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Two Sisters, Serial #15 and Applesauce Cake with Maple Buttercream

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There’s an earthiness to fall. Whether it’s going through a corn maze at the fair or raking leaves in the yard or watching apples pressed into cider at the farmer’s market or carving a pumpkin for Halloween, there’s something about fall that calls us back to the earth, back to nature and elemental origins.

This week’s Applesauce Cake with Maple Buttercream honors the season’s earthiness. Two of its main ingredients–applesauce and maple syrup–are the undiluted products of trees many of us can see in our yards or on our hikes. And the cake’s dark and dense richness seems to embody all that autumn represents.

But then that earthiness is wonderfully contrasted by the light and flavorful maple buttercream–still “of the earth” with the delicate maple syrup sweetness but tempered with the light richness of the whipped butter (indirectly “of the earth” via the intervention of the good old cow).

And so you have Reading and Recipes’ paean to fall–in a yummy dessert, the best kind of paean we know.

But if you wish to sample another season–as in the late spring of adolescent energy and optimism–listen to or read about Brooke and Leah as they get Brooke ready for her “coming out” at the debutante ball.

applesauce cake and maple buttercream

Applesauce Cake with Maple Buttercream


2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 egg white

1 Tablespoon maple syrup

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

pinch of salt

Buttercream frosting:

1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup powdered sugar

2 Tablespoons maple syrup

applesauce cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 5×7 inch pan with cooking spray.*

In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar until the mixture becomes light and fluffy. Mix in the egg white until well incorporated. Blend in the maple syrup and applesauce until all of the ingredients are well mixed. By hand, fold in the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt until ingredients are just mixed in, careful not to overmix.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting.

While the cake is cooling, make the buttercream by whipping the butter until it is light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar and beat into the creamed butter. Next add maple syrup and beat into the frosting. If the consistency of the frosting seems too thin, add more powdered sugar, 1 Tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Refrigerate the frosting for 5-10 minutes before frosting the cooled cake.

Cover and store leftover cake or frosting in the refrigerator.

Serves 3-4.

*You can also make these into cupcakes. Divide the batter between 3 cupcake liners and bake the cupcakes for 16-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

applesauce cake with maple buttercream frosting

{Cupcakes adapted from Bakeaholic Mama}

 Click below to listen to or read Serial #15 of “Two Sisters”.

Two Sisters, Serial #15, audio © Jeffrey Anderson

Two Sisters, Serial #15, text © Jeffrey Anderson


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