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Autumn recipe: Pumpkin Squares With Cider Caramel Sauce

Pumpkin Squares With Cider Caramel Sauce

Packed with vitamin-rich pumpkin, these lightly spiced cake squares are a delicious autumn treat. Our recipe calls for canned or fresh produce, and the batter is a cinch for young chefs to mix up. Kids will also learn a candy-making technique as they prepare the cider caramel sauce, a not-too-sweet complement to the cake.

Ingredients

FOR THE PUMPKIN SQUARES:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 (15-ounce) can of pumpkin or 2 cups fresh pureed pumpkin
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • Ice cream for serving (optional)

FOR THE CIDER CARAMEL SAUCE:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2/3 cup apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

1. Heat the oven to 325ยบ. Grease a 9- by 13-inch baking pan and set it aside.

Pumpkin Squares With Cider Caramel Sauce - Step 2

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the first six ingredients for the squares. Add the oil, pumpkin, and eggs, and whisk until the batter is evenly blended. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.

3. Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Remove the pan and allow it to cool completely on a wire rack, about 1 1/2 hours.

Pumpkin Squares With Cider Caramel Sauce - Step 4

4. Just before serving the cake squares, make the cider caramel sauce. In a medium-size saucepan, whisk together the brown sugar and cornstarch. Add the cider and stir well to dissolve the other ingredients. Cook the mixture over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until large bubbles form around the perimeter of the pan, about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and allow the sauce to continue to simmer until it thickens, about 2 minutes more.

5. Remove the sauce from the heat and whisk in the cream and the butter. Let the sauce cool slightly, then taste it and add a pinch of salt, if necessary.

6. To serve the dessert, cut the baked cake into 3-inch squares and top each with a scoop of ice cream, if you like, and a drizzle of warm cider caramel sauce. Makes 12 squares and about a cup of sauce.

Nutritional Information:

Per serving (one square with 1 1/3 tablespoons sauce):

Calories 314

Total Fat 17 g (25% DV)

Saturated Fat 2 g (12% DV)

Cholesterol 41 mg (14% DV)

Sodium 309 mg (13% DV)

Total Carbohydrate 38 g (13% DV)

Fiber 1 g (6% DV)

Sugars 24 g

Protein 3 g (6% DV)

Vitamin A (113% DV)

Percent daily values are based on a 2,000-calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

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