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This is the time of year many apple-lovers go into sugar overdrive with apple-y desserts. For those of us with a sweet tooth (everybody?), nothing quite beats a good applesauce cake, especially when it comes perfumed with fresh grated ginger and just a hint of cloves.

Just as good for breakfast as it is for dessert, this moist Bundt cake earned rave reviews in my kitchen.

And it took fewer than 10 minutes to stir together.

The cake is delicious by itself "but even better with this sweet, sticky glaze," Ruth Reichl writes in her new book, "My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes that Saved My Life."

She's right.

The sauce is a must, even if you're drizzling it directly into your mouth.

Gingered Applesauce Cake Glazed With Caramel

For cake

2 eggs

1 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 knob fresh ginger

1 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

2/3 cup neutral vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

Pepper

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

For glaze

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon light corn syrup

Pinch of salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan.

Break eggs into a large bowl. Whisk in sugars. Add 1/2 tablespoon (or more) of freshly grated ginger and the applesauce. Whisk in the oil and vanilla and mix until smooth.

Put flour in small bowl. Whisk baking soda, salt, a few grinds of pepper, cinnamon and ground cloves into the flour and stir gently into the applesauce mixture.

Pour batter into prepared Bundt pan and bake for about 45 minutes until cake bounces back when you press your finger into it.

Cook cake for 15 minutes on a rack before turning it out and allowing it to cool.

Make glaze: Put cream in a heavy-bottomed pot. Whisk in brown sugar, corn syrup and a pinch of salt, and bring it to a boil. Turn heat down to medium and continue to boil for about 15 minutes, whisking every few minutes.

When glaze has come together into a smooth, thick caramel, remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

Put the cake, still on the rack, over a sheet of waxed paper. Carefully pour the glaze over the cake. If you don't mind a bit of a mess, you can simply pour the glaze less carefully over the cake and let it drop onto the plate. Serves 8 to 10.

— "My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes that Saved my Life" by Ruth Reichl (Random House, $35)

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