Closeup of a Slice of frosted cake on a green plate with a black fork

Carrot Applesauce Cake

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Enjoy our Carrot Applesauce Cake at only 80 cents a slice for a delicious, super-moist dessert. Classic homemade goodness with its freshly grated carrots, blend of warm spices, and chopped pecans. Over the years, I tried different versions of a carrot cake. This is by far, my favorite version! And it is super easy to make. Read on for step by step instructions, answers to commonly asked questions, and 6 helpful tips.

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Q&As About Making Carrot Applesauce Cake

Below are a few answers to some common questions when making Carrot Applesauce Cake. Let us know if you have other questions we can answer. 

Are carrot cake and spice cake the same?

Our Carrot Applesauce Cake is similar to a spice cake since we include a lot of spices! The main difference, of course, are the carrots. A cream cheese frosting is perfect for both cakes. 

Can I make carrot cake without Olive Oil?

Yes, this version is made with unsweetened applesauce. It is a great option if you do not want to add Olive Oil. Plus it reduces the calories, adds fiber and keeps your baked goods moist with the water content of applesauce.

What spices are used for carrot cake?

We use ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground nutmeg, and ground cloves. If for some reason you do not care for any of those spices, feel free to eliminate them.

Can I make carrot cake with raisins?

Yes, you could add ½ cup of golden raisins. Their light color perfectly compliments the cake. Alternatively you could eliminate the pecans or use walnuts instead.

Three slices of Carrot Applesauce Cake on green plates with black forks
Carrot Applesauce Cake

Making the Carrot Applesauce Cake

  1. Sift Dry Ingredients: In a small bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. 
  2. Wet Ingredients: In a large bowl, mix together the wet ingredients. 
  3. Mix Together: Slowly add and blend the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. 
  4. Add Final Ingredients: Fold in the pecans and raisins if desired.
  5. Pour into Cake Pans: Divide the batter between two prepared cake pans.
  6. Bake: Place in the oven and bake for 35 to 45 minutes until a toothpick comes out fairly clean.  
  7. Cool: Remove from the oven and cool for 15-minutes on a wire rack. Remove the cake from the pan by turning over the cake pans onto the wire rack. Cool cake completely before frosting.

Making the Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Cream butter: In a medium size bowl, cream room temperature butter using a hand mixer.
  2. Blend cream cheese: Blend in the cream cheese until smooth. 
  3. Add Liquids: Mix in the vanilla and heavy cream until smooth. 
  4. Thicken Frosting: Blend in ½ cup Confectioners Sugar at a time until the frosting reaches desired consistency.

Frosting the Carrot Applesauce Cake

There are many fun ways to frost your cooled cake. We enjoy a cream cheese frosting that compliments the cake; I am not a fan of the super-thick frosting. But if you enjoy a thicker frosting, then most likely you will need to increase the frosting ingredients. The first set of pictures includes whole pecans, raw pumpkin seeds and shredded carrots as the topping. Plus it used a different frosting then what is in my recipe card. I went with a thinner frosting that included Tofu and it was excellent! Below is the recipe. 

  • ½ cup Light Cream Cheese
  • ⅓ cup Powdered Sugar
  • ½ cup Firm Tofu
  • 6 tbsp Buttermilk, or Unsweetened Almond Milk

The below pictures use the cream cheese frosting that is included in my recipe card. I let the cake cool and then placed it in the refrigerator overnight. The next day I added the cream cheese frosting and it was easy to frost since the cake is cold. No crumbs, for the most part, to worry about! On the outer edge of the cake is crushed pecans with colorful sprinkles added for fun! Another option is to not frost the cake sides showcasing some of the cake’s natural beauty! 

To store I place the decorated cake in a large cake holder that has a lid. Then keep it either in the refrigerator or in a cool location. Once cut, I store individual slices in plastic containers in the refrigerator. In the refrigerator this cake was good for about 7 to 8 days.

