This may look like a plain Jane cake. Its appearance is pretty basic but don’t let its simple looks fool you. This is one delicious treat. It was one of many I had researched looking for the perfect apple cake. I had a stack of recipes to try for German apple cakes, Jewish apple cakes, all kinds of apple cakes and this little gem was among them. Not an apple cake like the others in the pile, an applesauce spice cake.
The first time I made this, I was shocked at how good it was. The second time I made it, we were headed to a dinner gathering at a friend’s house. An hour before we had to leave, I decided to make a cake. Yes. A cake. An hour before we had to leave. It was this cake. Not a multi layered, frosted confection, but still a “mix the dry ingredients, mix the wet ingredients, put ‘em together and spread them in a greased pan,” cake. The process actually goes by rather quickly and I had some extra time soooooo, I thought I would dress it up with a delicious caramel sauce to make it feel a bit more special.
I made it so late that I had to take the hot pan from the oven to the car. It was a casual get together with good friends so I wasn’t worried about letting the cake cool at their house during dinner. I certainly wouldn’t mind if someone arrived at my house with a freshly baked cake still hot in the baking pan. While the initial reaction to “Ooh, what did you bring?” was certainly not overwhelming, one bite and all I heard was, “Mmmmm”, my friends clearly surprised at the delicious apple spice goodness that this cake delivers in spades.
The cake is easy to pull together and full of fall flavor. There are no apples to peel and chop. Keep applesauce in your pantry and you’ll always be ready to bake this special treat. Cinnamon, ginger and clove are the perfect blend of spices to make your kitchen smell like fall. The spices you have in your pantry will do just fine, but when you use really good spices, you’ll taste the difference, so use the best you can. I used Vietnamese cinnamon and Chinese ginger. My cloves were your typical grocery store variety.
Now the caramel sauce…I shared this recipe in yesterday’s post,(see same recipe with updated photos here.) This stuff is CRAZY good! Buttery, rich and smooth, it’s amazing how easy it is to make. Just mix a few ingredients in a sauce pan and in less than 10 minutes you’ll have a luscious buttery rich sauce! (I only made half of the sauce recipe for this cake and we had plenty to drizzle on each piece. If you really want to splurge, go for the full amount and store any leftovers.)
By the way, this delicious cake doesn’t need any sauce to make it taste good. It’s perfect and amazingly delicious on its own…but make the sauce anyway. Once you make it, you’ll find a million opportunities to use it.
Spiced Applesauce Cake with Buttermilk Caramel Sauce. You’re not going anywhere in the next hour are you? I didn’t think so. Make this cake.
(I’ve got some updated photos that are much more flattering of this delicious cake here. Check it out!)