About a month ago my mom gave me copies of some of my ancestors recipes. They are fun because they are in their actual handwriting and they have directions on them like "bake in a moderate oven". This recipe was my great-grandma Odetta's go-to recipe for apple sauce cake. It's got a bit of a twist in that you add cocoa to it! I know that applesauce can be used as a healthy alternative to oil but this cake also features 2 cups of sugar so it's not health food. Apparently my family has always enjoyed sugar! It's a good hearty cake and was very quick to make.
The recipe calls for raisins which I omitted but after trying the cake I think it would be delicious with some shredded carrot or zucchini...so I will probably try it with that next time. She baked it in loaves and served it like a dessert bread. I baked it in a 9x13 pan and topped it with a cream cheese icing*. Give it a try either way!
Odetta's Apple Sauce Cake
1 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
1 qt. unsweetened applesauce (4 cups)
4 tsp. baking soda
3 7/8 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cloves (optional-I left it out)
1 pkg. raisins (optional-I left it out)
1 cup walnuts
Cream shortening and sugar together in a large bowl. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl warm applesauce for about 1 min. in the microwave. Dissolve baking soda in warm applesauce. Add applesauce to shortening mixture. Add eggs, flour, and spices. Mix until combined. Fold in raisins and walnuts if desired. Place in a 9x13 baking dish or divide evenly into 3 large bread pans (or 4 small bread pans). Bake at 350 degrees for 45 min.