I had to find something to do with all of the homemade applesauce I ended up with this past weekend, so I thought an applesauce cake might be nice. There are many recipes out there for applesauce cake and muffins. I have pooled things I like from several to get this final result. Here is the recipe:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 stick butter, softened
1 teaspoon molasses
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups unsweetened applesauce
You can also add 1/2 to 3/4 cup of walnuts or pecans if you like
5 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Grease a 9-inch square cake pan or an 11X8 pan.
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 for 2 to 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. By hand mix in applesauce, then mix in flour mixture until just combined, then stir in nuts (if using). The batter will look a little lumpy.
Spread batter evenly in pan and bake until golden-brown and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, about 35-40 minutes for a 9in pan, about 30-35 for the 8X11. You might need to cover the cake after about 30 minutes to avoid excessive browning. Cool for 15-20 minutes before frosting. (We frost individual pieces at home because some like it without icing).
To make frosting: Beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla with an electric mixer at high speed until fluffy. Add sugar and cinnamon, then beat at medium speed until incorporated. Spread frosting over cooled cake.