Right on cue, the weather is starting to feel a bit more fall-like. A crispness to the air, a snap that requires a coat or sweater in the morning, the smell of leaves and backyard fire pits beginning to come back to life: all of it has me increasingly ready to embrace the new season. Admittedly, this is not too hard for me. Fall has been my favorite time pretty much as long as I can remember, probably stemming from the days when I was so excited to start the new school year. (Yes, I was that kid. Ha!)
I think for many of us, baking is one of the very first impulses that comes with the cooler temperatures, especially with the sudden abundance of apples. This applesauce cake is a delightfully simple way to start your fall baking. The batter mixes up by hand in one bowl, and bakes quickly and evenly into beautiful little cakes, perfect for a small gift to neighbors, coworkers, or friends.. if you can bear not to eat them all yourself, that is. The cakes themselves are only mildly sweet, but the brown sugar glaze drizzled on top will satisfy even die-hard sweet tooths. For a slightly lighter option, I think the cakes would also be delicious sprinkled with a little cinnamon sugar.
What fall flavors are you bringing into your kitchen this week?
Applesauce Mini Bundt Cakes
Yields 5 small cakes
For the cakes:
1 large egg
1/2 cup whole milk
2 tbsp. butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/2 cup applesauce
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. maple syrup
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg (freshly grated is wonderful, but ground is fine, too!)
For the glaze:
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and coat the wells of a mini bundt cake plan thoroughly with butter or nonstick cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, combine the egg, milk, butter, applesauce, vanilla, brown sugar, and maple syrup. Whisk to blend. Add the flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg; stir just until evenly combined.
Spoon batter into the prepared pan, filling each well about 3/4 full. Bake for 15-17 minutes, until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cakes cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the glaze, combine butter, brown sugar, and vanilla in a small bowl. Whisk to blend. Drizzle over the cake tops, and allow to set before slicing and serving.