Mama Reed’s Caramel Apple Cake is a recipe from Christy Jordan’s latest cookbook, Sweetness, and it encompasses everything I love about Christy and her blog.
One of the most wonderful things about being a food blogger is the opportunity to meet other food bloggers. I’ve met lots of food bloggers, some of them on my “plane” and some of them in seemingly another stratosphere from this little blog right here. Christy Jordan of Christy Jordan’s Southern Plate is one of those “other stratosphere” bloggers. I was reading her cookbooks long before I ever met her, and I remember when I met here last year at the Southern Food Blogger Retreat I was totally starstruck.
It’s funny to imagine it once you’re around Christy for a bit, because though her blog is huge, she’s written three cookbooks, she’s been featured in pretty much every Southern magazine under the sun, and she’s been all over national television, Christy is just a normal chick. She is exactly the person that comes across in her cookbooks and her blog…genuine, all about family, warm, and sweet.
That’s exactly what drew me in when I bought Southern Plate at McKay’s a few years back. Christy’s stories about her family made me wish for the days when my grandparents were around, just so I could write more stories about them and maybe do a little cooking with my grandmothers. Come Home to Supper is equally heart-warming, and I was so excited for Sweetness, a book focused on, well, sweetness.
I had a chance to flip through the galley copy of Sweetness when I was Christy’s kitchen assistant (aka dishwasher) when she did some cooking classes at AllSouth back in July. I preordered the book that same day, but I was so excited when I got the chance to get a copy of it from Christy’s publisher to review. Coming home to find her book on my porch felt like Christmas, and flipping through it to decide what to make for you guys perhaps even more exciting than Christmas.
Like her other books, Sweetness is full of stories about Christy’s family – her husband and kids, parents, and grandparents. Every recipe has some kind of story that relates back to Christy’s life and her family. The book has a balance of recipes from scratch and recipes that can be made by doctoring up some mixes – she’s all about making cooking accessible no matter what your budget, time limitations, or skill level.
I wouldn’t say it was easy to decide what to make. I had to choose from cookies, brownies and bars, cakes, pies, cobblers, puddings, sweet rolls, quick breads, fruit salads, candies, and drinks. Um, wow. Stumped much? I eventually decided to make a list of desserts that were more “seasonal” then handed it to Philip to make the final decision.
Philip decided on Mama Reed’s Caramel Apple Cake, a recipe from one of Christy’s beloved grandmothers. Since I’m a lover of sheet cakes (bake and serve in the same pan!), this caramel apple cake was perfect for me. It was even better that the cake was all mixed by hand in one bowl…no mixer required. Mama Reed’s Caramel Apple Cake is topped with a boiled icing, something that might not be familiar to some of you…but once you try this one, you’ll want to boil all the icings. It hardens quickly on top of the cake, making a slightly crunchy, crystalline, caramel-flavored treat that will make you want to keep scraping your fork along the sides of the pan to get the bits clinging there. But then, you’ll also want to scrape your fork along the bottom to get the sticky bits of caramel apple cake that linger on the bottom of the pan…
Mama Reed’s Caramel Apple Cake is quick, easy, and addictive fall dessert, and Christy Jordan’s Sweetness is a perfect purchase for you dessert-lovers!
Because I love Christy’s book so much, I want to buy a copy for one of you! Comment below by 8 p.m. on Sunday, November 6th, for a chance to win a copy of Sweetness! Congratulations to Kim, who won the cookbook! By the way, I received a copy of this book in exchange for sharing a review on my blog, but as always, all opinions are my own!
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To buy Christy’s books??
Yield: 1 9x13 cake, about 20 slices
This recipe is from the book Sweetness.
15 minPrep Time:
55 minCook Time:
1 hr, 10 Total Time:
- Nonstick cooking spray for coating the pan
- 2 cups self-rising flour (to sub all-purpose flour, like I did, use 2 cups of AP flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda)
- 2 large or 3 small apples, peeled and chopped
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 8 tablespoons heavy cream or whole milk
- 1 cup packed brown sugar (Christy recommends dark but says light is fine too - I used light)
- 2 cups confectioners sugar, plus more if needed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a 9x13 baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
- Make the cake: combine the flour, apples, eggs, sugar, oil, 1/2 cup water, cinnamon, allspice, and 1 teaspoon vanilla in a a large mixing bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until well blended and smooth. Spread into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Allow to cool slightly while you prepare the icing.
- Make the icing: place the butter, heavy cream or milk, and brown sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the butter is melted and the mixture is well blended, 2-3 minutes.
- Turn the heat up to medium-high and stir constantly until it comes to a rolling boil. Once boiling, cook for 2 minutes then remove from the heat. Working quickly, stir in the confectioners' sugar and the remaining teaspoon of vanilla extract with a wire whisk or an electric mixture at medium speed until smooth. Add up to 1/2 cup more confectioners' sugar if needed to thicken. Ice the slightly cooled cake as quickly as possible (the icing will harden if you don't move quickly enough!). Allow to cool completely before serving.
This cake will keep for up to three days covered.