Crêpes (Gluten Free & Traditional)

crepe-plainThis is a guest post by my friend Al. We met in 1997 when his kids were wee babies – he was a customer of mine at the toy store. Fast forward twenty years, and now my kids call him ‘Uncle Al’.

Click here for Al’s Traditional Sweet Crêpes

Click here for Jessica’s Gluten Free Sweet Crêpes and Savory Crêpes

Click here for my guide to Gluten Free Prepared Foods

Dressed in our pinks and greens, my friend Lawrence and I made eye contact from across the stage as we anticipated our commander’s downbeat for the last tune of our mid day concert. We were in the square in downtown Brussels, and the encore for our show was always Glenn Miller’s “In the Mood”. This classic was very much expected by the European audiences attending concerts by the United States Air Force’s Army Air Corps Glenn Miller Band.  Our commander always kicked off this tune much too fast for our liking but today we didn’t mind as we had plans. Big, tasty, plans. After the last note was released, we enjoyed a standing ovation which brought a bittersweet tear to my eye. Not so much because it was likely the last concert I’d play on that square in Belgium, but because we had started a bit of a tradition to visit what we considered one of the finest creperies in all of Europe, and we knew today would our last visit. Both Lawrence and I had received our orders to return stateside. 

This cute little creperie was nestled into a corner along one of the small cobblestone streets about a block from the main square. At that time, the business was owned by a lady in her late 30s with a well defined entrepreneurial spirit.  She was very cordial, attractive, and just stern enough to remain focused on serving as many of her local patrons as she single-handedly could. Little did she know, that day my friend and I would test her resolve.

Upon our arrival we informed her that this would be our last visit to her creperie and placed our order. When served, we asked for her recipe, just as we have each and every visit in the past – to no avail.  Only this time, we let her know we would be returning to the United States soon. We wanted to continue enjoying what we considered one of life’s finer treats.  She said no… again. So we asked again, and again, and again. Annoyed, she finally said if you are going to stay here you need to order something else, so we did … and we did, and we did. Finally, EIGHTEEN crepes later she gave us the recipe and her local patrons applauded OUR resolve.

Since our return to the United States in the Summer of 1998, my family and I have enjoyed and sustained a newfound tradition of making crepes together every Sunday morning after church, and rarely missed an opportunity to do so for years.  Each of our four children grew up learning how to make the batter, eagerly starting when they were just tall enough to stand on a chair and reach over the counter.  Little did we know such a simple food would provide years and years of really enjoyable “together time” … not to mention the literally thousands of crepes we have cooked and shared with extended family and friends – here and abroad.

I would be remiss not to mention that although you can choose to fill these crepes with a wide variety of choices including fruit, nuts, cheeses, creams and sauces etc. etc.  we always come back to a simpler presentation with butter, cinnamon and sugar. Ironically, exactly what my friend Lawrence and I regularly ordered in Brussels.

 Bon Appétit. 

Christmas Pudding Part 1 (Stir Up Sunday!) (Gluten Free)

Stir Sunday Board

I sat in the Brit’s dimly lit dining room and leaned back against the upholstered chair. We started the evening in the sitting room munching on starters, sipping Trappist beer, listening to Mr. Brit’s HiFi at deafening volumes and exploring the differences in holiday music from across the pond. I adjusted the paper crown on my head and wondered if I could possibly eat any more. The food seemed endless. Turkey, stuffing, parsnips, sausages, rosemary potatoes, and on and on.

My thoughts were interrupted by Mrs. Brit entering the room with a domed-shaped cake-like edible on a plate. She poured spirits over the top and promptly lit it on fire. As the flames fluttered out, they exclaimed with a long “Hey!” and we joined in.

She served us the tiniest bit on a plate – about a tablespoon’s worth – and introduced the options of brandy butter or brandy sauce along side. I was slightly confused by the small amount on my plate. Can’t I have more? Why so little? Did she only have this bit left to share?

