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Dish of the Week: Applesauce Cake

From classic comfort foods to regional standouts and desserts, we'll be sharing a new recipe with you each week. Find other dishes of the week here.

This week, we're giving traditional coffee cake a fall kick with applesauce cake.

Applesauce cake is a sweet cake made with, wait for it, applesauce! According to the book Great Old-Fashioned American Desserts, the lineage of the dish can be traced back to colonial New England, where apples were a mainstay of the early settlers' diet. Soon enough, the dessert became popular around the country, frequenting American cookbooks in the 1900s and 1950s. 

Besides applesauce (which makes the cake impossibly moist), main ingredients include flour and sugar, as wells as additions like butter or oil, eggs, chopped apples, raisins, dates and nuts. Spices such as cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, allspice and even ginger are also common contributors to the cake's deliciousness. The cake can be served bare or topped with a dusting of powdered sugar, a drizzle of icing or a crumb topping à la coffee cake.

This recipe, from Food Network, incorporates raisins and chopped walnuts as well as cinnamon and nutmeg for warmth. Feel free to use store-bought or homemade applesauce.

Applesauce Cake

Ingredients serves 8 to 10 
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups applesauce
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts
Powdered sugar, optional

Directions

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, cream the butter. Add the brown sugar and continue mixing. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and vanilla, then mix until well blended and fluffy.

In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Add to the creamed mixture alternately with the applesauce. Fold in the raisins and walnuts. Pour batter into a greased and floured loaf or tube pan and bake until firm to the touch, about 40 to 45 minutes.

Let cool in the pan, then turn it out and dust with powdered sugar.

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