Applesauce Cake Recipe

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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!

applesauce cake loaf with slices on white tray

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.

vegan applesauce sponge cake cut into slices and displayed on a white rectangular plate.
Step-by-Step Guide

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.

wet ingredients for applesauce cake recipe added to a bowl.

2. With a wired whisk, stir this mixture so well that the oil is incorporated evenly and the sugar has dissolved.

applesauce cake batter mixture after whisking wet ingredients.

3. Now add 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (or regular vinegar or lemon juice) to the wet mixture.

vinegar being added to eggless applesauce cake recipe.

4. Stir and mix again very well.

whisking the wet ingredients again.

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.

adding dry ingredients for eggless applesauce cake recipe.

6. Add vanilla powder or scraped vanilla bean, or vanilla extract.

vanilla bean added to eggless sponge cake batter

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.

folding batter for eggless applesauce cake recipe.

8. The batter should feel light. here’s the batter ready to go in a greased pan.

eggless applesauce cake batter after mixing in dry ingredients.

Bake Applesauce Cake

9. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

eggless applesauce cake batter in prepared loaf 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

applesauce cake after baking -- it has a light golden top that is slightly split.

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.

cooling vegan eggless applesauce cake on a wire rack.

12. Here’s the photo of the cake in daylight. Slice and serve this eggless sponge cake with milk, tea or coffee. Enjoy!

hero shot of eggless applesauce cake (vegan sponge cake) in a loaf tin.

Expert Tips & Tricks

  1. Baking soda and baking powder cannot be substituted for each other.
  2. Oil gives cakes a really good, light texture. Be sure to use a neutral oil like vegetable, corn, canola, or peanut oil.
  3. The recipe cannot be doubled or halved.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

Optional Variations

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!

FAQs

Can I make this vegan sponge cake ahead of time?

Absolutely! It will keep well in the refrigerator for about 10 to 12 days, or in the freezer for up to a month.

Why did my cake turn out dense?

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.

Can I make this applesauce cake without sugar?

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.

Can I make applesauce cake with butter instead of oil?

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.

More Cakes To Try!

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applesauce cake loaf with slices on white tray

Applesauce Cake Recipe

An Applesauce Cake that is light, airy and egg-free. This one-bowl vegan 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!
4.97 from 33 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Cuisine American, World
Course Desserts
Diet Vegan
Difficulty Level Easy
Servings 1 Applesauce Cake Loaf
Units

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Notes

  • 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)

Nutrition Facts
Applesauce Cake Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 1858 Calories from Fat 513
% Daily Value*
Fat 57g88%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 46g
Sodium 603mg26%
Potassium 800mg23%
Carbohydrates 316g105%
Fiber 7g29%
Sugar 167g186%
Protein 20g40%
Vitamin A 53IU1%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 2mg133%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 11mg55%
Vitamin B6 1mg50%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Vitamin E 23mg153%
Vitamin K 4µg4%
Calcium 228mg23%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 349µg87%
Iron 10mg56%
Magnesium 52mg13%
Phosphorus 489mg49%
Zinc 1mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This Applesauce Cake post from the archives first published in March 2015 has been republished and updated on 5 May 2022.

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Meet Dassana

Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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87 Comments

  1. I made this cake as a birthday treat for my daughter’s daycare class, since one of her classmates has an egg allergy. It was wonderful! It rose beautifully and stayed moist overnight. I actually ended up doubling the recipe and baking it in a 9×13” pan, and it still came out great! I added some cinnamon, allspice, and ginger for extra flavor and dusted the top with some King Arthur non-melting confectioners sugar.5 stars

    1. Great and thanks for sharing the lovely feedback and the variations. The warm spices must have surely made the cake taste too good. Also thanks for the rating as well.

  2. Hi Dassna,
    Let me tell you, I love trying your recipes.They are never disappointing!This was the very first time I tried an eggless cake and turned out so well.Perfectly baked, beautiful texture.Wonderful!
    The only concern I have is the sugar content in it.Applesauce was from the store(high in sugar!) and plus the added sugar.Is there any low sugar/NO sugar method?Will Stevia or something will work in its place?
    Your reply will be much appreciated.
    Thanks
    Ketki4 stars

    1. thanks ketaki. i have made the recipe with a no sugar apple sauce (unsweetened). so obviously i have added sugar in the cake batter. whenever you bake anything with store brought stuff, always check for sugar and then add sugar accordingly in the recipe. i have never baked anything with stevia, so not sure how it will work. you can use sweeteners like maple syrup or jaggery or coconut sugar or palm sugar. i would suggest avoid using honey as honey becomes toxic when heated. its better to use homemade apple sauce as there is no sugar or any added preservative or additive in it. also homemade apple sauce can be made in a large quantity and freezed. it stays well for a couple of months.

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