Applesauce Cake Recipe with Maple Icing

Try our easy homemade Applesauce Cake recipe, perfect for fall baking! You’ll love the warm flavors of this cinnamon-spiced cake topped with a rich and creamy maple icing.

We love this cake because it’s hearty without being overly dense and still manages to have a soft, tender crumb. The frosting is wonderfully creamy and melds perfectly with the cake, creating a delicious combo. On occasion, it even doubles as a special breakfast treat at our family table during the fall.

Try our easy homemade Applesauce Cake recipe, perfect for fall baking. Experience the warmth of cinnamon-spiced goodness with a touch of maple icing.

Ingredients for our Homemade Applesauce Cake Recipe

In cake baking, the use of high-quality ingredients is so important. Fresh, premium ingredients like real buttermilk, top-tier flour, and fresh eggs contribute to a moist and flavorful cake that’s sure to impress. The difference in taste and texture achieved with excellent-quality ingredients is undeniable, and the extra effort will be well worth it!

  1. All-Purpose Flour: The primary dry ingredient, serving as the foundation of the cake’s structure. It forms a matrix to hold the other ingredients, ensuring the cake has the right texture.
  2. Applesauce: The moisture powerhouse of the cake. It not only adds a delightful apple flavor but also lends moisture and natural sweetness, allowing the cake to be tender and moist.
  3. Granulated Sugar: Sweetens the cake, balancing the flavors and providing the right amount of sweetness. It also plays a role in creating a soft crumb texture.
  4. Vegetable Oil: This ingredient contributes to the cake’s moisture, helping to keep it from becoming dry. It’s also responsible for the cake’s tenderness, ensuring it remains soft.
  5. Eggs: The binding agent that holds the cake together, while adding richness and structure. Eggs contribute to the cake’s rise and help create a fluffy texture.
  6. Baking Soda: Acts as a leavening agent, interacting with the acid in the applesauce to create carbon dioxide gas. This gas expands during baking, causing the cake to rise and become light.
  7. Cinnamon: An aromatic spice that infuses the cake with warm, comforting flavor. It complements the apple notes from the applesauce, creating a delicious synergy.
  8. Salt: Enhances the overall flavor of the cake, balancing the sweetness and adding depth. It’s a small amount but makes a significant difference.
  9. Vanilla Extract: Adds depth of flavor, making the cake more aromatic and flavorful. It complements the other ingredients and enhances the overall taste.

Maple Icing:

  1. Confectioners’ Sugar (Powdered Sugar): The base of the icing, providing sweetness and the perfect consistency. It easily dissolves, creating a smooth texture for the icing.
  2. Maple Syrup: The superstar flavor ingredient. It not only sweetens the icing but infuses it with that distinct and delicious maple taste, making it a perfect match for the apple flavors in the cake.
  3. Vanilla Extract: Enhances the flavor of the icing. It complements the other ingredients and rounds out the overall taste.

Spice up your autumn baking game with our easy applesauce cake recipe. A touch of maple icing takes this dessert to a whole new level!

Tips for Making the Perfect Applesauce Cake

This applesauce cake is a breeze to make, even for those new to baking! But it never hurts to review the basics, so here are a few cake-baking tips as a helpful refresher.

  1. Use Homemade or High-Quality Applesauce: Fresh, homemade applesauce will add the best flavor and moisture to your cake. If using store-bought, opt for unsweetened and high-quality varieties.
  2. Adjust Sugar: Depending on the sweetness of your applesauce, you may need to adjust the amount of granulated sugar in the recipe. Taste the applesauce before starting to gauge its sweetness.
  3. Don’t Overmix: When combining the wet and dry ingredients, mix until just combined. Overmixing can lead to a dense cake.
  4. Spice It Up: This recipe just calls for cinnamon. But if you have Apple Pie Spice on hand, you can use that in place of the cinnamon for a greater depth of flavor.
  5. Check for Doneness: Use the toothpick test. Insert a toothpick into the center of the cake; it should come out clean or with a few moist crumbs when the cake is done.
  6. Cool Completely: Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely. This prevents it from becoming soggy.
  7. Let the Flavors Develop: Like many baked goods, the flavors of the applesauce cake often improve after a day or so making it even more delicious the next day. Bonus: this will also give the icing a chance to seep into the cake. Yum!
  8. Experiment with Additions: Consider adding chopped nuts, raisins, or a touch of citrus zest to add texture and flavor variety.
  9. Store Properly: If there are leftovers, store the cake in an airtight container at room temperature for a day or two, or in the refrigerator for longer freshness.

