Spiced Applesauce Cake

This one was a spur of the moment creation, as most of my bakings are. A combination of fall-baking craziness and a huge basket of apples taking up counter space. I was in love with the idea of this cake before I even preheated the oven, and I found recipes for each piece from different corners of the internet. It was denser than I had expected, more like quick-bread than sponge cake, but it cut evenly when chilled and matched perfectly with the rich cream cheese frosting. To top it all off I made a quick and easy cinnamon apple compote! Unfortunately, applesauce did little to replace any butter and sugar in this cake (apparently it doesn't work the same as with applesauce cookies). Damn, well at least I tried right?

Bake time: 45-50 minutes
Total time: 1 hour

Applesauce Cake:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup applesauce
1/4 cup plain yogurt diluted a bit with milk, or 1/4 cup of buttermilk
1/2 cup of chopped walnuts (optional)

Cream Cheese Frosting:
1/2 stick butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese
2 cups icing sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Cinnamon Apple Compote:
2-3 medium apples, sliced
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar

1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Mix the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, and salt in large bowl.
2. In a mixer or with hand-mixers, beat the butter and sugar for 3-4 minutes until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and then the vanilla. Add the applesauce and beat till smooth as possible (this may take a little time).
3. Add half the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix till just combined. Then add the yogurt, and finally the rest of dry mixture. Mix in the walnuts.
4. Pour into a buttered 8x8 circular cake pan, and bake for 45-50 minutes.
5. When the cake is browned and just pulling from the sides, let cool ten minutes before cooling on a wrack.

For the cream cheese frosting:
Beat the butter, cream cheese, icing sugar, and vanilla with a balloon whisk in stand mixer, until pale and fluffy. Spread onto cooled cake.

For the apple compote:
Slice apples thinly and evenly. Place in a sauce pot with cinnamon and sugar, and cook on a medium heat for 20-30 minutes.

And there you go, a lovely fall cake for a table or for a sneaking a quick slice. Sweet, creamy, and spiced on all , this is a cake that needs no accompaniment.

Happy baking!


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