09 November 2009

Gluten-free Applesauce Cake

Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching. Do YOU know what you're making for dessert yet? Hmm...me either. Other than the requisite Libby's pumpkin pie in Pillsbury crust. That's my standard. I might spruce it up with some bourbon whipped cream, though...WAIT! I'm getting off topic. Welcome to my first ever Treat Week!
I'm trying out some new recipes this week, and you lucky readers get to see which pass the test. Or, more accurately, the tester...that's me.

First up: Gluten-free Applesauce Cake with Cinnamon Whipped Cream (don't drool on your keyboard.)I have a family member with Celiac Disease, and every so often I take on the challenge of converting a yummy cake recipe to a still-yummy and appropriately-textured gluten-free recipe. I get a lot of help from Catherine of A Gluten-Free Guide and her amazing cupcakes. This applesauce cake recipe is a combination of this one from Gourmet and Catherine's cupcakes. If the cake looks intriguing and you don't have a problem with gluten, use Gourmet's recipe, but do try the whipped cream instead of the cream cheese frosting...you'll be glad you did!

Gluten-Free Applesauce Cake with Cinnamon Whipped Cream
1 package Gluten-Free Pantry Old Fashioned cake and cookie mix
One 3.4 oz package Jello Instant Vanilla Pudding *see Notes
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 stick unsalted butter, softened*
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce

For Whipped Cream
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Preheat oven to 350°; butter an 8" or 9" square cake pan.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together cake mix, pudding powder, and spices. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat butter, brown sugar and vanilla until pale and fluffy (2-3 minutes with a mixer).
  • Add two eggs; beat well. Add the other two eggs; beat well.
  • Mix in applesauce thoroughly.
  • Add dry ingredients slowly and mix until just combined.
  • Pour batter into pan and bake. In my 8" Pyrex pan, the cake took 70 minutes to bake. A 9" cake might take less time.
  • When a wooden toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out dry, the cake is done.
  • Cool 15 minutes; remove cake from pan if desired; allow to cool completely.
  • Just before serving, combine the whipping cream, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.
  • Whip in your desired fashion (mixer, immersion blender, whisk) until stiff peaks form.
  • Top cake slices with whipped cream or just eat with a spoon. Shh...I won't tell.
*Notes: This cake tastes great, and is extremely moist. So moist that I will probably try it next time without the pudding. Or perhaps with only 1/2 stick butter. Otherwise, no complaints!

Now, if you prefer your gluten-free apple cake with a little brandy caramel sauce, check back tomorrow!