Sunday, September 30, 2012

Spiced Applesauce Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...When the scent of apples and spice start wafting through my kitchen, I'm reminded of just how alluring I find this time of year to be. The other seasons have their charms, to be sure, but for those of us who love to cook, the promise of fall bounty lures us to the fields and orchards and ultimately back into kitchens that have been on hiatus for the summer. My favorite apples are now ripe and ready for the picking, so we spent some time today picking apples and plotting what to do with them once we had them home. I have a real weakness for apple desserts and this applesauce cake came to mind. It is pleasing to both the eye and the palate and it is not difficult to make. I'll go on record as saying this is my all-time favorite applesauce cake, at least for tonight. The cake was developed Andrea Albin for Gourmet magazine and it is a fantastic fall creation. The cake is moist, spicy and topped with a layer of a cream cheese icing so good that it's been known to make grown men weep. This is the kind of cake that, once tried, you'll make over and over again. It really will be love at first bite. The cake is easy to make and, on the odd chance you have leftovers, you'll be happy to know it is a great keeper. Do make sure the spices you are using are still at the peak of flavor. While spices can't go bad, they can lose their oomph and fall is a great time to replace them. I really hope you'll give this recipe a try. Here's how this cake and its icing are made.

Spiced Applesauce Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Andrea Albin and Gourmet

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 pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1-1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup walnuts (optional), toasted (see Tips), cooled, and chopped
5-oz. cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1) Move rack to center of oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 or 9-inch square cake pan.
2) To 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 1 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). Spread batter evenly in pan and bake until golden-brown and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 40 to 45 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.
3) To 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.
4) Spread frosting over top of cooled cake. Yield: 6 to 9 servings.

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Angie's Recipes said...

A lovely autumn coffee cake. The cheese frosting sounds marvelous!

What's Baking?? said...

I can almost imagine the aroma from the kitchen as this cake gets baked with all the wonderful spices. Very nice, Mary.

Whats Cookin Italian Style Cuisine said...

Love this time of the year with these spice recipes. Love the cake and that frosting is awesome!

Ana Regalado said...

It looks soft , moist and I'm sure it's delicious ! I really wish I could have a slice of this right now ! :D Have a great weekend , Mary !

Alicia Foodycat said...

That looks really good! Very seasonal.

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

I'm weeping already ... delicious!

Sue/the view from great island said...

Fall is the best cooking season, for sure. I love this little cake, especially the cinnamon cream cheese frosting!

Kim said...

Too bad I made an apple cake yesterday... I think I'm gonna try yours next week, it looks so delicous!

Zimbabwe said...

Mmmmm that sounds just too delicious for words. Have a good week. Diane


Cinnamon in an icing ... yum.


Banana Wonder said...

What a perfect welcome to Fall cake! I can just taste that cinnamon cream cheese.

Tracy's Living Cookbook said...

What a beautiful cake - I love simple recipes like this. It seems so old-fashioned and homey! love it!

Kitchen Riffs said...

I agree that fall is such a wonderful time to cook. The crisp, cool weather certainly stimulates most people's appetites, and we have so many new flavors to new, apples being one of my favs. Love the idea of the Cinnamon Cream Cheese icing - that sounds so good. And of course a spicy applesauce cake is always wonderful. Good stuff - thanks.

Shug said...

The scents of all the wonderful Fall spices is what makes me love Fall..
I know that we can have this all year long if we choose to, but I love to save it all for the Fall months...
Another great recipe...

Ellen Whyte said...

Sounds delish-ishly spiced!

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

Love the cinnamon flavoured icing.

Joanne said...

I've never really gotten into applesauce cake but you make this sound divine!

Delectably Green said...

So delicious - I just love all the fall flavorings you have here.
Mary x

Nammi said...

yummm, I can almost smell the the cake baking inthe oven.

Tricia @ saving room for dessert said...

I've had applesauce spice cake on the brain lately - so I am printing this out and hope to make cupcakes for my son's birthday later this month. Your timing is perfect and your cake is beautiful!

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