Benjamina Ebuehi says that her Apple Cake with Sage Caramel "couldn't be more autumnal if it tried," so it seemed like a perfect project for an early November bake. It's an apple cake topped with cream cheese-sage caramel frosting, finished with more sage caramel, dried apple crisps, and fresh sage.
The cake batter includes a homemade applesauce you make by cooking peeled, chopped apples with a little water until softened, and then mashing the fruit lightly with a fork. I wish the recipe had provided a volume measurement for the amount of applesauce you're suppose to have, because obviously your mileage can vary depending on the size of your apples (the recipe simply calls for "2 apples of your choice" without specifying a weight). I doubled the recipe (which is written to be baked in an 8-inch square pan) to bake it in a 9-inch by 13-inch pan, and I used four small Braeburns that had a total trimmed weight of about one pound.
Once I made the applesauce, the batter came together quickly. I whisked eggs and sugar until pale and thick; slowly added in oil; and incorporated the applesauce, vanilla, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. The recipe doesn't include salt, but I added a pinch. I poured the batter into a parchment-lined pan to bake and let the cake cool completely in the pan.
Recipe: "Apple Cake with Sage Caramel" from The New Way to Cake by Benjamina Ebuehi.
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