I used to love these packages of eight tiny cupcakey muffins when I was in primary school. I would always purchase the double chocolate chip and apple spice flavoured packs. They were so delicious. I’d snack on them after school and I ate them constantly when my dad used to travel to Geelong for work. I spent many afternoons anticipating the third Harry Potter film and re-reading PoA while eating those tiny muffins.
I had planned to bake some applesauce flavoured biscuits and was inspired to try a cake recipe, since the jar of unsweetened applesauce I bought was so large. I could tell from the recipe planning process that my cake would not taste sufficiently similar to the mini muffins of my youth and I was correct. That don’t even matter though, because this cake tasted so sweet and tangy. The tanginess came from the cinnamon infused cream cheese frosting. Mmm!
A key difference between the apple spice mini muffins and this cake is that the muffins my family used to buy had chopped apple pieces baked into them. I wasn’t fussed about that, I just wanted to eat cake that had the flavour of applesauce in it and had sweet cinnamon in it.
I didn’t re-read the third Harry Potter book while enjoying a slice of this cake but thankfully I did get to eat most of it myself. My grandmother only liked the frosting and my brothers and auntie had a single piece before I devoured it. It tasted great with coffee… Oh, yum. I’m going to make this again in the Autumn season.
- 140g cream cheese, softened
- 40g unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 1/2 – 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 cups plain flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 115 g unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar (updated weight)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce
- Preheat oven to 180°C with rack in middle. Grease 22 cm square cake pan.
- Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.
- Beat butter, brown sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer at high speed until pale and fluffy, 2 – 3 minutes.
- Add eggs one at a time. Make sure the mixture is being beaten well after each addition, and then beat in the applesauce.
- At low speed, mix in flour mixture until just combined. You might do this with a wooden spoon but it could take a while. The batter will probably look a little curdled and lumpy. That’s okay. It will smooth out in the baking process.
- Spread batter into the cake pan and bake until golden-brown for around about 40 – 50 minutes. A wooden skewer inserted into the centre ought to come out with no cake batter on it!
- Cool in pan for 15 minutes. Run a knife around edge of cake (gently) to loosen, then invert onto a plate.
- For the frosting: Beat cream cheese, icing sugar, cinnamon, butter, and vanilla with an electric mixer at high speed until fluffy. Spread frosting over top of cooled cake.
- Add ½ cup walnuts (optional), toasted, cooled, and chopped, at step four if you’d like. I plan to use them in future, but didn’t have them the first time I decided to make this. Add after you’re done using the electric beater.
- Some chopped walnuts sprinkled on top of the frosting would also be nice. Mmm…
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger and cloves would make this cake’s batter more spicy, but I wanted just the taste of applesauce and cinnamon in my one.