Applesauce Snack Cake
Makes 12 servings
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/3 cup sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups unsweetened applesauce (homemade or store-bought), recipe follows
8-ounces cream cheese, softened
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3½ cups confectioners’ sugar
1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch by 13-inch baking pan with baking spray.
Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper cut to fit and spray the paper.
Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves in a large bowl.
Beat the oil and sugar in an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Mix in the vanilla. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Mix in the applesauce. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour, mixing until well-blended, about 1 minute.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with an offset spatula. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Cool the cake completely on a wire rack.
Meanwhile, make the icing. Beat the cream cheese and butter on medium speed until smooth. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the confectioners’ sugar. Mix until combined. Add the vanilla. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until creamy and smooth, about 2 minutes. Generously spread icing over the top of the cake. Reserve leftover icing for another use. Serve the cake from the pan.
Makes 2 quarts
4 pounds apples, peeled, cored and cut into large chunks
1 cup of water
Place the apples in a large saucepan with the water and ring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer until the apples are soft and cooked through, about 25 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Use an immersion blender to puree the apples in the pot until smooth. (You can also puree the apples, in batches, in a blender until smooth.) Serve warm or chilled.
Store the applesauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks or in the freezer for up to a year.