Applesauce Spice Cake

July marks the beginning of the apple season here. The brightly striped Gravensteins are the first to ripen. And when they do, we spend weeks making homemade applesauce and apple butter. As our freezer is now packed with applesauce, and there’s more to come, I thought I would experiment with a recipe in the newly published, practical cookbook Kitchen Sense by Mitchell Davis. The applesauce spice cake came out as good as promised – super moist and spicy. Although the recipe is billed as a “cake”, it is similar to banana, zucchini and pumpkin breads; it would make a great muffin as well.

Applesauce Spice Cake Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6 to 8.


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt diluted a bit with milk, or 1/4 cup of buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup raisins


1 Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter and flour an 8-in square baking pan, set aside.

2 Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Set aside.

3 In an electric mixer, beat butter until light, add sugar and beat until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating to incorporate after each addition. Add the vanilla and the applesauce and beat until smooth.

4 Mix in half of the dry ingredients. Just before they are blended, add the thinned yogurt (or buttermilk). Then mix in the rest of the dry ingredients and the nuts and raisins, until completely incorporated. Do not over-mix.

5 Pour out the batter into your prepared cake pan. Place in the middle rack of the 375°F oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until done. The cake should spring back to the touch, and a toothpick or thin skewer should come out clean after being inserted in various spots in the middle of the cake. Remove the cake from the oven. Let cool for 15 minutes. Then invert to cool completely on a rack.

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Recipe adapted from Kitchen Sense by Mitchell Davis.

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Showing 4 of 27 Comments

  • Liz

    Sounds yummy, I’ll have to give it a shot. I have a slightly different version that I like to make too – no raisins or nuts in it & slightly different proportions (plus add 2 T of cocoa in the batter and a topping of chocolate chips, brown sugar and nuts)- but the concept is the same. Served warm with ice cream, it is the best. It is my husband’s favorite dessert. Full recipe won’t fit in the comment section though! ;)

  • Kari

    My mother makes something similar to this at Christmas time and makes a rum butter sauce to put over it. Makes the kitchen smell wonderful.

  • gail

    I would love to make this as muffins. How long do I bake it?

  • Marie

    I love it! I made the recipe into muffins, and they are the perfect snack. Gail, I baked mine for 25 minutes at 400, and they came out perfectly moist and golden brown. There was enough batter for 12 muffins an about a 1″ high “cake” in the bottom of a loaf pan. Yum, and thanks!

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