Combine first five ingredients and mix well. If you use sweetened applesauce, you can just reduce the sugar. I use sweetened applesauce and the same amount of sugar usually.
Combine the flour and spices and mix into the wet ingredients.
Fold in the fruit and nuts. I tend to use more than a cup of fruit and I like a mixture of craisins, golden raisins and chopped dates but it is also good with candied cherries or dried apricots.
Mix the 2 teaspoons of baking soda into the 1/2 cup of boiling water and add to the cake mixture and mix well.
Grease and flour your pan well or line with parchment or foil and grease. Bake in a bundt, large loaf or tube pan at 350 degrees for an hour to an hour and 10 or 15 minutes. It will test done when it is done. You can make it as muffins or in mini loaf pans but you will want to reduce baking time. Cool 10-15 minutes in the pan (longer for stoneware) and dump out onto cooling rack.