Cinnamon Applesauce Cake

Soft with a natural sweetness, this Cinnamon Applesauce Coffee Cake recipe is so easy to mix up and one of the most popular cakes we make.

Simple ingredients mix together and then applesauce and cinnamon chips make the cake so delicious, moist and unique! This recipe is requested often and makes a great conversation piece. 

Cinnamon chips in a sweet and moist applesauce cake on a small white plate with a fork between the piece of coffee cake and pan full

Cinnamon Applesauce Coffee Cake Recipe

The applesauce keeps this cake very moist and the cinnamon chips add a richness that is very enjoyable!  I love that this coffee cake is topped with a simple icing made of powdered sugar mixed with warm water.

This has been one of our most popular recipes on Pinterest!  And anytime I make the cake to share at a party or potluck people always ask for the recipe!  So I just knew we needed other variations like our Cinnamon Applesauce Muffins.  Both of these recipes are winners all the way around!

We enjoy cooking with basic ingredients because it makes our life easier.  This recipe only calls for one ingredient that we don’t commonly use and that is Hershey’s Cinnamon Chips.  But they have a good shelf life, so I like to keep a bag on hand.  Cinnamon Applesauce Cake is especially enjoyable in the fall when we seem to crave apple flavors, but it is delicious all year around too!

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Cinnamon Applesauce Coffee Cake with a light icing in a baking pan

Several years ago I was looking for an easy homemade cake idea when I came across this recipe on a bag of Hershey’s Cinnamon Chips.  I love the recipe, but it’s not printed on bags anymore so I wanted to make sure it would always be available.

I use my 9×13 Pyrex glass dish with a lid all of the time for these easy dessert recipes!  Having a lid that fits well is much easier than handling plastic wrap or foil to keep the cake moist!

Ingredients Needed to Make Cinnamon Chip Cake

  • Butter
  • Sugar
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla
  • Applesauce
  • Flour
  • Baking Soda
  • Salt
  • Cinnamon Chips
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Warm Water
Ingredients to make homemade applesauce coffee cake on a wooden counter top are butter, vanilla extract, flour, applesauce, eggs, cinnamon chips, granulated sugar and confectioners sugar

Where to Find Cinnamon Chips

I often find my cinnamon chips at Walmart, however they do seem to be in the baking aisle with the chocolate chips on a limited time basis in the fall and winter.

I have also seen them in Amish whole sale grocery stores.

Other friends have come across them at smaller grocery stores like a hometown IGA.

Close up view of tender morsels of applesauce coffee cake with a light layer of icing running off the top down the side of the square piece of cake

How to Make Cinnamon Applesauce Cake

  1. Beat butter and sugar
  2. Add eggs and vanilla
  3. Mix in applesauce
  4. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt
  5. Gradually add to the butter mixture
  6. Add cinnamon chips – they can be tough to find, so I have to order them online now or get at a bulk food store
  7. Pour into prepared 9×13 baking pan and bake 25 to 35 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in center of the cake comes out clean
  8. Stir together powdered sugar and enough warm water; drizzle over a slightly warm cake and enjoy
Moist piece of applesauce coffee cake with a powdered sugar icing sitting on a stack of white plates with a fork and baking dish full of coffee cake in the background

Step By Step Instructions

Preheat oven to 350℉ and prepare a 9 x 13 inch baking pan by coating with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl beat softened butter and granulated sugar together.

Beater with creamed butter and sugar sitting above a mixing bowl with eggs fresh cracked into the sugar mixture

Add eggs and real vanilla extract. Mix again.

Then add applesauce. Use a silicone spatula to scrap the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix well.

Applesauce being added to butter and eggs mixture in a metal bowl

Mix dry ingredients and add about a third of the dry mixture at a time.

Flour being added to applesauce, sugar, butter and eggs mixture in a metal mixing bowl

Stir until blended.

Applesauce coffee cake batter being stirred with a silicone spatula

This is a thick batter.

I like to add the cinnamon chips and fold in by hand.

Cinnamon chips being stirred into a simple homemade applesauce cake batter

Spread the thick batter into the prepared 9 x 13″ dish.

Thick cinnamon applesauce cake batter spread into a glass 9 x 13 baking dish

Bake for 30 minutes and test with a toothpick. When the toothpick comes out clean the cake is done.

Let the cake cool for 20 – 30 minutes.

Then mix up powdered sugar and a little bit of milk to create the icing. Drizzle across the top.

Overhead view of an ice applesauce coffee cake in a 9 x 13 pan on a red plaid napkin

Since we make this cake often I have tested different options.

I prefer the look of a cake with a thicker icing that you can see the spots where it is drizzled. This icing has more powdered sugar and less milk.

For a thinner icing add more milk and pour across the top. The thinner consistency will run to the low spots and sides and get more coverage.

The taste is the same, but the look of the cake will be different based on the consistency of the icing.

Tips for Making Cinnamon Applesauce Coffee Cake

  • I mix all of the ingredients very well EXCEPT for the baking chips.  If the baking chips are added to the mixer too soon they could be broken up by the beater.
  • Let the cake cool a bit before drizzling with icing.
  • I like making the icing a bit thicker and making a more distinct pattern with the drizzles, than having thin icing that covers the entire coffee cake.
  • This cake is just as good warm as it is a day or two later!
  • If storing the cake past two days I recommend storing in the refrigerator
Generous layer of confections sugar icing on a cinnamon applesauce coffee cake in a 9x13" baking dish on a red plaid napkin

More Easy Cakes in a 9 x 13 Pan:

  • Gooey Butter Cake – a cross between a box mix of cake and cheesecake this quick and easy dessert always tastes great.
  • Pumpkin Pie Cake – has layers of deliciousness and makes the perfect fall treat.

