Saturday, November 13, 2010

Johnny Appleseed Cake with Caramel Sauce

My collection of Junior League cookbooks has grown over the years. It began with Applehood & Motherpie - a bright green 3-ring binder from the Rochester, NY chapter. Purchased over 20 years ago, it offered simple, elegant dishes that weren't too difficult for an advanced beginner like me. Some of those recipes are now old family favorites.

I'll often purchase a Junior League cookbook when we're on vacation. The recipes really seem to capture local flavors.... plus, cookbooks make great souvenirs!

The Junior League at Home: Meals and Menus for Every Day and Special Occasions was complied by The Association of Junior Leagues International and includes favorite recipes from groups far and wide. I purchased it at my local Barnes & Noble, and finally got around to trying a cake recipe I bookmarked several years ago.

Johnny Appleseed Cake with Caramel Sauce

2 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large, tart cooking apples, cored and cut into 1/2" pieces (about 2 1/2 cups)
3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
whipped topping for garnish (optional)

Caramel Sauce:
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a large mixing bowl; beat at low speed for 1 to 2 minutes until well mixed. Add the oil, eggs, and vanilla; beat at medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes or until smooth. Stir in the apples and walnuts by hand. Spoon batter into a greased and floured 13 x 9 inch cake pan. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the top springs back when lightly toughed in the center. Cool on a wire rack.

For the sauce: Combine the brown sugar, cream, and butter in a 1 quart saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes or until the brown sugar dissolves. Stir in the vanilla. Drizzle the sauce over cake slices to serve. Garnish with whipped topping, if desired.

I brought this cake to a Sunday dinner at my sister's. It was delicious - no leftovers!

Are you a fan of Junior League cookbooks?

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Beth F said...

OMG does this sound good. Really. I love apple cakes of all sorts, but this one really sounds wonderful and rich.

I don't collect Junior League cookbooks per se, but I do look for local cookbooks when I'm on vacation. I agree that they make good souvenirs and are usually the source some great tried and true recipes.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I love local cookbooks. They always seem to have recipes that are more "realistic" to make than store bought cookbooks.

And caramel with apples - yum - perfect combo!

Margot said...

This looks like an excellent cake that I'd like to bring to a Thanksgiving potluck dinner. There are always so many pies, which is good, but a nice apple cake seems just right for this timed of year. Thanks JoAnn.

Marg said...

Oh, this looks good! I do like a good apple cake.

Esme said...

This sounds quite lovely-a perfect fall dessert.

Staci said...

I've never heard of this cookbook but that recipe turned put a yummy looking dish!!

JoAnn said...

Beth F - My sisters have even started collecting souvenir cookbook. They say I'm a bad influence!

Rhapsodyinbooks - There's nothing like a good local cookbook, and this one has 'local' recipes from all over the country... including my favorite chicken enchiladas.

Margot - My thoughts exactly! I love the pies, but it's nice to have a good seasonal cake, too.

Marg - This is one of my favorite apple cakes ... especially with the caramel!

Esme - Apple desserts are perfect for fall!

Staci - Thanks. I know I can count on the Junior League for great recipes.

Brenda said...

I am drooling. Looks delicious!

JoAnn said...

JoAnn - Thanks, Brenda!

Gnoe said...

That sounds & looks delish! I just had some caramel muffins when I was visiting a friend yesterday, so I feel a caramel phase coming up -- perfect for autumn! :)

caite said...

apples and could that not be fabulous?

JoAnn said...

Gnoe - Ooooh, caramel muffins sound delicious. I feel a caramel phase coming on, too :-)

Caite - One of my favorite flavor combinations... it was delicious!

Nan said...

I have to make this! Thank you so much for posting it, and I liked reading about the Junior League cookbooks in general. I'm not familiar with them. I've heard of the JL though.

JoAnn said...

Nan - I have been borrowing a lot of cookbooks from the library lately and taking them for a test run. You may be able to find some JL cookbooks to sample, too. Let me know if you try the cake.

Kaye said...

Wow, does this look mouth watering! Any kind of club or church cookbook is always interesting. You are so right about the local flavors represented. They make for interesting reading.

JoAnn said...

Glad you enjoyed this post. The cake was delicious, and I definitely have a weakness for 'local' cookbooks.

Heather said...

This looks wonderful. I have printed the recipe to give it a try.

I have only ever heard of these cookbooks on Weekend Cooking

JoAnn said...

Heather - Hope you like it as much as we did!

lakeviewer said...

Oh yummmm!