Friday, 27 March 2009

Applesauce Spice Cake

This is a lovely cake, moist and flavourful. It keeps quite well - if you can manage it.

The cocoa is not actually distinguishable as such; it is really just one of the spices here. I used my home-canned applesauce, which was rather thick. I also needed to soak my raisins (and I was quite short on them) so I added the soaking water with them. The batter should be a fairly standard medium-thick cake batter, which I then had. Finally, I didn't have any pastry flour, only Red Fife flour. I used 1 1/2 cups of that, and 1/4 cup each of rice flour and arrowroot flour. I was very happy with the results.

I've also decided to take a leaf out of my Canadian Farm Cook Book and stop calling for nutmeg by teaspoons or fractions thereof. If you are grating nutmeg, you just grate it into the bowl, so I will call for it by the fraction of the nutmeg, using a medium-sized nutmeg as standard. You are grating your nutmeg yourself as needed, aren't you? If you are not, you should be. The difference is enormous. HUGE. One of those micro-plane graters is perfect. And unlike pre-grated nutmeg, whole nutmegs won't go rancid sitting in your cupboard. Same goes for allspice. I don't think it goes rancid in the same way, but once it is ground it loses flavour very quickly.

16 servings
50 minutes - 15 minutes prep time

Applesauce Spice Cake
2 cups soft (pastry) whole wheat flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 cup neutral vegetable oil
2 extra-large eggs
2 cups applesauce
1 cup raisins

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly butter a 9" x 13" baking pan, or 2 8" round pans.

Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cocoa, cinnamon, grated nutmeg and the allspice, which should be lightly toasted first in a dry skillet, then finely ground once it is cool.

Whisk together the oil, eggs and applesauce. Mix them into the dry ingredients. Mix in the raisins.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan or pans, and spread it out smoothly and evenly. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until done.

Once cooled, it can be frosted with a simple vanilla buttercream or left plain. Or whipped cream is always nice. Ice cream would surely work too; rum and raisin, maybe. Okay, now I'm thinking rum and raisin frosting...

Last year at this time I made Vegetable Hash.


Marta said...

This looks so delicious! Since winter has decided to stick around in Calgary, I may try this as a comforting dessert :)

Unknown said...

Oh man, so delicious.

Ferdzy said...

Thanks guys. Marta, if you try it I'd love to hear how it works out.

Rachel said...

Am about to make this but realized the instructions call for eggs but they aren't listed in the ingredients list. I'm going to guess 2?

Rachel said...

Hmmm, either I guessed incorrectly on the eggs or I over mixed the batter because mine didn't rise at all. But it actually isn't bad even though. Kind of like spicy apple brownies.

I also used my home canned apple sauce. :)

Ferdzy said...

Hi Green Grrl;

Sorry about that! I have corrected the list of ingredients. Gotta proofread better...

Still, it was 2 eggs (impressive guess!) so I don't know why it didn't turn out.

Sarah R said...

This is one of the tastiest apple-ish cakes I've ever made and had the pleasure of eating. And, considering I did it the first time when I was about 10 it holds a ton of dear memories for me too! I do wonder where it came from, though - my mom's copy is handwritten on an old card. The only difference is her recipe using white flour, one egg and 1/3 cup of strong black tea.

Ferdzy said...

Yes, an oldie but goodie. Tea sounds like a very interesting addition. I always mean to do more cooking with tea.

Connie Taunton said...

Looks so mouthwatering in the picture I changed the cake I was planning to make for my birthday at the last minute...only have regular whole wheat flour though so had to research how to compensate and came up with using a mix of 1/3 cake flour (white) and 2/3 ww flour should work. Just took it out of the oven and it looks good but- it didn't rise. At all. :( I halved the recipe because I only have 1 cake pan (I dont eat many desserts) but with it not rising it sure looks forlorn on the cooling rack only about 3/4 inch thick :( I added some walnuts but that shouldn't have kept it from rising...:/ Also couldnt figure why it was so light looking while yours was brown and realized I used a teaspoon for the cocoa and not a tablespoon.. oops. Ah well, as long as doesnt taste like a brick.

Ferdzy said...

I'm sorry to hear it didn't rise, Summer. Is your baking powder fresh? That can be a culprit sometimes. On the other hand, I note you are the second person to have had this problem. Mine has always risen, so I don't know... maybe the type of applesauce has an effect? Was yours homemade or bought?

Connie Taunton said...

Sigh, I don't know what to do. I tried it immediately again a second time in case I messed up, and swapped the % of cake flour and ww...and still no rise. Then I tested my baking powder- sure enough it went dead. So I waited til i picked up some fresh, and made it again today- this time with 1/2 ww and 1/2 cake flour, and still absolutely no rise. I use store bought applesauce, the natural kind, no sweetener.
I added a small amount of milled flax seed to compensate for the liquid the raisins soaked in, also a tiny bit more cocoa (I like chocolate) and again some walnuts. I can't think that nuts would interfere? Is there something accidentally missing from the ingredient list? Baking soda maybe? Some more citric to activate the bp? The apples should do it though. It *tastes* good, even all dense. Oh I used raw sugar also.
If its extremely sensitive to mixing, that could be it, since I added walnuts, therefore a little more mixing.
Wonder what others did differently?

Ferdzy said...

Summer, I don't know what to say. If you now have fresh baking powder, it should be rising. I don't see anything that you've done that is particularly likely to make it fail. I've used both store-bought and homemade applesauce and didn't have any problem with either.

I have to say you have stuck with this recipe above and beyond the call of duty... I'm sorry it hasn't worked out for you.

Connie Taunton said...

It's that picture!!
It makes me hungry :)
Sooner or later Ill work it out. Tastes good anyway, meanwhile.