Nutty Applesauce Spice Cake

My boyfriend’s roommate’s birthday is today and we set out to find a recipe that matched the birthday boy! We had already made a death by chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream frosting for his roommate that loves chocolate, a vanilla cake (almost sugar cookie like) with orange cream cheese frosting for his best friend and now we decided to make a spice cake for another one of his roommate’s for multiple reasons:

1) The birthday boy doesn’t like sweets

2) The birthday boy LOVES spicy foods

Therefore the obvious conclusion was to make a spice cake!

I found this recipe titled “Never Fail Applesauce Spice Cake” and it looked absolutely delicious! You can find the original recipe here:

But we did make some minor changes to the recipe so here is the recipe that we ended up using! Oh and I also changed the name because I felt as though this new name was more fitting! 


Nutty Applesauce Spice Cake


2 and 1/2 cups - all purpose flour

1 and 1/2 cups - white sugar

1 and 1/2 tsp - baking soda 

1/4 tsp - salt

1/2 tsp - baking powder

1 tsp - ground cinnamon

3/4 tsp - ground cloves

3/4 tsp - ground allspice

1/2 cup (1 stick) - butter

1/2 cup - buttermilk

1 and 1/2 cups - applesauce

—> we only had 1 cup of apple sauce, so we used 1/2 cup plain yogurt!

2 eggs

3/4 cup - chopped walnuts



1/4 cup (1/2 stick) - butter

1 cup - chopped pecans

4 cups - powdered sugar

1 (8 oz.) package of cream cheese, softened

1 and 1/2 tsp - vanilla extract


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

—> we had a sifter but chose not to use it… a good stir with a spoon with do!

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

—> we accidentally broke my hand mixer the last time we were baking, so we mashed the butter in a separate bowl and then added it in. It was a bit hard to get the butter to mix well, but we were content with just really small chunks of butter! (It’ll melt anyways…) 

3) Beat in eggs. Fold in 3/4 cup chopped nuts. Pour batter into a greased and floured pan. 

—> the recipe suggests a 9 x 13 inch pan, but we used an 8 x 8 inch pan and it turned out great! 

4) Bake at 350 degrees F for 50 minutes!

—> the ovens where we live tend to bake things faster, so we put it in for 30 minutes… BIG MISTAKE. This cake turns super brown, but it doesn’t mean it’s done! After the center collapsed (false toothpick test!), we put it back in the oven for another 20  minutes! :P

5) Mix powdered sugar, cream cheese and vanilla until smooth. 

6) Melt 1/4 cup butter over medium heat and add 1 cup chopped pecans. Keep stirring until browned (butter turns brown and pecans get soft and caramelized!). Stir cooled pecans into cream cheese mixture.

7) Frost cooled cake… and enjoy! :D


The next time I make this cake, I would do a few things differently. First of all, the cake wasn’t overly sweet, but it was sweet! So I would reduce the sugar from 1 and 1/2 cups to 1 and 1/4 or even just 1! Then in order to make this cake vegan, I would substitute the 2 eggs for 1/2 cup of apple sauce! So that would be a total of 2 cups of apple sauce! You can also do 1/2 a cup of plain or vanilla yogurt! Your cake will be super moist and delicious! If you do add more apple sauce/ yogurt instead of eggs, and you think your batter is too runny, add a 1/4 cup more flour! 

Regardless, this cake was delicious! I wrote J and 21 on it with the extra chopped pecans I had… the picture does not do this cake justice! But it is a nutty and spicy and apple-y cake! :D 

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