Spiced applesauce cake

In between my last blog entry and now, I’ve packed up my entire life in Australia and have temporarily moved back to the states before my big move to London in a few months.  Thus I am rather behind on all the farewell food I made for various people in my last week in Australia, so I’m going to get up to speed on that first before posting new baking/eating adventures in America and elsewhere!

Obviously, in my last week or so in Sydney I determined it was an absolute necessity to get rid of all the baking materials in my cupboard so embarked upon a rather massive baking spree.  I started with this applesauce cake which I’d made once before as a farewell to my orchestra for the final concert I played with them.  It’s from Smitten Kitchen, which is always ridiculously good, and it’s a very simple recipe so I knew I could throw it together quickly the day of my concert.  The original recipe comes with a lovely cream cheese frosting for the top, but I was only making it because I had leftover applesauce from the baked oatmeal I’d made the other week, so I decided to just make the cake and turn it more into a snack rather than a real cake extravaganza.  Although I have made the cake with the frosting and it was delicious, the cake plain is honestly just as good to me.  It’s super easy to cut up and package and it was a nice little thing to have in the backstage room for all the players in the intermission.   As cakes go, it takes very little time to make but is utterly delicious, so this hits high on the baking value scale!

Spiced applesauce cake (adapted from the always-reliable Smitten Kitchen)


For cake
2 cups (8 3/4 ounces or 250 grams) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (3 grams) baking soda
1/2 teaspoon (3 grams) salt
3/4 teaspoon (2 grams) cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon (1 gram) ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 stick (4 ounces or 113 grams – but pretty sure I used 100 because I am not specific) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (6 7/8 ounces or 195 grams) packed light brown sugar (I just used dark)
1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups (about 13 ounces or 365 grams) unsweetened applesauce

Preheat the oven to 180 C / 350 F.  Spray a square pan with nonstick spray, or butter it, or line it with parchment paper. Whatever your normal routine of cake pan preparation is will do here.

To make the cake, cream the butter and brown sugar together until pale and fluffy and then add the vanilla extract. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in applesauce.  Toss in all the spices, salt, baking soda, and baking powder and mix in, and finally add in the flour. Mix it until just combined.  You can add a handful of toasted nuts at this point if you want to but I never like adding nuts to things. (Walnuts were the recommendation here.)  The batter may look a little curdly and uneven but that’s totally fine and will bake out.

Spread the batter evenly in pan and bake until golden-brown and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean, about 35 to 40 minutes. (Check it at 25-30 minutes though.)  Cool in pan 15 minutes before removing it.  I just cut into bite sized squares but if you want to serve the whole thing you can invert it onto a plate, frost it, etc.  If you do want to speed up the cooling process you can of course do so in the fridge.  As I mentioned, this cake is fantastic plain and I just served it in little pieces straight out of a cookie tin.  I suppose it would keep well covered for a few days but I don’t really see why people wouldn’t snatch it up immediately.

IMG_7590Creaming the butter and sugar

IMG_7591After adding vanilla extract and eggs, add the applesauce

IMG_7592Stirring in the applesauce and the other spices

IMG_7593After adding flour the batter will be ready to spread in the pan

IMG_7594Finished cake cut up and ready to go in a tin

This is by far one of the best snack cakes out there.  I honestly like it totally plain.  It’s not too sweet and the combination of spices makes it smell amazing while baking, while the applesauce in the batter makes the texture of the cake spongy and delicious.  This cake is very plain but it’s incredibly simple to make and just tastes delicious.  It would be great to bring in to work or to have out on the table if friends come over!

One year ago: M and M bars



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