Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Apple Cake with Caramel Glaze

Autumn is in the air, and apples are in bounty and at the prime of their time.  If you are in an area with apple orchards I would highly recommend going there to pick apples. They make great snacks and can be used in healthy baking recipes.  Any leftovers can be turned into a delicious applesauce and canned or frozen for the future.

This apple cake was my experiment for the week and it came out delightful.  It has the sweetness of an apple cake with a consistency of a muffin speckled with fresh apple pieces!  A cinnamon and brown sugar mixture is swirled throughout the cake and it is drizzled with a sweet caramel glaze for the perfect amount of sweetness.  This recipe also doubled as a sweet muffin for a quick breakfast on the go!

Recipe makeover: I substituted what would have butter in most recipes for canola oil and part skim ricotta.  By cutting out the stick of butter I slashed the calories and eliminated the saturated fat and replaced it with monounsaturated fat (a heart healthy one).  Cooking with just a small amount of splenda cuts down on the added sugars and doesn't ruin the texture of the baked good.  For an extra moist cake add 1/2 cup applesauce!

Apple Cake with Caramel Glaze
Serves 12

1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup baking splenda or 1/3 cup sugar and 5 packets of Splenda
2 eggs
1/3 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup part skim ricotta cheese
3 large apples, peeled and chopped

Cinnamon Swirl:
1/3 cup brown sugar packed
2 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp water

Caramel Glaze*:
10 Traditional Caramels
1/4 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a small circular cake or pie pan with non-stick spray.  In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In another bowl mix together the oil, eggs, ricotta, vanilla extract and the sugar together.  Add to the flour mixture.  Stir in the apples and mix well.  Mix the cinnamon brown sugar and water into a small bowl.  Pour the apple batter into the cake pan, add the cinnamon swirl and use a knife to swirl it into the cake batter.  Bake for 35-40 minutes or until done (when a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean).  Allow the cake to cool down.  In a microwave-safe bowl combine the caramels and milk and microwave for 2 minutes.  Stir well and drizzle over the top of the cake.

*Caramel ice cream topping can be used as a substitute.
Nutrition Facts: 190 calories, 36 g carbohydrate, 5 g protein, 4 g fat, 2 g fiber, 180 mg sodium

1 comment:

  1. Caramel popcorn or "caramel corn" is still a very popular and traditional Halloween treat for both kids and adults. The combination of popcorn covered in a caramel coating can be somewhat irresistible, and although you might not decide to hand any out to the trick-or-treaters, family and friends will truly appreciate having some of this sweet stuff available to them.

    Caramel Glaze