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