Happy Wednesday! Keeping with the theme of fall flavors, I whisked up a caramel apple cake! I have to admit, I don't much like regular caramel apples. I like my apples dipped in fudge, white chocolate, m&ms, anything other than just plain caramel. It's not that I don't like the flavor of caramel apples, I love it! I guess what I don't like is the texture of biting into something so sticky.... I dunno, I'm weird I guess! BUT that being said, this cake takes all the GREAT flavor of caramel apples that I do like and removes the whole texture issue. When you bite through the cake's caramelized crust, you get a mouthful of plump, juicy apples and creamy gooey caramel melted together in a heavenly whirl of cinnamon and brown sugar. I know on Monday I posted about the best oatmeal cookies I ever ate, and I don't want to overdo the use of "the best..." but honestly, this cake takes the cake! (sorry that was a little corny... but ya know.. it's good cake!)
Adapted from Caramel Apple Muffins (Taste of Home)
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk (I used almond milk)
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 - 1 cup chopped peeled tart apple (I used one large pink lady apple)
12 caramels, chopped (into fourths) - this took a bit of time and was kinda sticky but believe me it is sooo worth it!
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
6 tablespoons butter, melted
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl, whisk the egg, milk, butter and vanilla.
Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in apple and caramels.
Make sure the caramels aren't stuck together when you add them in. I sprinkled them in a few at a time, separating them by hand.
Cut out a circle of parchment paper to fit the bottom of your spring form pan.
Place parchment paper in pan. Spray pan and paper with nonstick spray (or you could butter it).
Pour batter into pan.
In a separate bowl, combine topping ingredients.
Sprinkle topping over batter, making sure the topping covers the batter (I guess you don't have to cover the whole thing with topping, but I highly recommend it for that great caramelized crunch when you bite into the cake!).
Place cake in preheated oven. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Remove from oven, allow to cool, remove springform rim and savor the goodness!