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Grandma’s Applesauce Cake

This moist applesauce cake recipe is a treasured heirloom passed down from my Grandma Stuit, who cooked for a family of 13 during the Depression. At reunions, it's the first dessert gone...including the crumbs! —Joanie Jager, Lynden, Washington
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Bake: 40 min.
  • Makes
    12-16 servings

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon each ground cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg
  • 1-1/2 cups applesauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • Confectioners' sugar, optional

Directions

  • Place raisins and hot water in a small bowl; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt and spices; add to creamed mixture alternately with applesauce and water. Drain raisins; fold into batter with the walnuts.
  • Transfer to a greased 13x9-in. baking pan. Bake at 300° for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Place pan on a wire rack. Dust with confectioners' sugar if desired. Serve warm or cold.
Nutrition Facts
1 piece: 282 calories, 9g fat (2g saturated fat), 13mg cholesterol, 237mg sodium, 48g carbohydrate (31g sugars, 1g fiber), 4g protein.
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Reviews

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Average Rating:
  • Mary
    Jan 2, 2020

    Absolutely wonderful! I only added 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Baked at 325 for 40 minutes and it came out golden and beautiful. Very moist and tender. This cake is already a family favorite

  • Janet
    Dec 22, 2019

    Delicious cake but the baking temp is way too low, it takes a lot longer to bake at 300 degrees, I had to turn it up to 340 for the last 15 minutes otherwise it would have taken 11/2 hours to bake! But the taste is great! Spicy just like I like it!

  • Cynthia
    Apr 24, 2018

    Only chose this recipe because it said "grandma's" extremely disappointed. Temp is too low and didn't have a good taste at all. Won't recommend it to anyone and am throwing it away. Sure isn't like my grandma's at all.

  • NanZim
    Nov 24, 2015

    My husband enjoyed this moist tasty cake. I soaked the raisins in apple juice instead of water. I also drizzled it with a glaze made with powdered sugar and apple juice.

  • Aha-ma
    Dec 18, 2014

    This is basically the same recipe that my mother-in-law has made for years. Her directions are slightly different. She always added the baking soda to the 1/2 c of boiling water. I was wondering if anyone has made this using less sugar? I love it but it is so sweet. I also bake this at 325, not 300. It usually takes about 55 mins.

  • Amy A.
    Jul 16, 2014

    This was an awesome cake. Tasted just like my mom's recipe. I made it for my dad's birthday for the first time. I added 2 eggs instead of 1 and baked at 340 degrees for 40 minutes then turn oven down to 300 and baked another 20 minutes. Came out perfect. It has a lot of moisture so it does take longer to bake than a normal cake but the results are pleasing. It definitely is moist and requires no frosting because it is very sweet. I just topped with a little lite cool whip and it was just enough to complete it. the raisins and nuts gave it such a great contrast of texture, It wouldn't be the same cake with out them . My tip to you: spray your knife with a little nonstick spray before cutting so that you don't tear your cake up. All the sugar and moisture in the cake makes it stick. Enjoy.

  • nswells
    Oct 20, 2012

    The taste of very good, but I had trouble with the baking time/temperature...is it really 300 for 40 minutes? I baked it 55 minutes and it was still not really done.

  • Ginger5398
    Sep 4, 2012

    I loved this recipe. I substituted a cup of diced apples for the nuts. Super moist and delicious!

  • Loiscooks
    Aug 31, 2012

    This cake is delicious. I cut the recipe in half to make an 8" square cake, and it turned out great. I used half white sugar and half brown sugar. I will definitely make this again!

  • macsam1965
    Jun 19, 2012

    My husband had requested Applesauce Cake like his mom used to make. I found this recipe and followed it except for the raisins, nuts and confectioner's sugar as he didn't like these. Instead, he prefers it topped with sweetened applesauce. I thought this was unusual, but was willing to try. It was great! We all liked it, including my 2 young children. They all said this is a keeper!