This moist, warmly-spiced cake was adapted from Lee Bailey's Country Weekends (Gramercy Books, 1983) by Tim Mazurek for his Back of the Bookshelf column.
For the Cake
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 cups unsweetened applesauce
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
- 1 3⁄4 tsp. baking soda
- 1⁄4 tsp. salt
- 1 cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup raisins
For the Frosting
- 2 cups light brown sugar, lightly packed
- 6 tbsp. heavy cream
- 1⁄4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 cup confectioner's sugar
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease a 9-inch bundt pan and dust with flour, shaking out the excess.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the applesauce and vanilla and beat to combine. The mixture may look curdled, that is fine.
Sift together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and salt. Remove 1⁄4 cup of flour mixture to a medium bowl and toss with with pecans and raisins. Add the remaining flour mixture to the liquid ingredients and mix on low just until combined. Fold the pecans and raisins into the batter.
Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 30 minutes, and then invert onto a rack to cool completely.
To make the frosting, place the brown sugar, cream, and butter into a medium saucepan and bring slowly to a rolling boil, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and then the confectioner's sugar. Pour onto the cake, allowing the frosting to run down the sides.