2 cups Basic Applesauce (recipe below) or store-bought chunky applesauce
Nonstick cooking spray
Confectioners' sugar optional
3 lbs. apples cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1 cinnamon stick
2 to 4 tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup water
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cardamom. Set aside.
In another bowl, with an electric mixer, beat butter, brown sugar, and honey until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture; beat just until combined. Beat in applesauce.
Generously coat a nonstick 9-inch tube pan with cooking spray. Spoon batter into pan; smooth top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean (but slightly wet), 50 to 60 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack 10 minutes. Turn out of pan onto a cutting board or baking sheet; invert cake onto rack, top side up. Cool completely. Dust with confectioners' sugar before serving, if desired.
Basic Applesauce: Peel, core, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices 3 pounds apples (try a combination of Gala, Golden Delicious, and McIntosh). In a large saucepan, combine apples with 1 cinnamon stick, 2 to 4 tablespoons sugar, and 3/4 cup water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until apples are tender, 30 to 35 minutes. (If sauce begins to stick to the bottom of the pan, add 2 to 4 tablespoons more water.)
Remove from heat; discard cinnamon stick. Stir in 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice.