Sourdoughizing: Applesauce Cake (2024)

It's actually been a long time since I've made dessert with my sourdough starter. It used to be, that I felt so guilty about my excesses of starter that I was attempting to put it in everything. But, that was before the perfection of sourdough pancakes. Now, most mornings the Kiddo tiptoes into the kitchen moments after waking and asks, "Is the starter good?" If I've fed it the day before, which oftentimes I have, then I say yes - and he immediately goes to the closet to grab his footstool to help me mix up pancakes. 100% sourdough starter pancakes take less time to mix than time to heat the pan, and I couldn't be more thankful that my picky child loves them as much as I do.

Now that Fall seems finally to have arrived, the onset of apple season has me trying to use the final few jars of last years applesauce from the shelves. Yesterday I couldn't help but wonder if fermenting sourdough starter with a pint of applesauce and flour would produce an even better version of the Spanish Bar Cake that I told you all about last year. I would say that this is the finest sourdough cake I've made to date, and no one would know any different that it is in fact healthier for you due to the long fermentation time. (We'll just ignore the sugar content, ok?) This cake is so apple-y, you would swear you added fresh and not canned sauce, and the cake is so moist you would swear it had a pound of butter in it. But this is oil cake friends, and coconut oil is my miracle oil of choice for producing stellar results in baked goods. If you have a cupful of 100% hydration starter in need of using, give it a try. You will then bask in the chill of Fall with ample apple sustenance to carry you through a brisk day.

100% hydration starter is sourdough starter that you feed equal amounts of flour and water. I keep my starter well fed, since I am a habitual baker, but if you keep yours in the fridge, I'd recommend giving it a feeding or two before baking with it. I let my cake ferment for about 8 hours before continuing, but you probably would have a bit of play on either side of that time frame. If you mixed it after supper, you could easily continue with the baking after breakfast - or if you allow a few minutes in the morning, you could bake it in the evening as I did.

Sourdough Applesauce Cake (adapted from this Spanish Bar Cake I posted last year)
1 9x13 cake

For the ferment:

  • 1 c. 100% hydration starter
  • 1 pint applesauce (about 2 c.)
  • 2 1/4 c. AP flour

To continue the cake:

  • 2 c. sugar
  • scant 1/2 c. coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly (or same amount of any cooking oil)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 t. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 3/4 t. cinnamon (I use Cassia)
  • 1/2 t. ground cloves
  • 1/2 t. ground allspice
  • pinch salt
  • 1 c. raisins, optional
  • 1/2 chopped walnuts, optional

Combine the starter and applesauce in a large bowl and mix well. Add the flour, stir well to mix, cover and leave at room temperature to ferment at least 7 hours before continuing.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 and butter a 9x13 pan.

Combine the remaining ingredients, except the raisins and walnuts if using, and mix well. Add to the fermented applesauce mixture, which should have risen considerably. Mix well by hand with a sturdy wooden spoon or a dough whisk until well blended. Stir in optional raisins and walnuts and stir just enough to disperse in the batter.

Pour into the prepared pan, and bake for 35-45 minutes until brown and a tester comes out clean from the center. Cool completely before frosting with maple cream cheese frosting if desired.

I will likely keep playing with this recipe. It's really one of my favorite things, since it is so deliciously reminiscent of Fall, but it also because it reminds me of my Gram. It is as good with the morning coffee as it is with a scoop of vanilla ice cream in the evening. Even die-hard chocolate cake fans like this simple spice cake, and being successfully sourdoughized makes me more happy than I can relate. Does this mean that cake season is upon me? I think so. I'd better go brew another pot of coffee, since it looks like rain for the next few days...

This post has been Yeastspotted.

Sourdoughizing:  Applesauce Cake (2024)


What does adding applesauce to cake do? ›

Applesauce acts much like the fat. It keeps the flour protein from mixing completely with the wet ingredients and forming a rubbery, dense texture. This is what does applesauce do in baking.

What does applesauce replace in baking? ›

If you're looking to make some of your favorite baked goods a wee bit healthier or vegan, applesauce is your magical friend! Applesauce can be used as a substitute for oil, butter, or eggs, and still give you delicious baked treats.

What is the secret to sourdough? ›

The secret to sourdough is simple: water. The more water you add to your dough will affect how open the crumb (bigger holes and softer texture) will be once it's baked.

Can you replace oil with applesauce in a cake recipe? ›

The substitution will work in recipes calling for butter, but oil-based recipes work better. (That's why I mentioned avocado as a great substitute for butter.) - When substituting applesauce for oil in baking, the ratio is typically 1:1. So if the recipe calls for 1/4 cup of oil, use 1/4 cup of applesauce.

