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Spiced Applesauce Cake with Cinnamon Cream-Cheese Frosting

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P.E.I. baker Jennifer Prinz says this cake is perfect for colder weather.

Recipe courtesy of Jennifer Prinz, City View Bakery, and adapted from Gourmet.com

Ingredients:

For the cake:
  • 2 cups (500 ml) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp (2 ml) baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp (2 ml) salt
  • 3/4 tsp (4 ml) cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp (2 ml) ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp (0.6 ml) ground cloves
  • 1 8-oz stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (250 ml) packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup (250 ml) chopped apples
For the frosting:
  • 5 oz (150 ml) cream cheese, softened
  • 3 Tbsp (45 ml) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 tsp (1 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (250 ml) icing sugar
  • 1/2 tsp (2 ml) cinnamon

Directions:

For the cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C) with rack in middle.
  2. Butter an 8 or 9-inch square cake pan.
  3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.
  4. Beat butter, brown sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer at high speed until pale and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in applesauce.
  6. At low speed, mix in flour mixture until just combined, and then stir in chopped apples.
  7. Spread batter evenly in pan and bake until golden-brown and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean,
  8. 40 to 45 minutes.
  9. Cool in pan 15 minutes. Run a knife around edge of cake to loosen, then invert onto a rack to cool completely.
For the frosting:
  1. Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla with an electric mixer at high speed until fluffy.
  2. Sift icing sugar and cinnamon over cream-cheese mixture, then beat at medium speed until incorporated. Spread frosting over top of cooled cake.

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