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Grandma's Applesauce Cake Recipe

This moist 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. YIELD:12-16 servings


  • 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


  • 1. Place raisins and hot water in a small bowl; set aside.
  • 2. 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.
  • 3. Transfer to a greased 13-in. x 9-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. Yield: 12-16 servings.

Nutritional Facts

1 piece: 282 calories, 9g fat (2g saturated fat), 13mg cholesterol, 237mg sodium, 48g carbohydrate (31g sugars, 1g fiber), 4g protein.

Reviews for Grandma's Applesauce Cake

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NanZim User ID: 3929200 238000
Reviewed 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 User ID: 8167662 215218
Reviewed 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. User ID: 6846160 15192
Reviewed 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 User ID: 2525331 48292
Reviewed Oct. 20, 2012

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

Ginger5398 User ID: 3031394 74716
Reviewed Sep. 4, 2012

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

Loiscooks User ID: 3656565 41353
Reviewed 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 User ID: 4848502 20736
Reviewed 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!"

RNMOM502 User ID: 1038662 18899
Reviewed Nov. 21, 2011

"Some changes: 1c white sugar, 1c brown sugar. added 1t vanilla. very tasty, moist. strong spice flavor. may try halving the spices next time. a definite keeper."

p30bear User ID: 5348035 19212
Reviewed Oct. 15, 2010

"This recipe is wonderful and so moist! I drizzled icing on the top and my family loved it. Will definately make again."

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