Monday, September 1, 2014

Caramel Apple Bundt Cake for Book Clubs

















Welcome to all our readers who belong to book clubs! While I agree with Victoria Abbott about chocolate, both MURDER, SHE BARKED, and THE GHOST AND MRS. MEWER take place in the fall, so apple cake seemed appropriate. In the books, Holly Miller is taking up her grandmother's offer to become a partner in the Sugar Maple Inn on Wagtail Mountain.

The inn serves breakfast, lunch, and afternoon tea, so there are always wonderful goodies available. If your book club is meeting for dinner, you might want to try Oma's Hungarian Goulash, which you can prepare in advance. But I would guess most book clubs really just need some coffee or wine and a delicious cake. This is the kind of thing that would be served at afternoon tea at the Sugar Maple Inn.

I was inspired when I saw a recipe for an apple cake with caramel on top. We have gobbled this up – just can't get enough of it. The cake is packed with applesauce and grated apples, which make it very moist and the overly sweet caramel on top is irresistible.

Two tips for making this cake. First, when you add the grated apples to the batter, take a minute to rinse off all the parts of your food processor. It will make cleanup so much easier!

Second, use sugar instead of flour to prevent the cake from sticking to your bundt pan. I just read about this and did a quick Internet search to be sure I was doing it correctly. There's nothing to it. Be sure to butter your pan very well, then just sprinkle sugar on it, much like you would flour. The key is to do it just before adding the batter so that the sugar doesn't start to melt. I have never had a bundt cake turn out so easily and perfectly before. Plus, it adds a little sugar to the cake. You'll notice that I removed one tablespoon of sugar from the recipe, just so the cake won't be overly sweet. Then I added one more tablespoon to get full greasing coverage on the pan.

All you need now is a good book, good friends, and a great cup of coffee.


Caramel Apple Bundt Cake


Cake

1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup pecans
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) butter at room temperature + extra for greasing the pan
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar + extra
2 large eggs at room temperature
1 cup applesauce
2 medium apples, peeled and cored

Place flour, pecans, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt in a food processor and pulse until the pecans are fine. Transfer the flour mixture to a bowl. Insert the grating disk and grate the apples.

Preheat oven to 350.

Take 1 tablespoon of sugar out of the plain sugar and set it aside. Cream the butter with the sugars. Beat in the eggs. Alternate adding applesauce and the flour mixture until completely combined. Stir in the grated apples.

Grease the bundt pan liberally. Sprinkle the extra sugar on the butter. You may need another tablespoon of sugar for full coverage. Use a cooking spoon to ladle the batter into the bundt pan and smooth the top. Bake 40 minutes or until it begins to pull away from the sides and a cake tester comes out clean.

Allow to rest on a baking rack about 5-10 minutes. Loosen the edges, and flip onto the rack. When cool, top with caramel.

Caramel

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 heavy cream

Place the ingredients in a deep microwave safe dish (I used a 4 cup Pyrex measuring cup). Microwave in short bursts, stirring occasionally, until it bubbles up and the sugar melts. (You may find that you even like it if the sugar doesn't melt!)




Pulse pecans with the flour and spices.

Sugar the pan instead of using flour!

Spoon in the thick batter.

Before adding caramel.

So moist!

Coming December 2nd

Where it all started . . .

In honor of Book Club Week, I'm giving away a Mystery Lovers' Kitchen tote bag to one lucky person who leaves a comment on this post before midnight September 3rd. Good luck, everyone!



76 comments:

  1. I'm drooling just looking a pictures of that apple cake. YUM!
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

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  2. The cake looks so yummy! I feel like going and picking apples now. :)
    myrifraf @ gmail.com

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  3. What a good looking cake, easy with ingredients on hand. And I laugh every time I see the title The Ghost and Mrs. Mewer. Can't wait for the book.

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  4. Sounds delicious. Are there any adjustments for high altitudes?

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  5. Oh, yum. One can never have too many apple recipes. I made my first apple cake of the season yesterday (before I had this recipe!), using my own apples--not that they were completely ripe, but I had to save them from hungry squirrels.

