13 January 2012

Applesauce Cake

Some of you have been waiting for this recipe a LONG time. This is my Famous Applesauce Cake: my whole wheat, vegan, moist, delicious, disappears-in-minutes-at-any-party pretty round cake. Why is this cake so famous? Because it is the only cake I ever bake. It's laughably easy! And sorta healthy! This cake has served me well for over a decade, and if you check out the list below, you will see why that's so amazing.

Here is a list of cakes that I have come to realize I don't enjoy:

pound cake
coffee cake
carrot cake
lemon meringue cake
angel food cake
cake with raspberry filling
normal fluffy chocolate cake
any lemon cake
cakes with frosting (except for whip cream frosting)
devil's food cake
red velvet cake
whoopie pies

Despite the alarming length of that list, I still find plenty of cake to my liking. But obviously I'm very picky about my cake, something you wouldn't know if you had met me in Japan, where I made surreptitious weekly trips to the local Cake-Ya-San (so beautiful!) I don't like cake that's very sweet, fluffy, or airy, but that is the current style for so many American cakes.

So. I discovered this Applesauce Cake when I was 20, just learning to cook on my own and living in the shimmering cool beauty of the Pioneer Valley in Western Massachusetts, land of apple cider doughnuts—which in my opinion outshine all other U.S. doughnuts to an embarrassing degree. Knowing my 20-year old self, I probably copied down the recipe from some random cookbook in the Jones Library. When to my surprise and delight the recipe actually worked, I copied it into my journal, returned the book to the library, and didn't think much about it until the next time I was required to make a cake. Over the next decade I came to discover how rare and special this cake really is, and oft have I wondered which cookbook birthed it. If you ever find out, please tell me so I can give credit where credit is so obviously due.

Sarah's Extremely Famous Applesauce Cake

1/2 Cup canola oil
1 Cup sugar
1 1/2 Cup unsweetened applesauce
2 Cups whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350º.
Mix oil and sugar together. Add applesauce. Mix the dry ingredients together, and add them to the wet stuff. Beat until smooth. Grease (and flour if you want) a bundt pan. Or, if it's non-stick, don't bother. Pour batter in evenly and bake 45-50 minutes.

I know what you're bringing to your next pot-luck!

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