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Applesauce Cake

3.92 from 140 votes

This soft and super moist applesauce cake is packed with wholesome ingredients and a delicious classic apple flavor your whole family will love.

Applesauce Cake Recipe

If you’ve been on a search for the best homemade applesauce cake recipe around, this one won’t let you down!

Light and fluffy, with just 9 ingredients (yes, really), it’s everything you could ever hope for in a healthy Fall dessert.

The cake is easy to make and kid friendly, with no eggs or dairy required, and it can even be oil free. This is a really great way to use up extra applesauce.

Also try this popular Crustless Pumpkin Pie

Vegan Applesauce Spice Cake

The first time I ever tried an applesauce cake was one November night back in high school, at a friend’s sleepover birthday party.

Trying to be healthier, she had substituted the oil in a boxed spice cake mix with applesauce.

Not normally a fan of low fat cakes or baked goods, I remember being so impressed with how moist and tender the cake was even without added fat.

Over the years, I’ve come up with my own old fashioned applesauce cake that doesn’t rely on a box (because from scratch always tastes better).

It envelops the entire kitchen in a sweet cinnamon aroma as you’re baking and makes you want to cozy up next to a warm fireplace, fork in hand.

Apple Cake Mix

How to make an applesauce cake

To make the cake, start by gathering the ingredients and greasing an 8-inch baking pan or lining it with parchment paper.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, whisk all liquid ingredients, then stir in remaining ingredients to form a batter.

Smooth the batter into the prepared baking pan, and place on the oven’s center rack to cook for 15 minutes or until perfectly fluffy. Let cool.

Frost as desired, and serve. If you can wait, the cake is even sweeter and better textured a day after it’s made.

I recommend refrigerating leftovers for freshness, and they should be good for about 3-4 days. Or slice and freeze for up to a month.

Oil Free Applesauce Cake

Apple cake frosting options

The apple spice cake can be dusted with powdered sugar or iced with a basic glaze or with melted coconut butter.

You can also top it with Coconut Whipped Cream, store bought vanilla frosting, dairy free ice cream, or the homemade cream cheese frosting recipe below:

Simply whip together 8 oz packaged or homemade cream cheese or Vegan Cream Cheese with 4 oz butter or vegan butter, 2 cups powdered sugar (unrefined if desired), and 1 tsp pure vanilla extract.

Different Types Of Apples

Applesauce snack cake ingredients

For the applesauce: Either sweetened or natural unsweetened applesauce works. And if you wish to use homemade applesauce, that works too!

For the flour: I’ve successfully made the recipe with spelt flour (for a whole grain option), regular all purpose flour, or oat flour for a gluten free cake. In general, I’m not a fan of baked goods with whole wheat flour, so sub that at your own risk.

If you prefer a flourless cake, try either this Keto Birthday Cake or my Almond Flour Banana Bread.

For the sweetener: I used unrefined coconut sugar for the cake in the photos, but regular white or brown sugar or unrefined cane sugar also work. Granulated erythritol or xylitol are most likely fine to use as well, although I haven’t tried them here.

Above, watch the applesauce cake recipe video

Healthy Applesauce Snack Cake Recipe

The recipe was adapted from this Vegan Cake and from my Apple Bread.

Pin it now to save for laterPin Recipe

Applesauce Cake

This soft and super moist applesauce cake is packed with a delicious classic apple flavor your whole family will love.
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Yield 9 slices
3.9 from 140 votes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tbsp oil or additional applesauce
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp white or cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups white, spelt, or oat flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar, unrefined if desired
  • 3/4 tsp each: salt, baking powder, and baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon, and optional 1/4 tsp allspice
  • optional 1/2 cup raisins, chopped walnuts, or shredded coconut

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Whisk liquid ingredients, then add all remaining ingredients to form a batter. Smooth into a greased or lined 8-inch pan. Bake 15 minutes on the oven's center rack. Let cool, then frost as desired. The cake will taste even sweeter the next day!
    View Nutrition Facts

Notes

Leftover applesauce? Make these popular Applesauce Muffins.
 

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Published on September 26, 2021

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22 Comments

Leave a comment or reviewLeave a rating
  1. Mandy says

    5 stars
    Fantastic recipe! I saw it when you posted to YouTube last night and went and made it this morning. I did use the oil so next time (and there WILL be a next time) I can do the oil free version and compare 🙂

    • Barbara says

      Hey Elle, she’s talking about organic sugar like Florida Crystals which you can find in most stores now. It’s amber in color and has not had the minerals removed.

  2. Judy Field says

    I’d love to try this recipe this week, but wondered if you can suggest a frosting that isn’t too sugary sweet. Thanks in advance.

  3. Nina says

    5 stars
    Thanks for the fabulous recipe. Do you have metric conversions? Have you got a recipe for a healthy icing (not butter or coconut oil) I could top the cake with. Many thanks, stay safe….

    • CCK Media Team says

      Hi! Frosting options are listed above the recipe box so hopefully you can find something that sounds good to you there. Or Katie has a basic glaze recipe in this post that doesn’t use oil or butter: https://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/easy-cinnamon-rolls-recipe/

      We don’t have metric conversions for this one, so the best thing to do is just look on the nutrition labels for the ingredients you’re using 🙂

  4. Lynn Hutchinson says

    5 stars
    The applesauce cake is awesome and so easy to make, it didn’t last long in my home. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Aimee says

    5 stars
    Delicious recipe! We followed the recipe to a t and topped ours with a vegan cream cheese frosting made with miyokos cream cheese, earth balance butter, and powdered sugar. It was bakery level good! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  6. Mina says

    5 stars
    Absolutely wonderful! Moist, flavorful, and leftovers are going to be great for breakfast without feeling unhealthy. With just a little powdered sugar and sliced strawberries on top. Next time I might add some crushed walnuts to the batter.

  7. Elle says

    I had high hopes for this cake but was very disappointed. I made the recipe as written using the oat flour option. It came out like a dense flavorless sponge. Thankfully I had some maple butter on hand to make it palatable. CCK’s recipes are very hit or miss, and this one was unfortunately a miss.

    • CCK Media Team says

      Hi Elle, what other specific ingredients did you use? Sweetener, oil, etc. And do you live at a high elevation? Is your oven calibrated? There are already other successful reviews so it definitely doesn’t have a typo, but we’d love to help troubleshoot what you did. We just can’t try to guess without more information. Not sure if you’ve ever baked with oat flour before, but it will always be denser than spelt or white flour so it might just be that you’re not personally a fan of oat flour baked goods in general, which is completely ok.

      • Elle says

        To close the loop on this: I used the oil-free option with the oat flour option, otherwise followed the recipe exactly (and my oven temp/timing also followed the recipe; I live at sea level). If I had to guess, the oil-free option + oat flour permutation probably made the cake too dense. I’m glad others had success with it though and might recommend others use the other type of flour for a more cake-like texture.

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