Going to college only forty-five minutes away from home had some serious perks. It was far enough away to avoid parent drop-bys, but close enough that I could see them whenever I wanted. I remember my first time visiting home since going off to college, and realizing how luxurious my home actually was. Home-cooked meals, a room to myself, a comfy living area with a nice TV, a backyard, and being with the people I felt most comfortable with: my family.
When they brought me back to the dorms after my weekend away, I was revived from homesickness and excited to get back to my new life. I hopped out of the car and my mom handed me a red tin of something I knew must be home-baked and delicious. My first care package. I opened it up to find slices of her famous applesauce spice cake that I loved so dearly. I hugged Mom and Dad goodbye, and headed back to campus with applesauce cake in hand. I enjoyed my taste of home for the next week and unsurprisingly enough, my fellow hall mates liked it just as much.
Her applesauce cake was my favorite non-chocolate dessert in her baking repertoire. Her version includes a yellow cake mix with some extras, but I decided to recreate it without the box mix, as well as vegan-ize it for my current dietary needs (though you would never know it’s vegan, promise). It’s a bit different than my mom’s version, but is similar enough to induce baking nostalgia, as you may have noticed. No matter which way you make it, the apples and spices make for a perfect fall cake.
The usual occurs. Dry ingredients first, wet ingredients second, and then mix ‘em together.
Sugar coating, batter, then more sugar coating.
And flip it over.
Perfect for homesickness, fall celebrations, and just because.
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or ½ teaspoon each of ginger and nutmeg)
- 1 ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 cups unsweetened applesauce
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar (or white)
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F, 180 C.
- Mix the flour, spices, brown sugar, and baking soda together in a large bowl.
- In a separate bowl, mix the applesauce, vinegar, oil, and vanilla.
- Combine the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients by gently folding them together. Do not overmix.
- In a small bowl, stir together the granulated sugar and cinnamon.
- Grease your bundt pan with some vegetable oil. Sprinkle half of the sugar coating on the bottom of your pan. Pour the batter into the pan and spread it evenly. Sprinkle the remaining half of the sugar coating on the top of the batter. Bake for 35 minutes, rotating the pan at the halfway mark.
- Once cooled, put a plate on top of the bundt pan, hold them together, and flip it over. The cake should drop onto the plate. Garnish with some powdered sugar.