This cake is another of my amazing Great Aunt Ethel's legendary treats. She would make an applesauce cake every year for each one of her siblings on their birthday. Keep in mind that she had twelve siblings. Therefore, she got to practice making this cake a lot!
Unfortunately, this is not Aunt Ethel's exact recipe. That, sadly, has been lost to me, so this is my best effort at making the cake from memory. And, believe me, do I have memories of that cake. When you only get one slice, once per year, you savor every speck of it and commit the experience to memory.
The coup de grace, the icing on the cake, if you will is just that - the icing.
Aunt Ethel always made this cake with a peanut butter frosting. So simple, and so dang good.
So without further
1/2 cup salted butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla (can be left out if using boozy homemade applesauce)
1 1/4 cups cake flour
1 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups applesauce (Made from sliced apples that were left over from making "Apple Pie in a Jar" liqueur*. But of course, your favorite store bought or traditional homemade applesauce would work just fine.)
1/2 cup golden raisins
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, cream the butter. Add the sugars and continue mixing. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and vanilla, then mix until well blended and fluffy.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Add to the creamed mixture alternately with the applesauce. Fold in the raisins. Pour the batter into a greased and floured loaf pan and bake until firm to the touch, about 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in the pan, then turn it out and allow to cool the rest of the way before frosting.
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups +/- confectioners sugar
3 tbsps +/- milk
Whip butter and peanut butter until well mixed. Add 2 cups confectioners sugar, a little bit at a time until well incorporated and fluffed up. If you're happy with the thickness/consistency of your frosting, stop there. If you'd like a more spreadable consistency (more icing than frosting), then add the milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well between each addition, until you reach the desired consistency.
A really bad photo of a really good cake. This one made with cream cheese frosting, per my youngest monkey's request.
Slice up and serve, as dessert or as a really decadent birthday breakfast, with a big cup of strong coffee. :)
*Apple Pie in a Jar - Cored, thinly sliced apples, steeped in whipped vodka (or bourbon), brown sugar, vanilla bean and a cinnamon stick for 4 weeks. Add "Buttershots" liqueur for that extra buttery, caramelly flavor dimension. AMAZING.