This applesauce cake is light and moist, scented with cinnamon and brown sugar. Mix it up right in the pan: no mixing bowls required!
Want to bake a cake with no effort at all? Try this easy applesauce cake! You don’t even need a bowl: just mix it up right in the pan. Does it sound too good to be true? We promise, it’s very real. Moist and scented with cinnamon, it’s perfectly fluffy and a little gooey. It’s got a lighter spin with olive oil and Greek yogurt, and instead of icing there’s a sprinkle of powdered sugar. Here’s everything you need to know!
Why to make this applesauce cake
First of all: I’m not a cake person. (Gasp, I know!) But I absolutely love this moist, spice-scented one you can whip up right in the baking dish. Here are all the reasons to make this specific applesauce cake recipe:
- It’s cozy. There’s something so homey about saying, “Today we’re baking an applesauce cake recipe!”
- It’s beyond easy to make. No mixing bowls required! You’ll mix everything in the cake pan.
- It’s got big flavor. This cake features olive oil, Greek yogurt, and applesauce to keep the cake moist. With such simple ingredients, you’d expect the flavor to be overly simple too. But it’s got the perfect amount of sweetness, aroma of the cinnamon, and just the right amount of tangy apple from the applesauce.
- It works for any season. This applesauce cake has a bit of a fall vibe, you can make it anytime.
How to make applesauce cake: basic steps
This cake is so simple, it might take you more time to read the recipe than bake it. (OK, not really: but close!) Here’s how to make applesauce cake (or go to the full recipe below):
- Mix together the dry ingredients in a buttered 8-inch baking dish. Use a fork to mix the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Make a well and mix in the wet ingredients. Use a fork to mix in the egg, olive oil, Greek yogurt, applesauce and vanilla. Smooth out the top.
- Bake for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, until the center is fairly firm.
- Allow the cake to cool for about 1 hour to room temperature.
- Dust the cake with powdered sugar, cut into pieces, and serve.
Use icing, or a dusting of powdered sugar!
Now of course, if you’d like you can slather this applesauce cake with icing. But to keep it easy and light, we like to use a light dusting of powdered sugar instead of icing. Here are a few topping options:
- Powered sugar (easiest): Top with a dusting of powdered sugar.
- Glaze icing (festive): Make a double recipe of Powdered Sugar Icing and pour it over the top.
- Cream cheese icing (decadent): Make our Cream Cheese Frosting and slather it over the top.
Does applesauce make a cake moist?
Does applesauce make a cake moist? Yes! Adding applesauce gives a rich, moist crumb to baked goods. Applesauce is a well-known substitute for butter and oil in baking recipes, an easy way to cut the overall calories. Applesauce is used for moisture and overall flavor in this applesauce cake. Even though it only uses ½ cup, you can taste it in every bite.
This applesauce cake recipe would be perfect for taking to a potluck, pitch in or barbecue. We know we will be adding it to our pitch-in repertoire because it’s just that easy!
About the book: Prep
This applesauce cake recipe comes straight from the cookbook Prep: The Essential College Cookbook by Katie Sullivan Morford. Know someone going off to college? This really is the perfect starter cookbook! It’s all about helping students cook real meals with real food.
This is the book I wish Alex and I had to help us navigate under-equipped dorm and rental kitchens! (Yes, we met in college. On the first day!) It’s perfect for beginners and it would be a great gift or graduation present. Get the book: Prep: The Essential College Cookbook
Got leftover applesauce?
Got leftovers from making this cake? Try some of our 10 Best Recipes with Applesauce to use up the jar:
- Mix up spiced Applesauce Bread
- Go for icing-drizzled Applesauce Cookies
- Opt for Applesauce Muffins, quick to mix up in a blender, and they’re made with 100% oats
- Start the day with a batch of Cozy Applesauce Pancakes
This applesauce cake recipe is…
Vegetarian. For dairy-free, use dairy-free yogurt. (And let us know how it goes!)Print
This applesauce cake is perfectly moist, scented with cinnamon and brown sugar. And you mix the entire dough in the cake pan! No mixing bowls required.
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 egg
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce (or homemade applesauce)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Powdered sugar, for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan.
- Put the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into the baking pan. Use a fork to thoroughly mix the ingredients together.
- Use your hands to make a hole in the center of the dry ingredients. Into the hole, crack the egg and add the olive oil, yogurt, applesauce, and vanilla. Use a fork to mix the ingredients together until smooth and blended. Smooth the top of the batter with the side of a butter knife.
- Bake until the cake is fairly firm when you press lightly at its center and a toothpick inserted in the middle has no wet batter sticking to it, 25 to 30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and leave on the counter to cool completely, 1 hour. Leave the cake in the pan. Dust with powdered sugar. Cut into pieces and use a small spatula to lift them from the pan. Store at room temperature for 3 days or refrigerated for up to 5 days.
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Applesauce cake, applesauce cake recipe, applesauce spice cake, how to make applesauce cake, does applesauce make a cake moist
Last updated: August 2020