Grandma's Old Fashioned Applesauce Cake Recipes

These old fashioned applesauce cake recipes make deliciously moist cakes with the traditional flavors of fall. And along with wholesome ingredients, these flavorful cakes taste even better when the applesauce is homemade, so I've included an easy applesauce recipe for making your own.

You will love how the spicy apple fragrance wafts throughout your house while this easy-to-make cake bakes in the oven. Just close your eyes and imagine you're in Grandma's farmhouse kitchen.

Grandma's Applesauce Cake Recipe

Submitted by J. Anthony

Slice of Homemade Applesauce CakeMake an Old Fashioned Applesauce Cake Recipe
(Source: ©Anjela30/

I recently acquired two recipe boxes full of vintage recipes going back 50 to 60 years ago. This old fashioned applesauce cake recipe was one of them. —Anthony

Old Fashioned Applesauce Cake Recipe

This old fashioned applesauce cake recipe is easy to make and perfectly spiced with cinnamon, cloves and allspice. It's moist and delicious on its own or when frosted or served with your favorite ice cream.


1/2 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
1 large egg (1/3 cup)
1 1/2 cups applesauce (thick and unsweetened)
2 1/2 cups sifted flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 cup water
1 cup walnuts (chopped)


  1. Cream shortening and sugar till fluffy.
  2. Beat in egg, then applesauce.
  3. Mix and sift flour, baking soda, salt, and spices together.
  4. Stir in alternately with water.
  5. Bake 45 to 50 minutes at 350°F, minimally, in greased and floured 13 x 9 x 2-inch oblong pan.
  6. Cool on cake rack.
  7. Serve plain, dusted with sugar, or frosted.


Serve from the pan or you might prefer to first line pan with parchment paper and lift cake onto a serving tray after baking.

You could also use the same batter to make delicious applesauce muffins instead of a cake.

What Does Adding Applesauce to Cake Do?

Applesauce adds healthy sweetness and fiber, reduces calories compared to butter or vegetable oil, and its water content ensures your cakes are always moist and fresh.

What's the Best Applesauce to Use in Cake?

Homemade applesauce is always the best, but if you must use a prepared store-bought kind, choose one with a chunky texture.

What Can I Substitute for Applesauce?

You can substitute mashed bananas or even mashed sweet potatoes in an old fashioned applesauce cake recipe, and your cake will turn out delicious.

However, to make the batter consistency similar to applesauce, try adding a little more water and slightly less banana or sweet potato.

How to Test When Your Cake Is Done?

A simple toothpick can substitute for a cake tester. Simply insert it in the center of the cake and if it comes out clean, it's done.

How to Serve Applesauce Cake

Grandma used to cut it in generous pieces and serve it plain, warm from the baking dish. Top with a dusting of powdered confectioners' sugar, if desired.

You can also serve your delicious applesauce cake topped with a cinnamon cream cheese frosting, basic vanilla icing, caramel sauce, or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

How to Store Applesauce Cake

This moist cake can be stored for up to five days when sealed in a freezer-safe container to preserve its moistness and freshness.

To freeze for up to 3 months, cool your cake to room temperature on a wire rack, then cover completely in plastic wrap, and then seal in aluminum foil before placing in freezer. Allow cake to thaw overnight before slicing and serving.

Homemade Applesauce Recipe

The Book of Household Management (1861)


1 Pound fresh apples (sweet apples or tart, your choice)
1-1/2 ounces sugar, or to taste (about 3 tablespoons sugar)
1 Ounce butter (1 tablespoon soft butter, well rounded)
A little water, if necessary

How to Make Applesauce From Scratch:

Peel, core, and slice the apples, put the apple slices into a saucepan with the sugar, butter, and a very little water, and cook them until tender. Add more sugar if necessary for good flavor, before serving.

Mom's Favorite Old Fashioned Applesauce Cake Recipes

Mom's Recipe Scrapbooks (c. 1920s)

Traditional Applesauce Spice Cake

1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup butter
1 cup raisins
1/4 pound mixed peel
1-1/2 cups hot applesauce
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Nutmeg to taste
2-1/2 cups flour
2 level teaspoons baking soda dissolved in the hot applesauce
3 tablespoons molasses are sometimes added.

Mix all ingredients in large mixing bowl, pour batter into a prepared (greased) loaf pan and bake in a moderate oven (about 350°F) till done. Dust with powdered sugar to decorate.

Old Fashioned Applesauce and Raisin Cake

2 cups sugar
1 cup butter, or lard
2-1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups stoned raisins

Bake in prepared cake pan in a moderate oven (350°F) till done. Makes a delicious cake.

Vintage Chocolate Applesauce Cake

8 tablespoons butter
1 cup white sugar (3/4 cup if using sweetened applesauce)
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup applesauce (unsweetened)
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon each cinnamon and salt
1/2 teaspoon each nutmeg and allspice
2 tablespoons cocoa powder (or 1 ounce chocolate chips)
1 cup chopped nuts
1 cup raisins
1/2 teaspoon baking soda (dissolved in hot water)


Cream butter and sugar thoroughly in large bowl, add egg and vanilla beating well.

Combine flour, salt, spices, and cocoa in small bowl. Then add flour mixture alternately with applesauce to large bowl, beating after each addition.

Add nuts and raisins last with flour. Mix in baking soda dissolved. Bake in greased loaf pan for 1 hour at 325°F.

About the Old Fashioned Applesauce Cake Recipes

Choose a vintage recipe and enjoy a delicious piece of moist applesauce cake in apple season or anytime. But, be sure to store this easy cake in a covered container after you've baked it so it doesn't dry out.

These homemade cakes are famous for being moist and flavorful, especially when made with homemade applesauce using the recipe above.

And not only will this easy cake make your dinner party special, but they it's also the perfect treat for when you want to enjoy a quiet cup of coffee with a close friend. Even after a big meal, you'll always find room for a generous slice.

We're talking comfort food folks, pure and simple! Why not make one of Grandma's old fashioned applesauce cake recipes tonight?

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