by Courtney Sullivan
Last week, I walked into my friend's kitchen. The spicy baking smells settled into a part of my brain reserved for pleasant memories. The whiff of the baking applesauce cake reminded me of my Grandma and her homey farmhouse kitchen.
The fragrance of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg is soothing. It's so relaxing and equated with "home," "happy" and "comfort" that many realtors suggest baking an apple pie or using a spicy aromatic candle when showing your home.
I asked my friend to share her family's secret recipe. I plan to take advantage of its magic for June 6 which is National Applesauce Cake Day.
C. JoyBell says, "Cake is happiness! If you know the way of the cake, you know the way of happiness! If you have a cake in front of you, you should not look any further for joy!"
Prep time: 15 minutes | Total time: 75 minutes | Yield: 12 to 16 servings
• 1/2 cup butter
• 2/3 cup sugar
• 1 egg
• 1 cup applesauce
• 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour, quinoa flour or white flour
• 1 teaspoon soda
• 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
• 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
• 1/2 teaspoon allspice
• 1/4 teaspoon cloves
• 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
• 1/2 cup raisins, currants or other dried fruit, cut fine
• 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 2 tablespoons hot water
Preheat the oven to 350°.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, soda, cocoa, spices and salt (optional). Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar and butter. Add the egg, vanilla and hot water. Mix in the applesauce.
Add the flour mixture, stirring just until combined. Fold in the dried fruit and nuts.
Pour into a greased 9" by 13" pan, a greased bundt pan or 2 greased bread pans. Bake for an hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm with a drizzle of cream cheese frosting or lemony glaze or cold, frosted or plain.
Applesauce dates back to the middle ages. Someone probably left an apple too close to the fire. A taste confirmed that cooked apples should be part of the menu. Applesauce cake is thought to have it's origins in the early 1900s.
During the world wars, they were considered patriotic. They used less butter, sugar and eggs. Now, they're touted as a more healthy alternative to traditional cake with applesauce substituting for shortening or oil in traditional cake recipes.
How will you celebrate National Applesauce Cake Day?