Servings: Makes about 18 servings
Ingredients 1 cup dried currants1/3 cup brandy3 cups flour2 teaspoons ground cinnamon2 teaspoons ground allspice1/2 teaspoon ground cloves1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda1/2 teaspoon salt8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter , softened1/2 cup vegetable shortening2 cups sugar3 eggs1 teaspoon vanilla1 jar (16 ounces) unsweetened applesauceSifted confectioners' sugar , for garnishWhipped cream , optional
Preheat oven to 325°. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans and line bottoms with waxed paper or parchment paper. Butter paper and dust pans with flour, knocking out excess.
In a small saucepan over low flame, heat currants and brandy until currants are plumped, about 3 minutes, then cool.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, beat butter, shortening and sugar with an electric mixer until well-combined. Add in eggs and vanilla. With mixer on low speed, alternately beat in flour mixture and applesauce in 3 batches. Fold in currants with brandy.
Divide batter between cake pans and bake in middle of oven until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on a rack 15 minutes. Invert onto rack and cool to warm or room temperature. Top with confectioners' sugar and serve with softly whipped cream, if desired. (Cakes keep, covered, at cool room temperature 4 days.)
303.5 calories, 11 grams fat, 5.5 grams saturated fat, 14 mg of cholesterol, 218 mg sodium, 47.4 grams carbohydrate, 1.5 grams fiber, 2.6 grams protein