I want to extend a huge thank you to each and every one of you who has popped by my blog and said hello. As of last night, Made By Nicole has had over 100,000 page views (not counting mine).
100, 000 is twenty times the people in my hometown! That's a really big number (for me).
When I imagine you trying the recipes I post or going off and taking a crack at the projects I share it really feels great and your comments are the best part of my day.
Thanks so much for all the warmth these past few years. I LOVE blogging for you.
Now on to the cake...
1 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. oil or, you can take my approach of scooping apple sauce into the measuring cup and then topping it off with oil. This is especially helpful if you live above 5000ft, it gives your baked goods structure and keeps the calories at bay.
1 tsp vanilla my addition
Combine the first 6 ingredients.
(I dropped it on it's way out of the oven creating a little sink hole... oops)
Cider Caramel Sauce:
Note: we doubled the sauce, this recipe is the single sized batch, it just didn't sound like enough to pour generously over slices of a 9x13 cake
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
2/3 c. apple cider (I used apple juice)
2 Tbsp. heavy cream
1 Tbsp. butter
salt to taste
In a saucepan, whisk brown sugar and cornstarch. Add cider and stir in the cream, butter and salt.
Opinion and Assessment: This cake is as easy to make as a from-scratch batch of pancakes so I think it has a place in the casual cake rotation. I used a little less sugar then suggested and added 1 tsp of vanilla. It tasted great. I found the apple flavor in the Cider Caramel Sauce really overwhelmed the more delicate pumpkin and caramel, which was a bit sad as I love caramel and pumpkin. It was also quite tart, not a sugar-bomb in the least. Next time I'll probably make a caramel sauce and skip the cider altogether.
It was "healthy" as far as cake goes, but a big part of that was the reduction of oil and sugar.
My family gobbled it down (no surprise there) and asked to put some of the caramel cider sauce on pumpkin pancakes this morning. But, no one had to re-think their top five cakes or insisted that this was the one they wanted for their birthday. I'd give it a solid 7/10. Very good, a little shy of great. It's a perfect week night cake.
Next time I think I'll make the cake as written but top it with this sauce instead, it's one of our family favorites.
½ C Brown sugar
1 TBL Cornstarch
1/3 C Half n half
¼ C Water
2 TBL Maple Syrup
1 TBL Butter
1 tsp Vanilla
Mix brown sugar and cornstarch in saucepan.
Add all remaining ingredients except vanilla.
Cook and stir over medium heat until slightly thickened and bubbly.
Cook and stir an additional two minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
Warm leftover sauce in the microwave.