Applesauce Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

Applesauce cake with cream cheese frosting

The Spruce

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 50 mins
Total: 65 mins
Servings: 8 to 12 servings
Yield: 1 cake
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
596 Calories
26g Fat
90g Carbs
6g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 to 12
Amount per serving
Calories 596
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 26g 33%
Saturated Fat 12g 60%
Cholesterol 65mg 22%
Sodium 548mg 24%
Total Carbohydrate 90g 33%
Dietary Fiber 2g 9%
Total Sugars 67g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 1mg 6%
Calcium 52mg 4%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 238mg 5%
*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).


For the Cake:

  • 2 cups (9 ounces) all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

  • 2 teaspoons baking soda

  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) unsalted 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 (2 ounces) unsalted butter, softened

  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted, about 1 pound

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons milk. as needed

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • Chopped walnuts, for garnish

Steps to Make It

Make the Applesauce Cake

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for applesauce cake
    The Spruce 
  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 confectioners' sugar, a little at a time.

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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!


  • 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 F.