Applesauce Cake with Crunchy Sugar Topping

I love, love, love this cake!  It is really easy to make, and can be whipped up in no time flat.  It is so versatile, and can be enjoyed as a simple dessert or dressed up with ice cream; it would be great with breakfast, brunch or a cup of afternoon tea or packed into a lunch for work or school.  And, it is made 100% whole wheat flour and you wouldn’t even know it.  It isn’t too sweet, and always super moist and cakey.

I like to make this whenever I have homemade apple sauce leftover, but you can certainly take the help from the store and make this with pre-made sauce as well.

The cake recipe comes from King Arthur flour; the crunchy sugar topping is from another recipe, my favorite pumpkin-apple bread, from The Gourmet Cookbook.


Applesauce Cake with Crunchy Sugar Topping

Adapted from King Arthur Flour and The Gourmet Cookbook
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter (8 tablespoons or 1 stick), softened 
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 3/4 cups Whole Wheat Flour
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons of sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
1 tablespoon of unsalted butter, softened 


Pre-heat your oven to 350°F.

In a small bowl, blend together all the topping ingredients with your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse meal or sand.  Set aside, and start preparing cake.

In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and butter; I use a small hand mixer.  Add the eggs and beat well. In a separate bowl, or on a large piece of wax paper or parchment combine the dry ingredients.

Add the dry ingredients in three additions, alternating with the applesauce to the creamed mixture, starting and ending with the dry ingredients.  Stir until mixed, but don’t overdo it.  Spoon the batter into a lightly greased and lightly floured 9-inch round cake pan.  Sprinkle with reserved crunchy sugar topping.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and, after 10 minutes, turn the cake out of the pan onto a rack to cool completely.  If you’re worried about loosing some of the topping, you can try using a springform pan for easy removal.


  1. Mom says

    The cake was so light with a delicate crunch on top you would never guess it was made with whole wheat flour.

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