Grandma’s Applesauce Spice Cake

4 from 3 votes

Grandma's no-frills cake made clean.

Enjoy this super moist cake recipe made with apples sauce and just enough spice.

If you’d like to have your cake and eat it, too, give Grandma’s Applesauce Spice Cake recipe a try. This moist, delicious cake is a hit with children and adults, even though it doesn’t have any refined ingredients. It also happens to be one of the best healthy cake recipes we have in our collection! We’ve taken a traditional recipe favorite and made some ingredient swaps to make a skinny version that tastes just as good as the original.

Desserts often cause a great deal of stress for those trying to maintain a healthy diet. These types of dishes are usually packed with refined sugar–it’s what makes them sweet!–as well as being loaded with unhealthy saturated fat. That makes dessert difficult to enjoy if you are concerned about your health or weight! Luckily, we’ve found a few solutions for enjoying dessert without sabotaging your health.

Making Healthy Ingredient Swaps

We made a few modifications to Grandma’s traditional Applesauce Spice Cake that make it healthy without skimping on any flavor. Our first step was to toss out the table salt, which is super highly-processed and usually has additives to prevent clumping. Instead, we recommend using kosher salt because it’s more pure (or, better yet, sea salt or pink Himalayan salt).

Next up, we ditched the white flour and refined sugar. Instead, we use coconut palm sugar and natural applesauce to provide the perfect amount of sweetness. And, using whole-wheat flour gives this cake a nice density while also giving you a heart-healthy serving of whole grains. We dare you to notice the difference!

Healthy Desserts Taste Delicious

So, you see, you don’t need to skip the dessert just because you’re on a diet or weight-loss plan! If you’re craving a sweet treat, the best option is to choose healthier ingredients when making your desserts. Instead of buying a package of cookies from the supermarket, invest in high-quality, healthy ingredients and whip up a batch of your favorite desserts in your own kitchen. That gives you complete control over what you are eating.

It’s also important to stick to your serving sizes when you’re making a healthy treat, too. Everything in moderation, as they say. One serving is all you need of this full-flavored Applesauce Spice Cake, and it keeps your dessert calorie count to right about 300 calories. Feel free to slice each serving in half if all you need is a tiny bite to curb your sweet tooth. We’d also recommend trying this cake as a 300 calorie breakfast. After all, who doesn’t love a little dessert for breakfast?

4 from 3 votes

Grandma's Applesauce Spice Cake

This delicious, healthy, and guilt-free spice cake is sure to become a part of your dessert cookbook.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Yield 15 people
Serving Size 1 slice
Course Dessert
Cuisine American


  • 2 1/2 cups flour I used King Arthur's White Whole Wheat
  • 1 2/3 cups coconut palm sugar sucanat works well too
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 sweet apple cored, peeled and chopped into 1/4 inch pieces (I used gala)
  • 1 cup walnuts chopped, optional
  • 1 cup raisins optional
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups applesauce natural, here's my recipe
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons oil I used unrefined coconut oil (melted and cooled slightly), canola oil will also work


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9" x 13" cake pan.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients, whisk well to combine. If using walnuts or raisins, add and toss in with dry ingredients. Set aside dry ingredients. Add the remaining ingredients in a medium bowl, whisk until combined.
  • Pour wet ingredients into dry and stir with a large spoon to incorporate. Pour into cake pan and bake 45 - 50 (check after 45 minutes) minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • This cake is best when completely cooled and even better the next day.


Grandma's recipe called for 2 cups white sugar. Of course, I used an unrefined sweetener and reduced the sugar by 1/3 cup. Feel free to reduce it even more, maybe to 1 1/2 cups. Although I think it has just the right amount of sweetness. Since this is a dessert recipe, you can expect it to have some type of sweetener which in turn has added carbs and sugars. This, like any dessert, is meant to be an occasional treat!

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 307kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 26mg | Sodium: 369mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 20g |
SmartPoints (Freestyle): 13
Keywords dairy-free, Kid-Friendly, Vegetarian

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Gale Compton

Gale co-founded SkinnyMs. with a goal to provide women with delicious recipes, fitness routines, and ways to reach their ideal weight. Gale has been featured on the Today Show in which she won a cook off for the best Lasagna. Be sure to search for her winning recipe, Skinny Lasagna Rolls.

Guided by her firm belief in healthy eating and the power of exercise, Gale has written two cookbooks and several fitness ebooks. She earned her Fitness Training Certification from, National Exercise & Sports Trainers Association. Gale loves to run with her dog Maggie and has completed numerous half-marathons.

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  1. I just made this awesome recipe using the gluten free version and OMG! It’s so good! Thank you so much for this recipe!

    1. Colleen, YAH! It’s one of my all time favorites. My grandma would be happy that you enjoyed. Do you mind sharing specifics
      for making it gluten-free?

    1. Allspice is sometimes referred to as: Jamaica pepper, myrtle pepper, pimenta, Turkish yenibahar, or newspice

  2. I used part applesauce and part pureed butternut squash (no oil), and toasted pumpkin seeds and slivered unsulfured dried apricots. Added 1/2 tsp grated ginger. Phenomenal. Thanks for the jumping off point!
    I’ve found that applesauce can almost always be subbed for oil in baked goods. Extra moist!

    1. Diane, I did some research and found this:

      Adjustment for 5000 feet:
      Reduce baking powder: for each teaspoon, decrease 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon.
      Reduce sugar: for each cup, decrease 0 to 2 tablespoons.
      Increase liquid: for each cup, add 2 to 4 tablespoons.
      Increase oven temperature by 25 degrees F.

  3. what if you used splenda for the sugar and didn’t add raisons or nuts? What would the ww smart point value be?

    1. Cindy, We don’t recommend any artificial sweeteners. Please use a ww calculator for the points using other sweeteners.

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