Light and airy while still moist and tender, my Applesauce Cake is a picture-perfect vegan sponge cake. This one-bowl cake recipe takes fewer than 10 ingredients and just 10 minutes of active time to assemble, meaning a delicious dessert is never far from reach!
Table of Contents
About This Applesauce Cake
When I gave up eating eggs many years ago, I was worried that my cakes would never be the same. Luckily, this applesauce cake recipe makes for a darn good vegan version of a sponge cake — it is light, tender, and spongy. While it isn’t quite as spongy or springy as cakes made with eggs, it is a more than acceptable substitute.
The applesauce in this egg-free cake recipe is actually used as a replacement for the eggs rather than as a flavoring component. You honestly can’t even tell that apples are used! Instead, it tastes like a plain vanilla sponge cake, leaving you plenty of leeway for flavor customization.
I have a different version of vanilla sponge cake made with condensed milk if you prefer that to applesauce. You can check the recipe here – Pressure Cooker Cake.
This recipe is heavily modified from my cooking school notes. In the original recipe, 3 eggs were added. In this case, I substituted ¼ cup of homemade Applesauce for each egg. I also added a mixture of both vinegar and baking soda to help with the rise of the cake.
Perhaps the best attribute of this easy applesauce cake recipe is how quick it is to mix up. As a vegan recipe, there is no creaming required. Everything can be mixed up in a single bowl in just 10 minutes! As a result, this is a recipe I turn to time and again when we are in need of a little something sweet after dinner.
This vegan sponge cake can be used as a base for gateaus or for making frosted cakes like my Black Forest Cake, Pineapple Cake, and Strawberry Cream Cake. If you love a simple vanilla cake, then you might also like my Eggless Vanilla Cake recipe.
It is also delicious plain. Usually, I make sponge cakes to be served with our evening tea or coffee. Feel free to dress it up for company by adding a dollop of chantilly (sweetened whipped cream), sweetened yogurt, some lemon curd, chocolate sauce, or fresh berries.
How To Make Applesauce Cake
Note – the step-by-step photos were taken at night.
Prep and Make Applesauce Mixture
1. Grease a loaf pan measuring 8.5 x 4.5 x 2.5 inches with oil or butter. You can also use a round pan of 7 or 7.5 inches diameter.
Preheat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius/350 degrees Fahrenheit 15 minutes before you start baking. For baking in the convection mode of the microwave oven, use 170 degrees Celsius/330 degrees Fahrenheit as the preheat temperature.
In a mixing bowl, add ¾ cup unsweetened applesauce, ¼ cup oil, and ¾ cup sugar.
2. With a wired whisk, stir this mixture so well that the oil is incorporated evenly and the sugar has dissolved.
3. Now add 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (or regular vinegar or lemon juice) to the wet mixture.
4. Stir and mix again very well.
Sift Dry Ingredients
5. Sieve the dry ingredients — 1.5 cups all-purpose flour, ½ teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, and a pinch of salt — directly in the bowl with the wet ingredients.
6. Add vanilla powder or scraped vanilla bean, or vanilla extract.
Fold and Make Batter
7. Fold the dry ingredients in the wet ingredients lightly. Don’t overdo it, or you’ll risk ending up with a tough, dense cake.
8. The batter should feel light. here’s the batter ready to go in a greased pan.
Bake Applesauce Cake
9. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
10. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius/350 degrees Fahrenheit for 35 to 40 minutes. If the top starts to get browned too early during baking, then lightly tent it with foil or butter paper and continue to bake.
Depending on the temperature conditions in your oven, it may take less or more time. The final check is a golden top and a toothpick or wooden skewer coming out clean.
For baking in the convection mode of a microwave oven, use the temperature of 170 degrees Celsius/330 degrees Fahrenheit. Again the baking time will vary in the convection mode of your microwave oven
11. Once baked and a toothpick inserted comes out clean, allow to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Now remove the cake from the pan and place on a wired rack or tray for the sponge cake to cool down.
