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Homemade Applesauce Cake Recipe

Ryan has been an online writer for over a decade and loves to share and educate.

Applesauce cake is a popular way to enjoy apples. What makes this cake so delightful besides the flavor is its moist and tender consistency. You can serve it up with some ice cream or custard sauce. But you can still enjoy it on its own.

The Skinny On This Cake

Applesauce cake has been around for generations and is pretty easy to make. For those who aren't accustomed to this cake, it's just like a regular homemade cake and can be baked in just about anything (round, loaf, bundt, etc). Just throw in one cup of applesauce per cup of flour and you're set. But just to be on the safe side, here's a rundown of the ingredients:

  • Flour - Most people use all-purpose flour for their applesauce cake. But it's ok to cheat a little and use self-rising flour instead. These contain practically the same amount of protein. The only real difference between the two is that the latter contains a leavening agent, eliminating the need to include baking powder. Make sure to check the expiratory date before use.

  • Sugar - It doesn't matter what kind of sugar you use for this cake or does it? While it's ok to use white sugar, brown sugar is the better choice for this applesauce cake as it lends better to the flavor.

  • Butter - The butter has to be softened, meaning if it's refrigerated, it needs to be removed and allowed to come down to room temperature. It won't weigh the same as the flour and applesauce--just half their weight. Shortening can also be used instead.

  • Eggs - These dairy items are essential for most cakes as they provide more protein for forming gluten, whites for leavening, and yolks for emulsifying the cake. However, this recipe won't require too much for the formula; at least two should do.
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  • Applesauce - Last but not least, the item that gives the cake its moistness and flavor. Again, just add a cup of this stuff for every cup of flour. This can be easily bought at your local grocery store. It's best to buy unsweetened applesauce or adjustments will have to be made to compensate for the extra sugar.

How To Make Homemade Applesauce (unsweetened)

If no applesauce can be obtained from the store, don't panic. With just a few apples lying around, it's easy to whip up some homemade applesauce by following this super simple recipe below:

For this sauce, the recipe will require 4 fresh apples, 1/3 cup water, 2 teaspoons of lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.

  1. Wash and dry the apples. Peel, core, and chop the apples into 1-inch pieces.
  2. Combine the apples and the rest of the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer everything for 20 minutes or until the apples are soft.
  3. Use a potato masher to mash the apples until combined or to desired consistency.
  4. Transfer to a jar and let it cool completely before sealing. Can be stored in a fridge for up to 2 weeks or in a freezer for 1/2 a year. (N.B. for sweetened applesauce, just add 2 tablespoons of brown sugar to the saucepan before cooking)


  • Use a cooking spray for the pans. It's less messy than greasing them with butter and oil and could make the cake a little too moist.
  • If using homemade applesauce, it's best (not mandatory) to choose apples with the appropriate flavor. Research seems to point to the likes of Gala, Hoey crisp, Gravenstein, Jonathan, and Ida Red.
  • Dried fruit like raisin and chopped nuts can be added, but are optional. Add these in last when making the batter.
  • Use an electric mixer to make the batter easier. But do not overmix. Just combine all wet ingredients at medium speed followed by dry ingredients at low speed.
  • Sift the flour and other dry powdered/spice ingredients before adding them to the batter.
  • Use a toothpick, not a knife to test if the cake is finished baking.

Buy Apples

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

15 min

40 min

55 min



  • 2 cups applesauce, bought or homemade
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar, preferably brown
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • Confectioner's sugar, for dusting (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Lubricate a 13x9 baking pan with baking spray.
  2. Beat the applesauce, sugar, and butter together using an electric mixer on medium speed until the sugar dissolves. Turn off the machine and scrape down the bowl. Turn it back on and beat in the eggs one at a time.
  3. Sift the flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice over a bowl.
  4. Gradually add the dry mixture to the wet mixture while it beats at low speed until combined. Do not overbeat.
  5. Transfer batter to baking pan. Place the pan into the oven and bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  6. Remove the cake from the oven and place it onto a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Turn the cake out onto a baking sheet or cutting board. Top the surface with confectioner's sugar before serving.

© 2021 Ryan Fanus

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