I gingerly took a wee bite on my fork and eagerly tasted it. WOW. This was unlike anything I had ever eaten before. This had all the notes of a fruit cake, but oh, so much better. Stronger. Tastier. It hit my taste buds like a steam roller and filled my mouth with a deep, blooming flavor. How was it possible that such a small bite had such a big impact? I immediately understood the serving size. So rich, so bold, I would only need a little before my already full stomach begged me to stop.

Since that fantastically British Christmas evening, Mrs. Brit has thoroughly educated me on the traditions of Christmas Pudding. The translations of ingredients, quirky preparation, lengthy days of steaming, the meaning of Stir Up Sunday… they all culminated to fill my new found holiday craving. She patiently took me through the whole process several years ago, and I have tweaked and adjusted since then. After all, Mrs. Brit says “there are as many recipes for Christmas Pudd as there are Brits.”

Here is mine, and I hope you take the time to make it as least once. Just be warned, it could be your new found holiday craving.

Stir Up Sunday is November 22nd this year. You have a week to gather the ingredients and work up the nerve. You can do it – I believe in you!

Stir Up Sunday Christmas Pudding Prep (Gluten Free)

Aunt Helen’s Sugar Cookies (Mystery Man Part 2)

Sugar Cookies 5

(You can catch Mystery Man Part 1 here).

Mystery Man and I started dancing together, and we danced a lot. Three to five evenings a week I would venture out of my tiny apartment around nine p.m. and head out to a local bar, restaurant or club to the designated ‘Swing Night’, usually returning well after one a.m. with my clothes damp from sweat and that feeling of calm after a good workout.

In between dances we would sit at a table, catch up on the day’s happenings and enjoy a drink. Gin and Tonic for him, Corona with a lime for me. The conversations were all over the place. Cooking, movies, our families, and dance steps were weekly topics. I was not par­ticularly attracted to Mystery Man and neither him to me. We were friends, dance partners, nothing more.

Valentine’s Day, February 2000. I was at my retail job on the closing shift and there was no swing dancing to be had that evening. That was fine with me, I was going home to crash since I had the tendency to burn the candle at both ends. I had no Valentine to speak of and had enough of the dating thing for a while. Besides, Valentine’s Day had never really been my thing, even as a kid I thought it was a pretty silly holiday.

The store was slow and I had sent most of the staff home. Shopping for educational toys on this holiday was not my clientele’s top priority. I was counting down to the end of my shift by fiddling with the cash register area. Straightening this, organizing that. The equivalent of cleaning your closet on a rainy day.

I felt a presence of someone entering the store and approaching. I looked up with my ‘can I help you’ look on my face and stared directly into Mystery Man’s eyes. On the counter sat a bouquet of sugar cookies. Wrapped in cellophane with sticks baked in, they were iced to resemble various flowers. Alongside the cookies was a small collection of heavy full-fat milk in three flavors. My favorite kind. He handed me a card, said “Happy Valentine’s Day”, and promptly left.

Shocked and a little flushed, I opened that card. It was a ‘friend’ card. No mention of love, not a hint of romance. Just a straight up, platonic, card. The redness in my face faded, and I tore into those cookies and milk to keep me energized through our closing routine, all the while trying earnestly to curb a little flutter in my stomach.

Since that day, every year on the fourteenth of February, Mystery Man visits that specialty cookie shop and brings me full fat, heavy milk. To be honest, the cookies have gone downhill since that first gift. Or maybe it is just the sweet memories that make me believe they were tasty. But in any case, I still eat them, then soon after that I get a hankering for my Aunt Helen’s sugar cookies.

I hope you make these for someone special, platonic or not.

Sugar Cookies Three Pics

Aunt Helen’s Sugar Cookies (pictured with Decorator’s Icing, recipe coming soon…)

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

3 eggs

1 cup sour cream

1 cup (two sticks) butter, softened

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon soda

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 cups sifted flour, plus more for rolling and cutting.

