Applesauce muffins, breads and cakes usually share some ratio of clove, cinnamon, ginger and allspice. Many cooks just add whatever measurements called for in the recipe, but Kathy Hester, author of “The Easy Vegan Cookbook: Make Healthy Home Cooking Practically Effortless” (Page Street Publishing, $21.99), reminds us in this applesauce cake recipe that you can add more or less of any of them, depending on your preference. In this vegan cake, for instance, you can add more ginger to make a more gingerbread–like bread.

Applesauce cake from “The Easy Vegan.” Photo by Ann Oliverio.

You can’t build a gingerbread house with it, but it’s a good treat to have on hand if you have guests coming to town this fall.

Applesauce Spice Cake

1 cup applesauce
1/3 cup oil
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1 cup coconut or regular sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. ground ginger
3/4 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. plus 1/8 tsp. ground cloves

Heat the oven to 350 degrees and oil a tall 9-inch cake pan. Mix the wet ingredients together in a large measuring cup. Mix the dry ones together in a medium-sized bowl.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry until just combined. Scrape out the batter into the cake or loaf pan and bake until a fork comes out clean in the middle, about 45 minutes. Serves 10.

— From “The Easy Vegan Cookbook: Make Healthy Home Cooking Practically Effortless” by Kathy Hester (Page Street Publishing, $21.99)