Saturday, November 13, 2010

Spiced Applesauce Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Spice cakes just scream holidays to me. I'm not sure why I even have that connection in my mind but something about the spicy warmth of cinnamon baked into a deep golden cake speckled with nuts puts me in the mood for the holiday season. Now... you may be reading this and thinking, "Holiday season?! Not yet Stephanie!" But I beg to differ. Halloween starts the holiday season for me because I get in the mood for Thanksgiving! As I was planning my Thanksgiving menu I wanted to try out this cake as a potential dessert and it's perfect. This will definitely be gracing our Thanksgiving menu this year.

 I took the cake to work and received a lot of positive feedback. One woman microwaved it and said it was to die for warm. I can see that- like a cinnamon bun almost. It was the perfect level of spicy and sweet. Yum!

Source: Adapted from Gourmet


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups cinnamon applesauce
  • 1/2 cup walnuts chopped walnuts


  • 5 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

  • Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Butter a baking dish.

  • Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.
  • Beat butter, brown sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer at high speed until pale and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in applesauce. At low speed, mix in flour mixture until just combined, then stir in walnuts.
  • Spread batter evenly in pan and bake until golden-brown and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool in pan 15 minutes. Run a knife around edge of cake to loosen, then invert onto a plate. Reinvert cake onto a rack to cool completely.


  • Beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla with an electric mixer at high speed until fluffy. Sift confectioners sugar and cinnamon over cream cheese mixture, then beat at medium speed until incorporated.
  • Spread frosting over top of cooled cake.


  1. Oh it looks perfect, I too associate spice cake with the holidays

  2. This looks delicious! I'm hosting Christmas this year, so I think I might have to add this to the menu. I love your blog!

  3. Just wanted to let you know, this is on the menu for my Thanksgiving dinner, too. Can't wait to taste it, thanks for posting the recipe!

  4. This looks great. What size baking dish?

  5. Linda- the original recipe calls for 8x8. I used a 6x10 I believe.

  6. My mother use to make applesauce cake all the time when I was growing up. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I also added raisins to the batter.

  7. This looks mouth watering...I'm going to try it tonite, I'll let you know how it went....Anne

  8. looks good im gonna try

  9. Pregnant and was craving for a applesauce cake at 1 am. Tried this recipe and it turned out delicious and moist. Substituted half the butter with vegetable oil and had to bake it for an hour to get the golden-brown color. Will try the frosting another time. Thank you for the great recipe!!