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Applesauce Bars With Sour Cream Frosting

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The moist cakey layer of these applesauce bars combine deliciously with the soft creamy sour cream frosting. They are flavorful and autumnal with their cinnamon and apple notes.

Pieces of applesauce cake topped with soft white sour cream frosting with an apple in the background.

If you like pumpkin bars and apples, you are going to love these applesauce bars. They are an easy fall dessert that should be added to your repertoire.

I saw a recipe for applesauce bars on Frugal Hausfrau’s site a year or two ago and I was instantly intrigued. I love trying new apple recipes and the pictures reminded me of my grandma’s pumpkin bars but with apple.

So I put them on my ever growing list of things to try. Somehow that list keeps getting longer, there just isn’t enough time to make everything.

Lifting piece of applesauce bars topped with sour cream frosting out of pan.

With fall around the corner, I figured it was time to make these bars. I am so glad I did.

The recipe below is a slight variation on what Molly made. It was adjusted to match our tastes and preferences.

Applesauce bars

Adding applesauce to the cake layer not only adds great flavor, but so much moisture as well. Add in some cinnamon and you are really in business.

The batter comes together really easily. The only key is making sure your butter is soft so that it is easily incorporated.

We prefer our bars as written. You could easily add a half cup of raisins and or walnuts if that is something your family would like.

The cake is done when the edges start to pull away from the edges of the pan and the top springs back when lightly touched with a finger. Allow it to cool completely before frosting the bars.

The sour cream frosting

One of the things that intrigued me about Molly’s recipe was the sour cream frosting. It has a lovely tang similar to cream cheese frosting, but is even softer and has a different tanginess.

I adjusted the recipe to make a little more. I am the self proclaimed frosting queen after all.

Again, you want to make sure you butter is good and softened. Otherwise you will find yourself with lumps and nobody wants lumpy frosting!

This frosting would not work for piping or really even for layers, unless you put a buttercream dam around it. But it is fabulous for spreading over bars or any simple 9×13-inch cake.

I can imagine it would be fabulous on a chocolate cake or of course pumpkin bars. Give it a try and see what you think.

Slice of frosted applesauce bar on plate ready to eat with apple in background.

Obviously you could use cream cheese frosting instead. Or add some caramel frosting for something different.

More recipes using applesauce

Slightly spiced and super moist applesauce cake goes perfectly with a soft and luscious cream cheese and caramel frosting.  This layered beauty is the stuff fall dreams are made of!

Applesauce oatmeal bread is a delicious sweet quick bread that’s perfect for breakfast, tea time, snack or even a light dessert. The vanilla honey butter helps take to the next level of yumminess!

Piece of cakelike applesauce bar on plate in front of pan of sour cream frosting topped dessert in background.

Or take some of that applesauce and whip up some homemade apple butter. Then use that apple butter on toast, to make apple butter pie and more!

Love this recipe? Give it a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review in the recipe card below!

Yield: 12 Servings

Applesauce Bars With Sour Cream Frosting

Pieces of applesauce cake topped with soft white sour cream frosting with an apple in the background.

The moist cakey layer of these applesauce bars combine deliciously with the soft creamy sour cream frosting. They are flavorful and autumnal with their cinnamon and apple notes.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

Applesauce Bars

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cup applesauce

Sour Cream Frosting

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a 9x13-inch pan.
  2. Cream together butter and sugar.
  3. Add egg and vanilla, mixing until combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  5. Mix 1/3 of the flour mixture into the butter mixture until just combined. Stir in 1/2 of the applesauce. Repeat with 1/3 of the flour, the remainder of the applesauce and finish with the rest of the flour. Each time stir until just mixed.
  6. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 30-35 minutes or until the middle bounces back when lightly touched with your finger. Allow to cool completely.
  7. To make the frosting, beat butter until smooth and creamy. Add powdered sugar, sour cream and vanilla, mixing until smooth. Spread over cooled bars and chill until set.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 386Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 64mgSodium: 256mgCarbohydrates: 53gFiber: 1gSugar: 40gProtein: 3g

All nutritional information is estimated and will depend on the exact ingredients you use.

Did you make this recipe?

I'd love to see it! Share a picture on Instagram or Pinterest and tag me @carleecooks to let me know how it went!

The moist cakey layer of these applesauce bars combine deliciously with the soft creamy sour cream frosting. They are flavorful and autumnal with their cinnamon and apple notes.

Share with your friends!

Susan Erwin

Monday 6th of September 2021

Sweetened or unsweetened applesauce?

Carlee

Monday 6th of September 2021

I used unsweetened, but I imagine either would work fine.

Andrea Nine

Wednesday 1st of September 2021

Applesauce I have been anxiously waiting to make and I’ll use my homemade for these yummy bars!

Carlee

Wednesday 1st of September 2021

Our local orchard opened last weekend, so it's getting to be that time!

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