I’ve been to the market three times since Sunday because I either forgot something that I needed or the item wasn’t available, so I had to visit another market. This is really nothing out of the ordinary, except for the fact that I’ve bought a bag of apples each time. Why? Well, one day I saw the produce guy unloading 3 lb bags of small Gala apples – not only are they a favorite of mine, but they were just so cute! On another visit, I saw a variety that I’d never seen before, Paula Red, and always up to try new produce, I bought a bag. And, finally, yesterday, I had no fruit to eat at work, so I ran out to the local market, and there I found yet more apples, and I bought a 3 lb bag of MacIntosh apples. Now, we do eat a lot of apples in our house. Seriously, both Brett & Andrew get one in their lunch, I usually bring two to work, and at night, I cut up a few, toss them in a bowl, and we snack on those. So, it’s not like they were going to go to waste, but as of this morning, I still had quite a few apples. When I was making lunches this morning, I decided it was time to share one of my favorite fall apple cakes with you. The texture is similar to a carrot cake – moist, full of cinnamon and pecans, but with the additional flavor of caramel from the brown sugar. The cake is not overly sweet, so I think the cream cheese icing is a nice accompaniment. And, really, is it ever a bad idea to serve a little cream cheese icing on the side?
Caramel Apple Cake Printable recipe
1 cup flour
1/2 cup self-rising flour
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla*
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 medium apples, grated (I left the skin on)
1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
Vanilla-bean cream cheese icing
In a small bowl, whisk together both flours and the cinnamon; set aside. In a large bowl, cream together the brown sugar, vanilla, and butter. Add eggs, one at a time, then the apples and becans. Stir in the flour/cinnamon mixture. Pour into prepared pan, and bake for 50 minutes at 350 degrees, or until a tester inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool before slicing. Frost with vanilla-bean cream cheese icing or serve a dollop on the side.
Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Icing
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
8-oz block cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
Paste of 1 vanilla bean
2 tablespoons half & half
Cream butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and beat until smooth and fluffy.
*I have a large jar of vanilla extract brewing in the pantry, but it’s not ready to use as of yet. So, I’ve been using vanilla bean paste instead of vanilla extract. I used an entire bean for the cake as well as for the icing. You can, of course, just substitute vanilla extract – a teaspoon or so should be sufficient.
For the cat lovers out there…I bought this beautiful pumpkin the other day to use as a centerpiece on the dining room table. Well, O’Reilly, our alpha cat, has decided it belongs to him. He sits there most of the day, guarding the pumpkin. If any of the other cats make an attempt to storm the pumpkin, he wrestles them off of the table.