Monday, March 07, 2011

Spiced Applsauce Cake

Beauty found in the every day, the utmost beautiful of beauties.

A fresh morning, crisp with anticipation of the coming hours.

Unplanned adventures, welcome strangers, familiar fragrance, puppy eyes that cut straight through the soul, a slow southern drawl.

Comfort food. Feeling good. Guilt left at the door.

I have been swooning over this cake the moment I laid eyes on it. It is the sort of cake that I dream about casually gracing the table when I friend stops by or in our case when family comes to town. It is an everyday cake if I have ever came across one. It is simple, one that can pass for breakfast and mid afternoon sweet nibble, coffee or wine washes the crumb down. 

I love simple and I love bunt pans. The shape that a bunt pan produces transcends me to a time forgotten, tucked away for safe keeping, only accessed by black and white photos and cake with coffee and conversation.

I would love it if my little bunt came out of the pan in one piece.

That would be the real icing on the cake, actually I wouldn't even ice the damn thing because I would want to show off that the cake did not stick to the pan. I am that simple. I would celebrate and you would probably be invited.

Spiced Applesauce Cake

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

As you can tell I didn't frost the cake. Totally my choice, call me crazy. It would have looked fancier and tasted all that more decadent, so next time I will frost it (it will most likely be a means to patch the cake back together as it sticks to the pan). I have included the frosting recipe.

For cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 stick (4 ounces) 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 walnuts (optional), toasted, cooled, and chopped

For frosting
5 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup  confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Butter an 8- or 9-inch square cake pan or bunt pan.

Make cake:
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.

Make frosting: 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.


  1. Love this cake. Right now I', planning to make it tomorrow! It's my kind of cake and I have all the ingredients. How great is that?

  2. Cakes like this just get better as the week progresses, I love a good applesauce cake. But you know unless it is frosted, I consider it breakfast.....

  3. I had the ingredients on hand as well. The spice turns it from ordinary cake to something special.

    It lasted three days on the counter and was best the second day.

  4. I actually DO celebrate when I can get a bundt cake out of the pan in one piece!! Ha! I love simple cakes like this...they're the bomb. I'd love to be invited over for a slice :D