Julia Turshen's Scrumptious Applesauce Cake Recipe | Recipes | Hudson Valley | Hudson Valley; Chronogram
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Julia Turshen's Scrumptious Applesauce Cake Recipe 

A Delicious, Low-Mess Recipe for the Holidays

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Bestselling author and chef Julia Turshen has carved a distinct path for herself, straddling the worlds of food and activism. Her writing, which has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Vogue, Bon Appétit, and Saveur to name a few, draws both overt and subtle connections between her twin passions of sustenance and revolution. Nowhere is this more clear than in her acclaimed book Feed the Resistance, which offers recipes and resources for fostering community and political uprising.

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Her latest cookbook, Now & Again, which dropped in September, is a mouthwatering catalogue of 125 straightforward, fuss-free recipes, plus some inspiration for menu planning and tips for transforming leftovers into delicious new dishes. Turshen, who lives in Kingston with her wife, Grace Bonney (of Design Sponge) and their pets, will read and sign at bluecashew Kitchen Homestead on December 9.

In the meantime, we leave you with her recipe for moist applesauce cake—a perfectly seasonal, simple-to-make treat for entertaining over the holidays (or hoarding after everyone has gone home).

Applesauce Cake with Cream Cheese + Honey Frosting

SERVES 8 TO 10
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The food most closely associated with Rosh Hashanah is apples dipped in honey, an autumnal gesture to shepherd in a sweet year. A lot of desserts feature apples and honey, and this super-simple cake (which requires one bowl and one cake pan) fits the bill. I like this cake so much (and especially love how easy it is to make) that I make it often, especially throughout the fall when apples are on the mind. Its texture and appeal are similar to those of banana bread. If you like, you can stir in a large handful or two of raisins and/or nuts just before you scrape the batter into the cake pan. Although you can absolutely use homemade applesauce for this, know that store-bought is just fine.

CAKE

  • 2 cups [240 g] all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp ground ginger
  • 1½ tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ½ cup [100 g] sugar
  • ½ cup [120 ml] buttermilk or [120 g] plain yogurt
  • 1½ cups [400 g] unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup [80 ml] canola or other neutral oil

FROSTING

  • 6 oz [170 g] cream cheese,
  • at room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp sour cream
  • ¼ cup [85 g] honey
  • Pinch of kosher salt

DIRECTIONS

To make the cake: Preheat your oven to 350°F [180°C]. Spray the bottom and sides of a 9-in [23-cm] round cake pan with baking spray and line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper. Set the pan aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and baking soda. Add the eggs, sugar, buttermilk, applesauce, and oil and whisk gently just until everything is combined. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the batter into the prepared pan and then smooth the surface so it is even.

Bake the cake until it is just barely firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Set the cake aside on a wire rack to cool to room temperature.

Use a dinner knife to loosen the edges of the cake from the pan sides and then invert it onto your work surface. Peel off and discard the parchment. Invert the cake one more time onto a serving platter. To make the frosting: In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, sour cream, honey, and salt and whisk together aggressively until the cream cheese is slightly aerated (you can also do this with a handheld electric mixer or in a stand mixer).

Spread the frosting over the top of the cake and don’t worry too much about making this perfect. I think a not-too-perfect cake is so much better than a perfect cake. Cut into wedges and serve. Leftovers can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

To make the frosting: In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, sour cream, honey, and salt and whisk together aggressively until the cream cheese is slightly aerated (you can also do this with a handheld electric mixer or in a stand mixer).

Spread the frosting over the top of the cake and don’t worry too much about making this perfect. I think a not-too-perfect cake is so much better than a perfect cake. Cut into wedges and serve. Leftovers can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Reprinted from Now & Again by Julia Turshen with permission by Chronicle Books, 2018

Buy the book »

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