This moist Applesauce Spice cake is perfect for fall celebrations! It is soft, has amazing flavor from applesauce and apple pie spice, and tastes great with spiced cream cheese frosting!
If you love spice cakes, keep this recipe in mind for fall birthdays, get togethers, Thanksgiving, and more!
How to Make Applesauce Spice Cake
You can find the full, printable recipe further down in this post, but here is a quick rundown of our steps!
- Preheat: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour three 8 inch pans. We like to line the bottom of our pans with circles of parchment paper.
- Flour Mixture: In a medium bowl, whisk the cake flour, apple pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt for 30 seconds and set aside.
- Applesauce Mixture: In another bowl, combine the vegetable oil, applesauce, and vanilla extract. Set aside.
- Butter & Cream Cheese: In the bowl of your mixer, add the butter and cream cheese and mix at medium speed until smooth.
- Sugar: Gradually add the granulated sugar and mix at medium speed for 2-3 minutes.
- Eggs: Add the room temperature eggs one at a time, mixing after each until the egg yolk has blended.
- Alternating Dry & Wet Ingredients: With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and the applesauce mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture (We did 3 additions of the dry mixture, 2 additions of wet). Slightly increase the mixer speed just until combined.
- Pour into Pans: Divide the applesauce cake batter between the three prepared 8 inch pans.
- Time to Bake! Bake at 325 degrees F for 28-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached. Let cool for 5-10 minutes in the pans on a wire rack before turning out.
This Applesauce Spice Cake recipe makes approximately 8 cups of batter. It works for cupcakes also (although there will be little to no dome).
Can this Cake be Frozen?
Yes, you can easily make this applesauce spice cake well in advance, wrap it while still a bit warm, and freeze.
Once thawed, the cake layers will taste as fresh as the day that they were baked (as long as they were wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and foil!)
Here is our process for baking in advance:
- Allow the freshly baked layers to cool in their pans on a wire rack for about 10 minutes. Then, flip each cake layer onto a foil wrapped cake cardboard. Allow to cool a bit more.
- When the layers are still slightly warm, wrap in a layer of plastic wrap and then aluminum foil. Into the freezer they go! You can freeze for as little as a few hours to up to a few months!
- When you are ready to thaw, simply place them on the kitchen counter (still wrapped) for about 30-45 minutes. Condensation will likely form on the foil.
- Then, unwrap and allow to thaw to desired amount. (Some people prefer to assemble their cakes when the layers are still slightly frozen as they are less fragile and easier to handle).
Decorating the Applesauce Spice Cake
- Assemble the cake just as usual, placing the first cake layer on a cake base or pedestal, follow with a layer of the Apple Spice Cream Cheese Frosting, and repeat for the next two cake layers.
- Apply a thin coat (crumb coat) of frosting around the top and sides of the applesauce cake with an offset spatula. At this point, I like to place the cake in the freezer for about 20 minutes to firm everything up.
- Cream cheese frosting is softer than most frostings, and so the chilling step really helps to prevent the layers from shifting as you apply the final coat of frosting.
- I smoothed the second coat of frosting around the sides of the cake using a heated metal bench scraper (just run under hot water for a few seconds). This smoothing technique (hot knife method) works great on chilled, frosted cakes!
- I added a chunky border of shells and rosettes using a larger 1M star piping tip, and then added a little scrollwork to the top using a small round tip.
Decorate the cake however you like! If you're in a hurry, textured frostings are always so pretty too.
Applesauce Spice Cake
This delicious Applesauce Spice Cake is perfect for fall with wonderful apple spice flavor. We've frosted it with a heavenly, easy-to-make spiced cream cheese frosting!
- 1 (8oz)(226g) Package Cream Cheese, softened
- 1 ½ sticks (¾c)(168g) Unsalted Butter, softened
- 2 cups (400g) Sugar
- 4 large eggs, room temperature (to save time you can warm them in a bowl of very warm water for 5 min)
- 3 cups (342g) Cake Flour- see Notes for substitution
- 1 teaspoon (4g) Baking powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons (7g) Baking soda
- ½ teaspoon (3g) Salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons (5g) Apple Pie Spice
- 1 ¼ cup Applesauce (312g)
- 1 teaspoon (4g) Vanilla Extract
- ¼ cup (54g) Vegetable oil (we used canola oil)
Apple Spice Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2 sticks ,1 cup, (226g) unsalted butter, slightly softened
- 2 (8oz) packages cream cheese (total weight 452g), softened. I use full fat cream cheese. Using reduced fat or the spreadable cream cheese will cause the frosting to be too soft. Soften very slightly.
