Spiced Applesauce Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 stick (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup walnuts (optional), toasted, cooled, and chopped
5 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1) Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Butter an 8- or 9-inch square cake pan.
2) In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.
3) In a separate bowl, beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla with an electric mixer at high speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in applesauce. At low speed, mix in flour mixture until just combined, then stir in walnuts (if using).
4) Spread batter evenly in pan and bake until golden-brown and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool in pan 15 minutes. Run a knife around edge of cake to loosen, then invert onto a plate. Reinvert cake onto a rack to cool completely.
5) Meanwhile, beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla with an electric mixer at high speed until fluffy. Sift confectioners sugar and cinnamon over cream cheese mixture, then beat at medium speed until incorporated. Spread frosting over top of cooled cake.
Note: Your frosting should look white. Mine looks brownish because I put in 1/2 Tablespoon cinnamon in the frosting instead of 1/2 teaspoon. Opps! It was still super yummy!