Peeps, you need to make this cake. Pronto. In fact, I would HIGHLY encourage you to add this to your Thanksgiving menu. It is super easy and feeds a crowd. I have served it four times this season and it was a hit! Plus, it has homemade caramel sauce. Need I say more?
I think not.
So, here's how you do this:
Start with sugar, oil, vanilla, eggs, flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, dates, walnuts and apples. For the caramel, you will need butter, brown sugar and heavy cream or milk. But really, why not just bust out the cream, right?
First up: throw in some sugar...
SIDE NOTE: I am not going to even mention my lack of KitchenAid Mixer.
Next up: add some vanilla...
SIDE NOTE: See, I told you this was easy.
Now, throw in some flour...
a little baking soda...
some cinnamon...and a dash of salt. You know, just a pinch. A smattering, if you will. Just enough to enhance the flavors.
Now, mix that up.
Okay, now comes the dates. Don't be scared, these suckers will take your cake over the top. And you can find dates in most grocery stores. Trust me on this, dates are your friends.
Now, chop them up. It will take a little muscle power, but I know you can do it.
Throw them in a bowl with a little bit of flour and mix. This will keep the dates from sinking to the bottom of your cake. Cool trick, eh? I didn't invent it but I wish I had.
Once they are nice and coated in flour, throw them into your batter.
Here come the walnuts. I love walnuts.
Give them a rough chop and throw them into your batter. Oh man, that batter is so flippin' happy right now!
Now come the stars of the show: apples. I used both Gala and Granny Smith. Or whatever is on sale...but the tarter the better!
SIDE NOTE: Is "tarter" a word?
Take three or four and begin to peel them...
Just like that.
Next up, cut out the seeds and slice.
And then dice.
SIDE NOTE: Did you get that? I rhymed! I am such a "Rymer!" Oh, I kill me.
Now, throw the apples into the batter and bust out the red spoonula and give it a stir.
There you go, keep mixing...
Until is looks like that. OH. MY. GOSH. This batter is to die for! Go on, give it a taste. I DARE YOU.
Pour it into a greased pan and pop it into the oven for about 40 minutes.
SIDE NOTE: Go run 2 miles on your treadmill. And then do P90X. Followed by a 10 minutes of jump rope. And several lunges.
Or you can just watch a re-run of The Office and call it good.
When it comes out, it will look like this: brown and gooey and delicious.
Once it has cooled, grab a fork or a skewer and poke holes all over the cake. Make sure to get the edges!
There you go! The more holes, the better!
Now comes the caramel. Did you think I had forgotten? Shame on you.
Grab some butter and brown sugar and throw it into a small saucepan.
Let it begin to melt...
And pour in the cream. You can use milk but why? I also add a pinch, a smattering, a dash of salt. Just a little bit. It will enhance the flavor, I PROMISE!
Now stir it around...
And let it get bubbly and smooth. This should only take about 2-3 minutes.
Pour the hot caramel into a pouring vessel. Or whatever they are called.
And slowly, slowly drizzle the hot caramel over the cooled cake.
There are no words to describe this. NO. WORDS.
Keep pouring until the cake is sufficiently covered. If you have any extra, save it and serve it with the cake.
Let the cake set for a few minutes (if you can wait that long) so all the caramel seeps into the holes.
Then I HIGHLY RECOMMEND serving this with vanilla bean ice cream and drizzling any left-over caramel sauce over the top. And at that moment, your eyes will roll back into your head and you will pass out from an extreme epicurean experience. Bake this today, my friends. TO-DAY.
Here is the official recipe.
Apple Cake with Homemade Caramel Sauce:
Adapted from Bakearella
2 cups sugar1 1/2 cups oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
3 cups diced apples
1 cup chopped dates rolled in flour
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup milk/cream
pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9 X 13 pan. Combine sugar and oil using a mixer until blended. Add eggs and vanilla, mixing until combined. Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon and a pinch of salt and mix well. Stir in nuts, dates and apples. The batter will be very thick. Pour into pan and bake for 40-45 minutes or until done. Cool cake and using a skewer or fork, poke holes in cake. Cook caramel ingredients on stove until mixture bubbles. Pour caramel over cake and let it set for 5-10 minutes. Serve with ice cream and enjoy!
SIDE NOTE: This recipe can easily be cut in half; use 2 eggs.