The best part

When you write about food for a living and the man you're marrying owns a restaurant, there is quite a bit of pressure to serve everyone at your wedding a Very Good Meal. This feeling is mostly imagined, but a little bit real, and it can make planning the menu a task that takes many, many months.

We certainly haven't gotten very far, though we have managed to amass an absolutely enormous amount of recipe clippings.

It doesn't help that I am very stubborn, and that even though I have relinquished the idea that we will cook our entire rehearsal dinner together (doesn't anyone but me think that would be fun?), I will not give up the right to make my own cake. This adds a lot of To-Dos to the list, like check out wedding cake books from the library, and try every recipe in them, and purchase a cake piping kit, and look for cake stands at the flea market each Sunday, and throw lots of dinner parties so that you're not eating every triple decker by yourself.

Luckily, I don't really mind the list. In fact, it's kind of the best part.

Technically, I'm not going to make the cake alone, either; my bridesmaids are going to help. And there are going to be a few cakes, not just one, in different sizes and flavors. And my best friend's mother owns a bakery, so we'll have the equipment going for us, and plenty of space, and hopefully a few bottles of champagne.

Doing it that way will make things a whole lot easier when it comes to baking the real cakes, but it means lots more work testing recipes now. The other day, I tried an applesauce cake, and though the fishmonger wasn't sure it was wedding material, it was certainly good. At least, it was gone within twenty-four hours, for whatever that's worth—so quickly, I didn't even get to snap its portrait.

I might be kind of biased, if you recall, because I have a pretty serious thing for just about any applesauce cake. But we are getting married in the fall, in the height of applesauce season, and so having at least one apple-themed cake kind of goes without saying, I think.

I found the recipe for this one online after lots and lots of searching, but originally it came from the May 1980 issue of something called "Mailbox News" by a Mrs. Henry Blasi of Michigan. I have no idea what sort of a publication that is, but I'm very thankful for the cake. I made just a single batch, which filled two cake pans. This left room for a layer of icing in between the cakes, and then a good spread on top, but I didn't put any on the sides. That seemed like a bit much. In fact, if you wanted, you could even make this in a loaf tin and eat it for breakfast or snacks—it's kind of like banana bread that way. Either way, I think you'll be glad you gave it a go. Who knows, it just might sneak onto one of those cake platters for the Big Day. We'll have to wait and see.


adapted from Mailbox News, by Mrs. Henry Blasi, May 1980

This cake can be easily frozen once cooled. Just wrap each cake in plastic wrap, then tinfoil, then stick it in the freezer. This makes frosting easier later—not to mention baking ahead of time.

1 and 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon all-spice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 and 1/2 cups applesauce

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium-size mixing bowl, cream sugar and butter. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well. In another medium-size bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Add applesauce and dry ingredients alternatively to creamed butter, mixing well after each addition. Spoon batter into 2 greased cake pans, and bake until a cake tester comes out clean (about 30 minutes).

I topped the cake with this icing, but a lemony glaze would work well, too, I think.


Emily said...

1. Don't put so much pressure on yourself! Potluck is the name of the game.

2. Is your wedding cake really going to have whole wheat flour in it?!

Elspeth said...


It's fun pressure, rest assured, though I agree that a potluck would be a wonderful way to go.

Normally I would not add whole wheat to any cake (wedding cakes included), but for this one, it just seemed right. I always add half whole wheat to banana, carrot, & apple based baked-goods; I like the way it compliments their moisture.

But when it comes to chocolate and pound cakes and vanilla buttercream, I agree, there should be absolutely no whole wheat!

Thanks for worrying ;)

All the best,


Anonymous said...

Elspeth, what is your recipe for applesauce or what applesauce do you put in your cakes?

Diane Warren said...

As long as you're not planning on putting it together the day of the wedding, go for it. Looking forward to seeing it - and tasting it!

Elspeth said...

Hi Mara:

I use a few different applesauce recipes. One I do with cranberries:


And here's plain:


And Diane:

It certainly won't be happening that day! The good thing about most cakes is they freeze well.

Thank you all for being here,


Anonymous said...

How do you spell "elope" anyway?


Elspeth said...

tee hee

Anonymous said...

Mrs Blasi was my great grandma. I was so surprised :) to see her recipie on. She would be so thrilled. "Gammy" was the best cook and baked the most wonderful cookies, cakes and desserts. I try to duplicate her recipies but its just not the same, but i still try.Many of her recipies are very old. Her hand written cook book has many which say "from home"--well over 100 years. So happy you liked Apple Sauce Cake-- Rod M.

Elspeth said...

Dear Rod,

Wow! That is amazing. I'm so glad you stumbled upon us, and I hope you'll stick around. I'd love to hear more about her recipes! We love, love, love the cake, and I've made it several times.

All the best,

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