Applesauce Spice Cake

DessertBakingAppleQuick Bread

Applesauce cake, made with applesauce, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, walnuts, and raisins. This easy applesauce cake is a tender spice cake that is perfect for fall!

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

When apple season starts, we spend weeks making homemade applesauce and apple butter with apples from our trees. We freeze the applesauce to use all year long so are always looking for ways to use it!

Making Applesauce Cake

As our freezer is now packed with applesauce, and there’s more to come, I thought I would experiment with an applesauce cake recipe in the Mitchell Davis’ cookbook Kitchen Sense.

It’s less of a “cake” and more like a quick bread, similar to our banana, zucchini, and pumpkin breads. The batter comes together quickly, and you pour it into a square baking pan to bake. You could also easily use the same batter to make applesauce muffins instead.

This applesauce cake freezes easily, just let it cool down all the way before wrapping tightly in plastic wrap and then in foil before putting in the freezer.

Like apple cake? Check out our other apple cake recipes:

Applesauce Spice Cake Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Cooling time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6 to 8

This cake is also great topped with Cream Cheese Frosting!

Recipe adapted from Kitchen Sense by Mitchell Davis.


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

2 Combine dry ingredients: Vigorously whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Set aside.

3 Make batter: 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 Bake: Pour out the batter into your prepared cake pan. Place in the middle rack of the 375°F oven and bake for 25-35 minutes, until done.

The cake should spring back to the touch, and a tester 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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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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34 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Pat Larkin

    This reminded me so much of the boiled raisin spice cake my mother made in the 1940s-1950s. Wonderful comfort food. I did plump my raisins in boiling water for 10 minutes before adding. My mom used to make a maple flavored frosting for the top. YUMMY! Thanks for the memories.


    Show Replies (1)
  2. Lorraine

    Perfect made it with a general purpose gluten free flour (robin hoohood) & added 1/4 tsp of xanthen and deleted the cloves only because I was out of it. Will make it again everyone loved the texture & taste.


  3. Jon

    I want to make this for a 9×13, but 8×8 recipes I’ve read in the past often say don’t just double for a 9×13. What do you suggest?

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  4. Annita

    i made it by the recipe and it was a hit at my church fellowship!


  5. Jo

    Yum! I’ve been trying different applesauce cake recipes, trying to get the taste of my grandma’s cake that she would make us every Christmas. I made this tonight, only using just a half cup of brown sugar and baking in a 9”×13” pan at 350° for 20 min. (Small oven, cooks quickly.) While this isn’t exactly like grandma’s, I enjoy it quite a lot! Excellent by itself or with buttercream frosting!


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Applesauce Spice Cake out of the ovenApplesauce Spice Cake