Blueberry Applesauce Cakes

>> Monday, September 9, 2013

I whipped up these cute little cakes for my mother-in-law over the weekend as a belated birthday treat. I used some homemade + handpicked blueberry applesauce I had frozen and then thawed -- as well as some Greek yogurt and sprouted flour. Cakes aren't my forte in the kitchen, so I'd love to refine my skills with baking them.

In my formative learning-to-cook years, I was vegan. As a result, I rarely (and I mean r.a.r.e.l.y) bake anything using milk or eggs or butter. I've developed some crafty ways to use flax eggs and to thicken almond milk for a "buttermilk" effect, etc., but now that I'm garden variety vegetarian, I see no reason not to bake more classically from time to time. I think I may have baked one other cake using eggs in my entire life, so I thought it'd be worth a try to see how they might add to the fluff + binding equation.

Definitely worked.

with a beautiful neufchatel cheese frosting

What you'll need . . .
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup blueberry-applesauce*
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sprouted flour
  • 1 cup pulsed oats
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
* You can use plain store-bought or homemade applesauce (or cinnamon or strawberry or whatever other kind you have). Alternatively, you may also use pumpkin puree, zucchini puree, or any other puree with a similar consistency to applesauce.

Method . . . 
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease 6 to 8 ramekins (or a mini bundt cake pan or even a 9 x 13 cake pan). Set aside. Depending on what you use to bake the cake, you may have some batter leftover.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the Greek yogurt, applesauce, sugar, maple syrup, and olive oil. Then whisk in the eggs and vanilla. 
  3. In another bowl, sift together the flour, oat flour, and cornmeal. Distribute evenly the baking powder, soda, and salt. Then add these dry ingredients to the wet mixture.
  4. Mix by hand until just combined. Then fill your ramekins about 3/4 full and bake for around 30 minutes. Cake is done when edges brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
  5. Let cool completely before frosting.

// For the frosting + assembly . . .

Combine 8 ounces neufchatel or cream cheese with 1 cup powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons milk or almond milk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Begin beating on low and work up to high speed, adding powdered sugar to taste + texture preference.

Then -- if using ramekins -- slice the cake into three pieces, frost between layers, and top with something pretty. I'm not sure if this marigold is edible (some are, some aren't), so it's just for looks.

Something's just more special about individual cakes, don't you think? And I'm thinking there will be more cakes to come. I really enjoyed baking this one, especially now that I'm not cooking as much. This week related to the vegetarian freezer month of meals, I'll be sharing some of the recipes as well as thawing and cooking tips!

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