I know so many people that turn their noses up at zucchini. (But…yes. there. is. a. But.) But, seriously, if you don’t like zucchini, it won’t matter because you cannot taste it in these Applesauce Zucchini Cake Bars with Salted Caramel Pecan Glaze, one iota.
These home-made applesauce zucchini bars did not last long. Good Lord! We barely got into the next day and between my son and myself, we pretty much polished them off with no restraint. Matt even requested more after the first batch was eaten up. “Do we have more? Those are so good!” I always like to hear that type of response for sure!
These bars are so moist with glaze and without glaze. They just look prettier with glaze and some sprinkled salted roasted pecans. 🙂 They are home-baked with delicious ingredients like applesauce, zucchini, brown sugar, cinnamon, butter, flour and a smidge of nutmeg.
With that Caramel Glaze and pecans on top, you get a richer flavor and if you put the glaze on while the cake is warm, it will infuse, giving it even more flavor of that caramel inside the cake.
OMG…I can’t begin to tell you how good that was, AND it satisfied my sugar craving for awhile! I have sugar cravings, pretty much after every meal, snack-time and I also get those random cravings that just pop up out of nowhere, even though I’m not hungry. Anybody else built like that? It’s in my DNA. 🙂 It’s a great excuse, right? I’m sticking to it.
These Applesauce Zucchini Cake Bars with Salted Caramel Pecan Glaze are perfect for summer coming into fall recipes. So, go get those zucchini out of your garden, or go to your local farmer’s market and stock up. You can make these Fudgy Dark Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins too! Can you feel the love?
Here’s the recipe!
- 1/4 cup butter softened
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup applesauce
- 3/4 cup zucchini shredded, lightly packed
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1/3 cup caramel sauce or topping
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream or milk
- optional: 1/2 teaspoon butter extract
- 1/2 cup salted roasted pecans chopped coarsely
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9x9 inch baking pan with non-stick spray.
In a medium bowl, mix together the butter, brown sugar and eggs until smooth and blended, then stir in applesauce.
In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon, then stir into the applesauce batter until well blended.
Spread evenly into the prepared pan.
Bake for 25 minutes, or until edges become golden.
Cool in the pan over a wire rack.
In small microwavable bowl, heat 1/4 cup salted caramel topping for about 20-30 seconds for a thinner consistency.
Remove from microwave and add in heavy cream, mixing together well.
Add in powdered sugar and blend well with a whisk.
If you have lumps, put mixture back in microwave and heat 15-30 seconds more, then stir until lumps disappear.
For a thinner consistency, add a little more caramel topping to the mixture.
For infused caramel flavor into the cake, pour glaze over cake while warm and cover with foil after eating a piece or two of course. The glaze with infuse into the cake as it sets for an hour or two.
Once the cake has cooled completely, pour the glaze over the cake and let glaze set 10-15 minutes, or longer, before slicing.
Add salted roasted pecans to glaze, right after pouring on cake.
If you don't have salted caramel sauce, just add 1/4 teaspoon to caramel sauce if desired. There will already be salt on the roasted pecans. If you don't add the pecans, you could add sea salt to the top if you want the sweet and salty aspect. 🙂
You can also use an 8x8 baking pan, just increase the baking time by about 5 minutes or so, since it will be thicker.