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Applesauce Picnic Cake

Create treasured memories with this all-American, any occasion, Applesauce Picnic Cake

Closeup of a slice of Applesauce Picnic Cake - The Goldilocks Kitchen

Applesauce Picnic Cake will become one of your go-to cakes for all sorts of occasions; it’s great for picnics of course, but also for potlucks, backyard barbecues, a day in the mountains or at the beach, book club, a cold winter’s night with hot beverage in hand, sunday dinner (dessert!) or special family gatherings.

Two bowls, one white, one stainless steel, hold dry and wet ingredients to make Applesauce Picnic Cake - The Goldilocks Kitchen

It’s got a super awesome combination of tastes – cinnamon, a bit of cocoa powder, a small jar of unsweetened applesauce, and a delicious topping of mini chocolate chips, pecans and freeze dried apples for a burst of extra apple flavor and texture. Throwing this cake together is simple and straightforward, it follows the time tested method of mixing dry and wet ingredients separately, then combining them to form the batter.

Batter is poured into a white baking dish to make Applesauce Picnic Cake - The Goldilocks Kitchen

The batter is then poured into your prepared cake pan and sprinkled with the topping, then baked in your pre-heated oven for 30 minutes. That’s it! No fussing over frosting for this cake, it’s already full of moisture and packed with flavor.

Pecans and dried apple slices are chopped on a white cutting board for Applesauce Picnic Cake - The Goldilocks Kitchen

As I was doing research on applesauce cakes, I came across a recipe from America’s Test Kitchen that reconstituted freeze-dried apple slices with apple cider, put that mixture through a food processor and combined it with more store bought applesauce before putting it in the cake batter. Whew! That sounded interesting, but also like a whole lot of extra work. However, I was intrigued by the use of freeze dried apple slices, so I decided to give them a try as part of the topping for this Applesauce Picnic Cake. It was very well received with my family (meaning they gobbled this whole cake up in less than a day, OMGsh)!

Mini-chocolate chips, diced pecans, and diced freeze dried apple slices mixed together in a white ceramic cup as a topping for Applesauce Picnic Cake - The Goldilocks Kitchen

I love this cake because A) I don’t have to frost it, B) It’s healthier because it’s made with applesauce instead of oil, and C) the flavor combination of apples, cinnamon and chocolate makes for a moist cake full of great flavor!

A freshly baked Applesauce Picnic Cake in a white baking dish - The Goldilocks Kitchen

Make sure you bookmark, pin or share this recipe on social media, you simply must try this cake! And don’t forget to tell me about it in the comments below and rate the recipe for other readers. Enjoy!

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Applesauce Picnic Cake

  • Author: Emily
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cake 1x


This light, sweet, and delicious Applesauce Picnic Cake is perfect for any sunny getaway, super easy to make, and also goes great with your favorite hot beverage.




  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 (23 ounce) jar unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped fine
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup dried apple slices, chopped fine (optional)



  1. Prepare a 9 x 13 inch baking pan by spraying it with cooking spray. Set your oven to heat to 350 degrees F, and an oven rack to the center position.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large mixing bowl) combine the butter, sugar, eggs and applesauce. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. 
  3. With the mixer running on low, slowly add the flour mixture into the applesauce mixture, stopping to scrape the edges of the bowl if needed. Once combined, mix on medium speed for about a minute.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle the top with the chopped pecans, chocolate chips and chopped dried apples. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool and serve.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1/12
  • Calories: 338
  • Sugar: 36.2 g
  • Sodium: 245 mg
  • Fat: 12.4 g
  • Saturated Fat: 7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 54.8 g
  • Fiber: 1.7 g
  • Protein: 4.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 51 mg

This light, sweet, and delicious Applesauce Picnic Cake is perfect for any sunny getaway, super easy to make, and also goes great with your favorite hot beverage.

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