Applesauce Cake

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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

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  • 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 1/2 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 1/2 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),  1/2 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

5 from 3 votes
  • Yield: 16 servings
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Course: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American
  • Author: Sabrina Snyder
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!


  • 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


Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13x9 baking pan with baking spray.

  2. In stand mixer on medium speed, beat the applesauce, sugar, butter and eggs.
  3. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice into a medium bowl.
  4. Gradually add flour mixture into applesauce mixture on low speed until just combined.

  5. Pour batter into baking pan.
  6. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 16 servings, Amount per serving: 202 calories, Calories: 202g, Carbohydrates: 35g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 36mg, Sodium: 308mg, Potassium: 52mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 22g, Vitamin A: 216g, Vitamin C: 1g, Calcium: 10g, Iron: 1g

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert.

Keyword: Applesauce Cake

Applesauce Cake collage

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  1. 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!