Applesauce-Raisin-Nut Bread

This recipe was printed in the Winston-Salem Journal in the fall of 2007; I clipped it and saved it because it was a prize-winning cake recipe submitted by a friend's mother-in-law.  I've made a few alterations (like cutting down on the amount of sugar the cake calls for, and using whole eggs instead of egg substitute - these changes are reflected in the recipe below).  But I would like to give a shout-out to Mrs. Balser, wherever you are these days ... I love your recipe, and have stocked up a couple dozen hearty and healthy muffins to help welcome Baby #2!  I mean, I've stocked up on muffins to help keep me from dying of hunger in the middle of the night ... 

Makes 2 large loaves or 36 muffins

2 3/4 c. all-purpose flour (or 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour and 1 1/4 c. whole wheat flour)
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
2 Tbsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cloves
1 3/4 c. unsweetened applesauce
1 c. raisins
1 1/4 c. plain yogurt
2 large eggs
1/3 c. vegetable oil
1 c. chopped walnuts

Stir the raisins into the applesauce to plump.  Set aside.  (This can be done up to a day in advance and left in the refrigerator).
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Grease and flour two large loaf pans, one 12-cup Bundt pan, or prepare muffin tins with 36 muffin liners.
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, salt, and cloves.  Add applesauce and raisins, yogurt, eggs, oil, and walnuts; stir until thoroughly blended.  Pour into prepared pans.
Bake 50-60 minutes (for loaves or Bundt pan) or 15-20 minutes (for muffins), or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool in pans 15 minutes.  Remove to a wire rack.  Cool completely.
If desired, frost with Cream Cheese frosting (recipe below) and sprinkle with ground walnuts.

Cream Cheese Frosting
Whip 3 ounces room temperature cream cheese until smooth.  Add 1/4 cup room temperature butter and mix thoroughly.  Add 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar.  Beat until smooth.

Yes!  One more thing on the to-do list DONE!  That feels good.

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