Dad always called Granny Tootsie on her birthday. He’d ask about her day. He’d learn who all had called to wish her a happy birthday. What cards she got in the mail. Who had stopped by. If the well-wishers were still there, she’d get Dad to talk to them. Somewhere in the conversation Granny would always comment that Dad’s birthday was coming up very soon, just eight days after hers. Though not on the very same day, their birthdays were something they shared.
More than once she made him an Applesauce Cake, one of his very favorites. Sometimes for his birthday. Sometimes just because.
When I asked Dad what kind of cake he’d like for his birthday, this was his request.
It’s the only applesauce cake I’ve every had with not only applesauce, but also chocolate and cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Covered with Caramel Frosting, it’s the perfect combo.
To make the cake, you first melt 1/2 cup butter in a large pan.
Next measure 1 1/4 cups sugar.
Add to the melted butter and stir. Turn off heat.
In a small bowl, mix 1/3 cup hot water
with 1/2 cup cocoa powder. This will be very thick.
Add to the butter and sugar mixture.
Add 1 teaspoon vanilla,
and 1 1/2 cups applesauce.
Stir all of these ingredients well.
In a separate bowl, combine
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour,
2 teaspoons baking soda,
1 teaspoon cinnamon,
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg and
1/2 teaspoon cloves.
Stir this together and add to the butter mixture.
Be sure to stir until thoroughly mixed.
Place a cake pan on two sheets of wax paper and trace their circumference.
Then cut out the circles and place one inside each pan. This will keep the cake from sticking to the pan.
Pour half the batter into each pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Place cakes on a wire cooling rack while you prepare the frosting.
Granny always used Caramel Frosting, and Mrs. Beth Slay’s recipe is the best I’ve ever tasted.
First you melt 2/3 cup butter in a large pan and add 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar.
Cook this over low heat for two minutes, stirring constantly.
Add 1/3 cup half and half and stir until the mixture comes to a boil. Then remove from heat and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
Add 3 cups confectioner’s sugar one cup at a time, stirring well between each addition. A whisk works well for this.
Use those muscles and make sure all the sugar is incorporated well.
Now remove the first cake layer from the pan. You’ll have to use a butter knife or spatula to pry it away from the edges. Remove the wax paper and place on a cake plate.
Spread a thin layer of frosting on the first layer.
Remove the second cake layer and place it on top of the first.
Frost the sides and top and enjoy a slice, thanking God for giving us such a special Granny Tootsie.
I love you,
P.S. I wanted a larger cake and so increased everything by 50% and had a third layer.