Sweet, tender and incredibly moist, our Applesauce Cake is super easy to put together and is a hit every time! Family pleasing and potluck perfect! Serve with our luscious frosting or simply top with powdered sugar!

A single serving of Applesauce Cake with frosting and chopped pecans on top, on a saucer

There is something about my applesauce cake recipe that makes me feel all warm and cozy inside. Perhaps it’s the way the house fills with the smell of cinnamon, cloves and a light note of apples whenever it’s in the oven. These scents signal the arrival of chilly mornings spent on the porch in an oversized sweatshirt, drinking my morning cup of coffee and watching the breeze gently blow crunchy, colorful leaves to the ground. Sigh.

My easy applesauce cake is made from scratch but is incredibly simple to put together. Top it with our almost sinfully sweet, luscious frosting or serve a less sweet, simplified version by just adding a sprinkle of powdered sugar.  If you’re on the hunt for apple recipes based on a cake mix, try my Apple Dump Cake! Quick and very appley!

WHAT I LOVE MOST ABOUT THIS RECIPE:

  • This cake is divinely moist!
  • Loaded with raisins and nuts.
  • Can be topped with powdered sugar or yummy thick frosting!

What Is Applesauce Cake?

An oh-so-tasty cake from scratch, applesauce cake is a perfect addition to the end of almost any meal. Flour and sugar are the base ingredients here, and the addition of applesauce not only gives this cake its name but plays a huge part in its moistness. Many people are familiar with Amish applesauce cake, and it’s a common dessert to find for sale at your local farmers market. While you do get a light apple taste from this cake, the flavors that will really linger are the spices. Cinnamon, allspice, and clove will dance around on your taste buds with every bite of my super moist applesauce cake!

SAVE THIS APPLESAUCE CAKE

TO YOUR CAKE OR DESSERT BOARD FOR LATER

LET’S BE FRIENDS ON PINTEREST! WE’RE ALWAYS PINNING TASTY RECIPES!

A forkful of Applesauce Cake, closeup

What Ingredients Do You Need For Applesauce Cake?

Applesauce, definitely applesauce! Oh, and a few other things that you probably already have in your pantry. Did I mention how easy this applesauce cake is? Water, butter, eggs, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, flour, salt and brown sugar make up the bulk of the batter, while cinnamon, cloves, and allspice add delicious flavor punches. Beloved snack staples, pecans and raisins, bring it all together. The frosting adds a bit of decadence and is made up of butter, brown sugar, cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla.

Ingredients for the cake:

Prepared ingredients for Applesauce Cake

How To Make Applesauce Cake:

My recipe for applesauce cake is very straightforward and falls into the category of a good old-fashioned applesauce cake. Preheat, spray the pan and set aside. Soak your raisins, and create your typical cake butter mixture of sugar, butter, and eggs. Whisk together all dry ingredients, and add to the butter mix alternating with applesauce and a half a cup of water. Fold in pecans and drained raisins…bake! Cakes from scratch do not get any easier than this. There are a variety of ways to make applesauce cake, such as in a loaf or flute pan like Betty Crocker applesauce cake. However, a 9×13 sheet pan is simple, well presented, in short a great choice. Baking for a larger crowd? Make my Caramel Apple Sheet Cake, too! It’s the best of a caramel apple and a cake all in one!

Here’s how to make the cake…

Step By Step How To Make Applesauce Cake

Step By Step Overview: How To Make Applesauce Cake:

1. Place raisins in a cup of hot water. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
3. Add eggs. Mix until well combined.
4. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, allspice, clove, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and brown sugar.
5. Add flour mixture to butter mixture, alternately with applesauce and 1/2 cup water. Mix until evenly combined.
6. Drain raisins and discard the soaking water.
7. Add raisins to the batter.
8. Fold pecans into the batter.
9. Pour batter into prepared baking dish. Bake. Cool completely.

Ingredients for the frosting:

Prepared ingredients for Applesauce Cake Frosting

Here’s how to make the frosting…

Step By Step How To Make Applesauce Cake Frosting

Step By Step Overview: How To Make Frosting

  1. In a mixing bowl, put the brown sugar, heavy cream, vanilla, and salt.
  2. Mix with a hand-held electric mixer on medium speed until well combined.
  3. Reduce the mixer to low speed and slowly add powder sugar.
  4. Mix until combined. Increase speed and beat until light and fluffy. Spread it over the completely cooled cake.
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A single serving of Applesauce Cake with frosting and chopped pecans on top, on a saucer
5 from 1 vote
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Grandma's Apple Sauce Cake

Sweet, tender and incredibly moist, our applesauce cake is super easy to put together and is a hit every time! Family pleasing and Potluck perfect!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 16 people
Calories 482 kcal
Author Kathleen

Ingredients

For The Cake:

