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Applesauce Cake with Penuche Frosting


Applesauce cake is one of my favorite cakes-- especially during fall season. That's when I can use my supply of homemade apple sauce. This cake is ultra-moist with fall spices such as cinnamon, cloves and allspice. The penuche frosting goes perfectly with this cake, in my humble opinion. It's a cooked brown sugar frosting-- that has a caramel-like flavor-- that pours on, is easy to spread and then hardens to a fudge-like consistency.

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  • CAKE:
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 cups applesauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1/2 cup (1-stick) butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup hot milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups powdered sugar


Servings 12
Preparation time 45mins
Cooking time 120mins
Adapted from


Step 1

Sift flour, white sugar, soda, salt, baking powder, and spices into a large mixing bowl.

Mix in 1/2 cup butter, buttermilk, and applesauce. Beat for 2 minutes with an electric mixer on medium speed.

Beat in eggs.

Fold in chopped nuts and/or raisins (if using).

Pour batter into a greased and floured 9 x 13-inch pan.

Bake at 350°F for 50 minutes.


Melt the butter in a large saucepan.

Add the brown sugar and bring to a boil (about 2 minutes) and continue cooking until it thickens (about 1 minute more)
Let set for 15 minutes.

Mix in hot milk and gradually whisk in the confectioner's sugar. If the frosting becomes too thick, add a little milk.

Quickly spread the frosting on the cake. Once the frosting cools, it will become harder with an almost fudge-like texture.

NOTE: This frosting is excellent on chocolate cake, too!

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