Sunday, September 5, 2010

Applesauce Cake

This time of year is one of my favorites -- the Jewish High Holidays. Not only is it a great opportunity to take stock, make some changes, and get a fresh start (the latter of which I am sorely in need), it's a whole menu full of amazing food.

This year, Jay's parents will be with us here in Boston for Rosh Hashana, which means it's up to me to recreate the holiday staples. For Jay, that means his mom's sweet potato pie. For both of us, it also means homemade chicken soup (on the stove now -- keep your fingers crossed it comes out well!), brisket, and apples and honey, of course. For me, without a doubt, it's applesauce cake.
You know it's gonna be a good year when you get aluminum-wrapped loaves of love from home!
My mom's honey cake may be the longest-standing sweet component of Rosh Hashana meals, but maybe 10-15 years ago, her friend Gail shared a recipe for applesauce cake (thank you Gail!). It has since become my holiday favorite, hands down. No disrespect to the honey cake, but YUM! It's a perfect little quickbread with all the spices of fall. And it's so moist!

Every year, my mom bakes up these babies and sends them off to a few friends and family across the country for the holidays. Whenever I couldn't make it home, I knew I'd get my applesauce cake in the mail. 

This year, it was up to me to whip up my own cakes, and I cannot wait to dig in. The process is so easy and smells so good. What a great way to start off a sweet new year! L'shana Tova to all who are celebrating!!

Gail's Applesauce Cake
For batter:
1 cup applesauce
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable (canola) oil
2 eggs
3 tbsp milk (or non-dairy creamer if you need them to be parve)
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans

For topping:
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350º. Grease 2 medium loaf pans.

Combine applesauce, sugar, oil, eggs and milk. Beat to blend well.

In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and salt. Slowly blend into applesauce mixture. Stir in 1/2 cup pecans.

Turn batter into greased loaf pans (batter will be shallow in pans). Mix topping and sprinkle on top. 

Bake at 350º for 45-50 minutes.

Cool in pans, turn out and cut into slices.

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