Applesauce and a small amount of oil make this a tender, moist cake with just a handful of ingredients. Served on its own, this bread makes a great addition to a brunch spread. Add cream cheese frosting, and it’s a dessert that’s easy enough for a weeknight.
About 15 minutes before cooking, combine applesauce, egg, and egg yolk in a small mixing bowl.
Let them sit out at room temperature. (Note: This is especially important if your applesauce has been in the refrigerator. Using room temperature applesauce and eggs will insure that the cake cooks evenly.)
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Spray an 8”x8” baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, and salt until very well combined.
To the bowl with the applesauce and eggs, whisk in brown sugar, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract until well combined.
Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and stir with a spatula just until combined (be careful not to overmix; a lighter touch here will lead to a more tender, moist cake).
Stir in any of the optional add-ins.
Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake until the center of the cake is just set and edges are light golden brown, 28 to 30 minutes. (Note: If you added chopped apples to the cake, it may take up to 5 minutes longer to cook through since the apples may release moisture into the cake as it cooks.)
Let cake cool completely in the pan. Slice and serve.
I usually slice this small 8”x8”cake into 16 squares that are perfect for snacks or to pack in lunches. You can also slice it into 9 more generous dessert-sized portions.