Sunday, October 23, 2011

Applesauce Spice Cake with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

My parents came to visit us this weekend.  Okay, I should be honest with you.  I'll start again.  My parents came to visit Maeby this weekend.  She's their only grandchild (read: granddog) at the moment, and they just love her.  The feeling is mutual, I can assure you.  My mom has threatened on many occasions to kidnap her.  She likes to laugh it off and pretend that she's kidding, but we all know that she's at least half-serious about it.  You have to keep an eye on her to make sure that she doesn't try and smuggle Maeby out under a coat or something.

My dad's birthday happens to occur this weekend as well.  I wanted to bake him a birthday cake, preferably without having to resort to using a boxed mix.  Mostly because I didn't have a boxed mix handy and didn't feel like heading back to the store.  Also, because I thought it might be nice to bake a cake that was at least moderately seasonally-appropriate.  Enter: the Applesauce Spice Cake.

The recipe for the cake was originally found at Baking with Basil, and the frosting recipe was found at Savory Sweet Life

For the cake, you'll need:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 stick butter, room temperature
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce
2 eggs, room temperature

For the frosting, you'll need:

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
3-4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbs vanilla extract
up to 4 tbs milk or heavy cream

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease your 9x13 cake pan with butter or non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices.  Whisk until combined.  Add the butter, buttermilk, and applesauce to the dry ingredients.  Beat until well combined.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time.

Pour into cake pan and bake for 20-30 minutes, depending upon your particular oven.  Mine only took about 22 minutes, so make sure to start checking at 20 minutes.  You can also use this recipe to make cupcakes!  If you choose to go that route, fill the cupcake liners 3/4 of the way full and bake for 16-19 minutes.

The cake after baking, complete with the hole in the center where I tested for doneness.
To make the frosting, you'll want to beat the butter with a mixer outfitted with a paddle attachment on medium speed for just a few minutes.  Add 3 cups of powdered sugar (you can always add the 4th cup later on if you think you need it) and beat on the lowest speed, that way the powdered sugar doesn't go flying everywhere.  Beat this until the sugar has been well incorporated into the butter.  Increase the mixer's speed to medium and add the vanilla, salt, and 2 tbs of milk. 

If the frosting looks a little too stiff for your liking, you can add the extra milk 1 tbs at a time.  If it ends up being too runny, you can add some more of the sugar to stiffen it up.

A beautiful buttercream!  This is my favorite recipe to date.  It isn't so sweet that your teeth hurt while eating it.
Now frost your cake and/or cupcakes! 

All frosted up!

After slicing into it.  Mm mmm...
This cake smells wonderful while baking.  It smells just like fall.  It's sweet and spicy, and really moist.  Next time I think I'll bake it into cupcake form =).

Happy birthday, Dad!!

    1 comment:

    1. Mmmmmm. And perfect to use up the rest of the apples I have with brown spots that Nicolas refuses to take with his lunch. Hope your Dad doesn't mind that I made him an apple/almond bread for his birthday. I was going to take it up at halftime! Love, Juj


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