    Good tip about dusting with sugar rather than flour. I've done that with demerara sugar (the coarse kind), and it gives a nice crunch.

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  6. Well, this cake just looks too decadent for words. Wow. I like the idea of using sugar to dust the pan instead of flour, thanks for the tip. I'm planning to try this one, maybe for our next potluck at church. I certainly don't want to be tempted by it staying in my house! :) rencw@verizon.net

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  7. The cake made me in weak in the knees and I love, love the tote! Thank you for a chance to win. lisaksbookreview@aol.com

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  8. The cake looks SO yummy...love your series!


    patucker54 at aol dot com

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  9. The cake looks yummy! I cannot wait to try out this recipe. Thanks. Raquel39m(at)gmail(dot)com

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  10. Krista, the cake looks delish. I love the flavors of fall! And I can't wait for The Ghost and Mrs. Mewer. What a cute title!

    Daryl / Avery

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  12. I love the tip about sugaring the pan. Thanks!

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  13. That cake looks wonderful! Good luck on the new book! Can't wait to read it and to try that recipe! Kelley.dworaczyk@gmail.com

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  14. The cake looks moist and delicious! Yum! Thank you for sharing this recipe and for this opportunity to win this beautiful tote! Happy Labor Day! :)

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  15. Looks scrumptious! Love the sugar tip! Thank you, Krista for all of your wonderful books! Kathy...swimgirl61@yahoo.com

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  16. That cake looks awesome and i love the idea of using sugar instead of flour. I may do that with other cakes. Thank you

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  17. I love caramel and apples so this sounds really good. I didn't know that trick with the sugar, I'll definitely have to try that.

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  18. Perfect fall recipe, can't wait to try it

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  19. I am so excited I saw this post I didn't realize you all had this blog with desserts and good books. I am really looking forward to the Wolfe Widow and the cake too!

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  20. Love it, perfect fall recipe, since the weather is cooling down..have it try it...:)

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  21. Looks delightful. Can't wait to try it.

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  22. I'm baking for our book group's October meeting and I think I will make this and something pumpkin!

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  23. The family will be going apple picking soon and I can't wait to make this cake.
    Love, love, love the tote!!

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  24. Will it work without the pecans? My elderly mother can't eat them.

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    Replies
    1. Darcy, the flavor won't be exactly the same, but I think it will work. If you take out the pecans, then increase the flour by 1/2 cup.

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  25. Replies
    1. I think it might work as cupcakes. Layers, hmm. Yes, I think it might. But don't bake it quite as long. I would check it at about 18-20 minutes.

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  26. I have a bundt pan I've never even used! Happy to see a fall type recipe to make.

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  27. This looks like something I could get my nana to eat. Can't wait to try it.

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  28. Thanks for the recipe and the give away . Happy Labor Day to all
    Karen ofhp@att.net

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  29. the cake is stunning Krista--I'm a total sucker for caramel. xoxo

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  30. That cake looks delicious. And I just finished The Diva Wraps it Up! Loved it. One of the best in the series so far.

    Amanda K.

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  31. I'll have to give this a try and by me, I mean my husband (the chef in the family)

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  32. MMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmm can't wait for the oven to heat up!

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  33. You had me at caramel, this sounds fantastic, I can't wait to try it...I hope I still have a bundt pan, I haven't made one in a long time.
    momzillasteel@gmail.com

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  34. This is definitely a recipe I'm going to try!

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  35. Thanks for the sugar tip - and recipe! My Bundt pan hit the dust years ago but my Angel Food pan should work just fine. The Ghost and Mrs Mewer - love it.
    kpbarnett1941[at]aol.com

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  36. That looks delicious! Can't wait to try it. Jlsbookclub [at] nc.rr.com

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  37. Looks extra yummy, but then i love anything chocolate. Lol!

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  38. Now all I need is to take a trip to the apple orchard!

