Have we recovered from our Thanksglutting Day food comas? Pretty sure I ate the better part of a pie by my lonesome. Let’s make something a bit less damaging, yes?
Because this applesauce snack cake is unremarkable, but I think that is its intent. It’s not here to wow or awe or in any way bowl you over. Not everyone can be a 4 layer cake of things that will be the death of me. But you know, it’s mildly spiced and not terrifically bad for you and it contains apples. It begs for cream cheese frosting but I didn’t have any and, to quote my roommate, “withholding really gets you off, doesn’t it?” So I’m making this cake suffer, because apparently I’m somewhat of a sado-masochist. You know, in the good way.
But really this cake came about because I had all this homemade applesauce, which I made a week or so-ish ago but didn’t photograph because it was EXTREMELY rushed. I was all out of sorts because it was the same day I donated my car, and I had a soccer game to attend, but I had all these half-rotting apples, and I knew if I didn’t make it right that moment those apples would’ve gone to the great compost heap in the sky. So I literally banged out applesauce in like 30 minutes. I have never peeled apples so fast in my life. Anyway.
I’ve eaten my heart’s content in applesauce of late and the idea of an applesauce cake really spoke to me. But you know what I missed in this cake? Chunks of apple. Don’t get me wrong, my applesauce was a chunky applesauce, but with the initial cooking down, and then on top of that the baking inside the cake, the chunks essentially disappear. And although it’s nice to have a smooth, moist cake, I am just one of those people who is always searching for bursts of fruit. So, noted for the future, applesauce cake sounds really cute but if you’re chunky peanut butter type, creamy is never going to get your rocks off. Also, next time, would double the spices AT LEAST. And add allspice. Which I did. But double it.
I improv’d (and thusly, improved [ooh yeah that was a good word play]) a quick sour-cream-swirled-with-honey topping, which was INCREDIBLY GOOD, and everything was ok. Everything is ok. You hear that? Everything is fine. We’re fiiine. We’re fine.
Spiced Applesauce Snack Cake
adapted from eat make read
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
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups (about 13 ounces or 365 grams) unsweetened applesauce
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Butter an 8- or 9-inch square cake pan.
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 one 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). The batter will look a little curdly and uneven but don’t worry, it will all bake up perfectly in the end.
Spread batter evenly in pan and bake until golden-brown and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, about 35 to 40 minutes.
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.