Brown Butter Frosted Applesauce Spice Cake

Saturday 28 November 2020

I wanted to bake us all a cake to enjoy this weekend. Something homey and comforting. Something familiar.  I have a great recipe for an Applesauce Spice cake in my Big Blue Binder, but it is packed somewhere in one of my boxes.

I can't even begin to fathom which one at the moment.  I decided to look for one online to use. I found what looked like a delicious one on the Land O Lakes site. It didn't use shortening either, so I decided to make it.

Brown Butter Frosted Applesauce Spice Cake

 It makes a lovely big cake.  I baked it in my sister's 9 by 13 inch pyrex dish.  She didn't have a metal pan that size.  Beggars can't be choosers! 

It was a really easy cake to make as well. You just put everything into the bowl of your mixer and beat away until its all smooth!  Make sure your butter is really soft however, or it won't beat in well.

Brown Butter Frosted Applesauce Spice Cake


You also don't beat in the raisins and nuts. You stir them in at the end.  That way they stay a nice size. It bakes really quickly as well.

Not much more than half an hour.  I used storebought unsweetened applesauce, but you could also use homemade applesauce. I would not use sweetened applesauce. 

There is 2 cups of sugar in the cake batter which is plenty. Then there is the frosting.  You don't want to overdo the sugar by using a sweetened applesauce on top of it all.

I amped up the spices as we like things like this to be a bit spicier. I used 2 tsp of cinnamon instead of 1 1/2.  I also added nutmeg to mine. I love the flavour of nutmeg with apples.

Brown Butter Frosted Applesauce Spice Cake


I think a pinch of cloves would also go very nicely. You don't need a lot. Just a pinch.  Cloves can be very overpowering, but again, they go with apple very well.

Someone on the Land O Lakes site had added Chai Tea Spice.  That sounds interesting.

Brown Butter Frosted Applesauce Spice Cake

 I also added a bit more in the way of raisins.  We love raisins in everything.  Which reminds me. I need to bake a raisin pie one day for my dad. He would love that.

I need to be careful however as we are both diabetics, and my sister is on the edge.  Raisin pie might tip us all over the top. But boyo boyo . . .  its a real favourite! Maybe for Christmas.

The Browned Butter Frosting for this is really nice!  I do so love Browned Butter. Just the smell of it makes my taste buds tingle. 

I am a big late coming to the Browned Butter table. I know it was quite a fad a few years back. I just never caught on to it until recently.  I can't remember what I used it in, but I was converted as soon as I did. 

Brown Butter Frosted Applesauce Spice Cake

It adds a wonderfully nutty flavour to things and it isn't really that hard to make. You only need to heat butter slowly over a medium heat until it turns a golden colour.

Don't be in a rush or it will burn. I have found also that you need to remove it from the heat immediately as soon as it starts to turn or it will burn as well. It is a matter of seconds between perfect and burnt.

Brown Butter Frosted Applesauce Spice Cake

But again, well worth the effort.  Really well worth the effort.  This frosting is to die for, and goes so very well with that moist and spicy cake. 

I used walnuts instead of pecans. My father loves walnuts. So do I.  Again, I always toast my nuts. It doesn't take long. Only about 10 minutes in a hot oven. Let them cool before you use them.

Brown Butter Frosted Applesauce Spice Cake


One thing I am really struggling with at the moment is proper lighting.  It is all  a matter of timing. I was just on the edge today.  I will get it right eventually! 

Or I will look for a light box. We will have to wait and see. I think in the warmer months it won't be so much of a problem as we have lighter days.

Brown Butter Frosted Applesauce Spice Cake


I couldn't help myself. Once I had cut a piece to take a photograph, I needed to eat it. LOL  I am so naughty I know. 

I have to tell you it is really good.  REALLY REALLY GOOD!

Do not stint on the raisins or the nuts.  They really add something special to the mix. You could also use golden raisins if you wanted to. I suppose if you don't like raisins you could use cranberries as well, but its all a matter of taste. 

I like it with raisins. I am an old fashioned kind of a gal and raisins do it for me.

