Gran's Apple Cake Recipe
Gran's Apple Cake Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Gran's Apple Cake Recipe

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My grandmother occasionally brought over this wonderful cake warm from the oven. The spicy apple flavor combined with the sweet cream cheese frosting made this dessert a treasured recipe. Even though I've lightened it up, it's still a family favorite. —Lauris Conrad, Turlock, California
Featured In: 28 Best Fall Cakes
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Bake: 35 min. + cooling
MAKES:18 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Bake: 35 min. + cooling
MAKES: 18 servings


  • 1-2/3 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 cups chopped peeled tart apples
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar

Nutritional Facts

1 piece: 241 calories, 7g fat (2g saturated fat), 29mg cholesterol, 284mg sodium, 42g carbohydrate (30g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein.


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a 13x9-in. baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, beat sugar, eggs, applesauce, oil and vanilla until well blended. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; gradually beat into sugar mixture. Fold in apples and pecans.
  3. Transfer to prepared pan. Bake 35-40 minutes or until top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
  4. In a small bowl, beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla until smooth. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar (mixture will be soft). Spread over cake. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 18 servings.
Originally published as Gran's Apple Cake in Quick Cooking November/December 2003, p55

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cside28 User ID: 7627576 265401
Reviewed May. 1, 2017

"Very nice and moist, will make again"

valdater User ID: 5632060 255013
Reviewed Oct. 4, 2016

"I have this recipe in my TOH cookbook. I LOVE THIS RECIPE. It is seriously delicious and somewhat healthy if you eat the portion size and not too much more. I like to freeze portions so don't eat too much at once, and it stays fresh that way."

gemnidebb User ID: 3279753 254965
Reviewed Oct. 3, 2016

"want to make this but only have cinnamon flavored applesauce will that work?"

Catherine M User ID: 4074232 254734
Reviewed Sep. 28, 2016

"Amazingly moist cake! I used Honeycrisp apples and chopped them very fine. Added more cinnamon, some ground cloves and ground ginger as we like apple stuff nice and spicy. Husband made me take it to work so he wouldn't eat the whole thing!"

ozorzi User ID: 8124498 254671
Reviewed Sep. 26, 2016

"Very Delicious. It's a keeper! I will make this cake many times more!"

tanqueray User ID: 7492274 254647
Reviewed Sep. 26, 2016

"I made this yesterday and there's not much left. Did find out that it was better to chop the apples with smaller chunks to get it moister. This was a hit, for sure!"

Cherie Hill User ID: 1488797 254609
Reviewed Sep. 25, 2016

"This is a very delicious apple cake! Our favorite! I used Chehalis apples from our tree and it turned out moist and full of apple flavor. The cream cheese frosting is yummy as well. Thanks for sharing."

Jannahughes User ID: 5523345 254577
Reviewed Sep. 24, 2016

"Very moist and flavorful. I ran out of apples so added 2 cups of chopped pears to my 4 cups of chopped apples. Still excellent and can't even tell that pears were used. My frosting did not turn out like the picture looks tho. But was still good. I might double the frosting recipe next time, it barely covered the cake."

cruisingail User ID: 1553892 253939
Reviewed Sep. 10, 2016

"OMG this cake is as moist as it is flavorful...the cream cheese icing tops it off with alittle sweetness."

Quincal User ID: 8888456 253896
Reviewed Sep. 9, 2016

"My husband has been advised to avoid processed sugar. I sustituted two pitted dates (blended with the liquids) and added a 1/4 cup Stevia. I omitted the frosting. The cake turned out well. Thanks for sharing this recipe."

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