This cake is lovely and autumnal; perfect for afternoon tea with weekend visitors.
My mom flew down to stay with us this past weekend, and we had a great time. We ate extremely well (including an amazing brunch at Manuela in LA), spotted whales and dolphins off the coast of Dana Point, and generally had ourselves a grand old time.
I did some batch cooking to prepare for the visit, making mojo marinade for some BBQ pork tenderloin, corn chowder for post-whale-watching lunches, and this lovely cake all in one night. It was very satisfying to stock the fridge and not spend too much time cooking while mom was here.
Everything went down well, though mom would want me to tell you that she thinks the cake gets even better over the course of a few days (with great restraint, it lasted 5 days in my fridge), and that the lemon cardamom icing might be the best part. Look at those flecks of cardamom!
Cut into little squares, this cake is everything that I want in tea & cake at the moment. It is simple but interesting, smells amazing, and brings a smile to the faces of any visiting lovelies. Enough said.
- 2 cups/ 240g of plain flour
- 2 teaspoons of baking soda
- ½ a teaspoon of baking powder
- ½ a teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ½ cup/125 ml olive oil
- 1 cup/217 g packed dark brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1¾ cups/440 ml unsweetened applesauce
- 1 cup powdered/confectioner's sugar
- juice of 1 lemon (2-3 tablespoons)
- pinch of ground cardamom (about ⅛ teaspoon)
- preheat your oven to 350F/176C. Grease an 8"x8" or 9"x9" square pan with baking spray.
- mix flour, baking soda & powder, salt, and spices in a medium bowl.
- mix oil, sugar, and eggs with an electric whisk until pale and smooth (about 2 mins). Add applesauce and mix well.
- Add flour mixture to applesauce mixture and mix only to combine, no more.
- Pour batter into prepared pan, place in oven & bake for 40 minutes or until a knife inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
- remove from the oven and cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out of pan and cool on wire rack.
- To make glaze: combine powdered sugar, lemon juice, and cardamom in a small bowl and stir to combine and remove any sugar lumps. You want a glaze that is thick enough to leave ribbons when you drizzle glaze back into the mixing bowl, so add more sugar or lemon juice accordingly.
- When cake is cool, pour glaze over the top and smooth so that it runs over the sides of the cake.