2000s Recipes + Menus

Applesauce Pecan Cake

  • Active time:25 min
  • Start to finish:2 hrs
September 2009
This homespun cake is the quintessential after-school snack.
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, left at room temperature for 30 minutes
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • Garnish:

    confectioners’ sugar
  • Special Equipment:

    a 9-inch square baking pan
  • Put a rack in the middle of oven and preheat over to 350°F. Butter baking pan.
  • Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.
  • Beat together butter and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer (fitted with paddle attachment if using a stand mixer) at medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla and applesauce, then scrape down sides of bowl (mixture will look curdled). At low speed, add flour mixture and mix, scraping down sides of bowl, just until flour is incorporated. Stir in pecans.
  • Spread batter evenly in baking pan. Bake until a wooden toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a rack for 30 minutes.
  • Run a thin knife around sides of pan. Turn cake out of pan, if desired, and dust with confectioners’ sugar.
Cook’s Note: The cake can be made up to 1 day ahead and kept in an airtight container at room temperature.
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