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Monday, September 27, 2010

Anti-recipe #13 Applesauce cake

 I am making more applesauce today. After the debacle of the last effort I felt the need to redeem myself I suppose.

It really is easy when one's children aren't trying to "help" too vigorously. Cut up apples. Put in pot. Add water. Boil. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer. Mash. Throw in some spices. Maybe some sweetner (I added maple syrup and some stevia this time as the apples I used were a little tart.) And there you have it.

I also realized that even though my kids don’t like applesauce (not currently anyway) there is another use for it – COOKING!

The following applesauce cake is one such recipe, er, anti-recipe.

And really this is a PRIME example of an anti-recipe. This cake is so flexible. I have never screwed it up (and that is saying something folks!)

The original recipe comes from this amazing cookbook of my sister’s. It’s a compilation of all sorts of recipes collected by missionaries around the world and put together by Wycliffe International.

It includes things like stewed alligator and provides alternative cooking directions for cooking over an open fire (this cake can be made in a skillet!) or alternative ingredients if you don’t have access to fresh milk, eggs, etc. Really, it’s an anti-recipe cookbook. I love it (and would love a copied off version for a birthday present - hint hint Stacy!)

Here is the original recipe:

Jungle Camp’s Favorite Chocolate Cake

½ cup cocoa
2 cups sugar
1 tsp salt
2 cups flour
1 ½ tsp baking soda

Combine and add to above: [why do recipes do this?? I NEVER do this, it all goes in one bowl. Am I alone? I mean, I know its to make sure everything is distributed evenly but...more dishes aren't worth that!]
½ cup sour milk or yogurt
½ cup oil
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup water
Pour into greased 9x13 pan. Bake at 325 for 1 hour (or until knife comes out clean)
*Cook in frying pan over flame spreader but reduce cooking time.

Mayonnaise Spice Cake Version: [ewwwwww] omit cocoa. Substitute 1 cup mayo and 1 cup water for oil, eggs, and milk. Add 2 teaspoons of cinnamon and allspice.

I love any recipe with sour milk in it. Awesome. But mayo?? Ew.

Here is what I did last time I made it, and you can see how easy it is to switch up. Essentially applesauce can replace oil (or mayo, ew) in any recipe.

1 egg (that was all I had on hand!)
1 cup applesauce
½ cup vanilla yogurt [again, what I had on hand]
1 tsp vanilla
Sprinkle of ground cloves and nutmeg [I would’ve added cinnamon but we were out]
½ cup wheat flour
1 ½ cup unbleached white flour
1 cup water
1 ½ tsp baking soda [soda is one of those things you cant mess with]
2 TBS butter, melted [I am out of coconut oil! That is what I usually use in this cake but I did butter instead, much better with the coconut oil]
½ c brown sugar [the cake turned out too sweet. Next time I will omit this, or maybe a little honey instead]

See how great this is? Take the basic concept of the original recipe and as long as your consistency is right (cake batter is usually runny) and you have your leavening agent (soda and egg) it will turn out! And be really yummy! I eat this as a mid-morning breakfast type treat but you could easily add cream cheese frosting (whip up a little cream cheese and milk, maybe some maple syrup) to make it more dessert-y.

Other things you could do:

Shredded carrot, instead of applesauce or maybe half and half. Add some chopped walnuts too in this version. Yum.

Zucchini instead of applesauce. Maybe add more honey to this version?

Add more flour and turn it into a bread. (I think this would work easily…opinions?)

Add flax or wheat germ for extra goodness.

Spoon into greased muffin tins for muffins. I think I will do this this afternoon.

Hmmm. Fun huh? And seriously, it’s foolproof.

So. I just took out three jars of applesauce from the canner, plus I have some in the fridge for baking later. Now I need to do some more. I still have A BUSHEL of apples in my cold storage room. A BUSHEL. Yikes. Maybe some apple crisp for dessert is in order.

Oh. I forgot. You know what I am gonna do with the next batch? Apple fruit leather! I will post "how to" if it turns out any good.

Happy Monday!


  1. Mmm...sounds so yummy. I'm totally making this for the weekend :-). And I'd really appreciate it if you could stick up an "alligator" recipe. ;-) Just sayin'.


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