Preparation:

  • Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together the sugar and butter. (about 1-2 minutes)
  • Add the eggs, one at a time and combine on medium speed for about twenty seconds in between additions.
  • Add in the sour cream and vanilla, mixing until uniform on medium speed. Stop and scrape the bowl down with a rubber spatula two times.
  • In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, salt, and soda and add to the mixture to the mixer (on low speed) about 1 cup at a time. After all flour is added, mix until no streaks of flour.
  • Using about a baseball-worth of dough at a time, dust your work surface, dough ball, and rolling pin with flour. Roll out to about 1/8-1/4 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes and transfer to lined baking sheet (parchment paper or Silpat).
  • Cookies will spread a little, so don’t crowd them on the sheet pan too close together.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool for five minutes before transferring to wire rack.
  • Repeat with remaining dough.

NOTES:

  • Dough can be refrigerated for up to two days prior to use. Let stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes before rolling and cutting shapes.
  • The cookies pictured were decorated by: Put icing in a Zip-Lock bag and squeeze out all the air before sealing. Snip off one corner of the bag and pipe icing onto cookies as desired. (If the icing will not stick to the cookie, use a spritz bottle of water and lightly wet the surface of the cookie prior to icing.) Press cookies – icing side down – into bowls of colored sugar, sprinkles, or any other decorative items you desire.

Graycliff Chocolatier, Nassau Bahamas

I didn’t mean to leave you. Ok, I take that back. I did mean to leave but not until I published a few more posts. But (there is always a ‘but’ isn’t there?) somehow a trip to the Bahamas consumed my every thought from January 2nd until we boarded the plane to escape the dreary cold of the Midwest.

I baked and delivered, and baked some more. I caught up on laundry, packed my bag, stocked the house with food, laid out clothes for the kids, wrote a detailed note, and left my little people and husband behind. Before long I was boarding a cruise ship with five of my closest lady-friends for a short, but restful, weekend.

Chocolatier3

The first day we arrived in Nassau, Bahamas and promptly left the ship for (what turned out to be) a long walk to Graycliff Chocolatier. The only chocolate factory in the Bahamas, it is located on the Graycliff estate which also holds a five star restaurant, mansion hotel, pool cottage and cigar factory. Said to be built in 1740, the various buildings sprawl across a small cliff and little courtyards and gorgeous tropical gardens greet you at every turn. Being the curious bunch that we are, the short walk to the chocolatier was lengthened by stops and detours along the way to view various terraces, dining rooms, and outdoor gathering spaces.

The tiny chocolate shop smelled amazing, and looked even better. The cases were lined with perfectly formed candies containing wondrous flavors such as brandy, rum, caramel, pistachio and even bacon.

Chocolatier1

We were enthusiastically greeted by two ladies. Both local Bahamians, they were obviously (and rightfully) very proud of the shop and took us through a back door to the inner workings of the company. Our guide handed around disposable hospital-gown-looking garments for the tour and proceeded to give us a thorough introduction while we adjusted our new attire.

The chocolatier is located in a converted house. We wound our way through halls, passing storage rooms, dish tanks and an office, and finally arrived in the heart of the operation. Probably once a large great room, the walls were white, ceilings high, and machinery lined the walls and made an isle down the middle. Two employees stood working at various contraptions which spewed white chocolate in beautiful ribbons.

Our time in the main production room was brief and our next stop was to an adjacent room. One half contained three pieces of machinery for processing cocoa from the bean, and the other half was lined with tables with enough place settings for our group.

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This is when the real fun began! We were given a large cup of tempered chocolate and a mold embossed with the Graycliff logo. Following our guide’s directions, we polished the mold with cotton, then poured the chocolate. A plate was provided with generous helpings of granola, coconut, chocolate chips, sliced almonds and we added our favorite flavors to our own personal bar. A few thunks of the mold on the table, and they were set aside to cool.

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The rest of the chocolate was ours to be as creative as we wanted to be. I opted to make chocolate drops with various toppings.

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We were given a Graycliff cigar box to package our creations and our molds containing the graycliff bar were ready to be released.

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We had a fabulous time learning about the bean to bar process, getting messy with our own creations, and an even better time consuming them once back at home in the cold Midwest. With every bite I can feel the warmth of the ocean breeze, can hear the laughter of my girlfriends, and let my shoulders relax a little.

Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with Graycliff Chocolateir, nor have I been asked, paid or encouraged to write about it. It is simply a great little excursion I took while relaxing on a short vacation.

Chocolate Caramel Surprise Cookies (Plus BONUS Gluten Free Version)

Chocolate Caramel Surprise Cookies1

It was Independence Day and we were gearing up for our annual BBQ and Ka-Boom Party. It took me a while to get everything in order since fatigue would set in without notice. Once it was finally all set, I anxiously awaited our guests, especially Spunky Girl.

Mystery Man and I had been keep my pregnancy a secret, as most people do for the first trimester. But, she was the one friend that I looked forward to sharing my news, and I knew she would keep it quiet until I was ready.

Friends and neighbors started piling in. Family by family they handed me covered dishes, grabbed a cold drink, and headed out to the heat of the back deck to the smell of meat on the grill.

The moment Spunky Girl arrived we headed upstairs to my closest for our continuous exchange of borrowed clothes. I gave here my ‘I know something you don’t’ slanted grin. She took the bait and asked what was up. As I shared the news, suddenly, her face started to change. A ‘I know something you don’t’ slanted grin came over her.

“No!”

“Yes!”

Not only were we both keeping a secret, our due dates were within two weeks.

As we shared in the journey of pregnancy, we also shared our most lethal cravings. Spunky Girl brought these cookies to me and I was hooked with the first bite. You obviously do not have to be pregnant to enjoy, but if you crave a chocolaty, salty, caramel trifecta on occasion, these are your cure.

Keep scrolling for the Gluten Free option…

Chocolate Caramel Surprise Cookies

Makes 4 dozen

Ingredients:

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour, plus 1/4 cup
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 Heath bars, chopped, or 1 bag Heath chips (or skip the Heath topping and opt for salt flakes)
6 rolls Rollo Caramel Chewy candies

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • In a stand-mixer bowl, combine butter, brown sugar and 1 cup granulated sugar.. Mix on medium for about one minute or until mixture is fluffy, scraping down sides as needed.
  • Add eggs, one at a time. Then add vanilla. Scrape down bowl if needed.
  • In a medium bowl whisk together 2 1/2 cups flour, cocoa, and baking soda.
  • With the mixer on low, add flour mixture a small amount at a time making sure each addition is mixed in thoroughly before adding more. (if you have a splash guard for your mixer, now would be a great time to use it.)
  • Cover dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  • Place Heath pieces in a small bowl and mix with 1 tablespoon sugar.
  • Measure out chilled dough with a 2 tablespoon cookie scoop. Wrap each portion around a Rollo candy, totally encasing the candy with the dough and rolling it into a ball.
  • Press each ball into the Heath mixture, covering just 1/2 of the ball (or sprinkle the top with a bit of salt.)
  • Place three inches apart on a cookie sheet, Heath, or salt, side up.
  • Bake 7-10 minutes. Cookies should look cracked and slightly undercooked in the center.
  • Allow cookies to cool five minutes before transferring to a rack. (This is important – if you place them on the rack too soon, the caramel will run out the bottom and through the rack onto your counter.)

NOTES: Can be transformed into a chocolate/mint cookie by substituting mint Hershey kisses for the Rollos, and crushed candy canes for the Heath topping.

GLUTEN FREE Chocolate Caramel Surprise Cookies

Makes 2 dozen

Ingredients:

12 ounces semi sweet chocolate (chips, or chopped)
4 ounces gluten free flour blend**
3/4 ounce unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
5 1/4 ounces (3/4 cup packed) light brown sugar
1 3/4 ounces (1/4 cup) granulated sugar
2 eggs
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted, then slightly cooled)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
2 Heath bars, chopped, or 1 bag Heath chips (or skip the Heath topping and opt for salt flakes)
(Check your Heath bar label for gluten contents!)
3  rolls Rollo Caramel Chewy* candies

* Although Rollo Caramel Chewy candies are not labeled gluten free, the ingredient list does not reflect any gluten. As always, do your own research for gluten free items and substitute accordingly.

**Gluten Free Flour Blend

24 ounces white rice flour (4 ½ cups, plus 1/3 cup) (one bag of Bob’s Red Mill brand)
7 ½ ounces brown rice flour (1 2/3 cups)
7 ounces potato starch (not potato flour) (1 1/3 cup)
3 ounces tapioca starch (also called tapioca flour) (3/4 cup)
¾ ounce nonfat milk powder (3 tablespoons)

Preparation:

  • Microwave semisweet chocolate in a bowl at 50 percent power, thirty second sessions, until melted (stirring between sessions). Let cool slightly.
  • In a separate bowl whisk together measured flour blend, cocoa, baking soda, salt and xanthan gum, set aside.
  • In a large bowl whisk together brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, oil, melted butter, vanilla, and espresso powder.
  • Whisk in slightly cooled chocolate. Combine until smooth.
  • With rubber spatula, incorporate the flour mixture until a sticky dough forms and no white streaks are left behind.
  • Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rest for 30 minutes.
    (Do not short change the resting period of the dough, or the cookies will be slightly gritty and not as chewy.)
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Measure out chilled dough with a 2 tablespoon cookie scoop. I find applying vegetable spray to the scoop helps keep the dough from sticking. Wrap each portion around a Rollo candy, totally encasing the candy with the dough and rolling it into a ball.
  • Press each ball into the Heath mixture, covering just 1/2 of the ball (or sprinkle the top with a bit of salt.)
  • Place three inches apart on a cookie sheet, Heath, or salt, side up.
  • Bake 12-14 minutes. Cookies should look cracked and slightly undercooked in the center.
  • Allow cookies to cool five minutes before transferring to a rack. (This is important – if you place them on the rack too soon, the caramel will run out the bottom and through the rack onto your counter.)

NOTES: Can be transformed into a chocolate/mint cookie by substituting mint Hershey kisses for the Rollos, and crushed candy canes for the Heath topping. Again, check any substitutions for gluten contents.

Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce

Bread Pudding

I anxiously waited while peeking out the eat-in kitchen window. The drapes where brown and white and I would wrap them around my face and exhale on the window, making small moist spots, and watch them disappear. She always came to pick us up on Friday afternoons. I can’t remember a Friday in my childhood that her car didn’t climb the gravel driveway, and I didn’t bound to the back door to let her in. Grandma was taking us for a sleepover.

Our first stop would be dinner. One of our favorite places was a little green and white building in town along the route to her house. Empire Restaurant. My sister and I would fight over who got to sit by her, order soda, because we were never allowed soda otherwise, and I insisted on the fried fish with french fries. Again.

The end of dinner was always the same. “Eat more of your fish and you can have bread pudding”.  “No, I said fish, not french fries. You have to eat the fish.” I would do anything for the bread pudding and she knew it.

Unfortunately, Empire closed it’s doors and it would be years before the taste of perfect bread pudding would cross my mouth again. There were glimmers of hope along the way. A Mom and Pop cafe here, a chain restaurant there. I would see it on the menu and get all giddy with the excitement, then the let-down would come. Mushy, tasteless, drowned in too much sauce. It was never the same.

One day R & S called and invited us out to a neighborhood pub. We had been there before and I had seen the teaser of bread pudding on the menu, but had lost all hope and declined to order it time and time again. R & S insisted it was all that bread pudding was supposed to be, and who was I to argue – they are British after all. So, I took a chance.

The fork passed my lips and I suddenly felt like a child again, and for a moment I panicked because I hadn’t finished all my fish.

 

I found this recipe after our local Pub closed and I was missing this dessert. A extensive search for that recipe turned up an article written in the early nineties and there it was! I have since made a few changes, and the Pub’s other locations no longer serve it with this sauce. 

Bread Pudding

Ingredients:

1 loaf Challah bread, cubed (about 9 cups)

1/2 lb butter (2 sticks)

3 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 cup Light Brown Sugar

1 can evaporated milk (12 fl. oz.)

1 1/4 Cup Sugar

1 Small Can Crushed Pineapple (8 oz, do not drain)

3 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract

1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg

¾ cup chopped walnuts (optional)

 

Topping:

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Combine topping in a small bowl. Set aside.

