Applesauce Bundt Cake

Applesauce Cake

Autumn is my favorite time of year. I realize most people love Spring or Summer but I’ve always looked forward to the end of the oppressive heat. Now maybe my love of fall is because my birthday is in October. Or maybe it is because when the leaves change color, I feel like all kinds of other changes can happen too. Each year the crispness in the air signals a fresh start, like the first day of school.

This year I thought it was high time I got a solid apple cake recipe under my belt. I mean what good Jewish wife doesn’t have a go to apple cake recipe. (Well plenty actually, but that is neither here nor there.) So I was inspired by an applesauce cake I found in Jacques Pepin’s Simple and Healthy Cooking. The cookbook was one of several handed down to me by my grandmother, which is ironic since she was never concerned with cooking healthy. I, continuing in that family tradition, transformed the cake into the recipe you see here. And let’s face it, I am pretty much looking at healthy in the rearview mirror.

Also, I have learned a few things along the way that I will share with you.

  1. Jewish apple cake and applesauce cake are not the same.

  2. Putting some applesauce in your batter gives the cake a more consistent apple taste than cut up apples alone.

  3. People replace some of the fat in a recipe with applesauce. (You’ll notice, however, I did not.)

  4. All spice cakes, apple or not, benefit from sitting overnight.

Applesauce Bundt Cake

Yields One 12-cup Bundt Cake, 12 to 16 servings

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For the cake:

Inspired by Applesauce Cake in Jacques Pepin’s Simple and Healthy Cooking

3½ cups flour mix A or B

4 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon ginger

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup light brown sugar, loosely packed

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 to 2 cups unsweetened applesauce, drained to approx. 3/4 cup*

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted

3 large eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups granny smith apples (approx. 1 1/2 to 2 apples), peeled and cubed

* Applesauce is made up of 50% to 75% liquid. Since there is such variation among the brands, straining provides more consistency. Also straining enables us to use more applesauce, thereby giving the cake more flavor.

For the Vanilla Icing:

2 cups confectioner’s sugar

3 tablespoons whole milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


    For the cake:
  1. Position the rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour (with brown or white rice flour) one 12-cup Bundt pan.
  2. Line a strainer with cheese cloth and place over a small bowl. Fill it with all the applesauce and strain until the water stops dripping. Tip: Start with 1 1/2 cups and see if that gives you the 3/4 cup you need.
  3. Whisk together the first seven ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, add the eggs and whisk just enough to break them up.
  5. Add the butter and vanilla extract to the eggs. Whisk to combine.
  6. Add the applesauce. Whisk to combine.
  7. Add both sugars and whisk until all sugar is dissolved.
  8. Add the flour mixture in three parts. Whisk each of the three additions until thoroughly combined. Note: You have to be careful not to over mix when using wheat flour. If you activate too much gluten, your cake will be tough. However, over mixing is not an issue when you use gluten-free flours. There is no gluten to over activate!
  9. Fold in the apples. Tip: View a video on How to Fold an Ingredient into your Batter .
  10. Bake for 60 to 75 mins. Cool on rack for 5 to 10 minutes before unmolding. Cool completely before icing.
  11. For the Vanilla Icing:
  12. Sift the confectioner’s sugar into a medium mixing bowl.
  13. Add the milk. Mix with a spatula until thoroughly combined.
  14. Add the vanilla extract. Mix until thoroughly combined.
  15. Pour over a completely cooled cake. Allow the icing to set for at least 20 minutes before cutting. Tips: 1. Use the icing immediately before it starts to harden. 2. Anytime you pour icing over a cake, set it on a cooling rack placed over a cookie sheet. The cookie sheet catches all the drippings!

4 thoughts on “Applesauce Bundt Cake

  1. Can you use regular unbleached flour or whole wheat flour for your recipes? I don’t want to buy 5 different types of flours!

    1. Most recipes you can. Anywhere you see a nut free version or flour mix C, you should be fine. The general rule for flour mix A or B is 75% regular flour and 25% almond flour. Use 2 1/2 cups of regular flour and 1 cup of almond flour/meal for this cake. You can try all regular flour but I can’t make any guarantees since I haven’t tried it.

  2. I agree: Fall is my favorite time of year. But I was very happy to get an advance taste of your applesauce cake this past summer. The subtle influence of all the spices really made this cake a hit for me. Oh so good!

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