Imagine biting into this moist and tender cake. First you breathe in the aroma of cinnamon, and as you take your first bite, you savor the warm flavor of ginger. And then, just when you think you’ve figured out all the secrets of this sweet delight, you bite into a hidden nugget of candied ginger and POW–a rush of tingling flavor!
And then I tell you that it’s fat-free, and you just don’t believe me.
The secret is the applesauce, which is the only liquid in the cake–no eggs or egg substitutes, no non-dairy milk, no water. Applesauce makes this whole-wheat cake dense but moist at the same time while adding some natural sweetness. The maple glaze, though delicious, is really just for show because this cake is sweet and tender enough without it. So leave it off if you like, and if you’re really intent of cutting back on sugar, try replacing all or part of the granulated sugar with erythritol, a sugar substitute that may actually have some health benefits.
With or without the sugar, if you’re a ginger lover, you won’t want to miss this cake. Consider it a Christmas present from me to you!
- 2 cups white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons crystallized (candied) ginger, chopped small (about 3/4 ounce)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon cloves
- 2 1/4 cups unsweetened applesauce
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Glaze: 1/4 cup maple syrup, 1 teaspoon cornstarch, pinch ginger powder
- Additional candied ginger for serving (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a bundt pan or 9×9-inch baking pan.
- Mix the dry ingredients together; then add the applesauce, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Stir until combined but don’t over-stir. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 45-60 minutes. Test by inserting a toothpick into the center; it’s done when the toothpick comes out perfectly clean.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Invert onto cake dish.
- Prepare the glaze: Combine the maple syrup, 1 teaspoon cornstarch, and generous pinch of powdered ginger in a small saucepan and mix well. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and allow to cool and thicken. (You can put the pan in a bowl of cold water to speed up cooling.) When the glaze has thickened but is still pourable, drizzle it over the cake. Serve immediately, garnished with strips of candied ginger, if desired.
I wish you all a happy, peaceful holiday. Be good to yourselves and to each other!