From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I made a huge batch of applesauce this weekend. I processed most of it, but held back a few pints for fall baking. I used tart early apples for my sauce and made it a point to use little, if any, extra sweetener in its preparation. I mention that because I think this lovely, old-fashioned cake would be cloyingly sweet if it were made with a sweetened applesauce. The cake comes from the family of Gale Gand and it was featured by Gale on one of her early television programs. The recipe is straight forward, quite easy to make and the finished cake is a fall delight. It's been on my radar for a while now, and I thought this would be a perfect time to test it and use some of my unprocessed applesauce as well. Unfrosted, the cake would be a perfect addition to a box or brown bag lunch. It's also a great addition to a morning coffee or afternoon tea. It is important to sift the flour used in the cake before it is measured. I use the old-fashioned sift, spoon and level technique to keep the flour from weighing down the cake batter. It also helps to know that the creamed mixture will look curdled when the applesauce is added to it. Not to worry! Somehow, it all miraculously comes together and the finished caked will have a moist, lovely crumb and no trace of curdling will be evident. Be sure to coat the pans well. This cake is loath to leave the comfort of its pan and you may have to wrestle with it to get it to release. The next time I make this, I plan to line the bottom of my pans with parchment paper, so this won't be a concern. This cake ages well and its flavors improve if it is allowed to sit and ripen. I know those of you try this recipe will enjoy the cake. It delivers lots of flavor for a small amount of work. Here's how it is made.
Gale Gand's Applesauce Cake...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Gale Gand
2-1/4 cups all purpose flour, measured after sifting
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups firmly packed brown sugar (I used golden brown)
2 large eggs, (room temperature)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup raisins (light or dark)
1 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted
Powdered sugar, optional
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease and flour a bundt pan or two 8-1/2 x 4-1/2 x 2-1/2 inch loaf pans.
2) Sift flour then spoon into measuring cups and level with the back of a knife. Mix measured flour with baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg and sift again.
3) Beat butter until creamy. Add brown sugar and continue mixing. Add eggs, one at a time, and vanilla, then mix until well blended and fluffy.
4) Add applesauce to creamed mixture and stir well. The mixture will appear curdled. Not to worry. Gently stir in flour mixture being sure to scrape sides of bowl and bottom of bowl to assure it is incorporated. Fold in raisins and walnuts. Pour batter into prepared pan/pans and bake for 45 minutes or until cake tests done.
5) Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn on to a wire rack to finish cooling. Yield: 1 bundt or 2 loaf cakes.
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