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Caramel apple snack cake for back-to-school

There has always been a lot of buzz about apples.

(No, not the Steve Jobs kind…the fruit.)

 

An apple a day keeps the doctor away.

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

An apple for teacher.

You’re the apple of my eye.

And there’s that whole Garden of Eden thing….

 

How did apples get such a following? I guess because they are pretty to look at, are sweet, crisp and juicy, and are good for you, to boot.

Since we are in that part of the year when kids start going back to school, I’ve been thinking more and more about easy things moms can make to send the kids off to school with a good breakfast in their tummies or something packed in for lunch that will satisfy them and remind them of home.

This is one way to do an apple today…caramel apple snack cake!

A square of this cake and a cold glass of milk would be a nice “welcome home” after a long school day. Who wouldn’t love that?

 

 

Caramel apple snack cake

  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 2  eggs (allow to come to room temperature by cracking in a bowl and allowing to sit out for a short while)
  • 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped apples (Granny Smith are my favorite, but use whatever you have)
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts or dried cranberries (optional)

for the caramel glaze:

  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons of salted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon heavy cream or half & half

Method:

Line an 8×8 or 9×9 baking dish or pan with a sheet of parchment paper or aluminum foil (if foil, spray with cooking spray.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, sugar, and spices.  Set aside.

In another mixing bowl (or bowl of a stand mixer), whip the two eggs until foamy and light.

Add oil and vanilla extract. Mix for 1.5 to 2 minutes on medium-high speed.

With mixer on low speed, add flour in two or three scoops at a time, mixing only until flour is no longer visible in the batter.

Use a spatula to fold in apples, nuts and/or cranberries.

Spread batter into pan. (I used an offset spatula, as this batter is very thick and not pourable.)

Bake for 35 minutes if 9×9, or about 40 minutes if 8×8. (I used 9×9, so had a thinner, quicker-baking cake)

Remove from oven and place on cooling rack while making the glaze.

Make the glaze: combine all glaze ingredients, listed above, in a medium saucepan. Place over medium heat, and continually stir while you allow the mixture to come to a gentle boil. Stir while gently boiling for 3 to 3 1/2  mintues, then remove from heat.

Invert cake on plate, then quickly spread the glaze over warm cake. Glaze will set quickly, so you have to hurry.

Serve warm (with vanilla ice cream? Yes, please!) or cool with a glass of cold milk…or a cup of hot coffee.

The cranberries really wake this cake up! If your family doesn’t like them, they’ll still really enjoy the caramel-ly flavor with the sweet apple chunks.  It’s a great combination!

Look at the chunks of tart apple…so nice to bite into.

Enjoy! And if you enjoy this blog,  I’d be honored if you left a comment or shared it with others by using the social buttons above, whether you’re a Facebook fan, Twitter follower, or Pinterest pinner (or all three, like me!) 🙂

I appreciate you!

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