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Applesauce Carrot Cake Recipe

Applesauce carrot cake is a delicious and unique twist on the traditional carrot cake recipe.

Incorporating applesauce into the mix gives you a moist and delectable dessert perfect for any occasion.

The complementary flavors of applesauce and grated carrots blend harmoniously, resulting in a mouthwatering cake that will tantalize your taste buds.

This recipe delivers on taste and is a healthier alternative to classic carrot cake, as it incorporates a natural sweetener in the form of applesauce.

Adding warm spices and nuts enhances the overall flavor profile, making it a delightful dessert that everyone can enjoy, regardless of dietary preferences.

In the following sections, you’ll discover how to easily prepare this delicious applesauce carrot cake from scratch and impress your friends and family with your baking skills.

The simple steps will guide you through the process, ensuring that you have a top-quality dessert that everyone can enjoy.

How to Make Applesauce Carrot Cake

Ingredients List

For this confident and moist applesauce carrot cake, you will need:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups grated carrots
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce

Step-by-step process

Step 1

Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C).

Grease two 9-inch cake pans and set them aside.

Step 2

Combine dry ingredients. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt.

Set this aside as it will be your dry ingredients mixture for the cake batter.

Step 3

Mix wet ingredients in a separate large mixing bowl; combine the brown sugar, granulated sugar, oil, eggs, crushed pineapple, applesauce, and vanilla extract.

This will be your wet ingredients mixture.

Step 4

Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until fully combined.

Be sure not to overmix to keep your carrot cake as moist as possible.

Gently fold in the grated carrots and chopped walnuts (optional).

Step 5

Pour the batter evenly into the two prepared pans.

Place them in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Step 6

Remove the baked cake layers from the oven and let them cool in the cake pans for about 10 minutes.

After that, carefully remove the cake layers from the pans and let them cool completely on a wire rack.

Step 7

Prepare the frosting. In a mixing bowl, beat the softened cream cheese with the sifted powdered sugar, adding in the unsweetened applesauce to adjust the consistency as needed.

Step 8

Once your cake layers are completely cooled, use a sharp knife to trim the tops if necessary, ensuring a level surface.

Place one cake layer on a serving plate and spread about 1/3 of the cream cheese frosting on top.

Place the second cake layer on top of the frosted first layer.

Now, spread the remaining frosting on top and around the sides of your applesauce carrot cake as desired.

Now, your applesauce carrot cake is ready to be served!

Enjoy every bite of this moist and flavorful dessert.

Side Dishes for Applesauce Carrot Cake

Applesauce carrot cake is a delightful dessert that can be enjoyed on its own or paired with various side dishes to enhance the overall dining experience.

Here are some of the best side dishes to serve with your applesauce carrot cake:

Vanilla Ice Cream

A classic complement to any cake, a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream will provide a contrasting temperature and texture and perfectly complement the warm spices and flavors of the applesauce carrot cake.

Fruit Salad

A refreshing fruit salad offers a light, tangy contrast to the rich flavors of the applesauce carrot cake.

Include fruits such as strawberries, kiwis, and pineapple for a tropical twist to your dessert plate.

Whipped Cream

Whipped cream is a simple yet delightful addition to your applesauce carrot cake.

Its light, airy texture provides an excellent contrast to the dense, moist cake.

You can add a touch of cinnamon or nutmeg to the whipped cream for an extra spice.

  • Pecans: Sprinkle some toasted pecans on top of the cake or include them in the batter for additional crunch and flavor.
  • Raisins: Adding raisins to your applesauce carrot cake will provide a sweet, chewy texture contrast.
  • Be sure to soak the raisins in warm water before adding them to the batter for proper moisture balance.

Make sure to choose the right side dishes according to your preferences and dietary needs, and enjoy a tasty, well-rounded dessert experience with your applesauce carrot cake.

Ingredients Substitutes

Granulated Sugar

You can substitute granulated sugar with brown sugar if you prefer a richer, more caramel-like flavor in your carrot cake.

Just replace it with an equal amount and expect a slightly darker color in your finished cake.

Grated Carrots substitutes 

If you don’t have enough grated carrots or would like to add more variety to your carrot cake, consider using grated zucchini or sweet potato as a substitute.

They will provide a similar texture and moisture, contributing to a delicious, unique twist on the classic carrot cake.

Unsweetened Applesauce

There are several alternative ingredients to unsweetened applesauce that you can use in a carrot cake recipe:

  • Mashed Bananas: They add sweetness and moisture, similar to applesauce.
  • Mash them thoroughly to avoid chunks in the cake.
  • Pureed Peaches: Use equal amounts of pureed peaches compared to applesauce for a fruity and moist cake.
  • Greek Yogurt or Sour Cream: These dairy products act as a suitable replacement for applesauce, providing moisture and tanginess to the cake.

Powdered Sugar and Cream Cheese Frosting substitutes 

You can replace powdered sugar and cream cheese frosting with a lighter or healthier alternative, such as a whipped cream frosting or brown butter frosting.

Simply mix heavy cream with granulated sugar and a little vanilla extract for a fluffy, light whipped cream option.

All-Purpose Flour substitutes 

If you want to make your carrot cake gluten-free, you can replace the all-purpose flour with gluten-free flour, almond flour, or a blend of both.

