I love Fall. It is hands down my favorite season. The air is crisp, the days are sunny, the nights are cool, add in an evening fire and I’m in heaven.
For the past two weeks or so, I can’t seem to keep my eyes off of the apple cider, apples, parsnips and sweet potatoes in the grocery store. I guess that where’s the inspiration of this post comes from. There were a lot of directions this recipe could have gone, but in the end it was a mix of a sour cream pound cake, sweet potato cake, and apple-parsnip cake. I hope you enjoy it as much as Monkey Man and I did 🙂
For those of you with kids that have trouble getting them to eat fruits and veggies, this recipe cleverly hides one apple, one large parsnip, and one medium sized sweet potato (bonus!). And while I made it as a bundt cake, you could easily turn it into muffins. This cake could be served as breakfast (with pumpkin spiced coffee…yum!) or as a dessert.
There are three components to this recipe: 1) the cake, 2) an apple cider glaze, and 3) a salted caramel drizzle.
For this recipe you will need:
1/2 c. butter, cut into pieces and softened
1 c. sour cream
1 1/4 c. cane sugar
1/2 c. light brown sugar
1 1/2 c. sweet potato, peeled and mashed
1/3 c. apple cider
2 t. molasses
2 t. vanilla extract
1 1/4 c. coconut flour
1/2 c. + 2 T. tapioca flour
1/2 c. + 2 T. almond flour
1/2 t. salt
1 t. baking soda
2 t. baking powder
1 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. ground nutmeg
1/2 t. ground ginger
1 apple, peeled and shredded
1 large parsnip, peeled and shredded
3/4 c. chopped pecans
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a bundt pan with coconut oil – I always keep a can of coconut oil spray around for this specifically.
There’s a bit of prep to get out of the way first. Peel and cube the sweet potato. You can either boil the potato to cook and soften (about 15 minutes), or microwave with a small amount of water in the bowl (about 11 minutes). Once the potato is cooked and softened, mash it. I used a hand masher but you could also use a food processor. Set aside.
Next, peel and core the apple and peel and trim the parsnip. Shred both using either a hand grater or a food processor. I used the larger holes rather than the smaller ones.
In a large mixing bowl, add the softened butter, sugar, and sour cream and cream until light and fluffy.
Next, add the mashed sweet potato and mix on medium speed until very well mixed.
The mixture will start to look curdled. It’s okay. Add the eggs, one at a time. Allow the batter to mix for 1 minute on medium speed after the addition of each egg. It will look even more curdled….really, don’t worry 😉
In a medium sized bowl, mix the flours, salt, baking soda, baking powder and spices.
Add the flour mixture in 2-3 additions to the sweet potato mixture. Mix well. The “curdling” goes away here 🙂
Add the vanilla extract and molasses to the apple cider, and then add to the batter and mix for another 1-2 minutes on medium speed.
Finally, add the parsnip, apple, and chopped pecans to the batter and mix until just blended. Add the batter to the greased bundt pan and smooth out the top with your spatula.
Bake at 350 degrees F for approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. I had to foil the cake at about 40 minutes to make sure the top did not brown too much.
Cover the cake with a piece of wax paper or parchment paper and the cooling rack, and invert to release the cake from the pan to cool.
Now, you don’t actually want the cake to cool all of the way before you glaze it, so while it’s cooling from hot to warm, go ahead and prepare the glaze and salted caramel sauce.
3 T. apple cider
1 c. confectioner’s sugar
In a medium mixing bowl, add 3 T. of apple cider to 1 c. of confectioner’s sugar. Whisk well – make sure there are no lumps.
Salted Caramel Sauce
1/2 c. cane sugar (or palm sugar or brown sugar)
6 T. apple cider
1/2 t. salt
1 T. butter (or ghee or coconut oil)
For the caramel sauce, add the sugar and 3 T. of apple cider to a small saucepan. On high heat, bring the sugar and cider to a boil. Allow it to boil for about 4 minutes, but be sure to not let it burn. Add the 1 T. of butter and 1/2 t. salt and mix well. The sauce will lightly coat the spoon.
Now here’s the gig – the caramel sauce will start to thicken (and harden if you let it sit). As it does, but while it’s still very stir-able, add 1 T. of apple cider every 10 minutes or so to prevent it from seizing. The sauce will darken in color a bit. If it does harden significantly, just reheat the caramel until it is fully melted and add the apple cider.
Before you drizzle it on the cake, it should be thick enough to basically stay put. You can test this by coating the spoon and lifting it from the pan – rather than just drip from the spoon, it should pull with the spoon a bit.
Now, if your cake is still on the rack, transfer it to a plate for serving. Pour the glaze over the cake, ensuring that it runs over the sides. Allow it to harden a bit before adding the caramel drizzle.
Next, drizzle the caramel sauce over top of the glaze.
Now here’s the best part – enjoy!
A few things you can do to change this recipe up (if you’re so inclined):
- add 3/4 c. of golden raisins or currants
- add chopped walnuts instead of pecans
- substitute 1 c. pumpkin for the 1 1/2 c. of mashed sweet potato
- add rum to the caramel sauce for added depth of flavor
- replace the cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg with allspice, clove, and cardamom (just a pinch though!)
If you need to make this recipe dairy-free, omit the sour cream and use shortening instead of butter. Then increase the shortening by 1/2 cup, so 1 cup total.
If you try any of these variations let me know how they worked for you 😉