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  39. Cannot wait to try this cake and cannot wait to read "The Ghost and Mrs Mewer".
    Thanks.

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  40. This cake looks so yummy and perfect for fall!
    kpowers784@yahoo.com

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  41. Ohhh! the Carmel Apple cake looks sinfully delicious.

    I love the title "The Ghost and Mrs. Mewer". Makes me think of the Rex Harrison movie "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir". You have me intrigued.

    cb (at) carolbee (dot) com

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  42. I just love Fall and Fall recipes!!! the Ghost and Mewer looks good for a fall night!!!

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  43. The cake looks great. :)

    pmettert@yahoo.com

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  44. Sounds like a great cake for thanksgiving.. I may have to try it..

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  45. This goes on my fall list of things to make.

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  46. That cake looks yummy and I would so love to win that bag too. shelleyreadsandreviews40@yahoo.com

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  47. Autumn is my favorite time of year-partly because of wonderful recipes like this one. I can picture myself eating a piece of this cake on a crisp fall day! The bag lady in me NEEDS this bag. I was disappointed when I didn't win it previously, thanks for another chance at it!

    cozyupwithkathy @ gmail dot com

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  48. I just gained 30lbs by looking at the pictures of this cake! LOL

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  49. Yummy! A plastic bag law goes into effect next year. Totes will be getting more use when the clerks quit putting my stuff into plastic on autopilot after I have told them I have my own bags.

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  50. I've just copied the recipe. I cannot wait to make it. It's looks so super yummy. Don;t you just love apple season. It's my favorite (followed closely by anything with pumpkin in it).

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  51. Thanks for the recipe!

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  52. The cake looks sooo good, can't wait to try it. Great hint about the sugar. I would love to carry my books to my cozy book club meeting in that adorable bag!

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  53. Oh my goodness, that cake looks amazing!

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  54. Local apples will be ready to pick in several weeks. Printed the recipes as it sounds delicious. Actually thinking about trying to make muffins with the batter (minus the icing). Could serve as a nutritious breakfast option. Already p reordered the next Murder She Wrote book and can't wait to read it. servedogmom@yahoo.com

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  55. This looks like the perfect fall recipe to try. Can't wait to share the results with friends over coffee and book talk!

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  56. Thanks for another wonderful recipe! I can't wait to try it out. Not much screams autumn more than an apple caramel dessert!

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  57. I wanted to lick my screen when I saw that cake!! I love the suggestion about using sugar instead of flour so the cake won't stick to the pan. Love the tote!!

    Lauigl [at] carolina [dot] rr [dot] com

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  58. This looks so yummy! Thanks for sharing. In the intro, you mentioned Murder, she Wrote did you mean Murder, She Barked :) carter.karen@gmail.com

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    1. That's what I get for trying to take the weekend off! Thanks for catching that!!!

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  59. What a perfect recipe for fall. Can't wait to try it. Thanks so much.

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  60. Lovely post. A perfect fall recipe which looks delectable.Thanks for this great feature. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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  61. This cake looks and sounds so delicious! Perfect recipe for this season we are entering. Thanks for sharing both the recipe and a tote bag to one lucky reader.
    Blessings,
    Connie
    cps1950@gmail.com

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  62. A favorite cake for me since it includes apples which I love. Apple cake is my ultimate favorite and this one is a winner. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  63. Yum yum........the apple cake sure looks good!

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  64. This cake looks delicious! I love the sugar instead of flour tip! And the series titles are wonderful. Thanks for good food, and good reads!

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  65. The Ghost and Mrs. Mewer! Love it!
    And the cake looks marvelous.

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  66. Yum! If it ever cools off this is the first cake on my to bake list. ourbutton@yahoo.com

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  67. I will be trying this delicious looking cake this weekend!!! Love the books!!!
    I would love this bag for my books!!!
    Lisa
    hseaside5@aim.com

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  68. I will be trying this delicious looking cake this weekend!!! Love the books!!!
    I would love this bag for my books!!!
    Lisa
    hseaside5@aim.com

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