I have always been more of a pound cake baker than a layer cake baker. I’m not sure exactly why. Maybe it’s because they are just so darn easy and they tend to get better with time. My favorite pound cake recipes seem to get moister the longer they sit.
Here’s a wonderfully moist cake that I love making this time of the year. I prefer to use my homemade applesauce but any applesauce will work. It is not only delicious but it is lovely when sprinkled with powdered sugar and would be beautiful on a holiday dessert table!
Spiced Applesauce Pound Cake
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 2¾ c. all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. ground ginger
- ¼ tsp. ground cloves
- ¼ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 c. light brown sugar, packed
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 c. no-sugar applesauce
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 10-cup bundt pan well and place it on a large baking pan, set aside.
- Whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg in a large bowl.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer beat together butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the applesauce, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, being careful not to overmix.
- Pour batter into prepared bundt pan. Place the baking pan/bundt pan onto middle rack in preheated oven. Bake 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.
- Cool completely before inverting on a cake plate. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.
Before moving to the farm, pizza delivery was a weekly affair. However, delivery does not happen in the middle of the country! I had played around with pizza crust in the past. Mostly to get the kids involved by topping and baking their individual pizzas. I’ve tried many recipes over the past few years. Some have been really good, but I have never tried a recipe that when I knew my search was over until this crust.
This recipe is almost as simple and picking up the phone to order a pizza, but the flavor is much better! (The fruiter the olive oil the better the flavor.) No kidding, it takes just a matter of minutes to mix up this dough using my heavy-duty Kitchen Aid mixer with a dough hook. Allow the dough to rise for two hours. Then you are ready to prepare your homemade pizza or refrigerate the dough to use over the next 12 days. You will get about three 10-inch pizzas from this dough.
Most recipes will recommend a pizza stone. I have used stones and pans, and I prefer a large, heavy-gauge baking sheet with sides. The sides will keep the oil from dripping in the oven, and a heavy-gauge pan holds enough heat to brown and crisp the crust nicely. This crust also doubles as a nice focaccia bread! (Recipe below, no picture of the focaccia, sorry!)
Thirty minutes before baking time, preheat the oven to 425 °F. Prepare this simple, no-cook sauce and measure and prepare all of your toppings in advance. Remove from the pan immediately and serve.
Olive Oil Dough for Homemade Pizza
- 2¾ c. lukewarm water
- 1½ tbsp. granulated yeast (2 packets)
- 1½ tbsp. kosher salt
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- ¼ c. extra virgin olive oil
- 6½ c. unbleached all-purpose flour
- Mix the yeast, salt, sugar, and olive oil with the water in a 5-quart bowl, or a lidded (not airtight) food container.
- Mix in the flour without kneading, using a spoon, a 12-cup capacity food processor (with dough attachment), or heavy-duty stand mixer (with dough hook). If you're not using a machine, you may need to use wet hands to incorporate the last bit of flour.
- Cover (not airtight), and allow to rest at room temperature until dough rises and collapses (or flattens on top), approximately 2 hours.
- The dough can be used immediately after the initial rise, though it is easier to handle when cold. Refrigerate in a lidded (not airtight) container and use over the next 12 days.
- To prepare the pizza: Thirty minutes before baking time, preheat the oven to 425°F (or you could go up to 550°F).
- Prepare and measure all of the toppings, set aside.
- Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a grapefruit-size piece. Dust the piece with flour and quickly shape it not a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go.
- Flatten the dough with your hands and a rolling pin on a flour dusted wooden board to begin flattening. Once you gave flattened it to about 1-inch thick move to your pan and continue to flatter and shape with your fingertips. You may need to allow the rolled dough to relax for a few minutes to allow further shaping.
- Top with a small amount of sauce and spread, leaving ½-inch to 1-inch pizza sauce. Top with mozzarella and toppings of your choice.
- Bake for 8 to 12 minutes, depending on the temperature used. Remove from oven when the pizza is evenly browned and cheese has melted.
- NOTES: You c
You can mix and store the dough in the same container if you prefer. You need a large food-grade container that holds about five quarts. If you double the recipe you will need a container that holds at least ten quarts. Sam's Club has a few good options. I have punched a hole in the lid of mine and use it specifically for my dough.
Pizza Sauce for Homemade Pizza
- 1 (28-oz.) can crushed tomatoes
- 2 (6-oz.) cans tomato paste
- 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp. Italian seasoning
- 1 tbsp. dried oregano
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. sugar
- Place all ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine. Store in refrigerator.
If you prefer a completely smooth consistency you pour the mixture into a blender and pulse several times.
Can be frozen.
- Suggested toppings:
- Onions and fresh rosemary
- Cherry tomatoes, halved with chopped fresh basil.
- Black olives and goat cheese.
- Grease a baking sheet with a rim with olive oil, set aside. Preheat oven to 425°F, with an empty broiler pan on any shelf that won't interfere with the focaccia.
- Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 1-pound (grapefruit-size) piece. Dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go.
- Flatter it to a ½-inch to ¾-inch thick using your fingertips with a minimal amount of additional flour. Please the dough on the greased baking sheet.
- Top dough with your desired toppings. Drizzle lightly with olive oil. You do not want to cover the whole surface with toppings or oil. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Allow the focaccia to rest and rise for 20 minutes.
- After the focaccia has rested, place the cookie sheet on a rack near the center of the oven. Pour 1 cup of hot tap water into a broiler tray and quickly close the oven door. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the crust is medium brown. Be careful not to burn the toppings. The baking time will vary according to the focaccia's thickness.
- Cut into wedges and serve warm.
I like salted caramel, and I can not lie! I have been on a salted caramel roll lately. I know that I posted salted caramel sauce recently. Hopefully, you like it as well as I do. This is a different recipe, maybe even a little easier, but equally as delicious! Poured over this moist and delicious pecan pound cake this dessert is the bomb! This cake is going to be my signature dessert during the fall and holiday season!
This cake recipe works best in a large 12-cup bundt pan. I used a smaller pan simply because I’ve had this fancy cake pan for a while and had never used it. I had enough batter to make six large muffins in addition to the cake. You should have plenty of caramel sauce to drizzle over your cake and have extra for serving. I sprinkled my cake with a few chopped pecans, to let anyone eating the cake know that it contains nuts. This cake is by far the best new cake recipe I have tried in a while!
Pecan Pound Cake with Easy Salted Caramel Sauce
- For the cake:
- 1½ c. unsalted butter, softened
- 2 c. light brown sugar, packed
- 1 c. granulated sugar
- 5 lg. eggs, room temperature
- 3 c. all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 c. buttermilk
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- 1 c. pecans, chopped
- For Easy Salted Caramel Sauce:
- ¾ c. unsalted butter
- 1½ c. light brown sugar, packed
- 1 tsp. Fleur de Sel (or kosher salt)
- ½ c. evaporated milk
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- For the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease and flour a 12-cup bundt pan and set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the butter. Add sugars and beat until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Combine buttermilk with vanilla extract. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix just to combine. Stir in the pecans.
- Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cover the top of the cake with foil if the top begins to get too brown.
- Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack to completely cool.
- Place cake on serving plate and drizzle with Easy Salted Caramel Sauce and sprinkle with pecans.
- For caramel sauce:
- In a medium saucepan add butter, brown sugar, and salt. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and boil
- for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat and stir in ½ c. evaporated milk and vanilla extract. You may need to stand back while it bubbles up. Stir to combine.
- Store in refrigerator. May be reheated in the microwave.