full of extra caramel sauce to see me through.  The lights are still on here, dear readers, but the sauce is long gone.

Now how did that happen?

To make cake for 12, you will need:

For the cake:

  • 2 C flour (I have a hankering that swapping out some white for wheat would be a great idea, but haven’t tried that yet)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper (I couldn’t taste it at all–some of the comments on Food52 say readers have upped the quantity and loved the results)
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1/2 C light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 C unsweetened applesauce
  • 2/3 C vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

For the glaze:

  • 4 T unsalted butter, cut in chunks
  • 1/2 C packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 C heavy cream
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 C sifted confectioner’s sugar (and I never sift, but I did here, so my sauce wouldn’t be lumpy)
  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees and butter and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan. Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, pepper and spices and set aside. In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the eggs with both sugars until light. Mix in the applesauce, oil and vanilla until smooth.
  2. Using a spatula, fold in the dry ingredients, being careful not to over-mix. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 45 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool the cake for 10 minutes in the pan on a rack before turning it out and cooling completely on the rack — make sure the cake is not at all warm before you make the glaze.
  3. TheRunawaySpoon wisely advises that you put a piece of foil or paper under the cooling rack to catch any drips before you start the glaze. Put the butter in a medium saucepan with the brown sugar, cream and salt and set over medium heat. Bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil for one minute exactly, and then pull it off the heat.
  4. Leave the pan to cool for a couple of minutes, and then gradually whisk in the powdered sugar until you have a thick, but pourable consistency (you may not need all the sugar). If the mixture seems too thick, just add a splash of cream to thin it out a little. Immediately pour the glaze over the cake, moving slowly and evenly to cover as much surface area as possible. Let the glaze set before serving the cake.

4 thoughts on “Thanksgiving Prep – Applesauce Cake with Caramel Glaze

  1. i do like both, and i have a feeling i would LOVE this.
    (just to be on the bandwagon…)

    and more importantly, the look of this sucker is so impressive! one day, when I have a kitchen, I will try this. I may do a Julie/Julia–> JDL/CVD and cook my way through your blog 😉

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