‘Tis the season for applesauce cake

or a delicious mountain of softness in a Bundt pan

The words “apple” and “cake” typically conjures up images of fall/autumn, of soft, buttery things eaten inside while watching Netflix and consuming hot tea… at least for me, and probably for many of you as well.

But do the words “applesauce cake” as a phrase and the word “Orangette” mean anything? No, not unless you’re me.

I first discovered the connection between applesauce cake and Orangette many years ago, when I was obsessed with reading food blogs. I don’t read food blogs nearly as much the past few years, and the owner/creator (Molly) of Orangette blog has since retired from writing consistently, but I never forgot her applesauce cake recipe.

It is heavenly, to say the least. Soft, moist, dark, and fluffy like the hair of a brand new puppy, the kind of pureness that you want to soak up over and over and over again, especially when it’s fall and cold outside. I found the recipe last week while trying to come up with a way to get rid of the ginormous amount of applesauce that we have in our fridge. Staring at the applesauce, I immediately remembered Molly’s recipe. So I knew I had to make it again.


Applesauce cake with caramel glaze

From Orangette

Per Molly, use dark brown sugar if possible. If not, light brown sugar is fine, however the flavor is much richer with dark. And I’d have to agree.


For the cake:

  • 2 cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour 
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda 
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • ¼ teaspoon finely ground black pepper 
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger 
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg 
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 1 cup (200 grams) sugar** 
  • ½ cup (90 grams) dark brown sugar or muscovado sugar** 
  • 1 ½ cups (360 grams) unsweetened applesauce (though the tiny amount of sweetener in this applesauce is fine) 
  • 2/3 cup (160 ml) vegetable oil 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the glaze:

  • 4 tablespoons (55 grams) unsalted butter, cut into chunks 
  • ½ cup (90 grams) light or dark brown sugar 
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) heavy cream 
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt 
  • About ¾ cup (90 grams) confectioner’s sugar, sifted


Position a rack in the middle of the oven, and preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a standard-size (12-cup) Bundt pan*.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, pepper, and spices, and whisk to mix well.

In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the eggs with both sugars until light. Beat in the applesauce, oil, and vanilla until smooth. With the mixer on the lowest speed, add the flour mixture, and beat briefly, just to combine. Use a rubber spatula to fold gently, making sure that all the dry ingredients are incorporated. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for about 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the thickest part of the cake comes out clean. Cool the cake for 10 minutes in the pan on a rack before turning it out and allowing to cool completely. Make sure the cake is not at all warm when you make the glaze***.

When you’re ready to glaze, set the cooling rack (with the cake on it) on top of a rimmed sheet pan. This will catch drips.

Put the butter in a medium (2- to 3-quart) saucepan with the brown sugar, cream, and salt, and set over medium heat. Bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil for one minute exactly, and then pull the pan off the heat. Leave to cool for a couple of minutes, and then gradually whisk in the confectioner’s sugar until you have a thick but pourable consistency – and note that you may not need all the sugar! I don’t use the full ¾ cup (90 grams). Really, eyeball it, and go with your gut. If you’ve added too much sugar and the mixture seems too thick, add a splash of cream to thin it slightly. And do not worry if the glaze seems to have little flecks of powdered sugar in it at first; just keep whisking, and they will dissolve. Then immediately pour the glaze over the cake, evenly covering as much surface area as possible. Let the glaze set before serving the cake.

Final result!

MY NOTES: *You can make this in a Bundt pan, like she does or in a regular pan. Whatever pan works for you.

**If you forget to incorporate the sugars like I did, do not fret. You can combine the sugars into your mix later, before you put it in the pan. I discovered that doing this step later still created a moist cake, so much that it makes me moan with pleasure. Who would’ve thought that applesauce cake would be so delectable?

***You do not need to make the glaze, unless you really really want to. I find that the cake itself has enough flavor and sweetness that the glaze is just like icing on the cake (pun intended), and while it’s great for some, it’s not for everyone.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: