Recipe by Sarah Phillips © 2008 Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com
Food styling and photo by Sarah Phillips © Sarah Phillips I doubled the recipe and baked it in three 9- x 2-inch pans. I had enough batter left-over to make cupcakes.
This is my favorite go-to cake when I have a friend over for a visit or my kids have lots of friends running around. It's easy to put together and always well-received and can sit out for the day. The recipe also makes a nice and easy dessert for a family supper. If desired, add in 1/2 cup blueberries or raspberries and serve for a special brunch.
CAKE RECIPE HELP / HEALTHY RECIPE HELP
1 1/2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour; spoon into measuring cup and level to rim
1 cup whole wheat flour; spoon into measuring cup and level to rim. Can substitute with all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup buttermilk, well-shaken
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons canola oil; can use any vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts; chop and then, measure
3 cups powdered sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 - 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1 lemon) or water; can use apple juice
1 tablespoon light corn syrup (optional, but gives a better texture)
1 tablespoon lemon zest (peel)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Position a rack in center of oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9- x 13- x 2-inch pan (or two 9- x 2-inch pans) with vegetable oil.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt until well combined. Set aside.
3. In another medium bowl, whisk together brown sugar, buttermilk, applesauce, eggs, oil and vanilla until well-blended.
4. Make a well in the center of dry ingredients, and pour in brown sugar/buttermilk mixture. Using a large rubber spatula, fold together until almost combined. Add raisins and walnuts. Fold until just combined. Do not overmix. Batter should be lumpy.
5. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Gently smooth top with spatula. Bake 30 to 40 minutes until top is lightly browned and when lightly pressed in center, springs back; or cake sounds hollow when tapped. Do not overbake, or cake will be dry. Cool in pan on wire rack. Optionally frost cake in pan and serve.
1. In a medium bowl, using a handheld electric mixer set a low speed, beat the sugar, butter, lemon juice, corn syrup, lemon zest and vanilla extract. The mixture will look shaggy at first, but keep beating for about 1-2 minutes until it comes together to make a thick, spreadable frosting. Add more (1 teaspoon at a time) powdered sugar or lemon juice (water) to adjust.
SARAH SAYS: Apply filling or frosting to the cake layer by gliding the offset spatula or table knife over the cake's surface. Never allow it to touch the cake’s surface or to pull already spread icing, otherwise crumbs or pieces from the cake will stick to it.
Store well wrapped at room temperature. Cake may moisten on top during storage. If the room is hot and humid, store cake in refrigerator. The cake freezes well for a month or more.