Food & Drink Magazine

Brown Butter Frosted Applesauce Spice Cake

By Mariealicerayner @MarieRynr
Brown Butter Frosted Applesauce Spice Cake 
I wanted to bake us all a cake to enjoy this weekend. Something homey and comforting. Something familiar.  I have a great recipe for an Applesauce Spice cake in my Big Blue Binder, but it is packed somewhere in one of my boxes.
I can't even begin to fathom which one at the moment.  I decided to look for one online to use. I found what looked like a delicious one on the Land O Lakes site. It didn't use shortening either, so I decided to make it.
Brown Butter Frosted Applesauce Spice Cake

 It makes a lovely big cake.  I baked it in my sister's 9 by 13 inch pyrex dish.  She didn't have a metal pan that size.  Beggars can't be choosers! 

It was a really easy cake to make as well. You just put everything into the bowl of your mixer and beat away until its all smooth!  Make sure your butter is really soft however, or it won't beat in well.

Brown Butter Frosted Applesauce Spice Cake

 You also don't beat in the raisins and nuts. You stir them in at the end.  That way they stay a nice size. It bakes really quickly as well.

Not much more than half an hour.  I used storebought unsweetened applesauce, but you could also use homemade applesauce. I would not use sweetened applesauce. 

Brown Butter Frosted Applesauce Spice Cake
There is 2 cups of sugar in the cake batter which is plenty. Then there is the frosting.  You don't want to overdo the sugar by using a sweetened applesauce on top of it all.
I amped up the spices as we like things like this to be a bit spicier. I used 2 tsp of cinnamon instead of 1 1/2.  I also added nutmeg to mine. I love the flavor of nutmeg with apples.
Brown Butter Frosted Applesauce Spice Cake

 I think a pinch of cloves would also go very nicely. You don't need a lot. Just a pinch.  Cloves can be very overpowering, but again, they go with apple very well.

Someone on the Land O Lakes site had adde Chai Tea Spice.  That sounds interesting.

Brown Butter Frosted Applesauce Spice Cake

 I also added a bit more in the way of raisins.  We love raisins in everything.  Which reminds me. I need to bake a raisin pie one day for my dad. He would love that.

I need to be careful however as we are both diabetics, and my sister is on the edge.  Raisin pie might tip us all over the top. But boyo boyo . . .  its a real favourite! Maybe for Christmas.

Brown Butter Frosted Applesauce Spice Cake
The Browned Butter Frosting for this is really nice!  I do so love Browned Butter. Just the smell of it makes my taste buds tingle. 
I am a big late coming to the Browned Butter table. I know it was quite a fad a few years back. I just never caught on to it until recently.  I can't remember what I used it in, but I was converted as soon as I did. 
Brown Butter Frosted Applesauce Spice Cake

It adds a wonderfully nutty flavor to things and it isn't really that hard to make. You only need to heat butter slowly over a medium heat until it turns a golden color.
Don't be in a rush or it will burn. I have found also that you need to remove it from the heat immediately as soon as it starts to turn or it will burn as well. It is a matter of seconds between perfect and burnt.
Brown Butter Frosted Applesauce Spice Cake

But again, well worth the effort.  Really well worth the effort.  This frosting is to die for, and goes so very well with that moist and spicy cake. 

I used walnuts instead of pecans. My father loves walnuts. So do I.  Again, I always toast my nuts. It doesn't take long. Only about 10 minutes in a hot oven. Let them cool before you use them.

Brown Butter Frosted Applesauce Spice Cake

 One thing I am really struggling with at the moment is proper lighting.  It is all  a matter of timing. I was just on the edge today.  I will get it right eventually! 

Or I will look for a light box. We will have to wait and see. I think in the warmer months it won't be so much of a problem as we have lighter days.

Brown Butter Frosted Applesauce Spice Cake

 I couldn't help myself. Once I had cut a piece to take a photograph, I needed to eat it. LOL  I am so naughty I know. 

I have to tell you it is really good.  REALLY REALLY GOOD!

Brown Butter Frosted Applesauce Spice Cake
Do not stint on the raisins or the nuts.  They really add something special to the mix. You could also use golden raisins if you wanted to. I suppose if you don't like raisins you could use cranberries as well, but its all a matter of taste. 
I like it with raisins. I am an old fashioned kind of a gal and raisins do it for me.
Brown Butter Frosted Applesauce Spice Cake
When you are thinking of a Home-Sweet-Home kind of a cake, what immediately comes to mind?  With me it is always Applesauce Cake or Carrot Cake. Oh my mom did so love a nice Carrot Cake. I think it was her favorite kind of cake.
If you are looking for a nice and moist, homey kind of cake to bake this weekend, you can't get much better than this one!

Brown Butter Frosted Applesauce Spice Cake

Brown Butter Frosted Applesauce Spice Cake
Yield: 15Author: Marie Raynerprep time: 5 Mincook time: 35 Mintotal time: 40 MinQuick, easy and beautifully spiced, this moist cake has a browned butter frosting that really adds a special touch!


For the Cake:
  • 2 cups (280g) allpurpose flour
  • 2 cups (390g) sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups (325g) unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup (120g) butter softened
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup (115g) raisins
  • 1/2 cup (60g) chopped toasted walnuts
For the Browned Butter Frosting:
  • 1/3 cup (75g) butter
  • 3 cups (390g) sifted icing sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 to 3 TBS milk
  • 2 TBS chopped toasted walnuts (to garnish)


  1. Preheat the oven to 189*C/350*F/gas mark 4. Butter a 9 by 13 inch baking dish or tin really well. Set aside.
  2. Measure all of the cake ingredients into a mixing bowl and beat together until smooth,  with the exception of the raisins and nuts. Scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally. Stir in the raisins and nuts. Scrape into the prepared baking dish. Smooth over the top.
  3. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until golden brown, risen and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The cake will have begun to pull away from the sides of the pan slightly. Cook completely before making the icing.
  4. To make the icing heat the butter in a saucepan over medium heat, cooking and stirring until the buttter just starts to turn golden. Stir constantly. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely.
  5. To make the icing combine the browned butter, icing sugar and vanilla in a bowl. Beat at medium speed,adding the milk gradually and scraping the bowl, until the frosting is smooth and spreadable. Spread onto the cooled cake and sprinkle the toasted nuts over top. Serve cut into squares.
Did you make this recipe?
Tag @marierayner5530 on instagram and hashtag it #EnglishKitchenCreated using The Recipes Generator
Brown Butter Frosted Applesauce Spice Cake

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