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  • Reserve 2 cups of bread cubes, set aside.
  • Using two baking sheets, spread remaining bread cubes in one single layer.
  • Toast in oven for 15 minutes, tossing once half way through, and rotating baking sheets to opposite racks.
  • Place in a large bowl, set aside to cool.
  • Melt the butter and pour over bread cubes.
  • In a medium bowl combine all remaining ingredients and pour over bread crumbs. Stir gently with a rubber spatula and let stand for ten minutes.
  • Pour mixture into well-buttered 8”x11” baking dish.
  • Spread reserved bread cubes over top, slightly pressing them in. Sprinkle sugar topping evenly over the pudding.
  • Bake for 40 to 50 minutes until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Cool for a minimum of 20 minutes before serving with Bourbon Sauce.

 

Bourbon Sauce

Ingredients:

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

1/2 cup sugar

3 tablespoons whipping cream

2 tablespoons bourbon

Pinch of salt

Preparation:

  • Melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat.
  • Whisk in remaining ingredients.
  • Simmer until thickened, whisking often, about 3 minutes.
  • Cool slightly and add bourbon. Serve over warm Bread Pudding.

Spiced Applesauce Snack Cake (Gluten Free)

Applesauce Cake

I often wonder why pumpkins get all the glory in the fall. Maybe it’s because the green mermaid company started squirting the flavor in everything, or maybe it goes all the way back to that little cartoon-kid and his obsession with the ‘great’ one. However it started, I find it disheartening that the ‘other’ fall flavor doesn’t get much credit.

Growing up at the farm house, my spring, summer, and fall were filled with visions of apple blossoms, bees, buds, and finally tiny round green promises that I watched grow into big beauties.

In the fall our lawn was never mowed in the straight lines and patterns that I so often enjoyed creating on the John Deere. Instead, there where zigzags. Swaths of grass cut on strange angles were evidence of my trips back and forth to the tree line so I could pick another snack off a low branch. The neighbor’s horse benefited, too. A handful of imperfect apple always made it across the fence to old JoAnn as I roared by.

We had many varieties of trees. Early apples, mid-season, and late, we were rarely without the fruit from August through October. This translates to a lot of apple recipes in my family. Here is one of the most recent – don’t let the Gluten Free label put you off, it will surprise you, and delight you. Maybe we can all work together and give the apple her glory days back.

John Deere

Spiced Applesauce Snack Cake

Ingredients

7 ½ ounces gluten free flour blend*

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon xanthan gum

3 large eggs

½ cup granulated sugar (3 ½ ounces)

¼ cup light brown sugar (packed) (1 ¾ ounces)

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon cloves

4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled

¾ cup applesauce (unsweetened)

1 teaspoon vanilla

(Optional – local apple butter for topping.)

*Gluten Free Flour Blend

24 ounces white rice flour (4 ½ cups, plus 1/3 cup) (one bag of Bob’s Red Mill brand)

7 ½ ounces brown rice flour (1 2/3 cups)

7 ounces potato starch (not potato flour) (1 1/3 cup)

3 ounces tapioca starch (also called tapioca flour) (3/4 cup)

¾ ounce nonfat milk powder (3 tablespoons)

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and set oven rack in the center position.

Lightly grease one 8 inch square cake pan, or two bread loaf pans. Cut parchment paper to fit the bottom of pan(s) and line the bottoms. Lightly grease parchment as well.

Whisk together gluten free flour blend, baking powder, baking soda and xanthan gum in a small bowl. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl (do not use stand mixer for this recipe) whisk eggs, sugars, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves until well combined and eggs are light in color. Slowly add melted butter while whisking until combined. Incorporate apple sauce and vanilla. Last, add the dry flour mixture and thoroughly combine. Mixture should be smooth.

Pour batter into prepared pan(s). Bake until cake tester comes out clean – about 30 minutes – rotating pan(s) half way through baking time.

Cool completely before storing. Cake can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored for up to three days in the refrigerator.