I made this for my 31st birthday this year, because I had plenty of apple sauce, and I love cream cheese icing. You can tell two things about my baking methods from this photo -I can rarely be bothered sifting icing sugar, and I’m lazy about cutting lining paper for cake tins (so I just smoosh a sheet of paper in there without making corners, and it creates creases in the cake). This is a wonderfully moist and gently spiced cake – it lasts well, but should be kept in the fridge because of the icing.
(adapted from a Smitten Kitchen recipe)
2 cups plain flour
2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves
110 grams unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups unsweetened apple sauce
140 grams cream cheese, room temperature
3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces or 42 grams) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup (4 ounces or 120 grams) confectioners sugar
1/2 (1 teaspoon) teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 180C. Butter and line a 9-inch square cake tin (carelessly or carefully, however you prefer).
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, bicarb soda, salt and spices until well combined. In a larger bowl, use electric beaters and mix the butter, brown sugar and vanilla until smooth and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each, then beat in the apple sauce. Using a low speed, beat in the flour until just combined.
Pour the mixture evenly into your cake tin, and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until a skewer comes out cleanly. Cook the cake completely before icing.
While the cake is cooling, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla essence with electric beaters until fluffy. Beat in the sugar and cinnamon, and then spread your amazingly smooth (cough cough) icing over the cake. This amount of icing makes an American style thick icing layer, but the cake is quite solid and I think it goes well with a decent amount of icing. This could be my sweet tooth talking, of course.