Applesauce Cake: Fail

Thinking that doubling this recipe was a good idea was my first mistake. I should have known when a cake — a single cake – calls for four cups of flour it was probably already doubled.

Not me. I was determined, and as always, knew best.

I found the recipe for my Aunt Susan’s Applesauce Cake tucked into the first recipe book I started when I was in my early twenties. I had forgotten all about the cinnamon and nutmeg-spiced cake and the book until I pulled it from one of many boxes roaming my kitchen in our moving aftermath. I put it aside for a special day.

The special day arrived: my first day of Thanksgiving vacation. A whole day off from work and I had baking and cooking plans. Applesauce Cake and potato salad. Two pretty involved recipes. I am just glad that I started boiling my potatoes before I compiled the ingredients for the cake or I may not have brought anything to the family dinners.

I am not bothering posting the recipe, at least not until I make it the way it is listed on the card in my Gram’s perfect script.

Where I went wrong, oh let me count the ways.
1. I doubled it.
2. I tried separating out the dry and wet ingredients in the only bowls I had. Good in theory but they were barely big enough for the doubled portion and not anywhere big enough to combine into one at once. (I seriously contemplated using the plastic wash basin I keep over my washer to store extra soap.)
3. I didn’t let the butter and eggs get to room temperature before starting. (I underestimated how cold my house was that day. It chose that morning to sleet and spit snow. Good for my spirits, not for the cake.)
4. I broke the blender. It went “whrrr-(choke)-reeeeEEEEeeeEEEEEEE!” And then I saw a pop of orange, heard a hiss, smelled foul smoke and then saw said foul smoke come out of the butt of the blender like a chimney. I unplugged it, called for my husband and started inwardly pouting. (This is the second blender I’ve killed since getting married almost 10 months ago.)
5. Not to be determined (I was mad now), I tried using a vintage hand mixer. Turns out it is better suited to whisking eggs. (More dishes to wash now.)
6. I then had to mix all of this gluey gook by hand now in a bowl not even close to being big enough, in two batches now. (What was the point of doubling it now?) I counted this as Activity Points for the day. If you sweat making cake, it is APs.
7. I didn’t have a “tube pan” like I first thought and after a frantic call to my sister, ended up making one sheet cake, two loaf pans, 24 regular muffins and 12 mini muffins.

Moral: Do not double a handwritten recipe unless you have tried it before. Own big bowls. Invest in a good handheld blender. For all that is pure and lovely, allow your butter to get to room temperature (on a warm day) before you start mixing ingredients.

The cake was decent. A little dry. I think it needs a redo.



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