I have something special for you today.
Since we last spoke, I’ve watched a dozen hockey practices and games, navigated a corn maze, seen this excellent movie, read Elena Ferrante’s outstanding series, and baked an applesauce cake. I watched a ladybug make its way along the window as I put it together. I want to pass along the recipe; I think you’ll love it. It tastes like October, and it comes together in no time. It’s simple enough that you don’t need an occasion to make it. It’s icing-free, and not too sweet. Eat it for dessert with whipped cream, for breakfast, for an afternoon snack.
adapted from Martha Stewart
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 ¼ teaspoons ground cardamom
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups packed light brown sugar
¼ cup honey
2 large eggs
2 cups applesauce, either homemade or, if store-bought, chunky applesauce
Nonstick cooking spray
Confectioners' sugar (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously coat a nonstick 9-inch tube pan with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cardamom. Set aside.
With an electric mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar, and honey until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until combined. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture; beat until just combined. Beat in the applesauce on low speed until just combined.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan; smooth the top. Bake until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean (but slightly wet), 55-65 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Turn out of the pan onto a cutting board or baking sheet; invert cake onto rack, top side up. Cool completely. Dust with confectioners' sugar before serving, if you like.