Do you have dessert recipes that have been a long tradition in your family? For me, it’s this Old Fashioned Applesauce Cake. I cannot recall one holiday throughout my childhood and into my 20’s that this cake was not a part of our holidays.
It was my grandmother’s signature cake. She had mastered this vintage recipe and never used a recipe card to bake it. She had it all locked away to memory. Each Thanksgiving and Christmas she would bake this cake in the same flute pan year after year and we all very much looked forward to our share.
I remember helping to gather the pecans that had fallen during season, helping to shell them, that would eventually be used in this cake. In my mind I can still smell the crisp fall air and see my little hands search through fallen leaves to find the pecans.
When we lost my grandmother, I’d never quite known the devastation of loss of a loved one before. Months later when the holidays came, I couldn’t help but think how I wish I’d had her recipe for applesauce cake to carry on the tradition.
Sweet Family Memories
I searched and tested many recipes until I developed the right variation that tasted as hers did. Each year now during the Christmas season, I bake this cake. I make a larger one for our home to enjoy and several small ones in loaf pans to gift to friends and family.
Of course my cake will never be just like Nanny’s recipe. Hers was extra special just because she made it.
Food, Family & Traditions Make Memories that Last a Lifetime
Earlier versions of this recipe on record included an orange icing. I can’t wrap my head around icing on this cake because we never once had it with icing.
If you prefer to have icing, of course that’s okay too. Because of the texture, and because it’s commonly served without icing, this is also called a bread by many. I usually bake mine in a loaf pan in fact, so it does take the shape of a bread.
The combination of spices, pecans and raisins just seem perfect for Christmas baking to me. Such wonderful memories are brought back each year when I bake this cake. I made a new memory for myself this year. I’ll always remember that this is the first cake I baked in our new “old” home since moving.
Years ago, I began my own tradition of gifting baked good during the holidays rather than shopping commercial retail. I put my love and time into each gift and I think that adds a special and meaningful touch. Much more than anything I could ever buy someone.
So let’s get to the baking! This recipe couldn’t be easier to prepare.
Old Fashioned Applesauce Fruit Cake
Printable Recipe Card at the end of this post
2 c All Purpose Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Ground Cloves
1/2 tsp Ground Nutmeg
1 c Raisins
1/2 c Chopped Pecans
2 Sticks of Butter, softened
1 c Dark Brown Sugar
1 c Applesauce ?
2 tbs Vegetable Oil
Shortening, to grease cooking pan
Preheat oven to 350℉
In a mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients – flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, raisins and pecans together.
Southern Holiday Cake
In a separate mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and brown sugar. I leave out butter the night before to be perfectly softened for recipes. Next add the eggs and mix together. Finally add the applesauce and vegetable oil and mix to combine.
Add half of the dry ingredients to the wet and mix to combine. Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until combined.
Grease a cooking pan well with shortening. This cake is lovely when prepared in a flute pan, bundt pan, sheet pan or loaf pan.
Pour batter into the prepared pan and place into preheated oven.
Bake 45-55 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Allow cake to cool for 10 minutes and remove from cooking pan, then cool completely.
Applesauce Raisin Pecan Cake
Wishing you all the joy of the season with your holiday baking!
Other recipes that may interest you:
Let’s make this Old Fashioned Applesauce Cake!
- 2 c All Purpose Flour
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp Ground Cloves
- 1/2 tsp Ground Nutmeg
- 1 c Raisins
- 1/2 c Chopped Pecans
- 2 Sticks of Butter, softened
- 1 c Dark Brown Sugar
- 2 Eggs
- 1 c Applesauce ?
- 2 tbs Vegetable Oil
- Shortening, to grease cooking pan
- Preheat oven to 350℉.
- In a mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients - flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, raisins and pecans together.
- In a separate mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and brown sugar. I leave out butter the night before to be perfectly softened for recipes. Next add the eggs and mix together. Finally add the applesauce and vegetable oil and mix to combine.
- Add half of the dry ingredients to the wet and mix to combine. Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until combined.
- Grease a cooking pan well with shortening.
- Pour batter into the prepared pan and place into preheated oven.
- Bake 45-55 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Allow cake to cool for 10 minutes and remove from cooking pan, then cool completely.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 472Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 87mgSodium: 395mgCarbohydrates: 54gFiber: 2gSugar: 30gProtein: 5g
You might also enjoy this Caramel Pecan Cheesecake Recipe from Norine’s Nest.