With two kinds of apple for the best flavor and a tender texture, this is our absolute favorite Applesauce Cake. It’s easy, stores well, and is just so delicious.

Two slices of applesauce cake on plates with apple in background.

Applesauce Cake

There are few things better than easy snack cakes and this applesauce cake is one of our favorites. It has double apple goodness from both applesauce and grated apple, and has warm spices to complement the fruit flavor. It’s delicious on its own or you can top with Cream Cheese Frosting.

This is a delicious cake to serve for dessert, or to have for breakfast or for snack. It’s super versatile and stores really well in the fridge and freezer.

(You may also like my Zucchini Cake and my Carrot Cake Bars.)

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Ingredients You Need

Here’s a look at the ingredients you need to have on hand to make this easy recipe.

Ingredients for applesauce cake on countertop.
  • Apple: You can use any type of apple that you like in this recipe, such as Pink Lady, Fuji, Granny Smith, or Cortland.
  • Applesauce: I use an unsweetened applesauce in this recipe so that the apple flavors shines through and provides natural sweetness.
  • Butter: I prefer to cook with unsalted butter so that I can control the salt level of the baked goods. You can use salted butter if that’s what you have, just omit the added salt.
  • Eggs: Eggs help the batter bind together and hold together nicely. I use large eggs in my baking. See the Notes for an egg-free option.
  • Vanilla extract: Pure vanilla extract lends lovely flavor to this recipe that compliments the flavor in the apple and applesauce.
  • All-purpose flour: In this recipe, I use all-purpose flour to ensure that the finished recipe is light and tender.
  • Brown sugar: A little brown sugar enhances the sweetness of the apples. (I always try to use as little added sugar as I can, while keeping the best flavor.)
  • Cinnamon: Cinnamon is a classic spice for apple baked goods so I use it here for flavor.
  • Baking powder and baking soda: A combination of these leavenings ensures that the batter bakes through properly and that the cake rises nicely.
  • Golden raisins (optional but recommended): You can stir in golden raisins, regular raisins, or even chopped walnuts for added flavor and texture.
  • Cream Cheese Frosting: This cake is delicious topped with my easy Cream Cheese Frosting.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Below is an overview of the process involved in this recipe so you know what to expect from the process. Scroll down to the end of the post for the full information.

how to make applesauce cake in grid of images.
  1. In a large bowl, stir together the apples, applesauce, eggs, butter, and vanilla.
  2. Add the dry ingredients. Gently stir the apple mixture into the flour mixture. Stir in the raisins if using.
  3. Pour batter into the prepared pan, smoothing out the top.
  4. Bake until the edges are lightly golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out cleanly. Let cool and top with frosting, if using.

How to Store

Once cooled, store in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature. Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Serve cold.

You can also freeze the cut cake, frosted or unfrosted (though unfrosted is cleaner) in a freezer bag with as much air removed as possible for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature or in 15 second increments in the microwave.

Applesauce cake with frosting cut into squares.

Best Tips for Success

  • This bakes best in a metal pan, rather than glass. If baking in glass, the middle will take longer to set. Follow the recipe, then cover with foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
  • Gluten-free: Substitute cup-for-cup gluten-free flour in place of the wheat flour.
  • Top with Cream Cheese Frosting. Soften 8 ounces cream cheese and ¼ cup unsalted butter at room temperature. Add to a bowl with ¼ cup honey (for kids over age 1) and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Start mixing on low with a handheld mixer until fluffy. Place on top of the cooled bars and spread evenly.
  • If you prefer your baked goods sweeter (or if you leave out the raisins) increase the brown sugar to ½ cup.
  • Egg-free: Use a store-bought egg replacer like the one from Bob’s Red Mill.
  • Dairy-free: Use melted coconut oil in place of the butter. Use a vegan cream cheese and butter in the frosting.

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Two slices of applesauce cake on plates with apple in background.

Easy Applesauce Cake

With two kinds of apple for the best flavor and a tender texture, this is our absolute favorite Applesauce Cake. It's easy, stores well, and is just so delicious.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 22 minutes
Total Time 32 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Breakfast
Calories 153kcal
Servings 12

Ingredients

  • 1 cup grated apple (from about 2 medium apples)
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter (melted and slightly cooled or neutral oil)
  • 2 eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup golden raisins (optional but recommended)
  • 1 recipe Cream Cheese Frosting

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Coat an 8×8-inch baking pan (metal is best) with nonstick spray. (I also line with parchment paper so it's easy to lift out and slice without scratching the pan. That is optional.)
  • In a large bowl, stir together the apples, applesauce, eggs, butter, and vanilla.
  • Add the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Gently stir the apple mixture into the flour mixture. Stir in the raisins.
  • Pour batter into the prepared pan, smoothing out the top.
  • Bake for 22-24 minutes, or until the edges are lightly golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out cleanly.
  • Let cool and top with Cream Cheese Frosting, if desired.

Notes

  • Once cooled, store in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature. Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Serve cold.
  • You can also freeze the cut cake, frosted or unfrosted (though unfrosted is cleaner) in a freezer bag with as much air removed as possible for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature or in 15 second increments in the microwave.
  • This bakes best in a metal pan, rather than glass. If baking in glass, the middle will take longer to set. Follow the recipe, then cover with foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
  • Gluten-free: Substitute cup-for-cup gluten-free flour in place of the wheat flour.
  • Top with Cream Cheese Frosting. Soften 8 ounces cream cheese and ¼ cup unsalted butter at room temperature. Add to a bowl with ¼ cup honey (for kids over age 1) and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Start mixing on low with a handheld mixer until fluffy. Place on top of the cooled bars and spread evenly.
  • If you prefer your baked goods sweeter (or if you leave out the raisins) increase the brown sugar to ½ cup.

Nutrition

Serving: 1square, Calories: 153kcal, Carbohydrates: 25g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 37mg, Sodium: 121mg, Potassium: 107mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 11g, Vitamin A: 170IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 39mg, Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Delicious! I only had a half a cup of applesauce and so I added half a cup of mashed sweet potato. Even without the icing the cake is sweet enough.

    Quick question about texture. I used an 8×8 metal pan as suggested. The edges baked up nicely but the middle took extra time. Had to foil and bake another 10-12 mins before the center set. Even then, the center has a soft, almost bread pudding kind of texture. I don’t mind that at all but just wanted to make sure I didn’t mess anything up. I doubt these will last very long … it’s like eating warm apple bread pudding!