Applesauce Cake is an easy fall dessert that’s made in a 9×13 inch pan! Use homemade or store bought applesauce and all your favorite fall spices to make spice cake. Pair with cream cheese frosting! 

slice of applesauce cake with cream cheese frosting on white plate with apples in the background

Baking in the fall is one of my favorite things to do because it creates such a cozy atmosphere. While you bake this cake with applesauce your kitchen will literally smell like a warm cinnamon candle.

How to Make Spice Cake

  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. 
  2. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the applesauce, brown sugar, vegetable oil and eggs, whisk together. 
  3. Gently mix in the dry ingredients until just combined.
  4. Pour batter into a greased 9×13 inch pan and bake for 30-32 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
whole applesauce cake topped with cream cheese frosting

How to Properly Measure Flour

  • Fluff the flour with a fork
  • Use a spoon to scoop the flour into your measuring cup
  • Use a butter knife to level off the flour in the measuring cup

Sticking the measuring cup straight into the bag of flour will result in too much flour to be packed into the cup, which can result in dry cake.

Total Time Required

  • 10 minutes to make the batter
  • 32 minutes to bake at 350º F
  • 1 hour, at least, to cool the cake
  • 10 minutes to make and frost the cake

Do I have to use unsweetened applesauce?

Nope! That’s what I choose to use, but you could use regular applesauce or even cinnamon applesauce. I wouldn’t suggest using chunky applesauce as it will change the texture of the cake batter.

slice of applesauce cake with cream cheese frosting on brown parchment paper

Applesauce Cake Variations

  • Nuts: add 1 cup of chopped nuts to the batter. I recommend walnuts or pecans.
  • Homemade applesauce: You can use homemade applesauce in this recipe! 
  • Chopped apples: For an extra apple kick, chop 2 apples into small pieces and stir into the batter. I recommend honey crisp apples. 
  • Cinnamon cream cheese frosting: Add 1 tsp of cinnamon when making the frosting. 
  • Caramel cream cheese frosting: Add 1/4 cup caramel sauce when making the frosting. 
  • Muffins: Turn applesauce cake into applesauce muffins!

Tips for Making Cake

  • Properly measure the all purpose flour using the spoon and sweep method.
  • Combine the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients just until they are combined. Over mixing could lead to dry, dense cake.
  • Cake baked in a metal pan may have a shorter baking time because metal heats quicker than glass. The bake time for this recipe is based on using a glass pan. 

How To Store

Once you add the cream cheese frosting to the cake, the cake can be left out for only a few hours. For longer storage be sure to store the cake covered in the fridge. 

slice of applesauce cake with cream cheese frosting with bite removed on white plate

More Apple Recipes

Applesauce Cake

Applesauce Cake is an easy fall dessert that’s made in a 9×13 inch pan! Use homemade or store bought applesauce and all your favorite fall spices to make spice cake. Pair with cream cheese frosting! 
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Cake
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 32 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 42 minutes
Servings: 12
Author: Beth

Ingredients

Cake

  • 2 ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp allspice
  • 1 cup applesauce unsweetened or regular
  • 1 cup brown sugar packed
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs

Cream cheese frosting

  • 8 oz brick of cream cheese room temperature
  • 1 stick unsalted butter (1/2 cup) room temperature
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • optional: 1/8 tsp salt and dash of milk or heavy cream

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350º F. Spray a 9×13 inch pan with non-stick cooking spray. 
  • In a small mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and allspice. 
  • In a separate larger mixing bowl, combine the applesauce, brown sugar, vegetable oil and eggs, whisk together. Using a spatula, gently mix in the dry ingredients until just combined. 
  • Pour the batter into the 9×13 inch pan. Bake for 30-32 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Note: if using a metal pan, the baking time may be shorter. 
  • Allow the cake to cool for for 1 hour before adding the frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Place room temperature unsalted butter and cream cheese in a mixing bowl. Use an electric mixer on medium and beat together for 1-2 minutes, until whipped and fluffy.
  • Add in the vanilla extract and powdered sugar (and optional salt), beat again on low for 1-2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl, until everything is incorporated.
  • If the frosting is too thick, add a splash of milk or heavy cream, beat until creamy. Spread the frosting on top of the cake.

Notes

  • Cake baked in a metal pan may have a shorter baking time because metal heats quicker than glass. The bake time for this recipe is based on using a glass pan. 

Nutrition

Calories: 510kcal | Carbohydrates: 70g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 468mg | Potassium: 112mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 50g | Vitamin A: 556IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 81mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Tag @beth_thefirstyear!