Slow Cooker Caramel Apple Cake

While pumpkin is generally the preferred flavor of fall, apple is my true favorite. I love going apple picking. And the farm’s warm caramel apples? They’re my true mark of fall. This is my favorite fall treat, in cake form.

CaramelAppleCake1

Even though this is made in the slow cooker, and slow cooker dishes aren’t notoriously pretty, this is a company-worthy dessert. As long as you grease the crock really well, it’ll pop out in one piece and you’ll be able to slice it like an oven-baked cake.

The caramel sauce permeates the whole cake before settling at the bottom. The apples are also heavy enough to fall to the bottom of the crock, too. The result is, when you turn the cake out, you have a nice layer of caramel, lots of apple pieces and then a soft, moist caramel cake.

Ready to get cooking? Here’s what you’ll need:

CaramelAppleCake2

 

Slow Cooker Caramel Apple Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 box vanilla cake mix
  • 1 can apple pie filling
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 5 oz. can evaporated milk

Instructions

  1. Grease the crock of the slow cooker very well.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the cake mix, apple pie filling and water until well combined. Spread evenly in the crock.
  3. In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir together butter, sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk until well combined. Bring to a boil, stirring often, and then pour over the cake mix in the crock.
  4. Cook on high for 2 - 3 hours, until the top springs back when lightly touched. Turn off, remove lid and let sit for 15 minutes.
  5. Run a knife along the edge of the crock to loosen the cake. Invert the crock over a serving platter and let the cake drop out. Spoon any remaining caramel sauce over the top of the cake.
  6. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.
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CaramelAppleCake3

Slow Cooker Gingerbread Oatmeal

Gingerbread Slow Cooker Oatmeal - best oatmeal ever!

I’ve made this Gingerbread Oatmeal twice.  Both times, Jim has texted me later in the morning to say it was an awesome breakfast.  These really are fantastic.

In addition to the common cinnamon and brown sugar, they also have ginger, a bit of cloves and vanilla.  The combination is full of fall flavor.

Even my daughter, who has never eaten (or been willing to try) oatmeal, liked these.

And they’re really easy to make too.  Set them up at night before going to bed and they’ll be ready to eat in the morning.  I do use a timer for my small crockpot so they don’t have to cook all night.  You can read more about making your own programmable crockpot here.

Here’s what you’ll need:   [Read more...]

Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan Soup

Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan Soup couldn't be easier!

 

It’s Slow Cooker Soup Friday again!  And I’ve got another new recipe for you.

This one is so easy, I really wondered if it would work.  The hands-on time for this soup has got to be under 5 minutes.  Your slow cooker really does do all the work.

I started with frozen chicken tenders.  Then added tomato juice, chicken broth, Italian seasonings and Parmesan cheese.  And at the end I decided to add some pasta too.

I served the soup with toasted cheesy bread.  Just butter the bread, add shredded Italian blend cheese to the top and pop it under the broiler for a few minutes.

Here’s what you’ll need for the soup:   [Read more...]

Slow Cooker Pork and Gravy Sandwiches

This is another one of those super simple, easily adaptable recipes.  In fact, I can think of three different ways to serve it.  All of them would be delish.  We chose the simplest serving method – sandwiches.

But you could also make the pork and gravy and serve it as whole pork chops with your favorite sides.  Then repurpose the leftovers as sandwiches.

Or you could make open-faced sandwiches with mashed potatoes. Like a Manhattan.  I think there are other terms for this type of sandwich, but I can’t think of them right now.  Leave a comment if you know of some.

Slow Cooker Pork and Gravy Sandwiches

 

I used 2.5 lbs of boneless pork chops and 1 jar of gravy.  If you like it more gravy-ish, just add a second jar.  And if you’re serving them as open-faced sandwiches with mashed potatoes, you’ll want the second jar of gravy.

For a side dish, I cooked some farmer’s market veggies in a skillet.  It was a quick meal that we really liked.

Pork and Gravy Sandwiches ingr

 

This really can’t get any easier!  I love recipes like this.

