So we have this recipe we now call Honeycake but it hasn’t a drop of honey in it and it’s not really even a cake anymore. Funny you should ask. Skip down to the recipe if you don’t care a fig for provenance and just want to bake a tasty treat, read on if you have nothing better to do.
In 1979, the year I was married, I cut this recipe for Applesauce Spice Cake from the Modesto Bee and for a few years I made it often in my tube pan. As time went by, I found other recipes, started making them more and forgot about this one that got shifted to the back of the cake section in my recipe box.
Speed forward about 20 years and a lot of cakes later and trans fats are getting a really bad rap and they are everywhere in baked goods so I’m looking for a recipe for a cake that doesn’t have butter (which hasn’t been rehabilitated yet) or shortening (none available yet without trans fats) and I come across this recipe that uses oil rather than butter or shortening. I bake it up and offer it. DH refuses it, saying he doesn’t like that cake. Huh? I distinctly remember him appreciating this cake enthusiastically every time I baked it…in 1979. I’m confused. He just smiles. Oh, okay. So now I call it Honeymoon Cake and make it in 3 little loaf pans rather than the teflon-coated tube pan so it will make convenient slices and take I it to a tennis match to see what the tennis ladies think of it. It’s love-love. And the story makes it even better. Sweet story, sweet cake. Along comes DGS and he loves this cake, but what does a 2-year-old know from honeymoon, although he knows all about how yummy HUNNY is from Winnie-the-Pooh, and he knows what cake is and that it is also yummy. So he shortens the name of this snack to Honeycake and some days he just can’t live without it. Which is why I baked it today. And FINALLY, here is the recipe:
- 2 cups (9 0z.) All-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 cup (3.5 oz) oil
- 1/2 cup (3.5 oz) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (3.75 oz) packed brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 cups (12 oz) applesauce
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 3 small 3×5 loaf pans or one bundt or tube pan. Sift together dry ingredients. Combine wet ingredients in mixer bowl and beat until combined. Add dry ingredients. Mix on low until well incorporated and then beat on medium until smooth. Bake in 3 loaf pans for 40 minutes. If in tube or Bundt pan, 50 minutes.
If you’ve made this as a cake, the original recipe had a glaze:
- 1 cup (4 oz) sifted powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon soft butter
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Combine and drizzle over cake. To avoid that metallic taste you can get in frostings and glazes, heat the milk before adding it. I really think the glaze is overkill on the sweetness front and prefer this served plain as a quick bread rather than a cake. It’s really good served with a nice very lightly sweetened whipped cream cheese spread.