Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Cake Slice Baker's November 2013 - Applesauce Spice Cake




I have been looking forward to this day for a while.  Not only is it time for a new cake from the Cake Slice Bakers, it is also time to reveal our new book for the upcoming year.  Can I have a drum-roll please - we all voted and the winning book was Great Cakes by Carole Walter.  Ms. Walter is a respected author, has over 30 years of teaching experience, and has been honored for her "Outstanding Commitment to the Culinary Arts.”  It would be an understatement to say that this woman knows her stuff.

Just to refresh your memory the Cake Slice Bakers consists of a dedicated group of bakers from all over the world and every year we bake from a different cake book. Each month a selection of cakes are presented and we vote on which cake to bake next from our current book. We then have a month to bake it in secret before we all blog about it on the same day each month – the 20th – never before. We never reveal to anyone outside of the group which cake it is until this date. There are a few rules that we follow but the most important one is to have fun and enjoy eating cake! We have a blogroll which is open to anyone to view and it lists all the members. We link to this at the end of our cake reveal posts each month and it can be also be found at The Cake Slice Blogroll. Please come and visit us!



So we all voted, and the winning cake for this month was the Applesauce Spice Cake - a very fitting cake for this time of the year.  I was thrilled when I saw this had won since I am a big fan of spice cakes, and the more spice the better. I loved that I did not need to buy anything special for this cake since the ingredients were items common to my pantry.






I decided that I was going to add a little extra spice to the cake in the form of ground ginger.  It adds a little zing and pairs really well with apples and nuts.  This cake smelled amazing as it was baking, and I was very tempted to have a slice when it came out of the oven, but I waited since I had the glaze to go over the top. Also I choose to use only butter, rather than the combination of butter and shortening listed in the original recipe, due to personal preference and the fact that I wanted to use what I had on hand, and I always have butter available.  I also have a preference for dark brown sugar, so I made a substitution here too.

This cake was delicious and I loved the chunks of chopped apple and pecans. It had a soft, crumbly texture and just the right amount of spice for me.  My only complaint would be that the glaze was a little too sweet, and I think that next time I would cut the amount of powdered sugar in half, since I had more than enough to glaze the cake. My cake was topped with some Honey-Ginger Pecans that I made and you can find the recipe here. Since all ovens are a little different make sure you keep an eye on your cake. Start checking it around the 35 minute-mark and then keep adding time in five minute increments until it is done.




















It will be fun to see what my fellow CLB's thought of our first cake - you can join me in visiting their blogs by clicking on this link.  We also have a Facebook page where we share not only each months cake but also baking tips and other goodies that have been baked my our members.











Applesauce Spice Cake
(Printer Friendly Recipe)

Ingredients
Cake ~
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¾ cup pecans, lightly toasted and chopped medium-fine
  • ⅔ cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ⅔ cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 medium sized Granny Smith apple, peeled and chopped (about 2/3 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sweetened bottled apple sauce (or homemade)
Glaze ~
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation
Cake ~
  1. Preheat oven to 350℉, and adjust your oven rack to the bottom third of the oven.
  2. Prepare your cake pan - bundt or a fluted tube pan - by greasing with butter and sprinkling with flour, making sure to shake out the excess flour, or you could use a baking spray.
  3. In a large bowl add the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and ginger and whisk thoroughly to combine.
  4. Add pecans to flour mixture and stir to combine, making sure that the nuts are covered completely with the flour.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter for about a minute. Add the lemon zest and turn the mixer to high and continue beating for another 2 minutes, until the mixture is fluffy.
  6. Add the granulated sugar and the dark brown sugar to the butter, return the mixer to high and continue to beat for another 4 minutes, making sure to stop the mixer frequently and scrape the paddle and the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  7. Blend in the eggs, one at a time.
  8. On low speed add the chopped apple and the vanilla extract.
  9. Keeping the mixer on low add the flour/pecan mixture in three parts, alternating with the applesauce in two parts, beginning and ending with the flour. After each addition, mix until just barely blended and stop and scrape the bowl. Stop the mixer before the last flour has been incorporated and complete the blending by hand with a rubber spatula.
  10. Using a rubber spatula spoon the batter into the cake pan and smooth the top.
  11. Bake in the oven until the top gently springs back and a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean, about 40-50 minutes.
  12. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for about 15 minutes, then flip the cake out of the pan into the rack to cool further.
  13. At this point you may wish to pour the glaze over the top, letting it drip down the sides of the cake and garnish with the Honey-Ginger Pecans.
  14. This cake will keep for 2 days in an airtight container at room temperature, or 10 days if you wrap the unglazed cake in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.
Glaze ~
  1. Melt the butter and dark brown sugar in a small saucepan over low heat.
  2. Add the cream and stir to combine, continue to cook until the mixture comes to a soft boil, then continue to simmer for an additional two minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat and gradually add the sifted powdered sugar, whisking till smooth.
  4. Add vanilla extract and whisk to blend in.
  5. The glaze should be pourable, and if too thick add a little cream to thin the mixture.
Recipe slightly adapted from Great Cakes by Carole Walter




14 comments:

  1. Dear Felice, This cake looks beautiful and sounds so warm and comforting for the holidays. Blessings, Catherine xo

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  2. I like how you added ginger to the cake, I bet it added more flavour to the already present ones. Your cake looks great!

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  3. Love your posts, Felice. I always learn so much. Brilliant move to garnish with honey pecans - woo hoo.They add such a pretty touch. Good thinking on the ginger, too.

    P.s. I used a non hydrogenated veg shortening but good to know that I can opt for butter next time =) Mahalo =)

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  4. Beautiful, beautiful job!! I love the yummy nuts you put ontop of your cake! :-)

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  5. Love your glazed pecan halves on top of the cake - a hint about what is inside.
    I agree that it is nice to have a cake that you have the stuff to make - nice to keep on hand for company that shows up.

    :)
    Holly

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  6. Awesome! as usual! Love love that crumb texture!

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  7. Oh wow that sounds like my kind of cake. Yum.

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  8. Oh your cake looks absolutely wonderful!! The closeup of the pecans with that glaze just makes me salivate! Wonderful job! I love that you added ginger as well. Good call!

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  9. Lovely presentation Felice! This was my first spice cake and I loved it! I was a little worried about the allspice. I've never baked with it before. I loved it!

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  10. Honey-ginger pecans? Oh my!! I want them so much more than this cake ;) That first picture Felice... woah! I want. Now! Hazel x

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  11. OMG Felice...your cake is gorgeous! I'm glad you enjoyed it so much! I am totally stealing your recipe for those honey ginger pecans! Your photos are awesome....especially the one at the end with the crumbs....I want to lift every little morsel off with my finger! : )

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  12. Felice, your cake looks like a treat for sight. I love how you put honey ginger pecans. Such a clever idea ;)

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  13. I'm so happy you do these cake posts!! I'm the worlds worst cake maker, so I'm living through yours. Love the flavors in this one!
    And I'm excited to see what comes from your new book!!

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