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That's one satisfying loaf, right there. You could make breakfast, snacks, or even a modest dessert of it. It's a gently sweetened number that's generously spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg.

That combination ensures this cake is ready to take on a top layer of crunchy little pepitas and a nice sprinkle of turbinado before baking. Together, they make for a fabulous and effortless finishing touch.

Cut a thick slice and enjoy the simple sugar-and-spice combination as it is, or since the loaf isn't terribly sweet on its own, feel free to smear on a little jam to add a burst of fruit.

Spiced Applesauce Cake with Brown Sugar-Pepita Topping

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8 oz all-purpose flour (app. 1 2/3 cups)

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 TBSP ground cinnamon

1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/2 cup canola or other neutral-tasting veg oil

1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk

1/3 cup natural cane sugar (evaporated cane juice)

2 TBSP turbinado

2 TBSP raw hulled pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

Heat oven to 325.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.

Whisk together applesauce, oil, milk, and 1/3 cup sugar. Add wet to dry and mix until just combined. Batter will be thick.

Scrape batter into a nonstick 9x5 loaf pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle pepitas evenly over the top. Repeat with turbinado. Bake 45 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Let cool 20 minutes in the pan on a wire rack. Loosen sides with a plastic spatula, carefully remove from pan, and let cool completely on rack.