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Makeover Chocolate-Caramel Nut Cake

With layers of caramel and marshmallow frosting, this sweet treat really takes the cake! Serve this lightened-up version for special occasions and just wait for the praises! Lois Johnson - Bayfield, WI
  • Total Time
    Prep: 1 hour + chilling Bake: 30 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    20 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1/3 cup baking cocoa
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • CARAMEL TOPPING:
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 4-1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup fat-free milk
  • 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • MARSHMALLOW FROSTING:
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ounce semisweet chocolate

Directions

  • In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until crumbly, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in applesauce and vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition.
  • Pour into a 13x9-in. baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  • For caramel topping, in a small saucepan, combine brown sugar and flour. Stir in milk until smooth. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir a small amount of hot topping into egg yolk; return all to pan, stirring constantly. Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat. Gently stir in butter. Cool to room temperature without stirring. Spread over cake to within 1/2 in. of edges; sprinkle with walnuts. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until set.
  • For frosting, in a small heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, water, egg whites and cream of tartar over low heat. With a hand mixer, beat on low speed for 1 minute. Continue beating on low over low heat until frosting reaches 160°, about 8-10 minutes. Pour into a large bowl; add vanilla. Beat on high until frosting forms stiff peaks, about 7 minutes. Spread over cake.
  • In a microwave, melt chocolate; stir until smooth. Drizzle over frosting. Chill until serving.
Nutrition Facts
1 piece: 278 calories, 6g fat (3g saturated fat), 40mg cholesterol, 221mg sodium, 52g carbohydrate (31g sugars, 1g fiber), 5g protein.
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