Recipe: Ginger Applesauce Cake

(Image credit: Beth Sheresh)

This recipe immediately grabbed our attention as we flipped through Picture Yourself Cooking with Kids by Beth Sheresh. A warm, fluffy cake has appeal for both kids and adults, and the directions are straightforward enough that kids can have a hand in every step. Plus, the fact that it includes both oats and maple syrup means we can eat it for breakfast, right?

Not too sweet, with a blend of warm spices and bits of nuts, this cake is wonderful still warm from the oven. A small scoop of ice cream on the side transforms this simple cake into a rich dessert and provides a creamy balance to the ginger.

Ginger Applesauce Cake

From Picture Yourself Cooking with Kids by Beth Sheresh

Makes 16 yummy servings

Active time: 15 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
Tools: 9-inch square pan, mixing bowl, electric mixer, or wooden spoon
Nutritional information per serving: 191 calories; 10g fat (45.9% calories from fat); 4g protein; 23g carbohydrate; 1g fietary fiber; 39mg cholesterol; 197mg sodium

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
Powdered sugar for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch square pan. Stir flour, oats, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves together in a bowl and set aside.

Cream butter and sugar together until well-combined. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing on a low speed to combine. Once the eggs are incorporated, beat the mixture on high for 3 to 4 minutes, until it is about double in volume. (You can do this by hand, although it won’t be quite as lofty. Beat vigorously for 3 to 4 minutes, trading off between bakers if you have more than one assistant in the kitchen.) With mixer on medium, slowly pour in maple syrup and mix in thoroughly.

With the mixing spoon, gently mix in the applesauce in two parts, alternating with the dry ingredients. When the mixture is just starting to come together, have your child sprinkle in the nuts while you stir a few more strokes, just until all the flour streaks disappear.

Pour into the prepared pan and smooth the surface. Bake for 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry. Let cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

(Image and recipe, including head notes, reprinted with permission from Picture Yourself Cooking with Your Kids by Beth Sheresh.)