Part two - Spiced Earl Grey Apple Sauce Cake.

Now it's time for the cake. I haven't eaten much besides this cake in the last two days. Moist, delicious and flavorful. This recipe comes from the always delightful Smitten Kitchen by way of Gourmet. I made a few very slight adjustments based on preference and what I had on hand. Basically, pecans replaced walnuts, I reduced the sugar in light using the Earl Grey apple sauce versus unsweetened and I increased the amount of applesauce by half a cup. Voila. The perfect cake for Halloween or Thanksgiving.

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Cake Ingredients:

  • 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
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups of Earl Grey apple sauce
  • 1/2 cup nuts, toasted, cooled, and chopped (I used pecans)

The rest after the jump. Including the frosting!

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 5 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cinnamon (I used powdered and freshly ground)

Cake Steps:

  1. Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.
  2. Butter an 8" or 9" non-stick square cake pan, or line a regular cake pan with parchment paper.
  3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. Set aside.
  4. In another bowl, blend the butter, brown sugar and vanilla with a mixer until pale and fluffy.
  5. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well. Follow with apple sauce.
  6. Slowly, add the flour to the mixture until just combined, followed by the pecans (if using).
  7. Spread the batter into the pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.
  8. Run a knife around edge of cake to loosen, then invert onto a plate. Re-invert cake onto a rack to cool completely.

Frosting Steps:

  1. While the cake cools, beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla with an electric mixer at high-speed until fluffy.
  2. Add confectioners sugar and cinnamon over cream cheese mixture, beat at medium speed until incorporated.
  3. Spread frosting over the cake once it's completely cooled.

I somehow managed to only take two pictures of the cake day of, and now that it's been cut into more than once it doesn't look quite as pretty. This cake pairs well with a cup of tea. Earl Grey perhaps. Happy Halloween!