heirloom apple sauce spice cake.

Sometimes, it is necessary to dig into those old fashioned cookbooks. I like the ones with the simple covers and no photographs like Fanny Farmer or my grandmother's very worn and battered Joy Of Cooking. I was looking for a recipe for an applesauce cake, as these chilly spring mornings bring on the need for childhood comfort foods.

Strangely enough, as I opened the worn and battered blue Joy of Cooking an aged index card fell out. It was a recipe for an applesauce cake. It was in my writing and it was dated 1983. There many days when I sat down with my grandmother and attempted to record her recipes that were in her head, passed down from my Nonni, raised in Puglia and transplanted to the streets of Brooklyn and Long Island City. This index card did not represent one of those recipes; instead it most likely came from the pages of Ladies Home Journal or McCall’s Magazine. I looked in the index of the Joy Of Cooking and there was a recipe for an applesauce cake but it was different from the one on the card, so in an attempt to make my own mark, I have transformed it one step further. I omitted the allspice and the cinnamon and added ginger and heirloom applesauce as well as whole-wheat pastry flour. I finished it off by grating an apple and some fresh ginger on top.


Heirloom Applesauce Ginger Spice Cake





 Whole Wheat Pastry Flour


Baking soda

Baking powder


Ginger (both fresh and ground)



Cream one 1/2  cup butter with 1 cup of sugar

Add 1 egg and beat well

Add 1 cup of applesauce


Mix the dry ingredients in another bowl

2 cups of  whole wheat pastry flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon of ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground nutmeg



Mix well and slowly add to wet mixture stirring until all combined


Grease a round cake tin

Add batter

Grate 1 small apple on top and a healthy dose of fresh ginger


Preheat oven to 350 degrees cook for 1 hr or until done.