Fall is in the air, and so is the aroma of our applesauce cake baking in the oven. Don't miss out on the irresistible maple icing!

Applesauce Cake Recipe FAQs

Can I use store-bought applesauce for the cake?

Yes, you can absolutely use store-bought applesauce for the cake. When using store-bought applesauce, it’s a good idea to choose unsweetened varieties to control the sweetness of the cake. While homemade applesauce can add a nice touch of freshness and flavor, store-bought applesauce is a convenient alternative that works well in this recipe.

Why does this recipe use both whole wheat flour and all purpose flour?

  1. Nutritional Boost: Whole wheat flour contains more nutrients, including fiber, vitamins, and minerals, compared to all-purpose flour. By incorporating whole wheat flour, you increase the nutritional value of your baked goods.
  2. Texture Balance: Whole wheat flour can make baked goods denser due to its higher fiber content. Combining it with all-purpose flour helps balance the texture, making the final product lighter and less dense.
  3. Flavor Depth: Whole wheat flour adds a slightly nutty and hearty flavor to the baked goods. This can enhance the overall taste of the recipe, especially in recipes where a mild whole grain flavor is desirable.

Can I make this cake ahead of time?

You can bake the cake in advance, let it cool completely, and then store it. Wrap the cooled cake tightly in plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container to keep it fresh. Store it at room temperature for 1-2 days or in the refrigerator for longer freshness.

Freezing: If you need to make the cake even further in advance, you can freeze it. Wrap the cake well with plastic wrap, then place it in an airtight container or sealable freezer bag.

Is the maple icing optional?

Yes, the maple icing for the applesauce cake is optional. While the cake is delicious on its own, the maple icing adds a wonderful layer of flavor, sweetness, and a delightful maple essence that complements the apple flavors in the cake. It’s highly recommended to try the icing, as it takes the cake to the next level in terms of taste and presentation.

However, if you prefer a simpler, less sweet, or lighter version, or if you’re looking to reduce the overall sugar content, you can certainly enjoy the cake without the maple icing. 


Fall baking just got better with our applesauce cake! Learn how to create this autumn delight complete with a divine maple icing.

How to Make Applesauce Cake with Maple Icing

Try our easy homemade Applesauce Cake recipe, perfect for fall baking. Experience the warmth of cinnamon-spiced goodness with a touch of maple icing.

Applesauce Cake Recipe


  • 1 ⅓ cup applesauce
  • ½ cup oil (vegetable, canola, corn, coconut all work)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • ⅓ cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ tsp Apple Pie Spice
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1½ powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1-2 tbsp water


Preheat oven to 350ºF. Generously grease a 9x13 baking pan. Bring the eggs and buttermilk to room temperature.

Whisk together the applesauce, oil, brown sugar, and sugar. Mix in the eggs, one at a time.

Mix in the buttermilk, vanilla, salt, and apple pie spice.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, whole wheat flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Fold the dry mixture into the bowl of wet ingredients until batter forms.

Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 45-50 minutes minutes, until it passes the toothpick test.

Let cool for about 15 minutes in the bundt pan before inverting onto a cooling rack or serving plate.

For the icing: whisk together the maple syrup and powdered sugar until smooth (add a tablespoon or two of water to achieve desired consistency), and pour onto the cake while it's still warm. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 18 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 244Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 215mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 1gSugar: 30gProtein: 3g

Ashton • Keaton • Mia

Co-Owners at Keat's Eats
Ashton and Keaton began blogging together in 2016 as a passion project. Both siblings are lovers of food, family gatherings, and entrepreneurial pursuits, which made starting a food blog together a no-brainer.