Last week we explored the merits of making your own simple (yet incredibly rewarding!) applesauce. Now, after basking in the delights of a freshly-made batch in the refrigerator, we wanted to share one of the many ways you can enjoy this pantry staple outside of simply by the spoonful.
And, what better way to usher in the cozy season than with an irresistible baked treat: A springy applesauce cake. Inspired by traditional sweet coffee cakes, applesauce cake is a quick, one-layer “casual” cake that’s ideal for midday snacking, a special brunch, or as an after-dinner goody. In other words, it’s simply wonderful to just “have around” for any and all reasons.
Never had an applesauce cake? You’re in for a real treat! Exceptionally moist, generous quantities of natural applesauce offer a fruity seasonal flavor enhanced by a healthy shake of warming spices—all of which get the “yum” going from the moment the first notes of cinnamon begin to waft from the oven.
But of course, our version doesn’t stop there. Made with ancient grains, protein-rich hemp, reduced sugar, and smarter fats, this cake happily swings from special treat to nutritious nosh … not that you’ll need much motivation to enjoy another square. It’s truly one of our favorites. So if extra-thick socks and some cool-weather oven action are part of your upcoming agenda, look no further than adding this “quick-cake” delight to your list of fall feels.
WATCH HOW WE MAKE OUR APPLESAUCE CAKE:
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APPLESAUCE CAKE PREP TIPS:
You don’t have to be a master baker (or anything close!) to make a great applesauce cake. In fact, this snackable favorite is a great way to enjoy a baked treat without much fuss at all.
Use pure hemp protein. We recommend a hemp-based protein powder that is purely hemp for this recipe … no flavorings, additives, etc (we love this one). Other types of protein powders may influence the flavor and texture results.
Go fresh, if possible. If time permits, making your own applesauce will enhance the flavor of your cake significantly. However, this recipe will still offer delectable results with a store-bought variety—just be sure it has no sugar or preservatives added.
Keep mixing light. Like most baking recipes, this quick-cake will get the best rise if the batter is mixed with as few strokes as possible—just enough to incorporate the ingredients.
Put monkfruit to work. Some coconut sugar is used here for its caramel-like flavor, but combining it with some sugar free monkfruit goes a long way to secretly help keep the sugar content lower overall. We love to use the 1:1 monkfruit sweetner by Lakanto, and are also obsessed with their sugar-free powdered sugar—it’s a game changer! Save 15% on all Lakanto monkfruit products with checkout code LUMINBERRY here.
MORE SUPERFOOD BAKED GOODS:
Applesauce Cake with Hemp Seeds
Extra nutrients from hemp seeds—and hemp protein—boosts this springy and extra moist coffee cake into the realm of smart snacking.
Prep Time: 10 mins | Cook Time: 50 mins | Total Time: 1 hour Servings: 9 (1 9x9-inch cake) Author: Julie Morris
1¾ cup spelt flour
¼ cup unflavored hemp protein powder*
1/3 cup hemp seeds
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
¾ teaspoon sea salt
½ cup coconut oil, melted
½ cup coconut sugar
½ cup monkfruit sugar replacement, or additional coconut sugar
1½ cups unsweetened applesauce (homemade or store-bought)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Monkfruit-based or regular powdered sugar, for sprinkling (optional)
1. Preheat the oven 350° F. Coat a 9x9-inch square pan with cooking oil spray, and line with parchment paper.
2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, hemp protein powder, hemp seeds, baking soda, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt. Mix well.
3. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the coconut oil and both sugars. Mix in the applesauce, lemon, and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix until just combined, with no dry ingredients remaining. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan, and lightly smooth out the surface into a flat layer.
4. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the top is golden and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Remove the pan from the oven. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer the cake (using the parchment sling for easy removal) to a baking rack to cool completely. To serve, sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar if desired, and cut into squares or slices.
Cake will last for 3 days, covered at room temperature.
*A pure hemp protein powder is best for this recipe. Other unflavored protein powders may produce varied results.