There are several justifications for including this cake in the 2019 Advent Calendar: it is baked in a square pan and served in square pieces, is really easy to make, and after yesterday’s post —which took me three and a half days of designing, folding, re-folding, photographing, photo-editing, writing, and proof-reading— we all deserve a piece of cake.
David made a lot of applesauce this year from our bumper crop of crabapples, so I looked for things to do with it. I am not much of a cake baker —savoury things are more my line— but I found a simple-looking recipe for an applesauce cake and began making it over and over, playing with it and tweaking the recipe.
I have made this recipe successfully with all-purpose flour, with 100% barley flour and with freshly ground soft wheat flour. I have reduced the fat and sugar by half. I have changed the type of fat. I have tried out different spice combinations. I have supplemented with yoghurt when I didn’t have a full cup of applesauce left in the fridge. I have substituted a half cup of ground almonds for a half cup of the flour and added a half teaspoon of almond extract. (That, I think, is my favourite so far.)
The basic recipe resulting from my testing has the following ingredients:
2 tablespoons soft margarine
1/2 cup yellow sugar
1 cup applesauce
2 tablespoons milk
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/3 cup currants (optional)
You can make this suitable for vegans by substituting nut milk or water for the milk. If you like a richer-tasting cake, you can double the fat. For a sweeter cake, you can double the sugar. You can change the spices, the type of fat, use raisins instead of currants (up to three-quarters of a cup), and add chopped nuts (also up to three-quarters of a cup). Chopped dried cranberries and chopped pistachios would be nice for a ‘Christmas’ version.
If you want to try making it for yourself, download the full Applesauce Cake Recipe.