For the cake:

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1 stick unsalted butter, softened

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 large eggs

1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce

For the frosting:

5 ounces cream cheese, softened

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup confectioners sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Finely chopped walnuts, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and set oven rack in the middle.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. In a large bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar, and vanilla extract with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the applesauce. Lastly, beat in the dry ingredients on low speed until just combined. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl to ensure all ingredients are incorporated.

Grease an 8 or 9 inch square metal cake pan with butter. Evenly pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes, until golden brown, and a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool cake in the pan for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edge to loosen, and invert onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, beat together cream cheese, butter, and vanilla extract until light and fluffy. Sift the confectioners sugar and cinnamon over the cream cheese mixture, and beat to thoroughly combine. Frost cooled cake, sprinkle with walnuts, and enjoy!

Printed from A Bitchin' Kitchen

Recipe adapted from Gourmet