Applesauce Cake is super moist, made from scratch, and topped with a cinnamon cream cheese frosting you'll go crazy for. Enjoy it as a dessert or a cozy afternoon snack.
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This is the perfect old-fashioned applesauce cake recipe for the upcoming apple season but honestly, we enjoy it all year long. This is one of my favorite cakes to take to potlucks and barbecues everyone goes crazy for it.
Why this recipe works
This easy applesauce cake is a super moist cake like this Tomato Soup Cake and uses simple ingredients that are delicious any time of year like these To Die For Buttermilk Blueberry Muffins. Fall will be here in no time, then it's everything apple like my Apple Fritter bread and Apple Cider Donuts.
- Spices: Ground cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg are warm spices that add so much to this flavorful cake.
- Applesauce: unsweetened store-bought applesauce or you can make this homemade applesauce but just leave out the sugar.
- Pecans: You can also use walnuts or leave them out altogether.
- Cream cheese: Room temperature cream cheese.
- Butter: unsalted room temperature butter.
How to make this applesauce cake
- Step 1: In a large bowl combine flour with the dry ingredients and whisk until combined.
- Step 2: In another large mixing bowl using an electric mixer beat the sugar, eggs, and vanilla.
- Step 3: Add in the oil, and applesauce and mix.
- Step 4: Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low just until combined. Do not overmix
- Step 5: Pour batter into to cake pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
- Step 6: Bake the cake until a toothpick comes out clean, let cool.
- Step 7: In a medium mixing bowl add in the butter cream cheese vanilla and powdered sugar and using a hand mixer beat until combined.
- Step 8: Spread the cream cheese frosting over the top of the cake.
- Spoon your flour into the cup and level it off with a knife.
- Don't overmix the cake batter.
- I like to use an 8x8 size baking pan but a 9x13 baking dish will also work.
- Chill if Needed: If you find that the cream cheese frosting is too soft or runny, refrigerate it for a short time to allow it to firm up before spreading it onto the cake.
Applesauce makes a very moist cake and adds a slight apple flavor.
Unsweetened applesauce doesn't have any white sugar in it. So yes, you can I just recommend only using 1/2 cup sugar in the cake as the applesauce is already sweet.
Yes, this cake freezes beautifully. Let the cake cook completely and wrap it in plastic wrap then aluminum foil or a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator then add the cream cheese frosting.
Store the frosted applesauce cake in the refrigerator, as cream cheese frosting is perishable. Cover the cake tightly with plastic wrap or store it in an airtight container to maintain freshness. Let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes before serving for the best taste and texture.
Old Fashioned Applesauce Cake
- 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups unsweetened applesauce
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup chopped pecans
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 ounce pkg cream cheese at room temperature
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray an 8x8 baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves and mix just until combined.
- In another large bowl add the granulated sugar, brown sugar, and eggs, and using an electric mixer beat just until combined.
- Add in the applesauce, vegetable oil, and vanilla and beat just until combined.
- Gently add in the flour mixture and beat on low just until mixed.
- Pour the batter into the baking pan and bake for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the center clean.
- Remove the cake from the oven and let cool completely.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- In a medium mixing bowl add the softened cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, cinnamon and vanilla and mix with the electric mixer until creamy.
- Spread the frosting on top of the cake and sprinkle the chopped pecans on top.
- Chill until ready to serve!