Slow Cooker Pork and Gravy Sandwiches

Yield: 6-8 servings

Slow Cooker Pork and Gravy Sandwiches

Ingredients

  • 2.5 lbs. boneless pork chops
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme, optional
  • 12 oz jar pork gravy (use a second jar if you like more gravy)
  • buns

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients except buns in the slow cooker.
  2. Cook on high 5-6 hours or low 7-8 hours.
  3. Shred meat and serve on buns.
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Using the Slow Cooker Freezer Meals – Simple Weekly Meal Plans & Real Life

It’s been about a month since I tested the Slow Cooker Freezer Menu (get a sneak peek at it near the bottom of this post).  I’ve been using those meals slowly, only reaching into the freezer when I know the day is going to be too busy for cooking.

But even though I’m trying not to use them all at once, after this week I only have 1 left!

I may be testing some new slow cooker freezer meals soon.  Those meals have made dinner time so simple and having them stashed away in the freezer is like a bit of insurance against the “crazy days”.

Sunday

Last Sunday, we ate leftovers after church.  There were several different things that needed to be eaten and I decided I didn’t want to cook.  It worked out well, at least for me!

Jim and I also went out on Sunday evening.  There was a free jazz concert at a local historic home that we decided to go to.  Before that though, we stopped by Lowe’s.  I’m wanting to give our kitchen a facelift with new countertops and possibly painted cabinets.

counterprice

 

I snapped this picture so I could remember the prices for laminate.  We also priced quartz and granite and decided it would be more than we want to spend.  And to be honest, I like laminate.

We currently have something called Butternut Granite, I think.  It’s not my favorite.  I like it better than I thought I would (the builder chose it before we bought the house), but I’d like to change it to something different.  If you’ve got a laminate you love, leave me a comment!

Monday

Labor Day meant a day off work for Jim and no school for the rest of us.  We went disc golfing with the boys.  They’ve been playing all summer, but I’d never been.  I’m terrible at throwing the frisbee, but it was fun to watch them.

bacontomatobasilpasta

 

Friends had given us a bunch of tomatoes from their garden the night before.  I decided they needed to be part of a pasta dish.  So I made a quick meal with angel hair pasta, bacon, basil, tomatoes and white wine.  I’ll share the recipe soon!

Tuesday

Our son had a soccer game, so we went to watch.  I used one of the slow cooker freezer meals – Honey Hoisin Chicken.  I shredded the cooked meat and we put it on sandwiches with quick cole slaw and sweet potato fries on the side.  Yum!

Wednesday

I used a bottle of Kung Pao sauce with some chicken tenders, onions and bell peppers.  We ate it over rice.  The bottle of sauce had enough kick that all of our mouths were tingly and burning afterward, but it was good.

Thursday

I made another of our slow cooker freezer meals.  This time it was Maple Apple Pot Roast.  It turned out great!  I served parmesan potatoes too – from a box – and they were delicious!  I hardly ever buy boxed au gratin style potatoes, but they just looked so good.  Everyone loved them.  We also had broccoli.  And I made Peach Pie Squares for dessert.  Recipe coming to the blog soon!

And I repurposed our leftover roast for Friday’s lunch.  I shredded the beef, added a can of black beans and some salsa.  Heated it in the microwave and filled taco shells.  It worked great and would have made a good dinner for a small family.

bunny

 

We had some tiny company on Thursday night.  This little guy and two of his brothers were hanging out in our garden.  They were only about the size of the palm of my hand.  Cute!

Friday

It’s Friday as I write this post and I’m planning to make French toast and ham for dinner.  Fancy, I know. *Update: When I went into the kitchen to make dinner, I realized we were out of milk. So I turned the French bread into French bread pizzas, using the ham for a topping and gathering up anything else I could find.  They turned out great!  But I really do need to hit the grocery!

Simple Weekly Meal Plans

Here’s a sneak peek at this week’s meal plans.  When you join the Weekly Meal Plan list, you get the grocery list and printable recipes with side dishes included.  You can find out more about how to get them for yourself by clicking here.  Now, you get access to a whole month at a time!  And September is our focus on stocking the freezer, including the week where you cook 7+ Slow Cooker Freezer Meals in just 1 hour!

