Apple Caramel Cake

Church suppers and bazaars are a sure sign of fall. Another is the offer many of us receive for free, home-grown apples, which are abundant this time of the year.

And if you’re the lucky recipient of some Haralsons, Haralreds, Honey Crisps or the like, you’re no doubt looking for your favorite recipe for apple crisp or pie.

Or maybe it’s your recipe for an apple cake, such as the following that’s drizzled with caramel sauce.

Apple Caramel Cake
2 eggs
¾ cup light brown sugar
½ cup canola oil
2 cups applesauce or grated apples
1½ cups sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon each: baking soda, cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼  teaspoon each: ground cloves, salt
2/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted, see note
½ cup store-bought caramel sauce
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray Bundt pan with nonstick baking spray or line muffin tin with paper liners. Combine eggs, brown sugar and oil in bowl; beat with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Stir in the applesauce; set aside.
Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt in a large bowl. Add to the egg mixture; beat on low speed just until mixed. Stir in walnuts. Pour batter into prepared pan (for cupcakes, fill cups three-quarters full).
Bake until tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes for cake, 20 to 25 minutes for cupcakes. Cool 5 minutes on rack before turning cake out of pan.
Gently pierce cake with a fork about 1-inch deep all over surface of cake. Heat caramel sauce in microwave until warm, 20 seconds; drizzle over top of cake.
Note: To toast walnuts, heat, stirring, in a dry heavy skillet over medium heat until starting to brown, about 5 minutes.
Yield: Serves 14.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 260 calories, 41 percent of calories from fat, 12 grams fat (1 gram saturated), 30 milligrams cholesterol, 35 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams protein, 188 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber.