Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Ease of Travel with Gluten-free Applesauce Cake

Hi, all. My new blog day is Wednesday, so here I am. I'm so sorry that Elizabeth Craig aka Riley has left our group, but as she said last week, a woman can only do so much!

I hope you'll embrace me on Wednesdays!

Over the last week, I travelled across the country. Because I need to eat gluten-free and it's not all that easy to find gluten-free homemade treats while on the road, before I leave home, I usually cook up a batch of either gluten-free banana bread or applesauce cake. They're so easy to make and they stay moist for an entire week (in or out of the refrigerator). I love the flavor of the spices. With a cup of coffee, a slice of this cake (or a cupcake) is divine.

Now, some of you might know, having seen all the photos that I posted on Facebook, that I was in New Orleans to attend a conference that my husband dragged me to. (Yeah, ha!  Dragged. NOT!)  What fun we had. New Orleans is a fabulous city. One of the most famous places there is Cafe du Monde. I was able to have the coffee and hot chocolate but not their renowned beignets. Instead, I brought along my applesauce cake and had a grand old time.  (It never dawned on me to ask the cafe folks for a side of powdered sugar. Duh! Next time...)

While in the city, I had the great pleasure of seeing my son and DIL. They live in New York but came down for the football game.
My son Jackson with proud "mom"

We had a great time, touring the city, going to the museums. Seeing the resilience of the people during Hurricane Katrina. Seeing the Preservation Hall Band instruments. Visiting cemeteries and seeing some famous crypts.

Doesn't this remind you of the movie: Double Jeopardy?

The crypt for Marie Leveau, the famous "queen" of voodoo. 

Nicholas Cage has his own crypt, inspired by his National Treasure movies.

I have to admit that seeing a number of empty or decayed tombs, some hollowed out and adorned with voodoo candles inspired me with an idea that would make a great movie starring Sandra Bullock. Now if only I could get access to her.

Anyway, back to food.  I hope you enjoy this applesauce cake as much as I did. And I hope, sometime in your lifetime, you can get to New Orleans. The history is so rich!



         1/2 cup safflower oil
         1 cup sugar
         1 egg plus 1 egg white
         1 cup chilled applesauce
         2 cups GF flour
         ½ teaspoon Xantham gum
         1 teaspoon baking soda
         1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
         1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
         1/2 cup raisins if desired
       cream cheese frosting, if desired


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix oil, sugar, eggs, applesauce. Add GF flour, xantham gum, baking soda, spices (and raisins if desired). Don’t overmix.

Pour into cupcake molds (about ½ to 2/3 full – any more and you have a mess at the top, any less and you’ll have to make do with a wimpy cupcake).

Bake for 18-22 minutes, testing at 18 with a toothpick to see if they are done.

Frost with cream cheese frosting, if desired. * 

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING LINK: [note this is on the same page with Candy Cane Cookies]

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  1. I want to try to do less gluten. Therefore I will be adding and trying this soon!

  2. Many welcomes!

    I haven't been to New Orleans for a long time, and not since Katrina. But I may blame the city for my conversion to a foodie. During college I and a batch of friends visited a friend whose family lived there, in a lovely Victorian on St. Charles St. Her parents were the ideal hosts: they fed us. A lot. And they took us to restaurants. There was one day when we ate eight times--I counted!

  3. Shawn, I know lots of people who simply feel better eating less gluten and it doesn't meant they're allergic. They might be intolerant and eating less of it helps. I used to think that, with my sensitive stomach, a plate of pasta with butter sounded good and soothing. Little did I know that I was feeding the problem.



  4. Sheila, you are so right. Eating and drinking are major pastimes in New Orleans. Seeing as I was there for the football game week, there were people partying hearty all the time. At every street corner, every pub, in the squares. Food, more food. Delicious food. I was lucky enough to eat at Commander's Palace and the meal was divine. And gluten-free because the chef paid particular attention. Yum!


  5. Avery, if we wanted to make this with regular flour, would it still be two cups of flour and omit the xanathan gum?

    What a fun vacation. Love the picture of proud mama and son!

    ~ Krista

  6. Krista, good question. Yes, yes, yes. Just omit the Xanthan gum and make it regular flour. It'll still be the same thing. That's the beauty of gluten-free. It's not that hard to make it "safe."


  7. Enjoyed the post Avery--I love New Orleans food though I haven't been back since Katrina either. So sorry you had to miss the beignets!!! There is a wonderful book by Julia Reed called The House on First Street (I think that's the title) about rebuilding a home after the hurricane. She's a food writer and you will be hungry all the way through...

  8. Lucy, isn't that the fun of goodie books? It's like two books in one -cooking and a mystery !!

    Loved your post on Dollycas today. Lori's Corner.

  9. Now I'm definitely moving New Orleans up to my bucket list. I want to do the cemetery tour and dance following the band.

  10. Dru, I've with you. That seems like it would be one of the most inspiring and moving moments. Bands were playing all over the city at every hour!


  11. Love, love, love Nola!!!
    And welcome to Wednesdays, Avery!

    ~ Cleo