Tomorrow’s my birthday.
And while normally I am super ecstatic, and am one of those who celebrates their birthday all month long, this year I am like eh…
Not that I am freaking out about being older, in fact this year I am actually feeling pretty good about life and where I am on this beautiful journey. But at the same time, this year I don’t feel anything special about my birthday, despite having already received several loving birthday wishes.
Yeah tomorrow’s my birthday. And I feel like I should have something poignant to say about the celebration of life. Some wise words. Some earth shattering revelations. Especially considering last year’s major milestone birthday.
But maybe, just maybe, that’s what it’s all about. Being happy with what blessings life has given you. Working hard to fulfill dreams but not letting the bumps in the road get you down. Spending time with friends and family, even if it’s just sipping on a warm cup of coffee on a chilly afternoon or feeling the kiss of the sun on your cheek as you watch packs of dogs run around the park. No, despite what I thought 10 years ago, life is not about going on some elaborate vacation or how many “so called” friends show for your 21st birthday or that you have the cutest outfit in the whole room. Life is about surrounding yourself with good people. People who lift you up and don’t put you down. About people who you can really count on.
It is about breathtaking sunsets, good laugh-til-your-side-hurts filled nights, chasing your dreams and even a few cloudy days and uncontrollable tears, because well that’s what makes up the story called life.
Oh, and life is also about good food. I firmly believe that everyone should have cake and ice cream on their birthday. I believe this so much that it has almost become a life’s mission of mine to make sure everyone has a slice of cake on their special day (in fact several of my friends say that their birthday isn’t complete without cake from me!).
So today, in honor of my birthday and all the November birthdays (there are a lot of us…) I am sharing a recipe for my current favorite cake. I have made this cake several times and it is absolutely delicious. Moist and tender, filled with warm fall spices and wonderful homemade applesauce (don’t worry you can cheat and use store bought, if needed) and topped with a gooey caramel glaze- this cake has birthday memories written all over it!
One Year Ago: Cheddar Herb Biscuits
Two Years Ago: One Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes (Eggless)
Three Years Ago: Pilgrim Hat Cupcakes
Four Years Ago: Leftover Turkey (or chicken) Creamy Enchiladas
Five Years Ago: Chocolate Cake
Applesauce Spice Cake with Caramel Glaze
Prep Time: 20 minutes Bake Time: 40-50 minutes Wait Time: 40-50 minutes Serves: 10-12
For the cake:
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups all-purpose flour (plus 2 tablespoons)
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon finely ground black pepper
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cloves
2 large eggs
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup packed brown sugar
2 cups store bought or homemade applesauce (recipe below)
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
For the caramel glaze:
4 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
½ cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¾ to 1 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Using 2 tablespoons of butter and flour, generously grease and lightly dust with flour a 12-cup Bundt pan. Set aside.
In a large bowl, sift together the remaining 2 cups of flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, black pepper and spices, set aside.
Using a stand mixer or in a large bowl with an electric mixer. beat together the eggs with both sugars until combined and light in color. Mix in the applesauce, oil and vanilla, mixing until well combined and smooth.
Using a spatula, gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, being careful not to over-mix. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Allow cake to cool for 10 minutes in the bundt pan on a rack before inverting onto the wire rack to cool completely. Allow cake to cool completely before adding the glaze.
To prepare glaze, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, stir in brown sugar, cream and salt. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a full boil. Stirring constantly boil for one minute then remove from heat.
Allow brown sugar mixture to cool slightly, then gradually whisk in the powdered sugar until you have a thick, but pourable glaze. If needed, add additional cream or powdered sugar to reach desired consistency.
Before pouring the glaze over the cake, place a piece of foil or wax paper under the cooling rack to catch any excess glaze. Immediately pour the glaze over the cake, moving slowly and evenly to cover as much surface area as possible. Let the glaze set for 20-25 minutes before slicing and serving the cake.
6-7 Granny Smith, Gala, Fuji or Honeycrisp apples, cored and diced
1 ½ cups water or apple juice
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in a large pot over high heat. Bring to a boil and boil for 5-8 minutes. Reduce heat to a low and simmer 45-55 minutes, stirring occasionally, cooking until apples are tender.
Allow apple mixture to cool then place in a food processor or high power blender and puree until smooth or desired consistency.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.