Here’s another fall favorite Farmhouse Apple Flip.  We hope you enjoy these recipes as much as we do!

Piece of homemade cinnamon applesauce cake on a white plate with cinnamon chips showing on the cut edges and a fork propped on the plate

Cinnamon Applesauce Coffee Cake

Servings 16 pieces
Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life
Soft with a natural sweetness, this Cinnamon Applesauce Coffee Cake recipe is so easy to mix up and one of the most popular cakes we make.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup applesauce
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 2/3 cups Hershey’s Cinnamon Chips 10 oz. package

Easy Glaze

  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons warm water

Instructions
 

  • Heat oven to 350℉.  Coat 9×13 inch pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Beat butter and sugar until well blended.  Beat in eggs and vanilla.  Mix in applesauce.
  • Combine flour, baking soda, and salt.  Gradually add to the butter mixture until well blended.  Add cinnamon chips.
  • Spread into prepared 9×13 baking pan.  Bake 25 to 35 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in center of the cake comes out clean.  Let cool.
  • Stir together powdered sugar and enough warm water to make icing of your preferred consistency.  Drizzle over a slightly warm cake and enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 364kcalCarbohydrates: 44gProtein: 4gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.5gCholesterol: 52mgSodium: 243mgPotassium: 147mgFiber: 2gSugar: 26gVitamin A: 397IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 22mgIron: 2mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Plowing Through Life” is not a dietitian or nutrition professional. Any nutritional information shared is an estimate and can vary greatly depending on specific products are used. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator of your choice.

Tried this recipe?Mention @PlowingThroughLife or tag #PlowingThroughLife!

Originally published on August 25, 2018 with updates made on April 24, 2023.

Unbelievably moist piece of iced Cinnamon Applesauce Cake with cinnamon chips

20 Comments

  1. Hi,
    This cake looks very good, could I sub oil for the butter, or do half of each, I always male and give away,
    I was just watching my cost..
    Thank you,

    1. Jennifer Osterholt says:

      Hi Linda – We always use butter because our family milked cows for generations. We also grow soybeans and a lot of vegetable oil is made from soybeans, so the good news is, either way, you support farm families in the United States! I’ve never substituted in this recipe, but I know this cake is VERY moist, so I would be careful about adding too much more liquid. Good luck and please let me know how it turns out for you 🙂

    2. Denise C Therriault says:

      5 stars
      How about using crisco regular or butter flavor instead of butter. My coffee cake calls for crisco and it comes out great!

    3. Jennifer Osterholt says:

      I’ve never tried that, but the butter flavor Crisco does make many baked goods delicious!

  2. Heather E says:

    Sweetened or unsweetened applesauce?

    1. Jennifer Osterholt says:

      I typically use unsweetened since there are other sources of sugar in the recipe, but if sweetened is all I have on hand then I’ll use it.

  3. Terri Brooks says:

    5 stars
    What is the consistency of the batter spread to be? I made this tonight and the batter was much thicker than I thought it would be so it also made it a little more difficult to determine if the cake was done. The cake started to come away from the sides (usually a sign the cake is done) and the edges started to brown. It tasted very good and will make this again.

    1. Jennifer Osterholt says:

      I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it! The batter has more of a heavy applesauce consistency. I typically determine doneness by inserting a toothpick in the center and when it comes out clean the cake is done. I think it depends on your preference with this cake. Yes, I’ve noticed that over multiple times of making it the outside and center can vary in consistency. It will keep cooking once out of the oven and that has helped it set up more, after the edges pull away from the pan. Thanks for your note 🙂

  4. I am wanting to make this cinnamon applesauce cake but have come to find that the cinnamon bits are very hard to find so what can I do to replace them to make it still cinnamon?

    1. I know this can be tricky. I’ve found them at Walmart, Meijer, Walmart.com or sometimes smaller local specialty stores. I’m not sure how to substitute for them. I hope it works out well for you!

    1. I think the cinnamon chips really give it a great flavor, but feel free to give it a try.

  5. Pamela Stroud says:

    Could I put the batter in a bundt pan instead? Thank you!
    Pamela

    1. I’ve never tested it in a bundt pan, but please let me know if you give it a try!

  6. 5 stars
    I was thinking about splitting the cake batter between two 9×5 loaf pans – to give it more of a “bread” look to give as a gift. Wish me luck – sounds delish!

  7. Have you ever made thus in a half sheet pan? Do you think it makes enough batter in this recipe to make in this size pan. Of course the baking time would be less. When made in the 9×13 does it come out thick? Seems to in one of your pictures. Thanks for and guidance.

    1. Jennifer Osterholt says:

      Hi! This sounds like a great experiment! I have not made it in anything but a 9×13 pan, and yes it is fairly thick. I would be very curious to hear how this comes out if you give it a try!

  8. Clarice Bauer says:

    5 stars
    I printed this recipe when you first posted it. I just made in this week and it was delicious and so moist. I took it to a small group event and told the hostess it was the first time I had tried the recipe. After the meal she said, “This recipe is a keeper.

  9. 5 stars
    I made this with gluten free flour and I received raving reviews! It was moist, flavorful and not too sweet.

    1. Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life says:

      So glad to hear this! Thanks so much for sharing

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