Slow Cooker Plan – this is the freezer meals plan!

1. Taco Soup
2. Mediterranean Chicken in the Slow Cooker (as round steak)
3. Whole Chicken in the Slow Cooker
4. Honey Hoisin Chicken in the Slow Cooker
5. Easy Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas 
6. Maple Apple Chicken in the Slow Cooker (as pot roast)
7. blueberry orange bread 

Traditional Plan

Raspberry Chicken*
Mel’s Diner Chili *
Stromboli
Spaghetti and Meatballs
BBQ Chicken Fajitas* (prepare chicken like this)
Beef Stew
Peanut Butter Fluff Pie

Chocolate Pumpkin Cake with Caramel Sauce in the Slow Cooker

Note from Tiffany: This is Kate’s recipe and post, but I couldn’t wait to make this cake! So I’ve added a few notes and photos of my own here too.

It doesn’t really feel like fall here yet, but I figure that as soon as kids are back in school, all things fall are fair game. Including pumpkin! I’ve been playing with pumpkin recipes for a while, and this was by far my favorite creation. I’d been trying to nail down a recipe for pumpkin cake to try, but when I couldn’t find one that included everything I wanted, I just went ahead and created my own. I love that it only needed a few ingredients and I loved that since it’s made in the slow cooker, I could set it up before company came and then serve a nice warm dessert after we’d all finished dinner.

ChocolatePumpkinCake2

If you wrapped all the goodness of fall up in one dessert, you’d get this cake. It’s a super moist chocolate pumpkin cake that’s cooked with a creamy caramel sauce. The caramel starts out onto and as it cooks it works its way to the bottom, creating a deliciously sticky layer. Served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and it’s fall heaven!

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chocolate Cake with Caramel Sauce

 

Tiffany’s note: I think you can see in the photos that Kate’s caramel sauce was more saucy and mine turned out more gooey (it set up more).  I think that’s because mine cooked for 3 hours on high and in a pretty big crockpot.  If I’d used a smaller crock, I think that would have kept the sauce from setting up.  I think a 4 quart crock is a better size for this recipe.  Even though the caramel set up a bit, it was still delicious.

If you want to make this (and I know you do!), here’s what you’ll need:   [Read more...]

Slow Cooker Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Sandwiches – an easy twist on an old favorite!

Does it get any easier than tossing chicken in the slow cooker with some barbecue sauce?  It’s a classic and a family favorite.  This recipe is really more of a twist on serving the barbecue chicken.  You start with those same two ingredients, but the sandwiches get bumped up a notch with the addition of pineapple slices and cheese.

Slow Cooker Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

 

I had intended to make another recipe I have for Hawaiian BBQ Sandwiches.  That recipe uses grilled chicken and ham.  It’s not hard, but I was feeling super lazy.  Plus, I’m loving using the slow cooker lately!

So I cooked the chicken with our favorite barbecue sauce in the slow cooker.  At dinner time, I shredded the chicken and served it on toasted buns, topped with sliced pineapple and provolone.  A quick turn under the broiler and they were ready to eat.

Oh my goodness!  The pineapple and provolone really set these sandwiches apart from plain bbq chicken sandwiches.  It added so much flavor to the meal and it’s an easy step.

Here’s what you’ll need:

slow cooker hawaiian bbq sandwiches ingr

 

Slow Cooker Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Sandwiches – an easy twist on an old favorite!

Yield: 6-8 servings

Slow Cooker Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Sandwiches – an easy twist on an old favorite!

Ingredients

  • 2 - 2.5 lbs. boneless chicken breast
  • 1-2 cups barbecue sauce
  • hoagie buns
  • pineapple slices
  • provolone cheese slices

Instructions

  1. Put the chicken and bbq sauce in the slow cooker.
  2. Cook on high for 5-6 hours or low for 7-8 hours.
  3. Shred meat with a fork.
  4. Toast buns.
  5. Place meat on buns. Top with pineapple and cheese.
  6. Broil until cheese melts.
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Slow Cooker Chicken Bacon Ranch Sandwiches with Creamy Ranch Slaw

Can you believe we’ve made it to Day 75 in our Summer Slow Cooker Recipes series?  There have been such a variety of recipes shared.  Scroll to the bottom of this post and you’ll find a link to all of them.  

