“It’s a pretty season, fall in Vancouver” – I hadn’t given it much thought until someone mentioned it today. Reddish and golden hued foliage, bright autumnal sun and the bluest skies, cooling temperatures and the start of snow on the mountains…
I used to regard fall with a bit of anxiety, it’s the season when the cold and rain returns, a passage into gloomy winter.
We’ve had a few perfect fall days, despite the rain and cold, which had me looking at the season differently – there’s something special there, you just have to let yourself see it.
And to celebrate fall… a cake!
I’ve mentioned this spiced applesauce cake before; although it wasn’t quite fall the last time I made it.
Yet, it’s the perfect autumn cake, with warming spices like ginger, cloves, cinnamon and cardamom.
It has all the comforting flavours of fall.
I love the smell of this cake when it’s baking, I’ll make it all season long just for how the wonderful scents of spice and baking fills everywhere.
The cake itself is moist, rich and not too sweet, and the frosting sweetens it up nicely.
The recipe is easy and adaptable, add in your favourite spices and leave out what you don’t want.
I love cardamom, I try to sneak it into everything I bake, cardamom and ginger invigorates the cake.
I think this cake was supposed to make me change my outlook on fall, or perhaps help me add another to my list of ‘fall perfect’ things
Spiced Applesauce Cake with ‘Buttercream’ Frosting
- 1/2 cup blackstrap molasses
- 1 cup applesauce (sweetened is fine)
- 1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon ginger powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/4 of cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup soft non-dairy, non-hydrogenated butter (I used Earth Balance Soy-Free Spread)
- 1 lb confectioners’ sugar (use organic, non-bone-char-filtered for vegan option)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons or more almond or coconut milk
- Chocolate sprinkles, optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Grease a medium round baking pan with oil and set aside
- Mix the molasses and applesauce in a large mixing bowl
- In a second bowl, combine the flour, ginger powder, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, mix well to combine
- Add the baking powder, baking soda and salt, mix well
- Fold the dry ingredients into the molasses-applesauce mixture, and stir until evenly moistened
- Do not over mix, as it will beat out the air
- Pour into the greased baking pan
- Bake for 35 – 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
- Let the cake cool for a few minutes in the pan, then turn it onto a wire rack to cool completely
- To make the frosting, cream butter until smooth and begins to fluff
- Add the confectioners’ sugar and whip for another few minutes, adding vanilla and milk
- Beat until frosting is light and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes; check and add 1 or 2 tablespoons more of milk to achieve the right consistency
- Cover the icing with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use, and rewhip before using
- To frost cake, set cake on a plate or cake stand and use a palette knife or offset spatula to spread frosting over the top and sides of cake until entirely covered
- Sprinkle cake with chocolate sprinkles if desired