I had some apples in my fruit bowl the other day that were looking decidely tired. When I have old bananas I always make a banana loaf or muffins. That way they don't get wasted. When I saw that I needed to use up these apples the idea of applesauce immediately came to mind, and so I peeled them all and cut them up and into a pot they went with a bit of water. I didn't sweeten them, as I had already decided I was going to make an applesauce cake.
I love applesauce cake, with it's warm spices and moist texture. This particular version smells heavenly when it is baking. I always bake it in two layers and then ice one layer and then pop the other one into the freezer for a future date. You don't have to make the icing, but it really is a wonderful touch. You just can't beat a moist and tasty applesauce cake topped off with a tasty cream cheese icing. Why have it plain when you don't have to??
*Mom's Applesauce Cake*
Makes 2 - 8 inch layers
Moist and spicy, this is a real winner. Do make the icing! If anything this gets even better after sitting for a couple of days.
2 1/2 cups plain flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 cup white vegetable shortening (trex or white flora)
1 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup water
1 large egg
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup of chopped raisins
2 cups applesauce
1 large package of philadelphia cream cheese
1 TBS milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 TBS orange juice
the finely grated zest of 1/2 orange
5 1/2 cups sifted icing sugar
Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/350*F. Grease and flour 2 8-inch round cake tins. Set aside.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, allspice and nutmeg. Set aside.
Place the shortening and the sugar into a large bowl and beat with an electric whisk until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and the water. Beat in the flour mixture, alternatively with the applesauce, mixing all in thoroughly. Fold in the raisins and nuts. Divide equally between both pans. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the cake tests down when a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
To make the frosting beat all the frosting ingredients together in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. You may or may not need all the liquid. I find the cream cheese over here is a lot more liquid than that found in North America so I never need all the liquid called for. It's a hit and miss kind of thing. If you find your frosting too runny, add more sifted icing sugar until it is spreadable.
Store in the refrigerator, but allow it to come to room temperature before serving. Scrummy yummy!!