Vegan Apple Spice Cake is inspired by recipes from my favorite types of cookbooks.
Those old war-time recipe books in simple black and white, with information strategically laid out to make the most efficent use of paper. With recipes designed to make the best of available resources during a time when access was limited.
Books that you don’t feel bad about scribbling notes in, or schmearing with batter.
Books that aren’t bloated. That have no full glossies to worry about.
Books that just give it to you straight: Add this. Stir that. Bake.
It will look like a cake when it’s done.
This Apple Spice Cake is a combination of two Depression and war-time cakes: the famous ‘boiled’ cake, and the ubiquitous ‘wacky’ cake.
The boiled cake relies on a simmering of raisins with liquid ingredients and spices, and the wacky cake on the addition of vinegar to create a chemical reaction with baking soda in the recipe. This recipe uses both.
In the spirit of its ancestors, the cake is frugal and not overly sweet. I use a bit of maple syrup – because I love it and I have easy access to it. If you don’t, or it’s too expensive where you live, you can substitute another liquid sweetener, or replace the syrup with the same amount of brown sugar.
You can add a grated apple to the batter, or 1/2 cup / 125 ml of chopped nuts. Dust the cooled cake with icing sugar for a simple finish, or top it with your favorite frosting.
- 1 cup / 250 ml apple juice
- 1/2 cup / 125 ml unsweetened applesauce
- 1 cup / 250 ml raisins
- 1/3 cup / 80 ml oil
- 2 teaspoons / 10 ml cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon / 5 ml ginger
- 1/2 cup / 125 ml brown sugar
- 1/4 cup / 60 ml maple syrup or subsitute another liquid sweetener or brown sugar
- 1 cup / 250 ml all-purpose flour
- 1 cup / 250 ml whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon / 5 ml baking powder
- 1 teaspoon / 5 ml baking soda
- 1 teaspoon / 5 ml salt
- 2 tablespoons / 30 ml apple cider vinegar or other vinegar
In medium saucepan, stir together apple juice, applesauce, raisins, oil, cinnamon, ginger, brown sugar and maple syrup.
Bring mixture to a simmer over medium heat and simmer for 5 minutes, or until it begins to look a bit thicker.
Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
While raisin mixture is cooling, preheat oven to 350 degrees F / 176 degrees C. Lightly grease an 8x8-inch / 20x20 cm baking pan.
Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, Add cooled raisins and stir gently until no streaks of flour are visible.
Pour the vinegar over batter and stir gently to incorporate into the mixture.
Spread batter in prepared ban and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cake cool, then dust with icing sugar or spread frosting over. Cut into pieces and serve.
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