Does applesauce change the texture of a cake? ›

Additionally, using applesauce in place of the oil may change the texture and volume (height) slightly of the finished cake.

How much applesauce replaces one egg? ›

Applesauce. Use applesauce to add moisture. Replace one egg with 1/4 cup of applesauce in sweet desserts. If you want a lighter texture, add an extra 1/2 teaspoonful of baking powder, as fruit purées tend to make the final product denser than the original recipe.

Does applesauce replace eggs or oil in baking? ›

For every one egg called for in a recipe, use ¼ cup of applesauce instead. Butter & Oil: Substitute applesauce in equal quantities of butter and oil. For example, if the recipe requires ½ cup of oil, replace it with ½ cup of applesauce.

Can applesauce replace eggs when baking? ›

Applesauce. Applesauce is a great neutral egg replacement, meaning you won't taste any apple in the final product. When subbing in applesauce for eggs, use ¼ cup for every egg your recipe calls for, and add an additional ½ teaspoon of baking powder to the dry ingredients.

Why do people use applesauce in baking? ›

There's a good reason that applesauce can replace oil or butter in some cases — it has a lot of water, so it will keep your baked goods moist, and it works as a binder for the dry ingredients while adding a boost of fiber to your recipe.

What makes sourdough taste better? ›

The key taste compounds include salt, which is directly added to the dough, as well as acetic and lactic acid, produced during fermentation. After these experiments, they applied a technique called “unified flavor quantitation,” which was previously developed by Hofmann's team, to the sourdough bread.

Why do you put honey in sourdough bread? ›

You'll find I use honey in many of my recipes. I love to use it in my no-knead 100% whole wheat sourdough bread because it makes it much softer and less dense than it would be without it. Subbing it in recipes that call for sugar is not usually as simple as a one-to-one sub, though.

What makes sourdough bread taste better? ›

Keep the dough temperature lower: Lactic acid bacteria are most active in the higher temperatures of the mid 80s-90sºF. Keeping the dough in the 76-78º F range will still ferment and produce bacteria but will encourage lactic acid bacteria instead of acetic acid bacteria resulting in a more mild flavored loaf.

How much applesauce to replace oil in cake? ›

Applesauce is a 1:1 replacement for oil, so if your recipe calls for half a cup of oil, use half a cup of applesauce instead. If you find yourself in the middle of a recipe and out of oil, use applesauce instead! This trick works in cakes, muffins, cookies, brownies, and any kind of sweet baked good.

What does Greek yogurt do in baking? ›

It's used similarly to sour cream in cakes and other baked goods, but can also be used in glazes or folded into whipped cream. Many bakers love the way it helps keep baked goods moist while adding a tang, not unlike baking with buttermilk. Its acidity also helps activate the baking soda in batters for a nice rise.

How much applesauce for 2 eggs? ›

Applesauce. "Generally, the rule of thumb is to [use] 1/4 cup of applesauce per egg," says Weintraub. For the most straightforward swap, use unsweetened applesauce. If you only have sweetened applesauce on hand, she recommends reducing the sugar in the recipe to avoid overly sweet treats.

What is the secret to a moist cake? ›

Seven Bakery Secrets to Incredibly Moist Cakes Every Time
  1. Use Buttermilk Instead of Milk.
  2. Add Vegetable Oil.
  3. Use Instant Clearjel or Instant Pudding Mix.
  4. Use the Right Recipe.
  5. Don't Overbake.
  6. Bake in Sheet Pans Instead of individual Cake Pans.
  7. Use a Simple Syrup or Glaze.
Apr 23, 2021

Can applesauce replace eggs in cake? ›

Applesauce is a great neutral egg replacement, meaning you won't taste any apple in the final product. When subbing in applesauce for eggs, use ¼ cup for every egg your recipe calls for, and add an additional ½ teaspoon of baking powder to the dry ingredients.

Can applesauce replace sugar in baking? ›

While you can substitute applesauce in place of granulated sugar, there are some things to be cautious of. Like butter and oil, you can substitute applesauce and sugar in a 1:1 ratio. However, sugar is a dry ingredient and applesauce is a wet ingredient, so you will have to cut back on other wet ingredients.

Can applesauce replace butter? ›

Applesauce can be used as a direct replacement for oil or melted butter in baking, meaning in a 1:1 ratio. If your recipe calls for 1/2 cup of oil, replace it with 1/2 cup of applesauce.


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