Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Warm Caramel Apple Cake

On Sunday I invited some friends over for lunch the next day, Labor Day. I hadn't planned a menu or anything, it was a spur-of-the-moment invite. So after church Jeff and I were planning out what we were going to have for lunch. Hamburgers, hot dogs, fruit salad, potato salad, the typical summer holiday menu. I got stuck trying to figure out what to do for dessert, until I happened to glance at the fridge and see my calendar.

I love my calendar; each month has a different recipe, and they all look so delicious! This month's was Warm Caramel Apple Cake, and I decided right then and there that I had found the perfect thing to make for dessert.

I did do a bit of doctoring to the original recipe, mostly with the topping. Instead of caramel topping and canned frosting, I used some cinnamon caramel apple dip that I got on clearance, and some of my favorite cream cheese frosting. Here's the recipe as I made it for our get-together. It was definitely a big hit with everyone! (click here to see the original recipe)

Warm Caramel Apple Cake
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup milk
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 large cooking apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1 box yellow cake mix
1 1/4 cups water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Dash each nutmeg, allspice

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
8 oz. frozen whipped topping, thawed
1/3 cup sugar
Caramel apple dip or caramel topping

Heat oven to 350°F. In 1-quart heavy saucepan, cook butter, milk, and brown sugar over low heat, stirring occasionally, just until butter is melted. Pour into 13x9-inch pan. Sprinkle with pecans; top with sliced apples.

In large bowl, beat cake mix, water, oil, eggs and spices with electric mixer on low speed until moistened. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes. Carefully spoon batter over apple mixture.

Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Loosen sides of cake from pan. Place heatproof serving platter upside down on pan; carefully turn platter and pan over. Let pan remain over cake about 1 minute so caramel can drizzle over cake. Remove pan.

In medium bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Beat in whipped topping and sugar. Microwave caramel dip about 30-60 seconds, until thin and smooth. Serve warm cake topped with frosting mixture and drizzled with caramel.