Applesauce Cake

16 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Old Fashioned Applesauce Cake is a moist, tender spice cake with applesauce and a hint of cocoa that melts in your mouth. Serve for dessert or breakfast!

If you enjoy the rustic simplicity of Armenian Apple Cake and Apple Crumb Cake, you’ll love this easy, old fashioned Coffee Cake made with pantry items and applesauce!

Applesauce Cake on plate


This old fashioned coffee cake proves that you don’t need fancy ingredients or techniques to get an amazing dessert. All you need is some common baking items and a jar of applesauce to get a tender, melt in your mouth warm spice cake that tastes like Apple Cider, perfect for fall days.

For the perfect Applesauce Cake that is just the right amount of sweetness and moistness, you want to use chunky unsweetened applesauce. And you can’t beat a homemade applesauce if you have the extra time. We’ve included a quick recipe for easy homemade unsweetened applesauce that is ready to use in about 30 minutes.

Cinnamon Applesauce Cake is delicious any time of day for any occasion. It is a go-to fall dessert, but since you are using jarred applesauce and pantry ingredients you can make it all year long. This simple cake is a great make ahead potluck or summer barbecue dessert too, it stays moist for days thanks to the applesauce and extra egg yolk.

Applesauce Cake in baking pan, top-down

To make this Applesauce Cake recipe extra light and fluffy, be sure to cream the wet ingredients before gently folding in the flour until just combined. You can make this cake in one large bowl with a spatula, just sift the dry ingredients over the wet ingredients, but it will be slightly denser. 

Serve Applesauce Cake for breakfast with greek yogurt or apple butter spread on top. For a decadent dessert make a Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting (just add 1 teaspoon cinnamon) or Buttercream Frosting. Top a warm slice of Applesauce Cake with a dusting of powdered sugar and Vanilla Ice Cream.


Applesauce Cake in baking pan, cross-section


  • Spices: Substitute 2 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice for the cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. You can also add spices like ground ginger, clove, or cardamom.
  • Raisins: Mix in a ½ cup raisins, or other dried fruit like cranberries or apricots, for a classic Applesauce Cake pairing. You can also add shredded carrots, coconut, or even chocolate chips!
  • Nuts: Chopped nuts go great in this cake recipe and add a bit of crunch. Use ½ cup chopped walnuts, pecans, or hazelnuts.
  • Brown Sugar: Instead of granulated sugar, use brown sugar for a richer, caramel flavoring. Adding a tablespoon of molasses will also bring a brown sugar flavor.
  • Loaf Pan: You can bake Applesauce Cake like a quick bread in a loaf pan for 50-60 minutes. For a fancier brunch cake, bake in a bundt pan for 50-60 minutes.
  • Muffins: For Applesauce Cake on the go, bake in a muffin tin lined with paper liners for 18-22 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. This batter should make about 24 muffins.
  • Apples: For even more apple flavor, you can bake sliced apples tossed in cinnamon sugar on top of you cake. You could also dice 1-2 apples into bite sized chunks and fold them into the batter.

Homemade Applesauce with No Sugar

  • Ingredients: 4 sweet apples (like Honeycrisp or McIntosh),  ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • Peel, core, and chop apples into bite sized pieces, about 1 inch chunks.
  • Cook apples and cinnamon, covered, in a medium sauce pan over medium heat until they start simmering.
  • Once simmering, reduce to medium-low heat and cook 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until apples are tender and slightly caramelized.
  • Remove from heat and stir lemon juice into apple mixture.
  • Using a potato masher or a spoon, mash into a sauce. For a smooth applesauce, use a food processor.
  • Keep in the refrigerator for 4-5 days in an airtight container.



  • Serve: Cover Applesauce Cake with plastic wrap and keep at room temperature for up to 3 days. If frosting with Cream Cheese Frosting, you need to refrigerate it after 2 hours.
  • Store: Wrap cake pan with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 1 week. Bring Applesauce Cake to room temperature to serve.
  • Freeze: Once cake has cooled, cover cake pan with plastic wrap and foil or transfer to an airtight container. Freeze Applesauce Cake for up to 3 months and thaw overnight before serving at room temperature.

Applesauce Cake on plate with bite removed

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Applesauce Cake

Old Fashioned Applesauce Cake is a moist, tender spice cake with applesauce and a hint of cocoa that melts in your mouth. Serve for dessert or breakfast!
Yield 16 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 2 cups applesauce
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter , softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking cocoa
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13x9 baking pan with baking spray.
  • In stand mixer on medium speed, beat the applesauce, sugar, butter and eggs.
  • Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice into a medium bowl.
  • Gradually add flour mixture into applesauce mixture on low speed until just combined.
  • Pour batter into baking pan.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.


Calories: 202kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 308mg | Potassium: 52mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 216IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1mg

Applesauce Cake collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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  1. I substituted pears for the applesauce recipe since I had some that needed to be used up before they got too ripe. The cake was super moist and delicious. I will definitely make it again with the applesauce.

  2. I love this cake. Never would have thought of cocoa powder. I used brown sugar and reduced the qty to one cup. Added golden raisins…and used 2 and 1/2 cups of gluten free white cake mix. Omitting salt and baking soda since it was already in the cake mix, and used the spices suggested. Used 1 tsp of Clove, nutmeg and 1 1/2 tsp of cinnamon..since I did not have allspice
    Baked 350 for 45 to 50 minutes since I have an electric oven.

  3. This cake is amazing and it made my apartment smell incredible. I lowered the sugar to 200g but kept everything the same otherwise. Could not stop eating this!!

  4. So delicious! My mom used to make a cake like this. We would put it warm in a bowl and pour cream over the top. Or sometimes serve it with ice cream. Love how moist this is!