1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
3 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp kosher salt
5 Granny Smith apples - peeled, cored, and cut into a 1/2 inch dice
1 1/4 cups coarsely chopped pecans
2 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/8 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
Ice Cream (optional)
Heat oven to 325º. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium high, beat the butter and the granulated and brown sugars until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.
In another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Using a wooden spoon, gradually add the flour mixture to the egg mixture. The batter should be very thick.
Stir in the apples, pecans, and vanilla. Scrape the batter into a buttered and floured 9 by 13 inch baking pan.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack. Let cool at least 10 minutes while you make the Caramel Glaze, if using. With a spatula, loosen the sides of the cake. Invert it onto a baking sheet, then invert it again, right side up, onto a platter. With a toothpick or fork, poke holes all over the surface. Pour on the warm sauce. Serve warm or at room temperature, with ice cream, if desired.
In a saucepan, over medium low heat, melt the butter. Add the granulated and brown sugars and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Stir in the cream and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.