Not-your-Grandma’s applesauce cake

29 Mar

This recipe was originally called Grandma’s applesauce cake, but it didn’t come from my grandmother. It came from one of the Country Living magazine editor’s grandmothers… I assume. In any case, a good cake that is made great with a bit of cream cheese icing (not pictured) and a wonderful glaze.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups applesauce
3/4 cup strongly brewed hot coffee
1 1/2 cups dark raisins
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Lightly butter a round baking pan. Dust with flour and tap out any excess. Set aside.

Combine the flour, 1/4 cup of the cocoa powder, cinnamon, allspice, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cloves in a large bowl and set aside. Beat the butter and brown sugar in a large bowl using a mixer set on medium-high speed until light and flurry. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating just until incorporated. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture by thirds, alternating with the applesauce and ending with the dry ingredients. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and increase the mixer speed to medium. Quickly add 1/2 cup of the hot coffee, beating until thoroughly combined— about 30 seconds. Fold in the raisins and walnuts.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake in prepared oven at 350° until a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean—40 to 45 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack until slightly warm. Use a knife to loosen the cake from the edges of the pan and invert the cake onto the wire rack to cool completely.

Optional: Frost with cream cheese icing.

Sift the confectioners’ sugar and remaining cocoa together into a medium bowl. Make a well in the center and quickly pour in the remaining hot coffee. Whisk until well blended and smooth. Pour the glaze over the top of the cake, allowing it to soak in. Serve immediately. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days.

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