Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Applesauce Spice Cake with Caramel Icing

My mother used to make a simple applesauce spice cake, so when I ran across this recipe (from Gourmet, December, 2005) it took me back to my childhood. Reminded me of coming home from school and the house would be perfumed with spices. Those apple-pie kind of spices. I don’t have my mother’s recipe, so this offered an opportunity to try a similar one. I think my mother used to add chopped apples and raisins to hers. They would be an easy addition, even to this recipe.

This is a simple cake to make, including the frosting. Once you get all the ingredients together in one place, it’s quite simple to mix up and pour into a greased springform pan to bake. Once the cake is cool, it’s frosted with an easy cooked frosting flavored with rum. The cake has a couple of teaspoons of rum in it too (you could easily use rum flavoring instead). If you go onto
epicurious, you can read reviews of the cake. By and large, everyone who made it enjoyed it. A couple of cooks thought it needed more spices, and a couple of people thought the frosting was too thin, so I added a bit more powdered sugar than was called for. You pour the frosting all over the cake and let it drip down the sides.

My family went absolutely nutso over this recipe. I believe more than one piece was consumed the next day with breakfast (ah, I am guilty, your honor). It was that good. But, having read some of the reviews on epicurious, my supposition is that the frosting makes the cake. It’s not a normal frosting – but kind of a cross between a frosting and a caramel sauce. And maybe it’s the turbinado sugar too that makes such a difference too, although turbinado can be interchanged with brown sugar.

Cook’s Notes: use your own choice of spices, but what’s in the recipe gives the cake a pleasant, light spicy flavor. Add more if you like a highly spiced cake. The recipe calls for turbinado sugar (which I had), but you can substitute brown sugar. I added another tablespoon of powdered sugar to the frosting.

Applesauce Spice Cake
Recipe By: Gourmet, December 2005
Serving Size: 10
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg -- freshly grated, if possible
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup turbinado sugar [or brown sugar]
1 stick unsalted butter -- (1/2 cup) softened
2 teaspoons light rum
1 large egg
1 cup unsweetened applesauce -- plus 1 tablespoon
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup turbinado sugar [or brown sugar]
6 tablespoons evaporated milk -- canned
1 teaspoon light rum
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1. CAKE: Place oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Butter pan and set aside. Whisk together flour, baking soda, spices, and salt in a bowl.
2. Beat together sugar, butter, and rum with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until combined well, then add egg and beat until pale and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes with a stand mixer or 5 to 6 minutes with a handheld. Reduce speed to low and add dry ingredients, mixing until combined well. Add applesauce and mix until combined well. Spread batter evenly in springform pan and bake until a wooden pick or skewer comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Start testing the cake at 25 minutes so you make sure you don't overbake it.
3. Cool cake in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then remove side of pan and cool completely.
4. ICING: Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a 1 1/2- to 2-quart heavy saucepan, then add sugar and evaporated milk and simmer, stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in rum, vanilla, salt, and remaining tablespoon butter, then whisk in confectioners sugar 1 tablespoon at a time. Cool to warm, about 20 minutes, then spread over cooled cake.
Per Serving: 374 Calories; 14g Fat (33.4% calories from fat); 3g Protein; 60g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 58mg Cholesterol; 226mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 Grain (Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 0 Fruit; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 2 1/2 Fat; 2 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.

1 comment:

Brown Sugar said...

Your Applesauce Spice Cake looks wonderful, Carolyn. It reminds me of years ago when I was a Girl Scout, and we made Gingerbread Applesauce cake over an open fire. I've never tasted anything like that before or since.

Thank you!