This week I have the best recipe for applesauce cake. It is sweet and complex. It is a throwback recipe that was a lot of fun to make. I found this recipe at our family cabin. From talking with family, we think it was my great grandma Tippets’s recipe, based on the handwriting.
What I Loved
There is a lot going on in this recipe. The spices, fruit, and cocoa powder create an interesting and complex flavor. The loaf was incredibly aromatic. The smell created by the spices filled the house in the best way. The sweetness from the fruit and candy was perfectly offset with the bitter notes from the cocoa powder.
This was the first time that I’ve made a cake like this. I like more plain flavors in a dessert. A chocolate chip cookie and a glass of milk is all I need. However, this recipe is a solid change of pace that tickled my tastebuds and brought a smile to my face. It really is the best recipe for applesauce cake.
Original Recipe For Applesauce Cake
I spoke with my grandma about the best way to approach this recipe. She had a great tip for making sure the raisins don’t all sink to the bottom. Anytime she was cooking with raisins, she would boil them in a little water with some of the baking soda. She swears by this method. When I made this cake, I followed that advice and it worked. The raisins were more evenly distributed throughout the cake. Now for the recipe!
- 1 cup shortening
- 2 cup sugar
- 1 pound raisin
- 4 cups flour
- 4 tsp soda
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup nuts
- Scant 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1 cup maraschino cherries cut up
- 1 cup gumdrops cut up
- 4 cups applesauce
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In a small pan, boil the raisins in 1/4 cup water and half of the baking soda. Stir frequently for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool. Cream the shortening and sugar together. Add the applesauce and spices. Next, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and mix into the wet ingredients. Add cherries, nuts, and gumdrops. Pour into loaf pans and bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Makes 3 loaves.
Connecting With My Past Through Food
My grandpa Tippets loved desserts with a lot of spice and fruit. This was the type of cake would have been right up his alley. I thought of my grandpa a lot today as I made this cake.
It is interesting how a family recipe can do that. Food is powerful like that. The flavors and smells form memories that extend beyond the dish itself. It made me think a lot about the purpose behind my website. I’m all about connecting with the past through food. Today I enjoyed connecting with my past through this dish. Enjoy!