This recipe is from a 2005 issue of Better Homes and Gardens magazine. When I finally got around to making it for the first time years later, I decided to make a healthier version of it. I substituted apple sauce for half of the cooking oil (which I also replaced with coconut oil). For added moistness and a slightly more caramel flavor, I used a combination of brown and white sugars instead of all white. I also thought the sweet warmth of cinnamon would complement the apple and chipotle pepper flavors nicely, so I added a touch of it to the caramel glaze (which is heavenly, by the way!). I highly recommend heating up any leftover glaze and passing it along with warm slices of this South-of-the-Border version of apple cake (and don't forget the whipped cream or vanilla ice cream on the side). —Leah
For the cake:
ground chipotle pepper
freshly ground pepper
coconut or vegetable oil
light brown sugar
sweet–tart apples (peeled, cored, and diced)
Preheat oven to 325° F. Lightly coat 10–inch fluted tube or bundt pan with cooking spray; lightly sprinkle with flour. Set aside. In a bowl combine the 3 cups flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, chipotle, ginger, white pepper, salt, and cloves; set aside.
In a mixing bowl beat oil, applesauce, and sugars with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Add eggs, one at a time; beat well after each addition. Beat in vanilla and flour mixture. Stir in apples and pecans. Spoon batter into prepared pan.
Bake for 60-90 minutes (until wooden skewer inserted near center comes out clean). Follow carefully, as baking times will vary greatly. Mine was done in 1 hour; original recipe called for 90 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the glaze by combining the sugar, butter, whipping cream, chipotle and cinnamon in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Boil gently for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in the vanilla. Let stand until thickened (mine was good to go after half an hour). Drizzle over warm cake.
Cool cake in pan 10 minutes; invert on a rack. Place rack over a plate. Drizzle warm cake with the glaze. Scrape up the glaze drips from the plate with a rubber spatula and add back to any unused glaze. Keep the glaze for re–warming and drizzling on top of individual cake servings (or even ice cream).