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Applesauce Cake With Soft Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

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

layered applesauce cake with soft and creamy caramel cream cheese frosting and a big slice missing showing the layers

      Layers of soft and delicious applesauce cake cradled with soft caramel frosting. This cake and this combination really is something to get excited about. 

It is the perfect fall dessert. Once you make the caramel cream cheese frosting for this, you will find yourself coming up with excuses to make more. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

      I have something to tell you. Cake and I have been in a serious relationship for a little while now. We’ve been trying to keep it quiet, but have decided to go ahead and make it public.

Are you shocked?

I didn’t think so!

      A nice moist applesauce cake would do the trick nicely. I wanted it to have just a hint of cinnamon, but not too much. I wanted the apple, vanilla and almond flavors to really mingle and star in this show.

   Oh gracious, they were definitely a match made in… well, heaven!

     It didn’t take much thought at all to know the frosting should have caramel tones in it.  While I absolutely love the creamy caramel sweetened condensed milk frosting, I had something a little softer in mind.

     I thought about starting from scratch, but why reinvent the wheel? So I tinkered with what I already knew was amazing to make it more what I had in mind.

    It turns out all it needed was more cream cheese!  That makes it easy and creamy and adds a little extra tang to balance out the sweet caramel.

Close up of round layered applesauce cake with smooth caramel frosting.

     This is one of those frostings you could eat with a spoon. Or maybe you should eat it with sliced apples!

    First of all it is not tooth achingly sweet. It is creamy, soft, luscious and a perfect balance of caramel and cream cheese flavors. As you can imagine, it was the perfect foil for the apple cake.

     I will confess that I love a beautifully decorated cake as much as the next person. In fact I go for the slice with the big frosting flower every time, because more frosting is always my thing!

    But I do not have an artistic bone in my body, so I keep my cake decorating simple. Mostly spread it on, top with sprinkles. You know, the fancy stuff! 😉

slice of applesauce cake with layers of soft caramel cream cheese frosting on dessert plate with fork.

    This time I decided to get super fancy and chop a few peanuts to sprinkle on top.  That way it was just like a caramel apple!

   Luckily this cake tastes so good you don’t need a bunch of intricate decoration. As soon as the first person takes a bite and shuts their eyes as they let out a “mmmmmm,” everyone will be sold!

     I actually made this cake for our annual shrimp boil this year.  I knew I would be busy the day of the party, so I made it a few days ahead.

    I just let them cool for a while on the wire racks and then wrapped them in plastic wrap and froze them until the day of the party.

    Then all I had to do was whip up some frosting and spread it on.  In fact that is my favorite way to do cakes.  It spreads out the work and I think helps the cake be extra moist and delicious!

If you are a frosting fanatic like me, check out my Frosting 101. It goes through the different types of frosting and links to all sorts of delicious recipes!

Yield: 24 Servings (A 3 Layer 9 inch cake)

Applesauce Cake With Soft Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

missing slice of applesauce cake

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

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes

Ingredients

Applesauce Cake

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups applesauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

Frosting

  • 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 16 oz cream cheese, softened

Instructions

Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and prepared 3 9 inch cake pans.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon until well mixed and no clumps are present.
  3. In your mixer, cream the vanilla, almond extract, butter, brown sugar and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until mixed.
  4. Mix in the applesauce. It is ok if it looks a little curdled at this stage.
  5. Stir in the dry ingredients until just mixed and then divide batter among the prepared pans.
  6. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the cakes test done. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then tip onto wire racks to cool completely.
  7. You can make your cakes ahead of time. Just wrap them in plastic wrap and freeze until you are ready to decorate.


Frosting

  1. In a saucepan, bring the sweetened condensed milk, brown sugar and butter to a boil over medium heat. Stir constantly and allow to boil for 3-5 minutes. The frosting should be like a thick pudding.
  2. Cool caramel mixture to room temperature. This may take a while, but you can put it in the refrigerator to speed the process if you want to. When cooled, it should be thick enough to almost hold it's shape.
  3. Whip cream cheese and vanilla until smooth. Add cooled caramel mixture and beat for at least a couple of minutes.
  4. Spread over completely cooled cake.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

24

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 420Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 75mgSodium: 309mgCarbohydrates: 59gFiber: 1gSugar: 45gProtein: 5g

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!

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

Layers of moist applesauce cake with just enough warm cinnamon wrapped in soft caramel cream cheese frosting is the perfect fall dessert. Make it for your next party!

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Julia

Friday 9th of August 2019

This cake is so beautiful (all of your desserts are)! Applesauce cake holds a special place in my heart. Love this!

Family Around the Table

Sunday 4th of November 2018

My husband loves applesauce so one would think this cake could be his new favorite. I can't wait to make it.

Miz Helen

Tuesday 28th of August 2018

This looks like a perfect cake for the fall weather coming soon, I hope! Hope you are having a good week and thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday! Miz Helen

Carlee

Tuesday 28th of August 2018

It is definitely a perfect fall cake! Thank you!

Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies

Tuesday 3rd of October 2017

I'm excited to try this! I've never made an applesauce cake before!

Carlee

Wednesday 4th of October 2017

You totally have to then! It is perfect for fall!

juliepollitt

Saturday 30th of September 2017

Looks delicious!

Carlee

Saturday 30th of September 2017

Thank you!