Oktoberfest in Germany begins Saturday, September 22, 2012, and ends Sunday, October 7, 2012...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Walnut and Dried Currant Spice Cake with Old Fashioned Brown Butter Frosting

I have a cookbook titled “Baking for all Occasions”  by Flo Braker.  I found this book at a Border’s closeout sale, and I am anxious to try several of the recipes.   The first one is a spicy cake which I adapted as a walnut and dried currant cake.    This cake is moist and dense by using applesauce rather than extra oil - topped with an old fashioned brown butter frosting, you get a touch of nostalgic comfort from a different time.   An oldie but goodie...

BTW:  I baked my cake in a rectangular baking pan, but this recipe would suit loaf pans as well, and present as a “quick bread”.    


2 ¾ cup All-Purpose flour
1 ½  teaspoon baking powder
¼  teaspoon baking soda
½  teaspoon salt
1  heaping teaspoon Cinnamon
¾  teaspoon Allspice
¼  teaspoon nutmeg
¼  teaspoon ground cloves
2  sticks butter ( 8 ounces )
1  cup packed light brown sugar
¾ cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 Teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 ¾ cups unsweetened applesauce, smooth textured.
1  cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup dried currants
Brown Butter Frosting ( see recipe below )

You will need two bowls.  One medium bowl for the dry ingredients, and a larger bowl for the wet ingredients.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. and grease & flour a 9x13 rectangular baking pan - or line with parchment paper as I did.

Next, chop walnuts and set aside.

Then, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and the spices to a small bowl and dry whisk to combine and evenly distribute the leaveners.  

Next, add the butter and sugars to the larger bowl and using an electric mixer, beat on medium until creamy and smooth.   Then, scrape the sides and continue beating on medium speed as you add the eggs. When the eggs have been incorporated, scrape the sides again and add the applesauce and vanilla.  Now, turn the speed up to medium high and continue to beat for another minute.

Next, on the lowest speed, add the flour mixture in three additions.  When all of the flour has been added and mixed, scrape the sides and lift the bottom.  Then, detach the paddle or beaters and tap excess into bowl.   

Now, using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the currants and walnuts.   

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, and spread it evenly with a spatula.

Bake the cake until it is a light brown on top, springs back when lightly touched in the center, and is beginning to come away from the sides of the pan, about 38 – 40 minutes.

Place pan on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.  Then, invert, turn out and frost when completely cool.


While the cake is baking make the Brown Butter frosting and set aside.


1 stick unsalted Butter
3 cups powdered sugar
Scant 1/8  teaspoon salt (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3 to 4 tablespoons milk

Melt butter in 1-quart saucepan over medium heat. Continue cooking, while stirring constantly and watching closely, until butter just starts to turn golden brown (4 to 6 minutes). (Butter will get foamy and bubble.) Remove from heat. Cool completely.

Combine browned butter, powdered sugar, salt and vanilla in small bowl.  Beat at medium speed, gradually adding enough milk for desired spreading consistency.  (I am using a whisk attachment with an electric mixer)

Frost cooled cake.


This cake is most tender and spicy the day it is baked.  It is still delicious the next day, but the spices will mellow.  

Link for cookbook:

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