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Applesauce Groom's Cake

Many mixers can't handle the amount of batter for this cake, so you will need to prepare two batches. You can make them separately and combine in the baking pans.

  • Servings: 50

Source: Martha Stewart Weddings, Summer 2003


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
  • 2 cups superfine sugar, plus more for pans
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups chunky applesauce
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons Calvados (a French apple-flavored brandy) or brandy
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and very thinly sliced
  • Cream-Cheese Filling
  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
  • Apple Chips, for garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter three 12-by-2-inch round cake pans. Line bottoms with parchment paper, and butter parchment. Dust with superfine sugar, and tap out any excess. Set the pans aside.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and superfine sugar on medium speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating 2 minutes after each. Add applesauce; beat to combine.
  4. Fold in flour mixture and pecans. Fold in vanilla, Calvados, and apple slices. Divide batter evenly among prepared pans. Use a spatula to smooth surfaces.
  5. Bake cakes until they spring back when touched, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Transfer cakes to a wire rack to cool completely, about 1 1/2 hours. Gently run a knife around the outer edge of the cakes; invert cakes onto rack, then place them right side up on cardboard rounds. Wrap cakes in plastic wrap if not using immediately.

To assemble the cake:

  1. Using a serrated knife, trim tops of two cake layers to make level. Place one trimmed layer on a serving platter. Spread half the cream-cheese filling over cake. Place other trimmed layer on top (remove cardboard after lifting cake), and spread with remaining filling. Top with third layer, removing cardboard.
  2. Place stencil on cake; gently sift confectioners' sugar to completely fill cutouts. Carefully lift stencil off cake. Place apple chips in center for garnish.

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