When devising the menu for a recent community dinner (click HERE to see the other menu items) I looked for a healthyish dessert, and was thinking that some kind of oatmeal/applesauce sort of bar would be nice. However, I ended up finding an amazing applesauce cake recipe that, and this is very important for this “once in a great while baker,” easy as well as tasty and left room for nutritional improvements. I switched out the white flour for 2/3 part white wheat whole wheat flour and 1/3 part oat flour, which I ground from oatmeal in my Nutra Bullet.
By the way, I highly recommend this handy kitchen appliance. But, back to the cake: I also cut the amount of sugar by half, and, to give a little flavor boost, used 1/2 cup brown sugar with 1/2 cup white sugar instead of the full cup of white sugar. It was SUPER! My husband Steve and I both loved it, (I always test recipes at home before serving to a crowd) and even more so because it is SO EASY TO MAKE. As noted above, I am not one to bake. But with this recipe, all you do is measure and dump all the ingredients into a big bowl, mix it up with a big ol’ wooden spoon or the like, and pour the mix into an UNGREASED pan (I hate greasing pans!) and bake it. Can you tell I am excited that I now have a delicious and foolproof cake recipe? Everyone needs one.
Here is the recipe as I make it for 10-12 servings in a 9×13″ pan. Click the recipe title for the original recipe, for which I am eternally grateful. Do read the comments, though. It cooks more quickly than the 60 minutes noted in the original recipe.
1 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour ( I used King Arthur flour)
1 cup oat flour*
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking soda
1⁄4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt
3⁄4 teaspoon cinnamon
1⁄2 teaspoon clove
1⁄2 teaspoon allspice
1⁄2 cup vegetable oil
1⁄2 cup water
1 1⁄2 cups unsweetened applesauce
* You can use a food processor, blender, or a Nutra Bullet type appliance to grind your own from oats, or purchase pre-ground.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine all ingredients; pour into a 9×13″ pan.
Start checking at 35 minutes. It is done when a toothpick comes out clean and/or you get a hollow sound when you tap the top lightly.
For the community dinner, I multiplied the recipe by three. I used one 20x12x2.5″ pan, and it worked fine, although it was higher in the middle versus flat across the top, as was the cake I made in the 9×13″ pan. Perhaps it would be better split between two of those big pans, thinner but more even. Hmm. I will have to experiment and update here once I do.
NOTE: just do the math to make as much cake as you want. Use 12 serving as the baseline for the original recipe and go from there.
Now for the frosting! I didn’t use frosting for the batch I made at home, and truthfully, the cake is plenty moist and flavorful to stand on its own. But, why not have more of a good thing? Here is the recipe.
- 12 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel), at room temperature
- ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
- 3 tablespoons low-fat plain Greek yogurt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Beat cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, yogurt, and vanilla in a mixing bowl until smooth.
Make Ahead Tip: Refrigerate for up to 3 days. Let come to room temperature before using.
NOTE: I doubled the amount and it was way too much for just the top of a 20×12 cake. In fact, I saw a comment saying that using just an 8 oz pack of cream cheese was fine for the 9×13 cake size even when icing the sides. So, there is that to consider. But, you can always pop any leftover frosting in the fridge and make some more cake. Never too much good cake. 🙂