Two Cake Finds :: Applesauce Cake with Caramel Glaze and Lime Chiffon Cake

by Ginny on March 30, 2011

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At the top of my list of pregnancy cravings has been one naughty four letter word: CAKE.

Strawberry cake, caramel cake, chocolate cake, cheese cake, almond cake, coffee cake– really, I’m not picky. Cake is no quick and easy cookie. It takes some commitment to prepare, not to mention the right kind of cake pan. If I bake a cake, I want to know it’s going to be worth it– the time, the money, and the calories! So, consider me your personal cake detective. I have been on the prowl for the good stuff, and today I have two to share with you that deserve a permanent spot in your recipe file. Sunday Dinner, after all, isn’t really complete without a bona fide dessert.

First, allow me to introduce you to (recipe link:) Applesauce Bundt Cake with Caramel Glaze (from Food52).

You can avoid those little elephant legs by glazing the cake on a wire rack so the excess can drip off.

The other day at JoAnn Fabrics, I discovered quite the selection of cake making tools, including a huge selection by Wilton, the primo cake supply people. I bought something I’ve wanted for years– a Bundt Pan– and I had just the recipe in mind for it’s maiden voyage. It had been sitting on my desk since last fall when the lure of caramel apples was high on my craving list. I found it on a great recipe site called Food 52, where NY Times food writers Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs test and showcase the best recipes that they and their readers have to share. This is one of Merrill’s recipes and the link above takes you to a recipe complete with a step-by-step slideshow of her making the cake.

Beautiful Applesauce bundt cake, pre-glaze.

Perhaps it was a combination of a great recipe, a superior bundt pan, and a swanky jar of Gravenstein Applesauce, but this cake was a bullseye. I brought it to a dinner party to rave reviews. Tasters oohed and aahed over it’s moist and perfectly spiced crumb, and touted the way the caramel glaze added just the right amount of sweet (not too much). The kids just said, “More, please.” We split up the leftovers and talked later about how good they were with morning coffee (milk in my case). The cake aged surprisingly well and was moist and sweet well into the next two days. That’s as long as it lasted.

Two final words about this cake: MAKE IT.

For our second new favorite cake:  (recipe link:)  Lime Chiffon Cake (from Cooking Light). (pictured at top of page)

Baking birthday cakes is high on my list of priorities. If I’m too busy to bake a birthday cake for a friend or relative, something else in my schedule is getting the ax. I like to take my time with it, and I get all excited about faces lit with the light of birthday candles.

This cake has birthday written all over it, because not only is it deceptively decadent, but also stunning. Dotted with fresh blueberries, mint leaves, and lime wedges, it has the added drama of being three layers tall.

Luckily, I was able to bask in a liesurely afternoon birthday cake session for my friend Marge, who was born on St. Patrick’s day. I knew that green needed to be somehow involved in her cake, and although the cake itself wasn’t green, the fresh hit of green lime was just the ticket for this tart and fluffy confection. Hubs wolfed down a man-sized piece with gusto, declaring that it reminded him of his #1 favorite dessert: Key Lime Pie. Coated in a fluffy whipped cream, one of the best parts of this cake is the filling between the layers: a simple custard made from sweetened condensed milk, lime zest and lime juice. It adds a luscious, sweet richness and substance to a cake that is otherwise light as angel food. Chiffon cakes are leavened with whipped egg white, resulting in a light as air crumb.

I followed the recipe exactly, except for one detail. Cooking Light recommended fat free whipped topping for the frosting, which I refuse to eat on principle, so I fattied it up with some real heavy whipping cream. Here’s my version of the frosting. You can decide which one to use:

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Combine ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and whip cream with a whisk or electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Do not over-whip cream or it will churn itself into butter and become lumpy.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Dorothy at Shockinglydelicious April 10, 2011 at 11:47 am

I luv me a great Bundt cake! I also like the ridges it forms, so you can be virtuous and eat the small ridge piece, or go for the gusto and eat a large ribbed piece! You know?
I also like the elephant legs. They charm. Keep them!

Reply

Ginny April 10, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Ha! Dorothy, you just opened up a whole new perspective on bundt cake ridges!

Reply

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