1 Preheat oven, prepare pan: Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease an 8-inch square baking pan, and then line with parchment to create a sling.
2 Combine dry ingredients: In a medium bowl, vigorously whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Set aside.
3 Make the batter: In a separate bowl using an electric mixer or in a stand mixer, beat butter until light. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating to incorporate after each addition. Add the vanilla and the applesauce and beat until smooth.
Mix in half of the dry ingredients. Just before they are blended, add the thinned yogurt (or buttermilk). Then mix in the rest of the dry ingredients and the nuts and raisins, until completely incorporated. Do not over-mix.
5 Bake: Pour out the batter into your prepared cake pan. Place in the middle rack of the 375°F oven and bake for 25-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. The cake should spring back when touched.
6 Cool: Remove the cake from the oven. Let cool for 15 minutes. Lift the cake from the pan using the parchment and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Frost with cream cheese frosting and sprinkle with some walnuts, if you like, or serve it plain.
The cake can be stored back inside the pan, or in an airtight container.
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