Everything about this cake is simple, easy and delicious. You probably have all the ingredients in your pantry and the only other thing you will need is a mixer, a big bowl and an 8 or 9 inch square pan. It is perfect for dessert on a Fall Sunday and it goes particularly well with a cup of tea in the afternoon. All the flavors one craves when the leaves start to fall come together in this easy dessert.
I always keep those small single cups of applesauce that come in a package of six in reserve for those times when we grill pork chops. They last forever and you never know when one will come handy, particularly when grandchildren drop by for dinner. In my book, it is unthinkable to have pork chops without applesauce or some sauce on the sweet side, like chutney. If your applesauce is sweetened, just reduce the brown sugar to 3/4 cup.
If you, like me, do not like to bake but love a good cake, this recipe is for you. I am having an itsy, bitsy teeny, weenie piece as I write this post and it is as good or better than I had anticipated. It is also a small cake so if you plan to eat it all by yourself not much harm will be done. I've promised myself I will freeze some, or give a piece to the neighbors...maybe.
- 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
- 1/2 cup walnuts (optional), toasted, cooled, and chopped
- 5 oz cream cheese, softened
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup confectioners sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.
Beat butter, brown sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer at high speed until pale and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in applesauce. At low speed, mix in flour mixture until just combined, then stir in walnuts (if using).
Spread batter evenly in pan and bake until golden-brown and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool in pan 15 minutes. Run a knife around edge of cake to loosen, then invert onto a plate. Reinvert cake onto a rack to cool completely.
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.