- 2 teaspoons (8 g) vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon (3g) Apple Pie Spice
- ½ teaspoon salt (2g) optional - it will cut the sweetness, popcorn salt is best to use because it is fine and dissolves faster
- 6 to 6 ½ cups (690g to 747g) powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour three 8 inch pans. We like to line the bottom of our pans with circles of parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the cake flour, apple pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt for 30 seconds and set aside.
- In another bowl combine the vegetable oil, applesauce, and vanilla extract. Set aside.
- In the bowl of your mixer, add the butter, cream cheese and mix at medium speed until smooth.
- Gradually add the sugar and mix at medium speed for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the room temperature eggs one at a time, mixing after each until the egg yolk has blended.
- With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and the applesauce mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture (We did 3 additions of the dry mixture, 2 additions of wet). Slightly increase the mixer speed just until combined.
- Divide the batter between the three prepared 8 inch pans.
- Bake at 325 degrees F for 28-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached. Let cool for 5-10 minutes in the pans on a wire rack before turning out.
- This recipe makes approximately 8 cups of batter. Works for cupcakes also (although there will be little to no dome).
Apple Spice Cream Cheese Frosting
- Cut the butter into slices and add to the bowl of your mixer. Beat on low to medium speed until the butter is softened and smooth.
- Cut the cream cheese into pieces and add to the butter, beating at low to medium speed until combined and smooth.
- Add the vanilla and apple pie spice. Gradually add the powdered sugar beating on low speed until blended. Cover the bowl with a towel to keep down the cloud of powdered sugar.
- Increase mixing speed and beat until fluffy. Don't over beat or it will become too soft. If it becomes too soft, just refrigerate a short while to firm it up a bit.
- This frosting will pipe best if used while still chilled. You can make it in advance, refrigerate and when ready to use let it soften slightly (do not microwave) and remix.
- Will frost a 3 layer 8 or 9 inch cake.
Substitution for Cake Flour:
(Using all purpose flour (plain in UK) to make Cake Flour) For each cup of flour in a recipe, remove 2 Tablespoons of flour and replace with 2 Tablespoons cornstarch (cornflour in the UK). This recipe has 3 cups of flour so you will measure out 3 cups of all purpose flour, remove 6 Tablespoons and replace with 6 Tablespoons cornstarch, whisk to blend
More Fall Cakes to Share
We have so many fall cakes that we'd love to share with you, including a few more apple cakes too! Here are just a few of our favorites, but make sure to check out our roundup of Favorite Fall Cakes & Designs as well.
Apple Spice Cake- Doctored Cake Mix
Enjoy the Recipe!
Thanks so much for stopping by, we hope that you give our Applesauce Spice Cake a try! If you do, please leave a comment below- we'd love to hear what you think!
OMGosh! Looks and sounds delish! Love the Fall cakes :-) Beautifully decorated too, as always ;-)
Thank you Teri! Yes, we are ready for fall! xoxo
Will try this beautiful
I love all your recipes. Thank you so much
Can I make this as a Bundt cake?
I made this cake, and the frosting, although I added extra powdered sugar to get the consistency that I wanted.
I made this for a church dinner and I'm pleased to say that it received a lot of complements and positive comments!! Everyone that ate it, loved it! Thank you for a terrific recipe!
Wish I could post a picture of my cake. I decorated it with an apple and cinnamon sticks made from the frosting.
This sounds just fabulous! Can't wait to make it but am just wondering what Apple Pie spice is please? I don't think we have that in England. Thanks for all the fantastic recipes and I love that you give alternatives to make with box mixes too which are great if you're in a hurry!
Hi Linda, it's usually a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg,allspice. If you Google it, you will see different variations of it, that you can easily make at home.
Will it affect the moistness of the cake I bake some chopped pecans in the batter? Thanks.
Hi Rachel- That should be just fine!