  • 1 Cup Hot Water
  • 3/4 Cups Raisins
  • 1/2 Cup Butter, At Room Temperature
  • 2 Large Eggs, Lightly Beaten
  • 2 Cups Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 Teaspoons Cinnamon
  • 1 Teaspoon Allspice
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Cloves
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoons Salt
  • 1 1/2 Cups Dark Brown Sugar, Firmly Packed
  • 1 1/2 Cups Applesauce
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 1 1/2 Cups Pecans Chopped

For The Frosting:

  • 1 1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter, At Room Temperature
  • 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar, Packed
  • 3 Tablespoons Heavy Cream
  • 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 3 Cups Confectioners Sugar, Sifted

Instructions

For The Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9X13 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

  2. Place raisins and 1 cup hot water in a small bowl; set aside.

  3. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and mix until combined.

  4. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour cinnamon, allspice, clove, baking powder, baking soda, salt and brown sugar.

  5. Add flour mixture to butter mixture, alternately with applesauce and 1/2 cup water. Mix until evenly combined.

  6. Drain raisins and discard the soaking water; fold into batter with the pecans

  7. Pour batter into prepared baking dish. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45-50 minutes. Place pan on a wire rack and cool completely.

For The Frosting:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, brown sugar, heavy cream, vanilla, and salt with a hand-held electric mixer on medium speed until well combined.

  2. Reduce the mixer to low speed and slowly add powder sugar, mixing until combined. Increase speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Assembly:

  1. When cake is completely cooled, sprinkle with powdered sugar or frost with frosting.

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Nutritional Information

Nutrition information will vary based on the specific products. To be safe, check the nutrition facts labels of your products. Optional object listed above have been left out of nutritional data.

Nutrition Facts
Grandma's Apple Sauce Cake
Amount Per Serving (16 slices)
Calories 482 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 18%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 47mg 16%
Sodium 252mg 11%
Potassium 188mg 5%
Total Carbohydrates 95g 32%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 76g
Protein 3g 6%
Vitamin A 6.3%
Vitamin C 0.7%
Calcium 6%
Iron 7.6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Applesauce Cake in a 9x13 baking dish.

Recipe Notes For Applesauce Cake:

Raisins: Be sure to soak your raisins in hot water while you’re mixing up the rest of your cake batter. This process will make them nice and plump…so good! Also, if you’re looking to get a little crazy with your applesauce cake, you can soak your raisins in (gasp) hot rum. Pops of flavor throughout!

Frosting: My family loves this cake topped with a layer of thick, sweet frosting. This frosting is honestly, to-die-for delish! That being said, it is very sweet. If you prefer a less sweet version, skip the frosting a just sprinkle on a couple of tablespoons of powdered sugar. You can also make this applesauce cake with cream cheese frosting. Beat eight ounces of cream cheese (softened), three tablespoons of unsalted butter (softened) and half of a teaspoon pure vanilla extract until fluffy. Slowly add one and a half cups of powdered sugar and one teaspoon cinnamon until incorporated. Spread over cooled cake.

Sinking!: Because this cake is so moist, it will likely sink in the center. Personally, I don’t consider this to be a problem. For me, it’s a trade-off. Extraordinary moistness for a little less pretty! You can see how the cake dips in the photo above.

Make Ahead Instructions For Applesauce Cake:

If you need to whip up an applesauce cake ahead of time, well, that’s easy too. Follow the instructions for the cake, and let it cool completely. Wrap it in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge. When you’re ready to frost, throw together your frosting and bam! You’ve got a cake.

Can You Freeze Applesauce Cake?

 You sure can! This cake can be frozen to assemble for a later date, or after it’s been completely assembled and you’d like to freeze your leftovers.

  • Freezing to Make Later: Bake cake as directed, cool completely and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Put it in the freezer until you are ready to thaw and frost. Applesauce cake will be super moist and easy to slice after spending some time out in the cold.
  • Freezing Your Leftovers: When freezing leftovers, you can wrap and freeze the whole pan. Personally, I find it easier to freeze individual slices carefully placed into freezer quart Ziploc bags. You can thaw them one at a time, or as many as you need! Place in the refrigerator to unthaw. Remove and serve cold or at room temperature.

No matter which route you take, you’ll be left with delicious cake. Food safety is so important, so be sure to follow these freeze guidelines whenever you’re storing or making ahead!

Variations: Applesauce Cake Mix- I am certain that somewhere out there, someone has posted a recipe to make applesauce cake from a box mix. There is no need! I promise you that this scratch recipe is so easy, there’s no point in using a box.

If a healthy applesauce cake recipe strikes your fancy, try subbing coconut oil for the butter (in the cake, not the frosting) and oat flour in place of all-purpose. Delish!

Step By Step How To Make Applesauce Cake

More 9X13 Inch Baking Pan Cake Recipes…

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