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Great Spice Cake recipe?

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This past Friday we had an impromptu dinner party and about 45 minutes before everybody arrived, I suddenly decided that I needed to make a layer spice cake with (homemade) spiced crabapple jelly filling and cream cheese icing. I searched around the internet and found this:
http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Moist-Te...

The taste was great, plenty of good spicy flavor. When it was fresh out of the oven it was tender, but it was not exactly what i would call moist. The next morning, eating the leftovers for breakfast (that's right...cake for breakfast) it was drier and totally crumbly. From what little I know of cake chemistry...I blame the large amount of baking powder and the butter (as opposed to oil).

However, I can't entirely blame the recipe since in my frantic cake making I completely failed to read the directions and combined all the wet (creamed butter and sugar, added eggs, etc), combined the dry, added the two together and called it a day. I also cooked it in two 8" rounds instead of a 9x13 and may have overcooked it very slightly.

I had a request to make it again for a Halloween party, so help me troubleshoot this. Does the recipe look good and I'm to blame with my high-speed baking? Or could I tweak the recipe? Or does somebody have a tried and true spice cake recipe? I know this isn't rocket science, but I'm not a very experienced cake maker (more of a brownie and pie girl) so I could really use the 'hounds help. Thanks!

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  1. I can't help you troubleshoot, but the following recipe has been made for many years by my mom's extended family; I think it came out of a women's magazine in the sixties. It's much less complicated than what you were attempting (no filling), but it stays moist for days, probably because of the applesauce. I usually top it off with a simple lemon glaze. I suppose if I were filling it with some sort of jam, I'd skip the raisins.

    Applesauce Spice Cake

    2 1/2 cups flour
    2 cups sugar
    1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
    1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    1/4 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
    1/2 teaspoon allspice
    few shakes nutmeg, optional (I always add them)
    1/2 cup apple juice or water
    1/2 cup butter/margarine (we do nearly all of our baking non-dairy, so I use margarine)
    2 eggs
    1 cup raisins (I think it's better looking with golden raisins than black)
    1 1/2 cups applesauce

    Preheat oven to 350.
    Stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices; mix well, then stir in the raisins.
    Separately, cream together the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Beat in the eggs, then mix in the apple juice or water and the applesauce.
    By hand (the raisins don't go well with a mixer), stir the flour mixture into the liquids until well blended.
    Pour into a well-greased tube pan and bake for 50-60 minutes.

    1. Here's a link to a older thread on spice cake. In it, I posted (under an older name) a great Prune Spice cake recipe. Its really wonderful - don't be put off by the name !

      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/279694

      2 Replies
      1. re: chowmel

        Thanks! I searched for old posts, but I couldn't find anything useful. The search function is definitely improved...but still isn't really that great.

        I actually like prunes so that doesn't sound weird to me...but I'll have to keep the secret ingredient a secret from everybody else. One question though: Are the prunes chopped up at all before you add them? The recipe just says pitted, cooked and drained, but that seems like it would leave big chunks of pruney-ness in the cake.

        1. re: wawajb

          I so sorry I didn't get back on this sooner. But I think I did chop them somewhat, but in the mixer they broke up fine.

      2. There's another one on Allrecipes with a cup of yoghurt in it. Yogurt spice pound cake or something like that, but it bakes up great in a 9X13 (and probably two rounds too). You can use buttermilk instead of the yogurt. It will still be moist the next day and beyond. In fact I love this cake without icing. The instructions call for muffin-mixing technique, but it only adds a few minutes to cream the butter and sugar before adding the eggs (more traditional cake mixing method), which is what I do.

        1. The one I make uses Campbells tomato soup; if that doesn't gross you out, I can dig it up. Very good if you don't tell anyone.

          1. This is HANDS down the best apple spice cake I ever had. Had a party last week and there were 3 delicious desserts all homemade; apple spice cake, chocolate cake and carrot cake. All were good but the apple spice cake was superior. Moist and flavorful. You can't lose w this one.

            http://www.boston.com/ae/food/article...