Months ago my grandmother gave me her recipe for her traditional applesauce cake when I asked for it. She didn't jot it down on a slip of paper. She handed me a recipe card she had typed it out on (as in with a typewriter!) many years ago. I have had it stuck to the side of my fridge tuck in among photos of my son when he was toddler and little notes & cards I have received from various family members and friends.
Her applesauce cake in large bundt cake form has been a staple every single year at our family's annual Christmas Eve dinner & gathering.
I cannot leave my grandparents' home Christmas Eve until I have had at least one slice, and often she sends me home with a few more if there happens to be any left over at all.
When Julie from White Lights on Wednesday and Jen from Four Marrs... One Venus announced that this month's Get Your Chef On Challenge ingredient was applesauce, I knew it was time to take that recipe card off of the fridge.
I have been wanting to give my grandmother's traditional applesauce cake a little makeover (no pun intended since I did go with four mini bundt cakes and not one large bundt cake ;) ).
My grandmother's cake is perfect the way that it is, don't get me wrong...
But when it calls for a entire box of brown sugar, a cup of Crisco... you get my drift.
So, I mini sized the cake and I lightened it up a little as well.
The results were lightly spiced, airy yet moist apple cakes studded with delicious walnuts.
My grandmother's cake is a little denser and super moist and studded with walnuts AND raisins... I have never been a huge fan of raisins in anything, so for my version I opted to leave them out. If you love raisins and want to toss in some, I would go with a 1/2 cup of them for this recipe.
Also, my grandmother's cake is plain, never frosted or glazed. I figured since I was saving a few calories by leaving out the Crisco, it would be more than safe to add a little cream cheese frosting to the centers and down the sides of my Mini Applesauce Bundt Cakes. ;) I just used a store bought icing, but feel free to whip up a homemade version if you have a favorite.
Mini Applesauce Bundt Cakes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30-35 minutes
Ingredients (4 mini bundt cakes)
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 2/3 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 4 tbsp butter, softened
- 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 1/2 cups cinnamon applesauce (you could use plain as well- just up your ground cinnamon in the recipe by a 1/2 tsp)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup white flour
- 1/2 cup store bought cream cheese frosting, or your favorite homemade cream cheese frosting (optional)
Preheat your oven to 250 degrees.
In a large bowl, mix together the brown sugar, walnuts, salt, butter, Greek yogurt, and spices and set aside.
Pour the applesauce into a medium saucepan. Heat the applesauce until hot over medium heat. This should only take a few minutes. Remove the applesauce from the heat and quickly mix in the baking soda. The applesauce will double in size and become bubbly.
Pour this over top of the mixture in your bowl and stir.
Now add in both of the flours and stir until well combined.
Pour the batter evenly into your 4 mini bundt pans. I used silicone ones so there was no need to grease and flour them. If you are using regular mini bundt pans, be sure to grease and flour them so your cakes do not stick!
** You could also just make one large bundt cake instead of the 4 mini ones. Your bake time will increase to around an hour.
Bake the cakes for 10 minutes at 250 degrees and then increase the heat to 350 degrees for the remaining 20-25 minutes.
The cakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Allow to cool in pans for about 10 minutes, and then pop out on a wire rack to cool completely.
**Note- The bottoms of my cakes puffed out slightly, so I used a serrated knife to trim the rounded part so the cakes would stand flat. These pieces make a great little snack to taste test it while you are waiting for the cakes to cool! ;)
Optional- Once the cakes are cooled, place a dollop of cream cheese frosting in the center of each cake. I zapped the remaining frosting in the microwave for a few seconds and then drizzled it over the top and down the sides of each cake.
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These mini bundt cakes are totally shareable. In fact, one by itself was a bit much for me, and I shared the other half with my husband. So, you could technically get 8 servings and not just 4 from this recipe. ;)
Do you have a family heirloom recipe that you have given a "makeover" or that you would love to trim down the calories and fat a bit on?
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