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Gran’s Apple Cake

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 recipe one that we treasured. Even though I've lightened it up, it's still a family favorite. —Lauris Conrad, Turlock, California
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Bake: 35 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    24 servings


  • 1-2/3 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 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


  • Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a 13x9-in. baking pan with cooking spray.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
Nutrition Facts
1 piece: 181 calories, 5g fat (2g saturated fat), 21mg cholesterol, 213mg sodium, 32g carbohydrate (22g sugars, 1g fiber), 2g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 fat.
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Average Rating:
  • Pamela
    Feb 27, 2021

    I have made this recipe many times. It always turns out great. The cream cheese frosting is what puts it over the top flavor wise. Goes perfectly with the cake. Yum!

  • dpn429
    Jan 16, 2021

    Wow! Easy and extended family loved it! on New Years Day dinner! Very moist.

  • Elizabeth
    Dec 20, 2020

    I really liked this cake. It was moist and I found it easy to make. I give it five stars. Even my mom ate it and she doesn’t eat a lot of sweets..

  • T
    Dec 7, 2020

    This was an awesome apple cake and because I didnt have the applesauce I used a strawberry flavor applesauce so the end was fantastic

  • abbyalex
    Oct 25, 2020

    Great cake. Made this cake and husband loved it. Also put in raisins and a bit of vanilla pudding. Also made cake sugar free for my sister whose a diabetic Turned out very good. Also sent it out to my son and they all loved it. This is a keeper.

  • resalee
    Oct 23, 2020

    A little more time consuming but worth the effort, SO DELICIOUS!

  • Sandra
    Oct 7, 2020

    Excellent apple cake!

  • Westiebabe
    Sep 25, 2020

    This is by far my husband's favorite cake. Super moist and very flavorful. The benefit to applesauce is that it reduces calories, and adds nutrients and fiber. If you want to be a "purist" just add 1/2 cup of butter instead of the applesauce. Either way, it's a great recipe just the way it is.

  • Sharon
    Apr 25, 2020

    I also am from Turlock my Brother buys about five bags a year from a Farmer in Hughson on Tully Road I wanted to try something different to impress him . I make this today it was very delicious I will share recipe with him the only thing was it called for a large amount of apples I only had two which was plenty for me so I don't think I would ever use 6 cups. I will certainly make again! Thanks for sharing

  • Cathy
    Mar 15, 2020

    No comment left