From the first of October through the cold-weather holidays, desserts are dominated by pumpkin, pears and apples with lots of warm spices thrown in. Applesauce cake is a good one: not at all difficult to make, beautiful and easy to transport. Buttermilk makes the cake more tender than regular milk does, and JD Country Milk buttermilk makes your baking the best it can be—try it in biscuits. I am not a natural baker, and I was pushed over the edge by my umpteenth bundt cake whose bottom separated from its top when I tried to turn it out of the pan. I finally threw the pan into the garbage, and bought a kugelhopf pan to replace it. The kugelhopf creates similar hills and valleys and doesn’t give me the release-grief that the bundt pan did.
- 2 1/4 cups
all-purpose flour plus additional for dusting pan
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 3/4 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cups unsweetened applesauce
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3/4 cup
butter (1½ sticks)
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
For the glaze
- 3 tablespoons buttermilk
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- Put oven rack in middle position and heat oven to 350°F. Use cooking spray to coat the inside of a bundt or kugelhopf pan. Dust with flour and knock out the excess.
- Combine flour, baking powder, soda, spices and salt on a piece of waxed paper or in a bowl. Combine applesauce and buttermilk in another bowl.
- Beat butter and granulated sugar in a large bowl on medium speed until pale, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping the sides of the bowl. Reduce speed to low and add ⅓ of the flour. When it is just mixed in, add half the applesauce mixture and beat just to blend. Repeat, then add the last ⅓ of the flour, beating just until smooth.
- Spoon batter into pan, smoothing top, then bake until a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center of cake comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then invert rack over cake and reinvert cake onto rack. Cool 10 minutes more.
For the glaze
- As cake cools, mix buttermilk and powdered sugar until smooth. Drizzle icing over warm cake. Scoop up glaze that has fallen through the rack and drizzle over cake (avoid any glaze with crumbs in it). Cool completely and transfer to serving plate. Serves 12.