Spiced Applesauce Cake
There is something very special about baking and cooking with seasonal ingredients — and right now, my kitchen still has remnants of apples from apple picking weeks ago, so I am still feeling the apple recipes. Last week, I bookmarked a recipe from Smitten Kitchen for Spiced Applesauce Cake. It reminded me of a favorite spiced apple cake I make that has apples, cream cheese and spices in it. This doesn’t have cream cheese in it, but rather, a cream cheese frosting laced with cinnamon. Yum.
2 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 c. light brown sugar, packed
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
5 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
3 tbsp. milk or heavy cream
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. confectioners sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Butter an 8- or 9-inch cake pan. Butter pan or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
- Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.
- Beat butter, brown sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer at high speed until pale and fluffy, 2-3 mins.
- Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in applesauce.
- At low speed, mix in flour mixture until just combined. The batter will be a bit lumpy.
- Spread batter evenly in pan and bake until golden-brown, about 35-40 mins. Cool in pan 15 minutes.
- Run a knife around edge of cake to loosen, then invert onto a plate. Reinvert cake onto a rack to cool completely.
- While cake is cooling, make the frosting: Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla with an electric mixer at high speed until fluffy.
- Add milk or cream; beat until smooth.
- Sift confectioners sugar and cinnamon over cream cheese mixture, then beat at medium speed until incorporated.
- Spread frosting over top of cooled cake. (Be sure the cake is completely cool before attempting to frost!)
I made two of these — one for my parents’ wedding anniversary and one for my colleagues at work. So I gladly watched this lovely cake get gobbled up twice! And I got to indulge in it (more than) twice…
You can easily double this recipe and make this as a two-layer cake. I would triple the frosting in that case, in order to ensure you have enough for going around the sides of the cake too.
I should also mention it tastes wonderful days later, which is pretty unusual for cakes. Simply wrap/cover and stick it in the refrigerator for up to three days. Be sure to allow it to come back up to room temperature before serving. My husband just ate the last piece of cake left and it is still very moist and fresh tasting. I think you’ll enjoy it too!