Applesauce Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

Applesauce cake with cream cheese frosting

The Spruce

  • Total: 65 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 50 mins
  • Yield: 8 to 12 Servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
630 Calories
29g Fat
89g Carbs
8g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 to 12 Servings
Amount per serving
Calories 630
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 29g 38%
Saturated Fat 13g 65%
Cholesterol 125mg 42%
Sodium 605mg 26%
Total Carbohydrate 89g 32%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Protein 8g
Calcium 95mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This applesauce cake is spiced perfectly with a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, with a delicious cream cheese frosting. A small one-layer cake like this one is the perfect size for most families or a small gathering. It is surprisingly easy to prepare.

The flavor, texture, and wonderful spice aroma are reminiscent of a festive fruitcake. The applesauce and butter in the cake ensure it will be moist (unlike that fruitcake that may be passed around from family member to family member each holiday season).

Ingredients

  • For the Cake
  • 2 cups/9 ounces all-purpose flour 
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 cup butter (melted)
  • 2 cups applesauce
  • 1 large egg (beaten)
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup walnuts (chopped)
  • For the Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 8 ounces cream cheese (softened)
  • 4 tablespoons butter (softened)
  • 4 cups powdered sugar (sifted; about 1 pound)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons milk (as needed)
  • reminiscent teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Garnish: chopped walnuts

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this cake is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and baking.

Make the Applesauce Cake

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for applesauce cake
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  2. Heat the oven to 350 F (180 C/Gas 4). Butter and flour a 9-inch square baking pan.

    Grease pan
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  3. Sift flour into a mixing bowl with the granulated sugar, salt, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and baking soda. Use a whisk or spoon to blend the dry ingredients thoroughly.

    Use a whisk or spoon
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  4. Add the melted butter, applesauce, and the beaten egg and stir until the batter is well blended.

    Add melted butter
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  5. Fold in the raisins and 1 cup of chopped walnuts. Stir to blend.

    Fold in raisins and walnuts
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  6. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan.

    Put batter in pan
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  7. Bake the cake in the preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes. A toothpick should come out clean when the cake is done.

    Bake cake
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  8. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes and then carefully invert the cake onto a serving plate.

Make the Frosting and Assemble

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for frosting
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  2. In a mixing bowl with an electric mixer, combine the cream cheese and butter. Beat until fluffy. 

    Ina mixing bowl, put butter and cream cheese
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  3. Beat in the powdered sugar, a little at a time.

    Beat
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  4. Add about 1 tablespoon of milk and the vanilla. Beat, adding more milk if needed for a fluffy spreading consistency.

    Add milk and vanilla
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  5. Frost the top and sides of the cake and then sprinkle the top with chopped walnuts, if desired.

    Frost the cake
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  6. Serve and enjoy!

Tips

  • Any leftover cake should be covered and stored in the refrigerator for up to three days, as the cream cheese frosting should not be left out at room temperature.
  • You can also bake the cake ahead of time, wrap it well and freeze it. Then when ready to serve, defrost it, make the cream cheese frosting, and ice the cake.

Recipe Variations

  • Replace the homemade cream cheese frosting with a purchased tub of cream cheese or buttercream frosting.
  • Add 1 cup of finely chopped apples to the cake along with the raisins and walnuts.
  • Substitute dried cranberries, chopped dried cherries, or golden raisins for the raisins.
  • Substitute chopped pecans for the chopped walnuts in the cake and for garnish.
  • Toasted coconut could also be used as a garnish.
  • Variations of this cake can be made in a loaf pan or a Bundt pan.
  • You can bake the cake as cupcakes for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

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