School has started in every district in Indiana, and that means facing the greatest challenge known to parentdom - what to pack for lunch? Schools now emphasize lunches and snacks that are nutritious, low in fats and sugars and are not strong on empty calories, but kids still want food that tastes good. For the next week the emphasis will be on lunchbox menu items that no kid will want to trade.
Applesauce raisin snack cake is one treat that is a healthier choice than a typical cupcake, cookie or doughnut. It uses unsweetened applesauce as its main ingredient, which keeps the cake moist enough that it needs no frosting. It is low in fat, and the sugar content can also be decreased if a heat stable sugar substitute is used in place of the granulated sugar. Raisins add texture, flavor and nutrition as well.
This cake freezes well, so take advantage of a great apple harvest this year, double the recipe and pack the extra loaves into gallon-sized freezer bags so that there is always a dessert item handy.
Applesauce Raisin Snack Cake
2 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 c. granulated sugar (or sugar substitute made for baking)
1 c. brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. cardamom (optional)
1 1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
1/2 c. apple juice
1/2 c. butter, melted
1 1/2 c. raisins
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder and spices. Set aside.
Mix together sugars, applesauce and apple juice in a large mixing bowl. Add metled butter and cream together with an electric mixer until sugars are dissolved and well incorporated.
Alternate additions of flour mixture and eggs, beating well after each addition and scraping down bowl. Beat for 3 minutes on medium-high speed. Fold in raisins.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13 x 9 x 2 baking pan with nonstick spray and dust with flour. Spread batter evenly in pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until wooden toothpick comes out clean.
Share the love by baking mini loaves. This recipe fills four 4 x 6 x 2 disposable baking pans (available at GFS Marketplace). Reduce baking time to 30 minutes if using the smaller pans.
Tuesday: Carrot chips and dip