SPICED APPLESAUCE CAKE WITH CINNAMON CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
Confession: I don't like most fruity desserts. Cooked fruit freaks me out, which means no pies, cobblers, or crumbles for me. So what's a girl to do when we're in the heart of fall and there aren't any cozy apple desserts to enjoy?
Applesauce cake. You probably have nearly everything for this recipe on hand, especially if you happen to keep applesauce and cream cheese around. Bonus points for you.
If you don't already have cloves, ginger, and pure cinnamon in your spice arsenal, you should use this opportunity to change that. You can use these in everything—seriously, sweet and savory stuff. How could you get so far into fall without them?
make the cake:
Preheat oven to 350° and butter 9x9 pan. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and spices. In a separate bowl, beat butter, brown sugar, and vanilla at high speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, then beat in applesauce. Mix in flour mixture at low speed until just combined.
Spread batter evenly in pan and bake until golden-brown, about 35-40 minutes. With my slightly dark pan, 35 was absolutely perfect. Cool in pan 15 minutes, then run a knife around edge of cake to loosen. Invert cake onto a plate, then carefully reinvert cake onto a rack to cool completely. You can speed this up by cooling in the fridge.
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
make the 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. Spread frosting over top of cooled cake.
5 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Store cake in the fridge—there is applesauce and cream cheese inside, after all! The cake should keep for 3-5 days, but I'm sure it won't actually last that long. I mean, look at it.
recipe adapted from smittenkitchen.com