I have a new love… this fabulously moist, light and delish, flavorful and sweet, super-spiced and iced sheet cake!
I’ve been obsessed with Applesauce Cake since this summer when I first made Julia Turshen’s instant-classic Applesauce Cake with Cream Cheese + Honey Frosting. Her cake is so fabulous, easy, and supremely satisfying.
I have this thing for sheet cakes… I love them. I love a classic Texas Sheet Cake and its deep cocoa flavor. Sheet cakes are so easy to cut and serve and can feed a huge crowd. Because they’re baked in a sheet pan the cooking time is very short too! My favorite part of a sheet cake is the boiled frosting. I love that you ice the cake when it’s still hot. And let’s be honest.. it’s BEST when served a little warm with ice cream!
I wanted to make my own version of a nearly OVERspiced cake in a sheet pan and drench it in super-sweet boiled icing. After a lot of research I mostly based my recipe on this spice cake from Sally’s Baking Addiction, and I based the icing on this white texas sheet cake from Inspired by Charm.
After three — delicious — tries I settled this recipe and I’m really happy with it. Let me warn you… I love a TON of spice in my spice cake! You can adjust the spice levels or even the spices you use. I think cardamom would be really nice in this cake, but I just didn’t have any on hand when I was making it.
The end results are fabulous. The texture of the cake is insanely light yet still super-moist. The crumb is perfect. You can get the texture from the grated apple and applesauce in every bite. I personally LOVE the super-sweet boiled frosting, but I think you could easily make this cake and omit the frosting and serve it with a sprinkle of powdered sugar. I was talking to my mom about the cake and she said that she would sprinkle brown sugar on top when it comes out of the oven… I think I’m going to try that out next time I can rationalize making a cake!
I love this Nordic Ware Naturals Sheet Pan… I have 6 of them and use them DAILY.
Spiced Appplesauce Sheet Cake
This super moist cake is so quick and easy to make!
For the cake:
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour 213g
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 1 cup light cooking oil, like canola 240ml
- 1 3/4 cup light brown sugar 350g, you could also use dark brown sugar
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce 180g
- 4 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup grated apple I used a large-ish gala apple
- 2 tbsp molasses optional, but I love the deep rich flavor it brings
For the frosting:
- 1/2 cup butter 113g
- 1/2 cup whole milk 125ml
- 1 pinch salt
- 5 cups confectioner’s sugar 550g
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- sprinkles are optional
For the cake, preheat oven to 350F and line the bottom of a sheet pan with parchment. I used a Nordic Ware Naturals half-sheet pan(16.25×11.25).
Measure out the dry ingredients into a bowl, mix together with a fork, and set aside.
In a large bowl measure out all the remaining ingredients and whisk them together.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet and whisk everything together… make sure you get any brown sugar clumps that might be there hiding!
Pour batter into prepared sheet pan and stick it in the oven for 15-18 minutes until golden brown and gorgeous.
Remove cake from oven and put in on a rack to cool.
While the cake is cooling a bit, prepare the frosting. IN a large sauce pan melt the butter, add the milk, salt, and vanilla, and bring to a boil and then immediately shut off the heat.
Slowly add the confectioners sugar while stirring. I didn’t sift my sugar, but if you want a perfectly chunk-free icing you should.
Carefully pour and spread the icing on the hot cake. I did this almost immediately, but if your frosting seems too hot you could totally wait a minute or two.
I added sprinkles because sprinkles are fabulous.
Allow the cake to cool a bit and the frosting to set. Serve warm if you can!