Friday, October 8, 2010

Applesauce Cake

In honor of fall, I'm going to post my favorite fall dessert, Applesauce Cake. This cake is really more of a coffee cake than a traditional dessert type cake: it's not that sweet, it has a crumb topping, and the texture is very dense from the applesauce in the batter. This cake is delicious warm right after it's baked, but it's even better after a day in fridge. It's perfect with your morning coffee on a cool fall day.

Applesauce Cake

For Cake and Pan:
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup unsalted butter, plus more for pan
2 1/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 1/2 cups applesauce
2 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch of cloves
Pinch of salt
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons rum or brandy
1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled and very thinly sliced
For Crumb Topping:
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1. Heat oven to 350. Spread pecans on baking sheet and bake until lightly toasted. Cool. Reduce oven temperature to 325.
2. Brush a springform pan with melted butter. Coat with 1/4 cup of the sugar and tap out excess.
3. In mixer with paddle attachment, cream 1 cup of butter and remaining 2 cups of sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating 1 minute after each addition. Scrape bowl in between.
4. By hand, fold in the applesauce, being careful not to overmix.
5. In another bowl, sift together the 2 3/4 cups of flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt, and baking powder.
6. Fold the flour mixture and chopped pecans into batter. Add the vanilla, rum, and apple slices and mix until just combined. Add batter to the cake pan.
7. In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the crumb topping. Mix with fingers until just combined, then sprinkle lightly over top of cake batter.
8. Bake until tester comes out clean, about 1 1/2 hours- 2 hours. Cool completely and refrigerate leftovers.

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