This is the story of how 100% organic apple sauce saved the day!
My love affair with baking began when I fell pregnant in December 2012. I found myself walking around our kitchen, full of wonder at our impending arrival, but with sugar cravings strong enough to leave me a drooling wreck on the kitchen floor, crying to The Great British Bake Off and seriously considering slipping Mary Berry some kind of time share on my unborn daughter if she could move that tent a little closer to my house.
It wasn’t a good look.
So, I did the next best thing – I bought every ingredient and implement I’d ever seen on the show and started baking right along with them.
Fast forward eight years and some change, and I can knock up most things without too much fuss; cake, being my favourite, holds a category all of its own and this is where I like to challenge myself.
Which is why I didn’t go into full blown panic mode when, half way through making carrot cake with my now eight-year-old daughter, found we didn’t have vegetable oil.
The function of it in most baking is to add moisture, and I don’t know about you, but a dry cake sounds as bad as it tastes.
I’ve known for a while that applesauce is a baker’s best friend and often a secret ingredient for a while now. But I’ve never had to completely substitute it in one of my own recipes.
But without skipping a beat, I reached into the cupboard to bring out two jars of Discovery Plain – from the absolute best apple sauce company I know of – The New England Apple Sauce Company, Unsweetened. Organic. Packed bursting with a smooth, yet matured and developed flavour that leaves the mouth craving more.
And I put those bad boys in, instead of my one- and three-quarter cups of vegetable oil.
And dear reader? This baker won’t be swapping back to the vegetable oil anytime soon….
You can follow this same recipe:
- 2 cups (260g) chopped walnuts (1.5 cups for cake, 0.5 cups for garnish/decoration.
- 1.5 cups (300g) packed light or dark brown sugar
- 0.5 cup (100g) granulated sugar
- 1 and 3/4 cups (240ml) unsweetened applesauce (New England Apple Sauce Company’s is the Best!)
- 4 large eggs
- 3/4 cup (133g) smooth unsweetened applesauce
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2.5 cups (312g) plain flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 0.5 teaspoon salt
- 1.5 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 cups (260g) grated carrots
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 16 ounces (450g) full-fat block cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 4 cups (480g) icing sugar
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- pinch of salt.
Preheat oven to fan 170 degrees.
Line round cake tins (min 9 inch) with baking paper.
Mix dry ingredients together in one bowl, except for the nuts, if using.
Beat eggs with vanilla, and then blend all wet ingredients together in separate bowl, omitting the grated carrots.
Fold in the wet ingredients into the dry, and then fold in grated carrots and nuts last.
Cook in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until a cocktail stick placed in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Make up your frosting, ice when cake is cool (about 20-30 minutes).
Hope you enjoy this as much as my family does!
© D. Gates