This Granola Applesauce Cake is a flavorful packed treat made with low-cost, shelf stable ingredients that you’ll most likely find in your pantry. Usually cake recipes call for butter, milk and eggs, all of which are precious commodities especially when we are all limiting our trips to the grocery store. With this recipe we can have our cake and social distance too! I love creating and finding recipes that use minimal ingredients and my wallet loves when my baking adventures don’t break the bank. Not only is this a budget friendly treat but the texture and flavor are perfect - I promise you won’t miss the eggs or butter. This is a recipe you can make every weekend during meal prep to provide cheap, yummy snacks for your family throughout the week.
If you’re anything like me you’ve been spending more time lately on Pinterest and Instagram looking to fill empty weekends at home with the smell of sweet baked goodness. This is a great recipe to add to your stay-at-home arsenal since it’s quick to make and easy to clean up. All you need is one bowl, one spoon, one pan and less than one hour! It doesn’t get much easier than that!
Choosing meals with little prep and easy clean up means you get your delicious food made and can spend more time out of the kitchen tending your garden, reading a new book, playing digital games with friends, or facetiming your Grandma. In stressful times we often turn to food to keep ourselves busy or to relieve stress but it’s important to care for ourselves in other ways like exercising and connecting with loved ones. You can even create new traditions in these strange times by sharing this recipe and baking with friends over Zoom, like a digital baking club!
This is also a great time to try new things in the kitchen, like vegan baking! If you are new to vegan baking and are skeptical about the results, I get it! Eggs usually create structure and stability in baked goods, milk adds moisture, and butter is where that melt in your mouth flavor is born. Fear not because there are a variety of options when baking vegan to achieve the same – if not better - results. To replace the eggs you can use chia eggs or flax eggs, a one-for-one product called Ener-g egg replacer or the simplest options are using applesauce or bananas. Butter is easily replaced with Coconut Oil or a vegan butter substitute. Both provide a saturated fat-like butter and can help to add moisture to your bake! Milk is not always called for but if you ever do need to replace regular milk with a vegan option you can use coconut, almond, soy, and even cashew or rice milk. Isn’t it amazing what real food ingredients can accomplish? For this recipe we used applesauce instead of eggs, and coconut oil instead of butter and the result is a moist cake with crunchy and chewy bits sprinkled throughout – sheer delight!
The crunchiness and chewiness are thanks to the addition of granola and raisins. If you don’t have granola in your pantry you can always replace it with another 1/2 cup of whole or quick oats. If you do leave out the granola then you will probably want to add in some almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds or sunflowers seeds so that you still get a nice variety in texture with every bite. The best option is including Erin Baker’s Vanilla Almond Quinoa Homestyle Granola because it adds crunchy oat clusters, roasted almonds, puffed quinoa and that smooth vanilla flavor. Since this recipe doesn’t call for any additional vanilla it might not be as delicious without the granola. If you do try it without the granola let us know how it goes in the comments.
Like I mentioned, you only need one bowl, one spoon and one pan for this recipe, but the pan you choose is important! I made this cake in a Bundt pan which I wouldn’t recommend unless your Bundt pan is rather small. This recipe only filled about 1/3 of my large Bundt pan. Instead use an 8 x 8 pan like what you would use for brownies. If you want to try this recipe as a double batch I’d recommend baking it in two separate batches or in a larger baking dish (15 x 10). Do not bake this cake in a standard loaf pan as it will be too thick to bake leaving the center dense, gooey and undercooked. You will want to check on the cake around 18 minutes and make sure it doesn’t get too brown on top. You’ll know it’s done when the center has a bounce to it.
If you want to make it sweeter and more decadent, you can dust some powdered sugar on top or try topping your cake with a glaze! You can find a simple glaze recipe here - Best Basic Glaze Recipe. This cake is a great swap for your morning muffin or bowl of oatmeal with just the right amount of sweetness.
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