Moist and fluffy homemade cinnamon applesauce cake with silky caramel cream cheese frosting. A perfect dessert for any Fall occasion!

I adore Fall but I’m sad summer is already over. It’s only a few short months here, which isn’t nearly long enough. In fact, I noticed some leaves turning as early as August this year. Thankfully, that was few and far between. The majority of trees are still lush and green, but those few early changing trees put a damper on things. I was clinging on to every last bit of summer for as long as possible. The cooler temps are finally here and there’s no going back.

Fully embracing this…it means cozy food and comfy clothes season. Time to cozy up with a comforting bowl of soup, bundle up in layers and sit around a warm fire. And of course… all of the delicious flavors Fall has to offer, from apples to pumpkin and of course cranberries. There’s something for everyone!

I’m practically counting the days until my absolute favorite apple variety is available again. We’re still a few weeks away, since it’s one of the last local varieties to be ready. I’ve gone months without them so whats a few more weeks, right? Do you have a favorite apple variety?

It may not be Fall for another week but the moment September hits, it’s apple season in my eyes which makes it unofficially Fall. New pumpkin recipes can wait until October. There’s plenty of time for that! For now, we’ll enjoy all of the apple treats! And this cinnamon applesauce cake is a perfect way to kick off baking season.

Perfectly moist and fluffy homemade spiced applesauce cake, topped off with silky caramel cream cheese frosting. The combination of applesauce and oil keep the cake super moist, while the applesauce and spices give it a warm and cozy seasonal flavor. Using simple pantry staples, you’ll be able to whip this cake up in no time at all! This is guaranteed to become a new family favorite. In fact, it received an 11/10 rating from my non-apple loving child.

A perfect dessert for Fall or any time of the year! Be sure to add this to your baking plans asap!

Tips tricks and questions answered…

Can I make this into a cupcakes instead?
If you’re looking for an apple flavored cupcake, I’d recommend checking out the below options instead. Many cake recipes can be converted to cupcakes, but this one has not been tested as cupcakes.

I have tons of pumpkin cake and cupcake recipe too, so be sure to check those out as well!

Can I make buttercream frosting instead?
Absolutely! Follow the directions for this vanilla buttercream recipe. Play around with the flavor or keep it as is.

Can I make substitutions to the ingredients?
Yes and no. Baking is a science. This recipe works with the exact measurements listed. Altering one or several of those can cause the recipe to fail. If you’re familiar with baking substitutions, go for it! Outside of any alterations I’ve already mentioned, for specific substitution questions, ask in the comments below.

How should I store the cake?
If eating within a day or two, they can absolutely be stored at room temperature. Any longer than that and I’d suggest storing them in the refrigerator, where they can be kept for at least 4-5 days, maybe a bit longer. If you refrigerate the cake, the frosting will firm up a bit. If you prefer softer frosting and fluffy cake, bring the cake to room temperature prior to eating.

How many will this serve?
This recipe will serve 9 but can easily be sliced smaller to feed 12.

Can I use a different pan?
If you don’t have an 8-inch square pan, a round pan would work just as well.

What kind of applesauce should I use?
I prefer sweetened cinnamon applesauce. If you have plain applesauce on hand, consider increasing the cinnamon slightly.

Can I skip the parchment paper?
If you plan on serving the cake from the dish you’re baking it in, you can absolutely skip it. Be sure to still grease your cake pan well. If you plan on serving the cake outside of the baking dish, parchment paper helps to easily remove the cake from the pan. Lift up on the parchment and away from the pan to remove it and transfer to a serving platter or storage container.

What kind of caramel should I use?
Homemade or store bought caramel sauce will work well. A room temperature but pourable consistency is best.

How can I tell when my cake is done?
There are a handful of methods that can be used. Here are a few options. Please note these are recommendations and not a guarantee of doneness. One method may work better for you than someone else. You may also find that you want to try two methods to confirm the cakes level of doneness.

  • Cake tester method: Insert a cake tester or toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs, it’s likely done. If it comes out with wet batter, continue cooking, checking periodically.
  • Resistance method: using a cake tester, poke in various areas of the cake (edges, center etc) to see how it feels. Comparing the outside to the center, if the center has no resistance at first and then has a change in feeling, it probably needs to be cooked a bit longer. *This method isn’t for everyone and can be tricky
  • Finger indentation: very gently press on the outside and center of the cake, leaving a light indentation. If it springs back, it’s likely done. If it doesn’t, continue cooking.
  • Temperature: Most cakes are done when the center is around 200°F – 210°F though this will vary depending on ingredients.

Moist and fluffy homemade cinnamon applesauce cake with silky caramel cream cheese frosting recipe from @bakedbyrachel A perfect dessert for any Fall occasion!
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Applesauce Cake with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Resting time and frosting: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Yield: 9
Moist and fluffy homemade cinnamon applesauce cake with silky caramel cream cheese frosting. A perfect dessert for any Fall occasion!



  • 1 C cinnamon applesauce
  • 1/2 C vegetable oil
  • 1/2 C granulated sugar
  • 1/4 C light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 C all purpose flour
  • 1/4 C sour cream


  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 C unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 C powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp caramel sauce, room temperature, pourable


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8-inch square baking pan. Line with parchment paper, leaving overhang on all four sides. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl or stand mixer, combine applesauce and vegetable oil, followed by the egg and vanilla. Mix until just combined. With the mixer running on low, add sugars, followed by salt, spices, baking powder and baking soda. Mix in flour in small batches. Lastly, mix in sour cream. Mix until just combined and no streaks remain. Transfer batter to prepared baking pan. Use a small offset spatula to level the batter. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the center of the cake.
  • Cool cake in pan, set on a wire rack.
  • When cake is completely cooled, carefully remove parchment paper and place on desired serving platter.
  • Prepare frosting. In a medium bowl or stand mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth. Mix in softened butter. Add powdered sugar in small batches. Lastly, mix in caramel sauce. Spread on cooled cake with a small offset spatula. Spread frosting on cooled cake with a small offset spatula.
  • Slice and serve. Store remaining cake in an airtight container for up to several days. Refrigerate for up to 4-5 days.


Recipe yields 1: 8-inch cake, serving 9-12.
An original recipe from Baked by Rachel


Calories: 498kcal, Carbohydrates: 68g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 24g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Trans Fat: 0.3g, Cholesterol: 51mg, Sodium: 298mg, Potassium: 77mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 46g, Vitamin A: 401IU, Vitamin C: 0.1mg, Calcium: 64mg, Iron: 2mg
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most accurate data, use your preferred nutrition calculator with the actual ingredients you used to make this recipe.
Did you make this recipe?I'd love to see it! Snap a picture and tag @bakedbyrachel on Instagram!
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keywords: Cake

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Moist and fluffy homemade cinnamon applesauce cake with silky caramel cream cheese frosting recipe from @bakedbyrachel A perfect dessert for any Fall occasion!

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