Posted by: A Part of the Solution | September 29, 2010

Applesauce Cake

People work hard when they live on a farm. There’s lots to do from first thing in the morning until just before bed. This is an environment in which snacking is appropriate, and even necessary to keep bodies warm and active as they get from one end of the day to the other. I like having snack friendly foods around, but I want them to contribute positively to nutritional requirements (tiresome of me, but there you are). And since I’m baking and cooking and preserving with a local focus, applesauce cake is a natural.

We have productive apple trees on the home acres. We have them out front and in the back yard. We have a few below the chicken coop on the hillside facing the main garden. And we have a couple off near the pond. So I’ve been using up a lot of apples in the kitchen since July. I’ve already described how to make easy applesauce and apple butter. Applesauce cake is among the things to do with all the lovely applesauce you can make in your slow cooker.

This recipe is uncomplicated. It doesn’t require exotic ingredients. It would be difficult to make poorly (though I’m sure there’s someone out there who could). And everybody to whom I’ve fed it likes it, doesn’t get tired of it, and is happy to see I’ve made another batch of it. Plus it uses up a nice volume of applesauce.

Applesauce Cake

1 1/2 cups minus one TBSP whole wheat or white whole wheat flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp cloves

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp ground ginger OR allspice (and this line is optional)

8 TBSP, one stick, unsalted butter at room temp (or use a margarine, but leave out the salt above)

3/4 cup plus 2 TBSP packed brown sugar–or 6 oz for those of you with a kitchen scale–which I recommend

1 large egg OR 1 1/2 TBSP flaxseed meal blended with 3 TBSP water until very foamy

1 cup applesauce

1 cup well chopped walnuts or pecans

(1 cup raisins, optional but tasty)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a smaller bundt pan, a regular loaf pan, or an 8×8 baking dish. Stir together the flour, salt, soda and spices. With a mixer (hand or stand), or a sturdy wooden spoon and lots of elbow grease, beat the butter until it’s fluffy. Add the sugar and continue beating several minutes until it’s all incorporated into the butter and no grains are visible. Add the egg, or flaxseed meal mixture, and beat until the batter becomes fluffier and stiff looking.

Beating more slowly, alternately add one third of the flour mixture and then one half of the applesauce. Do this until all the ingredients are well incorporated. Stir in the nuts and scoop the batter into the prepared pan. Bang the pan hard on the counter (or floor) a few times to settle the air bubbles out of the batter. Bake the cake for 25-35 minutes. The lesser time for the bundt ring, the greater for the loaf pan.

Pull the applesauce cake  from the oven when it’s almost completely silent (if you hold the pan up to your ear, you’ll hear some fizzing and sizzling as the soda works with acid and water and air to make cake loft). Allow the cake to cool for ten minutes, then de-pan it onto a cooling rack. Serve it to acclaim.

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