12. Here’s the photo of the cake in daylight. Slice and serve this eggless sponge cake with milk, tea or coffee. Enjoy!
Expert Tips & Tricks
- Baking soda and baking powder cannot be substituted for each other.
- Oil gives cakes a really good, light texture. Be sure to use a neutral oil like vegetable, corn, canola, or peanut oil.
- The recipe cannot be doubled or halved.
- This cake can be made in the convection mode of a microwave oven. Not sure about pressure cooker method. You will have to experiment on your own.
- The recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, but you can add 1 tablespoon of either regular vinegar or lemon juice in place of apple cider vinegar.
- Whole wheat flour might not work in this recipe. If you want to try, then I suggest adding half-half of both all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour.
This light and fluffy applesauce cake recipe is pretty perfect as written, but there are plenty of opportunities to customize it. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Change the size & shape by using a different baking tin. Most any cake recipe can be adjusted to fit the size cake pan you have on hand with the help of a little math. This recipe works well with a standard loaf pan or a 7-7.5″ round tin, but can also be adjusted for making muffins/cupcakes.
- Fold in any add-ons you like. If you want to add a bit of flavor or crunch to this cake recipe, feel free! Try adding warming spices like ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, or clove for more of an “apple” flavored applesauce cake. You can also fold in toasted nuts, dried fruits, or chocolate chips as you wish.
- Frost it. Adding some buttercream or cream cheese frosting will immediately turn this simple vegan sponge cake from an “everyday cake” into a masterpiece!
Absolutely! It will keep well in the refrigerator for about 10 to 12 days, or in the freezer for up to a month.
It might have something to do with the quality of your flour. Make sure you are using relatively fresh all-purpose flour (maida). I don’t recommend making this recipe with whole wheat flour (atta) because it absorbs more liquid than all-purpose.
Also, make sure to not over-mix the batter. Mixing creates gluten strands, and if you overdo it on mixing, you’ll end up with too much gluten thus resulting in a dense cake.
You sure can. Feel free to omit it entirely, or replace it with a natural version like brown sugar, coconut sugar, jaggery, or maple syrup.
Sure! If using butter, first mix the sugar with the applesauce until the sugar dissolves. Then add the butter and with an electric beater beat very well till the mixture is uniform and smooth before proceeding with the recipe. If using salted butter then skip adding a pinch of the salt to the batter.
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Applesauce Cake Recipe
- 1.5 cups all-purpose flour – 185 grams
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 pinch salt
- ¾ cup applesauce – unsweetened
- ¼ cup oil – use oil which has a neutral taste and flavor
- ¾ cup raw sugar or regular white sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon vanilla powder or 1 scraped vanilla bean
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or regular vinegar or lemon juice
- In a mixing bowl, take applesauce, oil and sugar.
- With a wired whisk, stir this mixture so well that the oil is incorporated evenly.
- Now add the apple cider vinegar or regular vinegar or lemon juice to this wet mixture.
- Preheat the oven for 15 minutes at 180 degrees C/356 degrees F before you begin baking the cake.
- Sieve the dry ingredients – all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder and a pinch of salt directly in the bowl having the wet ingredients.
- Add vanilla powder or scraped vanilla bean or vanilla extract.
- Fold the dry ingredients in the wet ingredients lightly. Don’t over do.
- The batter should feel light.
- Pour the batter in the prepared pan.
- Bake at 180 degrees C/356 degrees F in a preheated oven for 35 to 40 mins.
- Once baked and a toothpick inserted comes out clean, remove the cake from the pan after it cools a bit and then place on a wired rack or tray for the sponge cake to cool down.
- Each oven has a different baking time, so keep this in mind. The cake can take less or more time in your oven to bake.
- Slice and serve this eggless cake with milk, tea or coffee.
- If you plan to use sweetened applesauce than adjust the sugar as needed.
- Both baking powder and baking soda are needed in this applesauce cake recipe and cannot be interchanged.
- Note that the approximate nutrition info is for 1 applesauce cake loaf.
Nutrition Info (Approximate values)
This Applesauce Cake post from the archives first published in March 2015 has been republished and updated on 5 May 2022.