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Applesauce Cake with Brown Butter Frosting

Applesauce Cake with Brown Butter Frosting is a moist, easy to make, fall inspired scratch made cinnamon spice pecan cake flavored with applesauce!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Servings 12 servings
Calories 444


Applesauce Cake:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter (softened)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 1 ½ cups applesauce
  • 2 large eggs (room temperature, slightly beaten)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon (or pumpkin pie spice)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup pecans (chopped)

Brown Butter Frosting:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 2 tablespoon milk (or half and half, amount may vary depending on desired thickness)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract


  • ½ cup pecans (chopped)


To make the cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x13 baking pan and set aside.
  • Cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. This can be done by hand or in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Mix in applesauce. egg, and vanilla. 
    applesauce with eggs and creamed butter and sugar
  • In separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Mix into wet ingredients until well combined, scraping bowl as needed. Stir in pecans.
    apple cake batter with pecans
  • Transfer to prepared baking dish and bake in preheated oven 35-40 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. When done, remove from oven and allow to cool on wire rack.
    applesauce spice cake

To make the brown butter frosting:

  • While the cake is cooking, make the frosting. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk frequently, scraping teh bottom of the pan. As the butter foams, continue whisking and scraping to release any brown bits that may stick. Once the butter solids have sufficiently browned and begin to smell nutty, remove from heat. Take care to not burn.
    brown butter
  • Using the whisk attachment on a stand mixer, beat browned butter with confectioners sugar on medium speed. Add vanilla. 
    adding vanilla to frosting
  • Continue to mix and add milk or half and half, one tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is achieved and frosting is smooth. 
    brown butter frosting
  • Frost over cooled cake and sprinkle with remaining ½ cup of chopped pecans.
    close up of frosted Applesauce Cake with pecans


Calories: 444kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 71mg | Sodium: 273mg | Potassium: 147mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 40g | Vitamin A: 525IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 1.5mg