First Prize Applesauce Cake with Caramel Frosting

"This is a sinfully sweet and rich cake! It's a little time-consuming, but so worth it. Prep time is an estimate."
photo by a user photo by a user
Ready In:
1hr 15mins
1 9x13 pan




  • Sift together flour, soda, salt, spices and cocoa.
  • Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine oil and sugar.
  • Beat until well blended.
  • Stir in hot applesauce and blend thoroughly.
  • Add dry ingredients, blending well.
  • Stir in nuts.
  • Turn batter into well greased and floured 9" x 13" pan.
  • Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes; then reduce temperature to 375 degrees and bake about 15 minutes longer.
  • Cool completely.
  • Caramel Frosting:

  • Melt 1/2 c butter in sauce pan over low heat.
  • Stir in 1 c brown sugar, firmly packed, and 1/4 tsp salt.
  • Bring to a boil over medium heat; boil hard for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Stir in 1/4 c milk.
  • Return pan to heat and bring to a full boil.
  • Remove from heat; cool to lukewarm.
  • Stir in 2 c confectioner's sugar, and beat until smooth.
  • If frosting is too thick, beat in a little milk.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Mimi Bobeck
    I have made this recipe again. I originally reviewed this on Jul 26, 2003 and gave this 3 stars because at that time there were formating errors that caused some confusing and affected the outcome the first time I made this. Since then, the recipe has been corrected and I was able to make this the 2nd time with no problems whatsoever. WHAT A DIFFERENCE! This cake was very moist and heavenly.... from the tiny slice I was able to have of it..... because it was totally consumed by the family I stay with - INCLUDING THE CRUMBS! There was NOTHING left when I went back for a 2nd piece! They loved it (which is an important factor when I give a 5 star review). Oh, well! I guess I'm just going to have to make this a 3rd time when no one is home so I can enjoy this ALL TO MYSELF! Thanks for making the corrections Whisper. And Thank you for sharing a fantastic recipe! This is something that I will be maing again, and again.
  2. moxie
    Whisper, this was a delicious and pretty cake -- and in reality, pretty easy to make. I love the contrast of the not-too-sweet spice cake with the delightfully rich caramel frosting. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!!!
  3. Laudee
    I didn't have a bit of trouble with this recipe...It came out delicious!! And, because I had your permission, I put creamcheese frosting on top...All I can say is "WOW!!! I did omit the chopped nuts...other than that, I followed your easy directions, and came out with a 5* winner!! Thanks so much for sharing, Whisper...This is a great cake! Laudee
  4. mamamain
    I'm sorry I couldn't rate this higher. The cake came out very heavy and seemed like it wasn't done, though I gave it about 5 extra minutes. The toothpick came out clean, but it still didn't taste done. It smelled wonderful when it was cooking, but we just couldn't eat it. It is the first time we have thrown out a whole cake. I don't know what was wrong and I was very careful to follow the recipe and directions to the letter. I will try some of your other recipes though in the future. Thank you anyway.


I live near Rochester NY with my husband and our 18-year-old cat, Fluffy. It's actually Fluffy's house, but he allows us to live here as long as we pamper him and feed him generously. Our daughter, Kree, whom some of you know from Zaar, is also living with us again while she begins a new business venture in real estate. She's the one who got me hooked on Zaar and taught me to try new recipes rather than stay in the cooking rut I was in. In my free time I like to take long rides or sit by the water, both of which I find very relaxing. I also like to do counted cross-stitch and read. I dabble in photography, always looking for that elusive 'perfect' shot. I did more cooking before I started working full-time, and plan to again when I retire (still years away, but dreaming).
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