Applesauce Cake & Salted Caramel Glaze
Supremely moist and flavorful spice cake with a subtle, sweet apple flavor. Topped with a luscious salted caramel glaze.
Every Monday night my family has Family Home Evening. We sing a song, share a spiritual message or lesson, play a game or work on a project together, and (everybody’s favorite) eat a treat! Each week, someone different is in charge of the treat. And whenever it’s Emma’s turn, I know that I need to plan extra time in the afternoon for us to bake a cake together. Because she always wants a full-blown, made-from-scratch cake.
Sometimes I can talk her into cupcakes or even these little microwave cakes. But most of the time I try to go with her idea when I can, since conceptualization is the majority of her contribution anyway.
Yesterday she wanted to make an apple cake. I convinced her to settle for an applesauce cake so that I wouldn’t have to use up my stash of Honeycrisp apples, and I’m so glad she did.
And not just because I’m stingy with my apples. This cake was honest-to-goodness the best dessert I’ve made this season.
Better than this pie.
Better than these donuts.
Better than these dreamy sticky buns.
Maybe even better than these brownies. Maybe…. probably.
I consider myself a chocolate girl, so for me to say that this cake (with absolutely no chocolate anywhere) is THE BEST really means something.
The cake is unbelievably moist. I know some of you guys hate that word, but seriously– there is no other way to describe it (but I won’t say it again, promise). Each forkful melts in your mouth, bursting with the flavors of fall spices and subtle apple undertones.
And that caramel glaze! “Glaze” almost seems like an inept word to describe the caramel deliciousness that you pour over top of this cake. A more appropriate term would go something like, “pourable caramel heaven.” It’s thick, it’s creamy, and I could eat it with a spoon.
My daughter and I had this cake ready to go in about an hour (bake time included– it takes a little longer to bake as a bundt cake than it would as a sheet cake). It’s surprisingly simple to whip up, but it looks and tastes so impressive.
You’ll be the Thanksgiving Day hero with this recipe, guaranteed. But no matter when you do it, just promise me that you’ll MAKE THIS CAKE!
I boss you because I love you ❤️.
By the way, if you’re making Something Swanky recipes for Thanksgiving be sure to tag me @somethingswanky on Instagram. I’d love to see all the Something Swanky desserts you make for Turkey Day!
For the cake:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce
- 2/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
- 1 tsp vanilla
For the glaze:
- 4 tablespoons butter, cut into chunks
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar, plus more as needed
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Whisk together all of the dry cake ingredients. Mix in the eggs, oil, applesauce, and vanilla just until batter forms. Don't overmix!
Grease and dust with flour a 12-cup bundt cake pan. Pour in the batter. Bake for 55-65 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.
Allow to cool for 15-20 minutes. Use a small rubber spatula to gently separate the edges of the cake from the sides of the pan if necessary. Invert cake onto a serving plate.
Over medium high heat, melt the butter. Mix in the brown sugar, salt, and whipping cream and bring to a rolling boil. Allow to boil without stirring for 1 minute. Whisk in the confectioners' sugar 1/4 cup at a time until you've reached your desired smooth consistency (more sugar = more frosting-like). I used 3/4 cup.
Pour glaze over the cake immediately.
Some of my FAVORITE Thanksgiving Day recipes include:
See all my Thanksgiving recipes.