Just ensure you measure the flour correctly.

How to Store Applesauce Carrot Cake

Storing your Applesauce Carrot Cake properly ensures that it remains fresh and delicious to enjoy later.

In this brief guide, you’ll discover how to store your cake to maintain its quality and taste for an extended period.

Airtight Container

One of the best methods for preserving your cake is to store it in an airtight container.

This container should be large enough to hold the cake comfortably without being squashed or losing shape.

By placing the cake in an airtight container, you prevent air from causing it to dry out and maintain its moist and appetizing texture.

You can store the container at room temperature, away from direct sunlight, for three to four days.

If you don’t have an airtight container, you can also use plastic wrap or aluminum foil to cover the cake tightly.

It’s crucial to ensure no air reaches the cake, so wrap it carefully and thoroughly.

As with the airtight container, store the wrapped cake at room temperature and consume it within three to four days.

Refrigerator

For longer storage, you can opt to refrigerate or freeze your Applesauce Carrot Cake.

When refrigerating, place the cake in an airtight container or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil.

Your cake can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Allow it to come to room temperature before serving to enjoy the best flavor and texture.

Freezer

Freezing your cake is also a great option for long-term storage.

Before freezing, wrap the cake securely in plastic wrap or aluminum foil or place it in an airtight, freezer-safe container.

Label the container with the date and type of cake to ensure you know what it is and when it was frozen.

The cake can be stored in the freezer for up to three months.

When you’re ready to enjoy the cake, allow it to thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature before serving.

By using these storage methods, you can be confident that your Applesauce Carrot Cake will remain fresh and enticing for days or even months, allowing you to savor each delicious bite at your leisure.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Here are the most common mistakes to avoid when preparing Applesauce Carrot Cake:

Not using parchment paper

Using parchment paper can help easily release the cake from the pan.

It’s important to grease and line the cake pans with parchment paper to prevent the carrot cake from sticking.

Incorrect baking time

Getting the perfect texture for an applesauce carrot cake means monitoring the baking time closely.

The cake should be baked at 350°F for about 35-45 minutes.

Check for moist crumbs with a toothpick; your cake is ready if it comes out clean.

Overmixing the batter

When mixing the cake ingredients, avoid overmixing.

This is especially true when using an electric mixer with a paddle attachment.

Overmixing can lead to a dense and less moist cake.

Inaccurate measurement of carrots

For a perfect applesauce carrot cake, using the right amount of grated carrots is important.

Aim for about 3 cups of carrots, peeled and grated in a food processor or by hand.

Not sifting the dry ingredients.

Mix the dry ingredients like flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium bowl.

It’s necessary to sift them properly to ensure an even distribution and avoid lumps in the batter.

Optionally, you can incorporate wheat flour for a healthier option.

Rushing the cooling process

Before frosting the cake, let the cake cool completely.

Placing a warm cake in the refrigerator or attempting to frost it too soon can cause the layers to collapse or the frosting to melt, leading to a less appealing birthday cake or any special occasion treat.

Not leveling the cake

For a professional-looking frosted cake, use a cake leveler or a serrated knife to trim the tops of each layer, ensuring that they are even and flat.

This will make the stacking process easier and provide a stable base for the frosting.

Remember to watch out for these common mistakes as you bake your delicious applesauce carrot cake, and you’ll be on your way to a moist and flavorful dessert that everyone will love.

applesauce carrot cake recipe

Applesauce Carrot Cake Recipe

Incorporating applesauce into the mix gives you a moist and delectable dessert perfect for any occasion.
The complementary flavors of applesauce and grated carrots blend harmoniously, resulting in a mouthwatering cake that will tantalize your taste buds.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 35 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 10
Equipment
  • 2 9-inch cake pans
  • 1 mixing bowl
  • 1 wire rack
  • 1 toothpick
Ingredients
  
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups grated carrots
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts optional
For the cream cheese frosting:
  • 8 oz cream cheese softened
  • 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
Instructions
 
  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C).
    Grease two 9-inch cake pans and set them aside.
  • Combine dry ingredients In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt.
    Set this aside as it will be your dry ingredients mixture for the cake batter.
  • Mix wet ingredients in a separate large mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar, granulated sugar, oil, eggs, crushed pineapple, applesauce, and vanilla extract.
    This will be your wet ingredients mixture.
  • Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until fully combined.
    Be sure not to overmix to keep your carrot cake as moist as possible.
    Gently fold in the grated carrots and chopped walnuts (optional).
  • Pour the batter evenly into the two prepared pans.
    Place them in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Remove the baked cake layers from the oven and let them cool in the cake pans for about 10 minutes.
    After that, carefully remove the cake layers from the pans and let them cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Prepare the frosting In a mixing bowl, beat the softened cream cheese with the sifted powdered sugar, adding in the unsweetened applesauce to adjust the consistency as needed.
  • Once your cake layers are completely cooled, use a sharp knife to trim the tops if necessary, ensuring a level surface.
    Place one cake layer on a serving plate and spread about 1/3 of the cream cheese frosting on top.
    Place the second cake layer on top of the frosted first layer.
    Now, spread the remaining frosting on top and around the sides of your applesauce carrot cake as desired.
    Now, your applesauce carrot cake is ready to be served!
    Enjoy every bite of this moist and flavorful dessert.

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