The combo of chicken, bacon and ranch is one of my favorites. In my opinion, any dish with the three of them is bound to be good. One morning when I was pressed for time and trying to think of something to throw in the slow cooker for dinner, I realized I had all three on hand – and these sandwiches were born!

ChickenBaconRanch

These are a great go-to dinner, especially in warm weather. Despite being a hot sandwich, the cool ranch slaw makes these feel light and refreshing.  I love to pair these with fries and some veggies with dip.

Here’s what you’ll need:

ChickenBaconRanch2

Slow Cooker Chicken Bacon Ranch Sandwiches with Creamy Ranch Slaw

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ - 2 lbs. boneless chicken breast
  • 1 ½ cups chicken broth
  • 1 pkg. ranch dressing mix
  • 3 oz. real bacon bits
  • 1 bag coleslaw mix
  • Ranch dressing
  • Rolls, for serving

Instructions

  1. Place the chicken in the bottom of the slow cooker. In a small bowl, whisk together the broth and dressing mix. Pour over the chicken. Sprinkle the bacon bits over the top.
  2. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours. Shred the chicken once cooked.
  3. While the chicken is cooking, toss the coleslaw mix with enough ranch dressing to lightly coat. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  4. Serve the shredded chicken on rolls, topped with ranch slaw.
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This is day 75 in our 75 Days of Summer Slow Cooker Recipes series.  Find the other posts by clicking here.

 75 Days of Summer Slow Cooker Meals EatAtHomeCooks

Kate is a home cook living and working in New Jersey. In addition to sharing recipes with Eat at Home readers, she blogs her cooking adventures at Kate’s Recipe Box. When she’s not in the kitchen, you can find her reading or tending to her garden.

Baked Chicken with Summer Vegetables – 75 Days of Summer Slow Cooker Recipes

When I first got married, I didn’t know how to cook.  At all.  It didn’t take me long to realize that I needed to learn.  So I started reading the cookbooks I got as wedding presents (an activity which amused Jim at the time, but for which he’s very grateful now).

One of the meals I learned to make was this recipe for Baked Chicken with Summer Vegetables.  It’s from a cookbook that I think may be out of print now, called Country Gourmet.  It’s originally made in the oven, but here I’ve adapted it for the slow cooker.

baked chicken with summer vegetables in slow cooker

 

This dish has rich flavor.  Part of the reason is it uses chicken with bones (although, you could adapt and use boneless).  The veggies also add color and fresh taste.

I like to serve this with angel hair pasta, because it’s so quick to fix.  Make a big, green salad to along with it and you’ve got a fast weeknight dinner.

Click here to see the recipe for Baked Chicken with Summer Vegetables in the Slow Cooker.

 

This is day 74! in our 75 Days of Summer Slow Cooker Recipes series.  Find the other posts by clicking here.

 

75 Days of Summer Slow Cooker Meals EatAtHomeCooks

 

Slow Cooker Breakfast Casserole – 75 Days of Summer Slow Cooker Recipes

We love brunch and brinner – breakfast for dinner.  But making eggs, bacon or sausage, biscuits and all can use up every pan in the house.  Sometimes, there just isn’t time for all of that.

Enter this easy Slow Cooker Breakfast Casserole.

Slow Cooker Breakfast Casserole

 

This casserole doesn’t even require any chopping.  It makes use of frozen diced potatoes with bell peppers and onions.  A package of diced ham makes adding meat quick and easy.  You can even use a bag of shredded cheese.

It really is just assembly only.  The hardest thing to do is break the eggs.

Serve this with fresh, seasonal fruit and biscuits or muffins.

Click here to see the recipe for Slow Cooker Breakfast Casserole.

If you love using your slow cooker, check out our All Slow Cooker Weekly Meal Plan.  It’s got all the planning done for you (including the grocery list) so you can go enjoy summer!

75 Days of Summer Slow Cooker Meals EatAtHomeCooks

 

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