When you are thinking of a Home-Sweet-Home kind of a cake, what immediately comes to mind?  With me it is always Applesauce Cake or Carrot Cake. Oh my mom did so love a nice Carrot Cake. I think it was her favourite kind of cake.

If you are looking for a nice and moist, homey kind of cake to bake this weekend, you can't get much better than this one!

Brown Butter Frosted Applesauce Spice Cake

Brown Butter Frosted Applesauce Spice Cake
Yield: 15
Author: Marie Rayner
prep time: 5 Mincook time: 35 Mintotal time: 40 Min
Quick, easy and beautifully spiced, this moist cake has a browned butter frosting that really adds a special touch!


For the Cake:
  • 2 cups (280g) allpurpose flour
  • 2 cups (390g) sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups (325g) unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup (120g) butter softened
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup (115g) raisins
  • 1/2 cup (60g) chopped toasted walnuts
For the Browned Butter Frosting:
  • 1/3 cup (75g) butter
  • 3 cups (390g) sifted icing sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 to 3 TBS milk
  • 2 TBS chopped toasted walnuts (to garnish)


  1. Preheat the oven to 189*C/350*F/gas mark 4. Butter a 9 by 13 inch baking dish or tin really well. Set aside.
  2. Measure all of the cake ingredients into a mixing bowl and beat together until smooth,  with the exception of the raisins and nuts. Scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally. Stir in the raisins and nuts. Scrape into the prepared baking dish. Smooth over the top.
  3. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until golden brown, risen and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. The cake will have begun to pull away from the sides of the pan slightly. Cook completely before making the icing.
  4. To make the icing heat the butter in a saucepan over medium heat, cooking and stirring until the buttter just starts to turn golden. Stir constantly. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely.
  5. To make the icing combine the browned butter, icing sugar and vanilla in a bowl. Beat at medium speed,adding the milk gradually and scraping the bowl, until the frosting is smooth and spreadable. Spread onto the cooled cake and sprinkle the toasted nuts over top. Serve cut into squares.
Did you make this recipe?
Tag @marierayner5530 on instagram and hashtag it #EnglishKitchen
Created using The Recipes Generator

Brown Butter Frosted Applesauce Spice Cake

This content (written and photography) is the sole property of The English Kitchen. Any reposting or misuse is not permitted. If you are reading this elsewhere, please know that it is stolen content and you may report it to me at: mariealicejoan at aol dot com 

Thanks so much for visiting. Do come again! 

Follow my blog with Bloglovin


  1. Your family must be in heaven having you around to fill them with superb baking and cooking.

    I laughed at "I couldn't help myself. Once I had cut a piece to take a photograph, I needed to eat it." We agree on that for sure! I think of it as necessary - a quality control test, so you can assess the taste and texture and give us a complete picture :)

    It does sound quite delicious and I'd also want to ramp up the spices - all of your suggestions are perfect with apples. I must have totally missed the "burnt butter" memo as I've never used that technique. I've seen it on cooking shows when they do ravioli with sage burnt butter, but I think I was turned off by the word "burnt". Maybe I need to try it out, if you recommend it.

    We are full up here with Advent and birthday treats, so I will bookmark this to try in the new year.

    1. I hope you will try it in the future Marie! Its an excellent cake. I like a lot of spice in my spice cakes. I can see we are really from the same school of thought! Yes, quality control is very important! Especially when it comes to baking! I wouldn't want to poison anyone! lol ;-) Love and hugs, xoxo

  2. Can you buy unsweetened apple sauce in the UK? I assumed that ours was always sweetened because they use Bramley apples which are inedible without sugar

    1. No, I have never seen unsweetened applesauce in the UK, but you can always make your own. I always did. xoxo


Thanks for stopping by. I love to hear from you so do not be shy!

Did you make the recipe as directed? Recipe results are not guaranteed when changes have been made.

Is this comment helpful to other readers? Rude or hateful comments will not be approved. Remember that this website is run by a real person.

Are you here to complain about ads? Please keep in mind that I develop these recipes and provide them to you for free. Advertising helps to defray my cost of doing so, and allows me to continue to post regular fresh content.

Thanks so much for your understanding! I appreciate you!