Spanish Bar Cake

Spanish Bar Cake

I grew up in Michigan, and my mom was an A&P shopper. Sure, there were other grocery stores in town, but it was the A&P for staples. Every so often a little treat would find its way home in the grocery bags, and my favorite was a little snack cake called Spanish Bar Cake. It came in individual or family size, and I loved it when I’d have one of the little ones all to myself, no sharing with the brothers. It was better than any other snack cake ever.

Alas, the A&P went out of business, and so that cake was lost to me. Lost, that is, until I decided I had to make something that would match my taste memories. This is an applesauce spice cake with a little secret: a bit of cocoa powder to deepen the flavor and the color. The original had two layers, but I prefer a simple one-layer snack cake in a 13×9 size.

Oh, yes – you can halve the ingredients to make an 8×8 version, but I’m thinking you’ll regret that once the last piece is gone.

 

 

preparation

Heat oven to 350˚F. Grease a 9-inch x 13-inch pan. Get out a big mixing bowl.

 

one-bowl dump and mix

Put the dry ingredients in the bowl first, and stir well to mix them. Add the oil, applesauce, and eggs; beat until well combined. Add the raisins last, and stir them to distribute them evenly.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake at 350˚ 35-40 minutes. A toothpick inserted toward the center of the cake should come out without any crumbs.

Let the cake cool on a rack.

 

icing

The cake must be completely cool before you put icing on it (buttercream will melt on a warm cake!) A quick check: if you can rest the cake pan on your open palm and it doesn’t feel warm, the cake is cool enough.

Mash the butter, add powdered sugar (if you’re feeling fancy sift the sugar first). Add vanilla extract, beat again. We prefer a thin glaze, rather than a thick coat of frosting. If you like a fluffier thicker frosting, double the amount.

 

 

Spanish Bar Cake 2

Spanish Bar Cake

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cake, applesauce, spice, spanish bar
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 18 servings
A moist applesauce spice cake, studded with raisins.
Print Recipe

Ingredients

FOR THE CAKE

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • cups granulated sugar
  • tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp natural cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup plump raisins

FOR THE ICING

  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

FOR THE CAKE

  • Heat oven to 350˚F. Grease a 9-inch x 13-inch pan. Get out a big mixing bowl.
  • Put the dry ingredients in the bowl first, and stir well to mix them. Add the oil, applesauce, and eggs; beat until well combined. Add the raisins last, and stir them to distribute them evenly.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake at 350˚ 35-40 minutes. A toothpick inserted toward the center of the cake should come out without any crumbs.
  • Let the cake cool on a rack.

FOR THE ICING

  • The cake must be completely cool before you put icing on it (buttercream will melt on a warm cake!) A quick check: if you can rest the cake pan on your open palm and it doesn’t feel warm, the cake is cool enough.
  • Mash the butter, add powdered sugar (if you’re feeling fancy sift the sugar first).
    Add vanilla extract, beat again.
    We prefer a thin glaze, rather than a thick coat of frosting. If you like a fluffier thicker frosting, double the amount.

Notes

NOTE: for a smaller cake, cut all ingredients in half, and bake in an 8x8 pan

6 Comments

  1. First time I made it I loved it! I’m along it again tonight. It’s the besssst!

  2. Made this cake, it’s like a carrot cake without the carrots. Not sure about the cake tin size, is this imperial or metric. I cooked it in a loaf tin, 9 cm x 13cm and it took almost 1 hour to cook, so I think it may be inches, as there is excessive topping.

    • You’re right that 9×13 is measured in inches! I’ll amend the recipe to note that clearly. Thanks for finding this omission!

  3. The cake sounds (and looks) delicious!

  4. Love this recipe. Haven’t had this cake for years, but I’ve always loved it. Thank you.

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Welcome

I’m Maurita Plouff, and I write about cooking and preserving the local harvest in Southeast Michigan. Any recipe you find here is something I have cooked myself, and enjoyed, and think you might like too. I invite you to try the recipes, and leave comments.

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