I’ve been writing two blog posts, but I decided on this one for today, since it’s been a while since I posted anything about food (and I know about half my subscribers are more interested in cooking than commentary). We opened a can of our homemade applesauce yesterday that tasted a bit scorched, so I decided to bake with it. Hence, the Spiced Applesauce Cake will be coming to church with us today and shared at the snack table. I confess, I ate some for breakfast this morning. It tastes good warm, but it’s even better after cooling overnight.
Spiced Applesauce Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves (optional)
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Frosting (makes enough for 2-3 cakes)
5 oz cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter an 8- or 9-inch square or round cake pan (alternately, a double-batch can be baked in a 13”x9” baking dish).
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 to 3 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in applesauce. At low speed, mix in flour mixture until just combined, then stir in walnuts (if using).
Spread batter evenly in pan and bake until golden-brown and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool in pan 15 minutes. Run a knife around edge of cake to loosen, then invert onto a plate (larger cakes can be left in pan). Reinvert cake onto a rack to cool completely.
Beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla with an electric mixer at high speed until fluffy. Sift confectioners sugar and cinnamon over cream cheese mixture, then beat at medium speed until incorporated. Spread frosting over top of cooled cake.