Friday, January 29, 2010

Day 1, Cake 1 of Martha's "33 Simple Cakes": Applesauce Cake

In case you missed the previous blog, I ran across this page on called "33 Simple Cakes". I had a flashback to when I watched "Julie & Julia" and thought, maybe I could make all 33 cake recipes and share the results. If it gets boring around cake number 15 or if anyone falls into a sugar coma and threatens to sue, I might not make it through them all, but I'm going to try. At the end I can at least say I have a "cake repetoire". I like that the cakes are all simple, non-fussy and easy to make. You don't have to be a major force in the kitchen to bake any of them, and most importantly: no cake decorating skills are required!

I'm actually going to make the cakes in the order they appear online, and I didn't skip ahead to see what they all are- I'm going to just surprise myself. The only reason I did check on the first five is so I could make an ingredient list for when I go grocery shopping, but I didn't read the whole recipes, just skimmed the ingredients for what I don't have.

The first cake on the list is an especially yummy one, it's Applesauce Cake.

I realize not everyone has apples just sitting around, but I happened to have 5 Gala apples, so I did make my own applesauce. I'm going to start with that recipe first, but you can skip over it if you just want to use store-bought applesauce.
I do have to recommend you make it yourself though; the main reason being that your house will smell delicious with the scent of simmering apples, cinnamon and sugar on the stove. Also, it's so tasty! After I made mine, I found myself wishing I had some french vanilla ice cream and caramel to make a sundae- Maybe next time...!

Starting off then, Basic Applesauce!

Basic Applesauce-Recipe courtesy of Everyday Food/Martha Stewart

Prep: 20 minutes Total: 45 minutes

Use it by itself or as an ingredient in other recipes.


Makes 4 cups.

* 3 pounds apples, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
* 1 cinnamon stick
* 2 to 4 tablespoons sugar
* 3/4 cup water
* 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice


1. Peel, core, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices 3 pounds apples (try a combination of Gala, Golden Delicious, and McIntosh). In a large saucepan, combine apples with 1 cinnamon stick, 2 to 4 tablespoons sugar, and 3/4 cup water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until apples are tender, 30 to 35 minutes. (If sauce begins to stick to the bottom of the pan, add 2 to 4 tablespoons more water.)
2. Remove from heat; discard cinnamon stick. Stir in 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice.

As always, here are my notes:
I used all Gala apples because that's all I had, and it came out great. I also cut the recipe in half. I only had 5 apples, and you only need 2 cups of applesauce for the cake, so it worked out perfectly. I let my applesauce simmer for about 45 minutes instead of 30-35, but I did also keep it on a very low simmer. When the apples were mushy enough, I used a wooden spoon to break them up and make it kind of chunky, but still saucy. I was really happy with the results. In looking through a few other online applesauce recipes, I saw one by the Neely's on and instead of using water in their recipe, they used Apple Cider. I thought that was a great idea. I might try it the next time I make it. But be sure to check the ingredients in your cider. You might have to adjust your applesauce recipe if your cider has added sugar in it. If you can get plain old cider with nothing else added, that would be ideal.
Below: my apples, cinnamon sticks-which I snapped in 1/2 for extra flavor- and the other ingredients in the pan ready to simmer.

My finished applesauce: YUM! It was really hard to not eat it. Maybe I should've made double what I needed for the the future I will. Well, I'll be sure to have enough apples. This whole thing today was kind of on a whim.

Now I could make the cake-quickly before the applesauce got eaten.

Applesauce Cake courtesy of Everyday Food/Martha Stewart

Prep: 25 minutes Total: 2 hours 30 minutes

If you decide to use store-bought applesauce, choose one with a chunky texture.


Serves 10.

* 3 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
* 2 teaspoons baking soda
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
* 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cardamom
* 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
* 2 cups packed light-brown sugar
* 1/4 cup honey
* 2 large eggs
* 2 cups Basic Applesauce, or store-bought chunky applesauce
* Nonstick cooking spray
* Confectioners' sugar, optional


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cardamom. Set aside.
2. In another bowl, with an electric mixer, beat butter, brown sugar, and honey until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture; beat just until combined. Beat in applesauce.
3. Generously coat a nonstick 9-inch tube pan with cooking spray. Spoon batter into pan; smooth top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean (but slightly wet), 50 to 60 minutes.
4. Cool on a wire rack 10 minutes. Turn out of pan onto a cutting board or baking sheet; invert cake onto rack, top side up. Cool completely. Dust with confectioners' sugar before serving, if desired.

This is a good picture to illustrate why you don't want the apple chunks too large. Mine were the perfect size. You want to mash the applesauce, but still keep it a bit chunky so when you cut the cake, you can see the apples here & there inside...soooo good! Think how good this would be with a scoop of ice cream!

On to my notes:
There are only a couple. I didn't have any cardamom, so I left it out. I love cinnamon, so I was happy as long as I had that. I also don't have a tube pan (yet!) so I used my bundt pan. Same thing, just "bumpier"!

The Delicious Result:

So Cake Number One is finished. I can't wait for the next one...come back to see what it is!
...unless you peeked at it from the link in my previous blog. If that's the case, don't tell anyone, and act surprised when you read the next blog.
Thanks for visiting and let's have some CAKE!


  1. yummy looks really good im going to try this my love love anything with apples

  2. you'll love just the plain applesauce if you make your own- the possibilities are endless! I was just eating some of it by itself, but I really do want to try it on ice cream, or it can go on waffles...lots of possibilities! : )

  3. Oh my that looks scrummy...I think I will have to make... Gary says thanks for the follow by the way ;-)

  4. hi there, I am your latest follower. You can also follow me at

    Your blog is really informative, I will be hanging around for awhile digging into archives.