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Now, for a taste of the holidays, a recipe for my favorite cake and to-die-for icing:
2 ½ cups flour
1 ¾ cups sugar, or 1 cup sugar and ¾ cup honey
1 ½ teaspoon soda
1 ½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon allspice
1 ½ cups unsweetened applesauce
½ cup hot water (⅓ c if using honey)
½ cup shortening
2 eggs at room temperature
Optional: 1 cup raisins and ½ cup chopped English walnuts
Heat oven to 350°. Grease and flour baking pan, either 13x9x2 or 2 round layers 8 or 9×1½ inches.
Measure wet ingredients into bowl and mix thoroughly. If eggs or water are cold, the shortening won’t blend well. Add dry ingredients and mix on low speed until well blended, then increase mixer speed and beat three minutes. Pour into pans.
Bake oblong 60-65 minutes, layers 50-55 minutes, until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
When cake has cooled, frost with Penuche Icing.
Penuche Icing (Yumm!)
½ cup butter
1 cup brown sugar, packed
¼ cup milk
2 cup confectioners’ sugar
Melt butter in medium saucepan. Stir in brown sugar. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir over low heat 2 minutes. Stir in milk. Heat to boiling, then remove from heat and cool to lukewarm.
Stir in confectioners’ sugar then beat with mixer until fully smooth and of spreading consistency. If frosting becomes too stiff, heat slightly while stirring.