SPICED APPLESAUCE CAKE WITH CINNAMON CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 cup walnuts
5 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 tbsp butter, softened
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 F (176 C) with rack in the middle. Butter an 8- or 9- inch square pan.
1. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.
2. Beat butter, brown sugar, vanilla with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add 1 egg at a time, beating well with each addition. Add applesauce. At low speed, mix in flour mixture until just combined. Stir in walnuts.
3. Spread batter evenly in pan and bake until golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes. (When you poke a toothpick down through the center of the cake and it comes out clean, it's ready.) Cool in pan 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edges to loosen, invert onto a plate. Reinvert cake to a rack to cool completely.
4. Beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla with an electric mixer at high speed until fluffy.
Sift confectioner's sugar and cinnamon over cream cheese mixture, then beat at medium speed until incorporated. Spread frosting over cooled cake.
The original recipe called for unsalted butter. I only use salted butter because that's what I like.
When it came time to flip the cake out of the pan, of course, it broke and a quarter of it remained firmly stuck. I just pushed them back together and smothered in frosting. Either this cake calls for a thick layer of butter on the pan or it may need the butter/ flour one-two combo.
This cake is pretty dense. My mom suggested it's possible that I overmixed once the flour was added. For future reference, less mixing.
The frosting isn't very sweet and tasted a tad too much like it's original cream cheese state, in my opinion. Try bumping the confectioner's sugar up to 1 1/4 cups.
The walnuts added a nice crunch to the cake and I think I next time I will add more.
I'm also toying with the idea of adding real apple bits to the batter. Eric's coworker made an apple cake recently that had apple chunks and a caramel topping and it was really good. It was actually my inspiration for finally trying this recipe.