cakes · Lightened Up Recipe

Apple Cake & Caramel Sauce without the Guilt

Just because you’re trying to lose weight (as I talked about here) or maintain your current weight doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a sweet treat every now and then. While my husband and I have been on Weight Watchers, we’ve occasionally enjoyed a small portion of some type of dessert. I feel like it’s been crucial to do so every now and then so that sweet tooth gets satisfied (and we’ve realized that just a little bit does indeed satisfy!).

I personally don’t love the desserts with artificial sweeteners, and after a fail or two, I have decided to simply use recipes that cut back on fat instead. Cooking Light has been my go-to for most of those kind of recipes, but then last week I fell upon this Apple Cake recipe from my Gooseberry Entertaining Cookbook! What? Their recipes are usually quite high in fat, but this recipe uses grated apples to make up for the normal fat ingredient. The result? A super moist and flavorful cake that we loved! I will admit that the caramel sauce was different. It wouldn’t be the kind of sauce you’d make for dunking apple slices, but it’s good on the cake. Considering that my traditional recipe calls for 1 stick of butter and this has only 1 tablespoon, I’ll gladly enjoy the flavor of the caramel without the added fat! Here’s their recipe…

Warm Apple Cake with Caramel Sauce

1 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. sugar
1 t. baking soda
1 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. salt
1 egg, beaten
2 c. apples, cored, peeled, and shredded
1/4 c. chopped walnuts

Caramel Sauce:
1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
2 T. all-purpose flour
1/8 t. salt
1 c. water
1 T. butter
1/4 t. vanilla extract

Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl; set aside. Mix together egg and apples; add to flour mixture. Stir in walnuts. Spread in a lightly greased 8″x8″ baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.

Prepare Caramel Sauce: Combine brown sugar, flour and salt in a small saucepan. Gradually add water; stir until smooth. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Cook for one to 2 minutes, until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in butter and vanilla. Serve Cake warm, drizzled with Caramel Sauce. Makes 9 servings.

If you want to make this really special, go ahead and make up some fresh whipping cream and add a sprinkle of cinnamon or pumpkin spice.

Think ahead to Thanksgiving and pin this on your Pinterest board so you can have a yummy, warm Apple dessert and not blow your calories for the day! You can have your cake and diet, too!

Another cake suggestion that’s lighter is this this Carrot Cake. It’s one layer and super moist and delicious! An Angel Food Cake is also a lighter alternative. This one is super good. I wish I had the WW points for these or the nutritional values, but I’m not that savvy! So sorry!

Happy baking!

baking · dessert · entertaining · Make-Ahead

(L)Oven Monday – Cutie Pies!

Okay, so the title for these recipe Monday’s came into my head last week when I was writing my  husband a note about his breakfast being in the (L)oven! You do get it, right, or is it just my crazy mind?  I love to bake and cook, so I thought an appropriate title would be “(L)Oven Monday”  =)  My mind works words over like that.  You can vote yes or no at the end of this post!

Anyway, while I was in the kitchen last week getting ready for my Apples of Gold ladies to come, I came across the adorable idea of baking pies in Mason Jar lids. How genius is that?

mason jar pie.jpg

They make individual pies that are so stinking cute!  It’s the perfect size and they are so easy to put together.  It’s much less intimidating to  make a three-inch crust than an eight or ten inch one!  You could make any number of fillings, of course.  I made apple and Kentucky Derby pies with mine.

Here’s the Derby pie getting ready for the oven.  How good does this look…


Here’s the baked pie…


The Mason jar lids make a little spring form pan!  After they’re baked, you simply push up on the bottom of the lid and they pop right out.  Like I said – GENIUS!

Here’s a picture tutorial on how I made them:

My Pampered Chef Crimper is a little larger than the lid, which is what you want.  Find a bowl or glass that’s about a half inch bigger than the lids and cut circles in your crust.  I made mine, but you could also purchase dough.


I sprayed the lids with cooking spray to ensure they’d pop out easily.  Don’t over-fill the pie – two or three tablespoons of filling will do, especially if you top it with crumb topping or dough.  I also sprinkle sugar over the crust to make it pretty and delicious!

These would be great for Thanksgiving!  No need to slice pie!  Everyone can help themselves to their own individual pie.  Pumpkin, apple, peach – whatever kind you want – just portion the filling into the crusts.

I made up extras and put them in the freezer.  All I have to do is take it out and bake it when I need a dessert.  I also freeze my large pie crusts in Ziploc bags.


I cover the crust with Syran wrap, then put it into the freezer bags.

I hope you’ll make up a whole bunch of these Cutie Pies for your Thanksgiving dinner.  I think everyone will be talking about them and copying your idea!!!  Bake up a cute little treat from your (L)oven!

What do you think…do you like”(L)Oven Monday” for these Monday posts?  Or is it like, Huh???????????????????????

With love from my country kitchen,

Denise Signature 150 px