Image by Mrs J Park via FlickrFrom Denny: Upside-down cake is one of the first cakes I learned to make when I was a child. They were so easy and even smelled good as you assembled them into the iron skillet which was our pan of choice.
This apple caramel cake is unusual in that it employs canned sweet potatoes too. We love our sweet potatoes in Louisiana and eat them all year long, finding new ways to use them. This is the first I've seen used in an upside-down cake. Everyone knows that brown sugar and sweet potatoes are a natural and perfect taste combination!
The second recipe for an unusual birthday cake uses a spice cake mix and pumpkin pie filling. That makes for a dense moist cake topped by cream cheese icing - low fat cream cheese and low fat whipped topping, of course. :) To gild the lily the special cake is topped off with white chocolate bark.
Apple Upside-Down Caramel Cake
From: Margee Berry, of Trout Lake, Washington, USA
6 tbls. unsalted butter, divided
3 medium cooking apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup heavy cream, divided
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup dried sweetened cranberries
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1 cup drained canned Louisiana sweet potatoes, mashed
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
3 tbls. pure maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbls. sifted powdered sugar
3/4 tsp. fresh grated nutmeg
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a 10-inch oven-proof skillet, melt over medium heat 2 tablespoons butter. Add apples and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to small bowl, set aside.
2. In same skillet, cook 4 tablespoons butter and brown sugar, stirring until butter melts, bring to a boil. Remove from heat, stir in 3 tablespoons cream then sprinkle with pecans and cranberries. Arrange apple slices over mixture.
3. In medium bowl, whisk flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt.
4. In a large bowl, whisk sweet potatoes, eggs, melted butter, maple syrup and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture until smooth.
5. Pour batter over apples. Bake until golden, about 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool pan on wire rack for 10 minutes then invert onto serving platter.
6. To serve, in a medium bowl, beat remaining cream, powdered sugar and nutmeg with mixer until stiff peaks form. Cut cake into wedges, and add a dollop of whipped cream. Serve the cake warm or at room temperature.
Louise’s Birthday Cake - (Pumpkin Pie-Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Icing)
From: Terri Karam Willett
Makes a dense cake lightened with a fluffy frosting.
1 boxed spice cake mix
1 (30-oz) can pumpkin pie filling mix
3/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)
Nonstick vegetable cooking spray
Cream Cheese Filling and Icing (see recipe)
White Chocolate Bark (see recipe)
1. Mix cake, pie filling and pecans thoroughly. Batter will be stiff. Pour into 3 (9-inch) cake pans that have been well sprayed with a nonstick vegetable cooking spray. Bake at the temperature indicated on the cake-mix box until cakes pull away from sides and spring back in the middle when touched. A pick will come out clean.
2. Remove cakes from pans and cool completely on racks.
3. Spread Cream Cheese Filling between layers and frost sides and top of cake with Cream Cheese Icing.
4. Decorate by pushing pieces of White Chocolate Bark randomly into cake.
5. Keep cake in refrigerator if not serving immediately. Take out about 1 hour prior to serving.
Cream Cheese Filling and Icing
1 (8-oz) pkg. low-fat cream cheese at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 t. vanilla extract
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 to 3 tbls. skim milk (if needed to thin filling)
Large tub of fat-free whipped topping (or two small tubs)
1. Cream sugar and cream cheese. Add vanilla and lemon juice and mix well. Add 1 to 3 tablespoons of skim milk if needed. Spread this filling between cooled cake layers.
2. Fold defrosted whipped topping into the remaining cream-cheese mixture until it is of a fluffy, spreadable consistency. Frost sides and top of cake.
White Chocolate Bark
Nonstick vegetable cooking spray
About 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1. Cover a large baking pan with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray. Melt about ‰ cup white chocolate chips in the microwave. Spread melted chocolate in a thin layer on the foil. Place in freezer for about 15 minutes to harden.
2. Remove foil and break white chocolate into pieces.
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