spiced applesauce cake with cinnamon cream cheese frosting
This cake. Oh ma gahhh, this cake.
Props to Chris for making me a super-awesome light box to end my run of crappy lighting! Well, at least when I’m not too lazy to walk the three steps over to the box to take my pictures.
So, I know I said yesterday that coffee cake is the best thing ever, but we all know I really meant cake in general, right? And cake that can be made on-demand and eaten that night because it’s so simple and only involves one bowl is especially fantastic. So when Smitten Kitchen posted this recipe, I knew I had to have it. THAT NIGHT. I was so desperate that I didn’t even stop at home to pick up my camera before driving to Chris’s house after school (hence the lack of process pictures), where the only words I could say around the foam filling my mouth were “apple,” “sauce,” and “cake.” Chris agreed to help me make it after dinner—possibly because he was afraid for his life at the time, but whatever, means to an end.
And oh, man, it was worth it. Obviously, I couldn’t wait until it was actually baked to try it, and when I sampled the batter, all the spices essentially burned off my taste buds, so I was a little concerned that the finished product would be too spicy. But nope, it was just right. The cake was all warmed up and seasonal from the spices—not at all harsh—and the texture was soft and fluffy and delicious. And the cream cheese frosting was sooo perfect on top of it. This coming from someone who’s not crazy about cream cheese on anything except bagels. (I know, I know, it’s another six-year-old thing.) I was too impatient to wait for the cake to cool, so we ended up frosting it a little bit early, and I was worried that would mess with the frosting. However, in this case, I think it worked out even better—the frosting did melt a bit, but it also sank a little bit into the cake itself and added even more flavor to it. In conclusion: totally worth the foaming at the mouth.
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
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce [we just used regular Mott’s and it came out fine]
5 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 350 with rack in middle. Butter an 8- or 9-inch square nonstick cake pan.
2. To make the 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. The batter will look a little curdly and uneven.
3. 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.
4. To make the 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 [or, um, not cooled] cake.
Source: Smitten Kitchen