Applesauce Cake

On a fall day, this applesauce cake really hits this spot. It's moist, tender, and warmly spiced. Add cream cheese frosting to take it over the top!

Applesauce cake

Want to know how much I love this applesauce cake recipe? I made it four, that’s right, four times in two weeks. That’s a lot of applesauce cake!

Well, it’s a lot of applesauce cake in theory, but in practice, it seems like a whole lot less. You snag a slice for breakfast, circle back later for an afternoon snack, and maybe reach for one or two more for dessert. By the end of the day, that first cake is almost gone, and by the end of the next, it’s completely vanished. What can I say? At this time of year, this applesauce cake simply hits the spot.

It’s light and fluffy, moist and tender, and filled with warm, cozy autumn flavor. You can enjoy it plain with a cup of coffee or tea or dress it up with cream cheese frosting for a more decadent treat. Either way, it’s delicious.

Applesauce cake recipe ingredients

Applesauce Cake Recipe Ingredients

To make this applesauce cake recipe, you’ll need these basic ingredients:

  • Applesauce, of course! I love using homemade applesauce in this recipe, but in a pinch, the store-bought kind works too.
  • All-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, and almond flour – They make this cake wholesome, but incredibly tender and moist.
  • Eggs, apple cider vinegar, baking powder, and baking soda – They help the cake puff up as it bakes.
  • Cane sugar – It adds just enough sweetness to make this cake sweet, but not too sweet.
  • Avocado oil – For richness. Another neutral oil, such as grapeseed or vegetable oil, would work here too.
  • Almond milk – It adds moisture. If you don’t keep almond milk on hand, oat milk, soy milk, or cow’s milk would be a fine substitute.
  • Apple pie spice – For cozy fall flavor.
  • Vanilla extract – It adds warm depth of flavor.
  • Walnuts – For crunch.
  • And sea salt – To make all the flavors pop!

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Hand whisking wet ingredients in large glass bowl

How to Make Applesauce Cake

This applesauce cake recipe is super simple to make. Here’s how it goes:

First, whisk together the wet ingredients in one bowl and the dry ingredients in another.

Pouring bowl of dry ingredients into wet ingredients

Then, pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients…

Folding dry ingredients into wet ingredients

…and fold to combine.

Hand mixing applesauce cake batter with spatula in glass mixing bowl

Careful not to overmix! If you do, the cake will be dense.

Hand folding walnuts into applesauce cake batter with spatula

Next, fold in the walnuts.

Applesauce cake batter in baking pan

And then, bake! Pour the batter into a greased 8×8-inch baking pan lined with parchment paper, and use a spatula to smooth it into an even layer. Bake at 350°F for about 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and the top springs back to the touch.

Spreading cream cheese frosting on applesauce cake

Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before using the parchment paper to carefully lift it out. Transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely.

Finally, enjoy! Slather the cake with cream cheese frosting, or slice and serve it plain. So easy!

Sliced applesauce cake with cream cheese frosting

Applesauce Cake Recipe Tips

  • Make your own applesauce. This applesauce cake recipe works with store-bought applesauce, but using homemade applesauce really takes it to the next level. Because my homemade applesauce is slightly chunky, it flecks the cake with little pieces of soft, spiced apple. What could be more delicious?
  • Spoon and level your flour. Say you’re making banana bread. You imagine it’s going to be super moist and tender, but when it comes out of the oven, it’s dry. SO disappointing, right? Well, there’s a chance you accidentally used too much flour. Flour inside a canister or bag is often tightly packed. If you scoop it up directly, you can inadvertently measure more than you intended. For a more accurate measurement, spoon the flour into your measuring cup and gently level it off with a knife. Want more info? Find it here.
  • Freeze some for later. If you can resist devouring this applesauce spice cake within a day or two, pop the extras in the freezer! They’ll keep well for up to three months. Thaw them overnight in the fridge, or warm them in the microwave for about 30 seconds.

Applesauce cake recipe

More Favorite Fall Treats

If you love this applesauce cake recipe, try making one of these fall baked goods next:

Applesauce Cake

rate this recipe:
5 from 11 votes
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 35 mins
Serves 8
This easy applesauce cake recipe is a delicious fall treat! Enjoy it plain, or dress it up with cream cheese frosting or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease an 8x8-inch baking pan. I also line mine with a sheet of parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, combine the applesauce, sugar, oil, almond milk, eggs, vanilla, and vinegar and whisk until combined.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose, whole wheat, and almond flours, apple pie spice, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the bowl with the wet ingredients and stir until just combined, then fold in the walnuts. Pour into the prepared pan.
  • Bake for 32 to 39 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely. When the cake is completely cool, top it with cream cheese frosting, if desired.

17 comments

Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. Barbara Rhudy
    10.15.2021

    Do you offer any gluten-free cake recipes?
    This looks/sound fabulous AND I am
    gluten-free.
    Thanks!

  2. c
    10.14.2021

    can this cake be made as muffins instead?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.15.2021

      We haven’t tried, but I think that would work. I’d probably bake them a little less.

  3. Christina
    10.14.2021

    Can I sub for gluten free flour and flax eggs for the eggs to make it vegan?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.15.2021

      Hi Christina, I think a 1:1 gluten free flour might work. I don’t think the flax would work in this case – since the applesauce is so moist, I don’t think this cake would rise properly.

  4. Brianna
    10.14.2021

    How can you make this gluten free? Looks amazing! 🥰

    • Sarah
      10.15.2021

      Bobs red mill makes a 1:1 gf flour mix. Its a great one to try.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.15.2021

      a 1:1 gluten free all purpose blend might work, but we haven’t tested it.

  5. diana
    10.14.2021

    This looks so good! I’d also like to know if I can substitute the eggs with someone else?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.15.2021

      Hi Diana, I don’t think the eggs can be substituted in this particular recipe, but we do have lots of vegan baking recipes if you search the recipe index.

  6. IVonne
    10.14.2021

    How can I substitute the eggs to make it vegan ?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.15.2021

      Hi IVonne, I don’t think this cake would rise properly with an egg substitute. But we have lots of vegan baking recipes if you search our recipe index.

  7. Amiee
    10.14.2021

    What flours could be substituted for gluten free? Could you just use more Almond flour and sub gluten free all purpose flour (cup for cup)?

    Thank you!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.15.2021

      HI Aimee, a cup for cup blend might work, but I haven’t tried it. I don’t think all almond flour would work, it would be too moist to rise.

  8. Natalie
    10.14.2021

    What amounts of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cardamom do you need for just this recipe? Inefficient to make 1/4 cup of apple pie spice and only use 2 teaspoons of it here…

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.14.2021

      You can use 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg.

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.