6 Carrot Applesauce Cake Helpful Tips

  1. Cake Size: Weight the cake pans before adding the cake batter and re-weigh with the batter to ensure both cake pans weigh the same. 
  2. Cake Strips: Some people use cake strips to bake level cakes and avoid the outer edge over baking.
  3. Parchment Paper: Cutting a piece of parchment paper and placing it in the cake pan can make it easier to remove the cooled cake. (I still spray the cake pan sides for easier removal.)
  4. Spatula: If the cooled cake is not separating from the cake pan edge, gently use a spatula to loosen the edges.
  5. Baking Spray: Using a Baking Spray contains the non-stick oil mixed with the flour. One spray takes care of coating the pan with a non-stick spray and adding flour to the pan.
  6. Grated Carrots: A small food processor makes quick work of shredding or grating carrots.  

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Closeup of a Slice of frosted cake on a green plate with a black fork

Carrot Applesauce Cake

Pin Recipe
Enjoy our Carrot Applesauce Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting at only 80 cents a slice for a delicious, super-moist dessert. Classic homemade goodness!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Carrot Applesauce Cake
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 14
Calories: 336kcal
Author: Bernice
Cost: 80 cents a slice

Equipment

  • Two 9” round baking pans
  • Wire Rack
  • Large bowl
  • Flour sifter
  • Small bowl
  • Hand mixer

Ingredients

Cake Dry Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups Flour
  • 1 ½ tsp Baking Soda
  • ½ tsp Baking Powder
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Nutmeg
  • ½ tsp Ginger
  • ½ tsp Cloves
  • ½ tsp Salt

Cake Wet Ingredients

  • 3 Eggs
  • 2 tsp Vanilla
  • ¾ cup Buttermilk low-fat
  • 1 ½ cups Applesauce Unsweetened
  • 1 ½ cups Packed Dark Brown Sugar
  • 2 cups Grated Carrots

Optional Add-Ins

  • ½ cup Pecans optional
  • ½ cup Golden Raisins optional

Frosting Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp Butter softened
  • 8 ounces Cream Cheese Light
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 2 tbsp Heavy Cream or choice of Milk
  • 2 cups Confectioners Sugar or until desired consistency

Optional Toppings Ingredients

  • Toasted nuts such as pecans walnuts (whole or chopped)
  • Shredded Carrots or Coconut
  • Raw Pumpkin Seeds

Instructions

Oven Preparation

  • Preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Prepare or two 9” round baking pans. Spray and flour pans or consider using baking parchment paper.
  • Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until a toothpick comes out fairly clean.

Cake Preparation

  • In a small bowl, sift together the dry ingredients.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the wet ingredients.
  • Slowly add and blend the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
  • Fold in the pecans and golden raisins if desired.
  • Divide the batter between the two cake pans.
  • Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until a toothpick comes out fairly clean.
  • Cool for 15-minutes on a wire rack.
  • Remove the cake from the pan by turning over the cake pans onto the wire rack.
  • Cool cake completely before frosting.

Frosting Directions

  • In a medium size bowl, cream the butter using a hand mixer.
  • Blend in the cream cheese.
  • Mix in the vanilla and heavy cream.
  • Blend in ½ cup Confectioners Sugar at a time until the frosting reaches desired consistency.

Recipe Notes

Calories are approximate depending upon serving size and ingredients used. Cost per serving can vary based upon the price of ingredients. Optional add-ins and toppings are not included in the cost per serving or the calories.
6 Carrot Applesauce Cake Helpful Tips
  1. Cake Size: Weight the cake pans before adding the cake batter and re-weigh with the batter to ensure both cake pans weigh the same.
  2. Cake Strips: Some people use cake strips to bake level cakes and avoid the outer edge over baking.
  3. Parchment Paper: Cutting a piece of parchment paper and placing it in the cake pan can make it easier to remove the cooled cake. (I still spray the cake pan sides for easier removal.)
  4. Spatula: If once cooled the cake is not removed from the cake pan edge, gently use a spatula to loosen the edges.
  5. Baking Spray: Using a Baking Spray contains the non-stick oil mixed with the flour. One spray takes care of coating the pan with a non-stick spray and then adding flour to the pan.
  6. Grated Carrots: A small food processor makes quick work of shredding or grating carrots.
Nutrition Facts
Carrot Applesauce Cake
Amount Per Serving (14 g)
Calories 336 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Cholesterol 53mg18%
Sodium 340mg15%
Potassium 218mg6%
Carbohydrates 65g22%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 45g50%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 3306IU66%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 84mg8%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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