Applesauce Cake Recipe

Applesauce provides unbeatable flavor and moisture to this easy-to-make bundt cake.
Applesauce Cake

Applesauce Cake

Using applesauce in cake was once considered a patriotic act.

Photo by: Mick Telkamp

Mick Telkamp

Using applesauce in cake was once considered a patriotic act.

Applesauce brings sweetness, flavor and unbeatable moisture to cakes, but would you believe that baking a cake with applesauce was once declared a patriotic act? Although a few examples of baked goods using applesauce exist before the turn of the twentieth century, the now common ingredient didn’t hit the mainstream until World War One.

In a time when such baking ingredients as butter, eggs and sugar were strictly rationed, applesauce could serve as a substitute for any or all of these baking staples. The popularity of applesauce cake continued during the Great Depression and reached new highs when a second wave of rationing hit during World War Two.

Eventually, more prosperous times pushed the oft-used ingredient off the menu as it became symbolic of leaner times. A health food craze in the 1970s saw a resurgence of applesauce as a substitute for fats and sugars in baked goods and today it still frequently appears in quick breads as an easy way to add moisture and flavor without boosting calories.

Our recipe for applesauce cake doesn’t skip those once hard-to-find ingredients. It has butter. It has sugar and even a couple of eggs. What it also has is incredible flavor. Supported by cinnamon, cloves, raisins and pecans, the bold flavor of this modern take on an old favorite can be enjoyed as a coffee cake, simple dessert or crowd pleasing potluck offering. The spectacular flavor and unbeatable moisture of this easy-to-make bundt cake brings new life to a wartime classic.

Applesauce Cake

Serves 12

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 1/2 cups raisins
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and cloves.

In a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar.

Add eggs and vanilla extract.

Slowly add flour mix to mixer until fully combined.

Add applesauce.

Add raisins and pecans and mix to combine.

Pour batter into a greased bundt pan.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 60-65 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Cool 10 minutes in pan, then transfer to wire rack to finish cooling.

Dust with powdered sugar and serve.

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