Healthy Oven Applesauce Layer Cake

  • Serves: Makes 2, 8 - or 9- x 2-inch round cake layers
  • Baking Temp (degrees F): 350
  • Views: 13263
  • Comments: 7

Variation: Low-Fat Applesauce Layer Cake; Pumpkin Applesauce Layer Cake; Spice Applesauce Layer Cake


Applesauce cake has been a love of mine for so long. I developed this recipe to be light and moist. Whole wheat flour adds a certain sweet nuttiness and healthy fiber to this recipe. We have decorated the cake with Crystallized (Sugared) Flowers, and we show you how to. 
CAKE RECIPE HELP / LOW / REDUCED-FAT BAKING HELP

Kelly Says: "The cake is very moist, with a nice crumb."

STEP I: MAKE THE HEALTHY OVEN APPLESAUCE LAYER CAKE
HEALTHY OVEN APPLESAUCE LAYER CAKE 
INGREDIENTS
Dry:
2 1/2 cups whole-grain wheat pastry flour; spoon into measuring cup and level to rim
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

Wet:
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.

2. Lightly spray 2, 8-inch or 9- x 2-inch round cake pans.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt until well combined. Set aside.
Optionally, after measuring, first sift together these ingredients and then, whisk together.




4. In another medium bowl, place the sugar, dark brown sugar, buttermilk, applesauce, eggs, oil and vanilla




5. Using a handheld electric mixer set at high speed, beat the mixture until lightened and frothy, about 1 minute.

6. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the applesauce mixture.


7. Using a spoon, stir until almost combined.

The batter will be thick, and there should be a few traces of flour remaining. Do not overmix.

8. Divide the batter equally between the two pans.
SARAH SAYS: Use a kitchen scale to help you do this task, if necessary.

Using a gentle touch, smooth the tops.

Bake and cool the cake layers:
1. Bake cakes for about 25 to 30 minutes (about 20 minutes in the 9-inch cake pans) or until the cakes spring back when
pressed gently in the center and the sides are starting to pull away from the pans.
Do not overbake.

2. Cool in their pans on wire cake rack for 10 minutes before unmolding. Turn right side up, and cool completely.

STORAGE
The unfrosted cake layers can be stored at room temperature for a day or two. Refrigerate after that for up to 5 days total.
Applesauce-based cakes attract moisture from the air and become sticky on top.
The layers can be frozen for about a month. Thaw in their wrappers at room temperature.

VARIATIONS
Sheet Cake: Bake in a 9 x 13-inch cake pan for about 25 minutes.

Low-Fat Applesauce Layer Cake: Substitute one large egg with two large egg whites.

Pumpkin Applesauce Layer Cake: Instead of 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce, use 3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree plus 1/4 cup applesauce. Add in Grated zest of 1 orange or 1/4 teaspoon pure orange oil with the wet ingredients. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Sheet Cake: Bake in a 9 x 13-inch cake pan for about 25 minutes.
 
Spice Applesauce Layer Cake: Make it into a spice cake by adding in an extra 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves.

STEP II: PREPARE THE HEALTHY OVEN LOW-FAT BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
HEALTHY OVEN LOW-FAT BUTTERCREAM FROSTING by Sarah Phillips / Recipe alone
By Sarah Phillips, The Healthy Oven Baking Book, Doubleday, 1999; Healthy Oven is a registered trademark of Sarah Phillips
Makes 2 1/2 cups; enough to fill and frost an 8- or 9-inch layer cake,
or frost a 9 x 13-inch sheet cake, or 12 cupcakes.

INGREDIENTS
6 cups powdered sugar, sifted; measure and the sift
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons meringue powder (available at cake decorating stores) or dried egg white powder (available at grocery store. Meringue powder works best).
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup water, plus more if needed

NOTES: Do not reconstitute the meringue powder or substitute fresh egg whites. You may substitute dried egg white powder if necessary, but it works better with meringue powder.
Measure the powdered sugar and then sift.

INSTRUCTIONS
1. In a medium bowl, add the powdered sugar, meringue powder, butter, corn syrup, and vanilla.






2. Using a handheld mixer set at low speed, beat until combined.

3. Gradually beat in enough water to make a thick spreadable frosting.

STORAGE
Use immediately, or cover. Best used just after mixing. The frosting can be prepared a day or two ahead and does not need refrigeration.
To soften, beat again with 1 teaspoon (or more) of water, for a few minutes until spreadable.

Per TBSP: about 72 calories, 1 gram protein, 16 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fat (less than 1 gram saturated fat), 2 milligrams cholesterol, 1 milligram sodium


STEP III: PREPARE THE CRYSTALLIZED (SUGARED) FLOWERS
How To Crystallize Flowers Tutorial

NOTE: To make sugared mint leaves, follow the same procedure as described in the tutorial.
However, I did not sugar the mint leaves at the center of the cake, just for contrast.

STORAGE
Sugared flowers can be made in advance and stored in an airtight container up to a year in a cool, dry place. Line an airtight container with soft padding, like Easter grass or excelsior (available at crafts stores). Cover with a piece of tulle on top. Arrange crystallized flowers in a single layer on tulle, then top with another piece of tulle. Add more layers until container is full.

STEP IV: FROST AND DECORATE THE CAKE. SERVE.
1. Place one cake layer, flat side up on a serving platter.
NOTE: I piped a thin frosting dam around the edge of the cake, but it is not necessary.


2. Spread with about 1/2 cup frosting.


3. Place the other side, round side up, on the bottom layer.


4. Frost the top of the cake with the remaining frosting.


5. Optionally, decorate the side and top of the cake.
NOTE: If you decide to ice the sides, there won't be an ample amount.
To dress up the cake, without adding fat and a lot of calories, I pressed some low-fat cinnamon graham cracker crumbs onto the sides of the cake.
And, placed the crystallized flowers and mint leaves on the top of the cake.


STORAGE
The frosted cake can be stored at room temperature for a day or two, preferably under an inverted bowl or in a cake keeper. Refrigerate after that for up to 5 days total.
Applesauce-based cakes attract moisture from the air and become sticky on top.
The cake can be frozen, without the crystallized flowers, for about a month. Thaw in its wrappers at room temperature.

By Sarah Phillips, The Healthy Oven Baking Book, Doubleday, 1999 

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