Applesauce Spice Cake {vegan}

Going to college only forty-five minutes away from home had some serious perks. It was far enough away to avoid parent drop-bys, but close enough that I could see them whenever I wanted. I remember my first time visiting home since going off to college, and realizing how luxurious my home actually was. Home-cooked meals, a room to myself, a comfy living area with a nice TV, a backyard, and being with the people I felt most comfortable with: my family.

Applesauce Spice Cake_3

When they brought me back to the dorms after my weekend away, I was revived from homesickness and excited to get back to my new life. I hopped out of the car and my mom handed me a red tin of something I knew must be home-baked and delicious. My first care package. I opened it up to find slices of her famous applesauce spice cake that I loved so dearly. I hugged Mom and Dad goodbye, and headed back to campus with applesauce cake in hand. I enjoyed my taste of home for the next week and unsurprisingly enough, my fellow hall mates liked it just as much.

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Her applesauce cake was my favorite non-chocolate dessert in her baking repertoire. Her version includes a yellow cake mix with some extras, but I decided to recreate it without the box mix, as well as vegan-ize it for my current dietary needs (though you would never know it’s vegan, promise). It’s a bit different than my mom’s version, but is similar enough to induce baking nostalgia, as you may have noticed. No matter which way you make it, the apples and spices make for a perfect fall cake. 

 Applesauce Spice Cake_4

The usual occurs. Dry ingredients first, wet ingredients second, and then mix ‘em together.

Applesauce Spice Cake_Mix

Sugar coating, batter, then more sugar coating. 

Applesauce Spice Cake_bundt pan


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And flip it over. 

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Perfect for homesickness, fall celebrations, and just because. 

Applesauce Spice Cake
Serves 10
Applesauce Spice Cake is a moist bundt cake, perfectly spiced for fall!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
45 min
  1. 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  3. 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or ½ teaspoon each of ginger and nutmeg)
  4. 1 ¼ cup brown sugar
  5. 2 teaspoons baking soda
  6. 2 cups unsweetened applesauce
  7. ¼ cup apple cider vinegar (or white)
  8. ½ cup vegetable oil
  9. 1 tablespoon vanilla
Sugar Coating
  1. ¼ cup granulated sugar
  2. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F, 180 C.
  2. Mix the flour, spices, brown sugar, and baking soda together in a large bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the applesauce, vinegar, oil, and vanilla.
  4. Combine the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients by gently folding them together. Do not overmix.
  5. In a small bowl, stir together the granulated sugar and cinnamon.
  6. Grease your bundt pan with some vegetable oil. Sprinkle half of the sugar coating on the bottom of your pan. Pour the batter into the pan and spread it evenly. Sprinkle the remaining half of the sugar coating on the top of the batter. Bake for 35 minutes, rotating the pan at the halfway mark.
  7. Once cooled, put a plate on top of the bundt pan, hold them together, and flip it over. The cake should drop onto the plate. Garnish with some powdered sugar.
Adapted from Chef Chloe
Adapted from Chef Chloe
Caitlin Ball

15 Responses

  1. That’s one of the things I loved about college — everyone shared the home-baked goodies in their care packages. This is the perfect start-of-fall comfort food. Thanks for sharing it. And it’s vegan – bonus!!!

  2. Just made this cake for a friends impromptu courthouse wedding and it was super delicious! Everyone loved it and went back for seconds. Gosh, so easy to make too, no stand mixer needed.

  3. I made this in a 13 x 9 pan for my son’s first birthday and it was so delicious! I added a bit of clove and all spice, too! Yum! Thanks for the recipe!

    1. I’m so glad it turned out! And good to know it can go in a 9×13 too for those that don’t have a bundt pan.

  4. So happy to find this recipe… My 6 y.o. son has multiple food allergies (inc egg, dairy) and we made this together. Loved that it included items I already had in my pantry. Soooo goood!


    1. I’m so happy to hear that Cathy! It’s a great one and you really don’t miss the dairy or eggs! Glad your son liked it 🙂

  5. I made this cake yesterday for a group of high school girls. It was loved by everyone. A few notes.

    1. My fancy, favored Bundt pan has lots of nooks and crannies so I used a baking spray with flour. Then I coated the pan with a generous amount of cinnamon sugar.
    2. This took almost double the amount of baking time listed for me, even using my convection setting for the final twenty minutes.
    3. I used homemade applesauce which was a little chunky. The random bits of apple in this cake were amazing.
    4. I also used homemade brown sugar which I think gave extra flavor acc moisture. (My brown sugar was too dried out). I made the sugar fit this cake by combining 1 1/4 cups of granulated organic sugar and 2 tablespoons of good dark molasses.

    Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    1. thanks for the notes! I also make my own brown sugar, as they don’t sell it in Switzerland! I do like the taste as well, but it’s a bit of a mess to make!

  6. May we see what this cake looks like when sliced open? I always like to see the cake close up and look at the crumb/texture of the cake. Hope it’s not a secret.

  7. This is in my oven right now! It’s my kids’ and husband’s most requested treat. Jason’s even asked me to make a few into work with him. Thank you so much for such a delicious, easy recipe that my whole family, allergic kids included, can eat!

  8. I love this cake! I made it with homemade applesauce for church last Sunday and again for our game night tonight at my kids request. Thanks for a great and easy recipe!

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