Amazing Applesauce Cake

DSCN8334

From the cinnamon-y apple-y smell while the cake is baking, to the spicy, sweet taste, applesauce cake is one of our very favorites! Like many of our favorite good ‘ole recipes, we’ve adapted it to make it a bit healthier and to add guaranteed wholesome ingredients…

Amazing Applesauce Cake

2 2/3 cup organic, all purpose flour

2 cups brown sugar, packed

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoon organic sea salt

1 1/2 teaspoons Raggedy Hen Farm Baking Spice Blend

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup water

1 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce*

2 fresh eggs

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

1 cup raisins, chopped (optional)

*We use our home-canned applesauce, but you can use your favorite–chunky is best!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour one rectangle 13X9X2 inch pan or two round or square layer pans (8-9 inches). Measure flour by dip-level-our method and add flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spice blend to a large mixing bowl. Stir dry ingredients together until well-blended.  Add butter, water and applesauce and mix for 2 minutes or so until well blended and smooth. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add eggs. Beat 2 more minutes, scraping the bowl to keep things well incorporated. Finally, stir in optional walnuts and raisins by hand and pour into prepared pans.

Bake 35 to 45 minutes until knife or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in pans before turning out on racks.  Frost with cream cheese or other frosting or dust with powdered sugar (our favorite!)

Updates from the Coop

DSCN8318

As we head into the latter part of January, things are getting a bit sassier among the flock.  The three older hens who were molting are almost back to normal, with their fresh, shiny, new feathers; and the younger three look to be getting the final growth on their combs and wattles and acting more and more like hens–although egg laying has not started up again!

DSCN8324

Trudy has all of her new feathers and she’s looking mighty fine (remember how sad she looked back in November?) Well, she is gorgeous and plump and seems to be making a play to take over things again.  We saw her go after our meanest hen, Hilda, the other day. Her comb has not started to get red again, so she’s not quite ready to start laying–but we’re ready!

DSCN8323

Hilda also has her new spring plumage, but you can see here that her comb and eyes are pale. She’s also not ready to start laying her large, light brown eggs again yet. Hilda may just be our fastest molter. She started back in mid-December when we had all that snow, and she’s fluffed out again quite nicely.

DSCN8315

The three youngest pullets are currently 34 weeks old. We had hoped they would start laying last Fall  but, alas, no dice. All three are getting increasingly clucky, tame, and have nice, full red combs and wattles, however, so we’re crossing our fingers that it may happen soon.

Meanwhile, the hens will soon give up their all-day every day free range lifestyle as we start to get the garden ready for Spring planting.  They will still get some evening supervised time to forage and graze and they will get vegetables and other scraps to supplement their layer feed, they just won’t get the roam of the entire garden.