Homemade Applesauce Spice Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting | Renee's Kitchen Adventures

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Homemade Applesauce Spice Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting

Celebrate the flavors of the season with this moist and tender homemade Applesauce Spice Cake! This applesauce cake is flavored with the warm spices of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice. It's an applesauce cake that easy to make and will win over the whole family. It would make a great addition to your holiday menus this year too!

Applesauce Spice Cake cut piece on white plate with fork

You all know by now, I love to bake!

And now that the Fall season is here (and finally some cooler weather to match it), I've been getting busy in the kitchen baking. This week I found a winning recipe to share. This Applesauce Spice Cake is full of the seasonal flavors you love in an easy-to-make recipe.

Can you bake with applesauce?

Unsweetened applesauce is a great addition to baked goods. It helps keep the end product moist, without needing to add a ton of butter or oil to the recipe. In this applesauce cake recipe, it also helps bring a bit of apple flavor to the cake itself. The natural sweetness of applesauce also helps sweeten the baked goods. You can often substitute applesauce for some of the butter or oil in recipes to help reduce the fat content.

Applesauce Spice Cake in pan

The inspiration for this applesauce cake came from an original Paula Deen recipe. I made a few minor tweaks to make it more customized to my family's tastes and voila...Applesauce Spice Cake was born!

You can use any brand of applesauce or use homemade applesauce you've made yourself in this Applesauce Spice Cake recipe.  I think my recipe for Crockpot Gingered Applesauce would be an awesome ingredient for this applesauce cake.

Applesauce Spice Cake on plate with fork and apples in background

For me, the flavors of Fall really come down to two ingredients: apple and pumpkin.  I'm not partial to one or the other. I think I enjoy them both equally.

One of my all time favorite recipes is for Old Fashioned Apple Cake. It always makes a great impression. However, I also love this recipe for Spiced Pumpkin Bread too! So see? I love them both. This recipe for Applesauce Spice Cake might be my new favorite of them all though!

Bite of Applesauce Spice Cake on fork with piece of Applesauce Spice Cake on white plate

Tips for making Applesauce Spice Cake

  • Most important of all the tips for making applesauce cake, do not over mix! Over mixing causes cakes to develop gluten and that's something that needs to be left to bread! To keep the cake crumb tender, mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients only until everything is combined. 
  • Make sure you use a toothpick (or cake tester) inserted into the thickest part of the cake to check for doneness. All ovens bake differently and since this is a thick cake, you do not want the middle under baked. 
  • This cake batter really fills up the pan. I thought it might pour over during baking, but it didn't. If you are worried about it spilling over the sides as it bakes, put some foil on the rack below the one you are baking on to catch any drips. 
  • Make sure the cake is completely cooled before frosting. No one wants melted frosting on their cake. 

applesauce spice cake, applesauce cake, Spice cake with applesauce, applesauce spice cake recipe
dessert, cake
Yield: 24 servings
Author: Renee Paj
Homemade Applesauce Spice Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting

Homemade Applesauce Spice Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting

Prep time: 20 MinCook time: 55 MinTotal time: 1 H & 15 M
Delicious moist and tender homemade applesauce cake accented with warm spices and topped with a brown sugar frosting


For the cake
  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. allspice
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce
For the brown sugar frosting
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup half and half
  • 2 - 3 cups powdered sugar
  • chopped pecans for garnish, if desired


Make the cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 13" x 9" pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, 1 tsp. salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and allspice. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients: vegetable oil, sugar, vanilla extract, eggs and applesauce. Whisk until well combined.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix with a silicon spatula or wooden spoon until JUST COMBINED! Do not overmix! Mixing until just combined will assure a tender and light cake.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan. (don't worry, the pan will be full, but it shouldn't run over the sides as it bakes as long as you are using a true 13" x 9" pan!) Place in oven and bake until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, or about 45 - 55 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before frosting.
Make the brown sugar frosting
  1. In a med saucepan, melt butter. Add brown sugar, salt, and vanilla extract. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add in the half and half and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  2. With an electric mixer, beat in the powdered sugar adding more as needed to make a spreadable frosting. Frost cooled cake immediately. Sprinkle on chopped pecans, if desired.

Nutrition Facts



Fat (grams)

11.94 g

Sat. Fat (grams)

4.52 g

Cholesterol (grams)

47.43 mg

Carbs (grams)

61.94 g

Fiber (grams)

0.94 g

Sugar (grams)

44.88 g

Net carbs

60.98 g

Protein (grams)

3.42 g

Sodium (milligrams)

293 mg

Nutritional information is only provided as a courtesy and is an estimate.

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Applesauce Spice Cake by Renee's Kitchen Adventures is an easy cake dessert recipe for homemade applesauce cake enhanced with the warm spices of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice and frosted with a delicious brown sugar frosting. No need to use the electric mixer for the cake. Basic dump and mix then bake recipe. So good! #applesaucecake #applesauce #dessert #cake #apples #thanksgving

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  1. Made this today and it's delicious! My frosting does not look like the photos though. I don't know if boiling the brown sugar mixture longer would have made a difference but I was following the recipe. It's still delicious and I'll definitely make again when I need to use up some applesauce!

    1. Hi Amanda! thanks for your review. I'm not sure about the frosting, but I'm very glad you still enjoyed this cake.

  2. Made this today. It is really very good. I will make again. I didn't have everything for this icing so I made a condensed milk icing. It went great with this cake. House smelled great while baked.

    1. Hi Nancy! So glad you enjoyed this recipe. Love the idea for the icing. Thank you so much for your review.

  3. I made this cake yesterday and I love it. Since it's just me n my daughter I divided the ingredients in half. It was perfect. I didn't make the frosting because we aren't huge fans of the stuff so I can't comment on that. It will be a go to for me. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hello! Thank you for your comment and I'm so very happy you enjoyed this recipe! Thanks for your review!


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