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Spicy Applesauce Cake

This picnic-perfect cake travels and slices very well. With chocolate chips, walnuts and raisins, it's a real crowd pleaser. —Marian Platt, Sequim, Washington
  • Total Time
    Prep: 15 min. Bake: 35 min.
  • Makes
    20-24 servings


  • 2 cups applesauce
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking cocoa
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon each ground cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cloves
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar


  • In a large bowl, beat the applesauce, sugar, shortening and eggs. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cloves; gradually beat into applesauce mixture until blended. Stir in the raisins, chocolate chips and walnuts.
  • Pour into a greased 13x9-in. baking pan. Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle over batter. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
Nutrition Facts
1 piece: 227 calories, 10g fat (3g saturated fat), 18mg cholesterol, 185mg sodium, 34g carbohydrate (23g sugars, 2g fiber), 3g protein.
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Average Rating:
  • Spotted-Doe
    Sep 25, 2020

    I love, love this cake! It's moist, fabulous and still one of my absolute favorites. I omit the walnuts (blech) and go heavy on the spices. When it comes out of the oven I get all giggly like a fool.

  • Katy's mom
    Aug 26, 2020

    There are too many things going on with this recipe as written. Family didn't like it at all. I tried making it again to see if I could make it more to our tastes. I used sweetened applesauce (it's what I had) and reduced the sugar by slightly more than half. I also reduced the raisins to a scant 1/2 cup, increased the walnuts to one cup, and left out the chocolate chips entirely. Instead of the topping, I dusted the cake with powdered sugar after it cooled. My family liked the modified version much better.

  • Eva
    Aug 14, 2020

    We loved this cake! We have an apple tree and I'm always searching recipes to use up our apples. I used a combination of home-made applesauce and chopped fresh apples (and even threw in a few tablespoons of apple butter since I didn't have enough applesauce to equal 2 cups on hand). It's moist and spicy and my kids love anything with chocolate chips in it. I also made a batch in muffin cups and those are great for breakfast on the go. I will say I cut back on the sugar by 1/2 cup the first time and would reduce it further in the future as I think the addition of raisins and chocolate chips make it plenty sweet for us! I also like that I can mix by hand and didn't need to pull out my mixer. This is a keeper for us.

  • jsk68
    Mar 16, 2020

    Sweetened or unsweetened applesauce?

  • chocolateformyfour
    Mar 7, 2019

    I used butter instead of shortening. It was perfectly softened but it would not incorporate the way the recipe had it added. Next time I need to whip the butter up separately like with most cake recipes. There was too much nutmeg for our personal taste and I had even went a little scant on it.

  • robbrd
    Nov 10, 2017

    Very pleasing. We ate it warm. Some had ice cream with it and others used whipped cream. I was delighted that those that don't particularly care for nuts and/or raisins enjoyed it as well. Some commented about it needing a longer baking time. I had planned to bake it for 45 minutes but I was busy sewing and it ended up in for 47 minutes and it was perfect.

  • gina.kapfhamer
    Oct 17, 2017

    No comment left

  • Foxycook
    Jul 3, 2017

    I made this for our annual family picnic a few days ago. I' still getting rave reviews about it. My son-in-law told my daughter that it beat his favorite cake that his mother makes!I will make it again for the holidays adding cream cheese icing.The only change I made was using mini semisweet chocolate chips and golden raisins.The texture and flavors were perfect.I think the cake is better eaten chilled.Awesome!

  • Zenasis
    Oct 19, 2016

    I used homemade unsweetened applesauce and 1 cup whole wheat flour. It was moist and full of yummy flavor. Whole wheat gives it that extra grit. Yum Yum!

  • misscoffeepot
    Jan 21, 2015

    a nice old fashioned cake- moist, dense. I used home canned applesauce- and it took about 15-20 min longer to bake. Perhaps it had too much moisture? DH was not a fan of the cake, so to each their own. I learned that I do not like chocolate combined with the spices...but that is just me-others may love it.