Applesauce Spice Fruit Cake

This Applesauce Spice Fruit Cake is not yo’ mama’s fruit cake! A moist, dense, spicy cake, moistened with applesauce and filled with chopped nuts, coconut, raisins, dates and orange candy slices. It’s a holiday tradition that just got tastier. Perfect sprinkled with powdered sugar or drizzled with a little caramel sauce.

Applesauce Spice Cake


Do you want to impress someone this Christmas?  Try this incredible, “not-yo’-mamas” Applesauce Spice Fruit Cake recipe and you’ll be the star of the holidays.


I’m not a fruit cake fan, so you can imagine that this fruit cake I’m sharing is like no other fruit cake you’ve ever had. In fact, my husband said he would just call it an Applesauce Spice Cake because it didn’t remind him of fruit cake at all. (another “not a fruit cake” fan)

Applesauce Spice Fruit Cake overhead sliced

I received this recipe from my husband’s college roommate’s mom. I’ve made it often through the years and have always had people tell me they wish all fruit cakes tasted like this. The big difference is the fruits and nuts that get added to the batter. It’s not your typical dried fruits like citron, dried pineapple or candied orange peel but orange slice candies, chopped nuts and coconut. It’s one of our family favorites along with Peanut Brittle and Cinnamon Apple Monkey Bread. And so easy to make.

Easy steps to the best Applesauce Spice Fruit Cake.

Applesauce Spice Fruit Cake steps 1-3

  1. Gather the ingredients.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar in your KitchenAid mixer, or other electric mixer, until fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs and mix well.
  4. Add applesauce and blend well.

Applesauce Spice Fruit Cake steps 4-9

  1. Mix dry ingredients.
  2. Add to liquid ingredients and mix until incorporated.
  3. Place all nuts, candies and fruit in a large bowl.
  4. Coat well with flour.
  5. Add flour-coated fruits and nuts to batter.
  6. Stir well.

Applesauce Spice Fruit Cake steps 10-11

  1. Pour into prepared tube pan and bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  2. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes.

Applesauce Spice Fruit Cake garnishing with powdered sugar

Remove from pan and let cool the remainder of way. At this point, if you are serving to adults, you can pour 1/4-1/3 cup of rum over the top and let it soak in. Once dry to touch, sprinkle with powdered sugar. If not using rum, sprinkle with powdered sugar as soon as it is cool.

Applesauce Spice Fruit Cake slice square

Just look at that beautiful slice of spicy deliciousness!

Applesauce Spice Fruit Cake closeup of sliced cake 1

It’s a delicious cake to serve your holiday guests at a holiday cocktail party, dinner or for your own Christmas day dessert. It’s spicy denseness brings to mind sugar plums and all things Christmas along with its rich seasonings of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. The applesauce keeps the cake moist, the candy and fruit lends a chewy texture while the nuts add the crunch. This fruit cake is definitely not the norm. Make it and surprise everyone!

More Special Desserts That Wow!

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The Best Creme Brulee from Confessions of a Baking Queen

Flourless Chocolate Torte from 2CM

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5 from 2 votes
Applesauce Spice Fruit Cake closeup square
Applesauce Spice Fruit Cake
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
1 hr 15 mins
Total Time
1 hr 35 mins

This Applesauce Spice Fruit Cake is not yo' mama's fruit cake! A moist, dense, spicy cake, moistened with applesauce and filled with chopped nuts, coconut, raisins, dates and orange candy slices. It's a holiday tradition that just got tastier. Perfect sprinkled with powdered sugar or drizzled with a little caramel sauce.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keywords: applesauce fruit cake, applesauce spice cake, applesauce spice fruit cake
Servings: 20 servings
Calories: 264 kcal
Author: Linda Warren
  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 cups flour + additional for dredging fruit
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 cup pecans or walnuts chopped
  • 1 cup dates chopped
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup orange slice candy chopped
  • 1 cup coconut
  • Garnish: powdered sugar, rum (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a tube pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper to make it easier to release.
  2. In the bowl of your KitchenAid or other electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add eggs and beat until incorporated.
  4. Add applesauce and beat until well mixed.
  5. In another bowl, combine 2 cups flour, baking soda, salt and spices.
  6. Gradually add dry ingredients into wet ingredients, beating until just mixed.
  7. In a large bowl, combine all nuts and chopped fruit and candy. Dredge with flour. Make sure to mix with your hands and pull apart fruit and candy that it sticking together so each piece is coated with flour. This helps distribute it better throughout the cake.
  8. Stir into cake batter.
  9. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for approximately 1 hour and 15-20 minutes or until toothpick in center comes out clean.
  10. Let rest on wire rack for 10-20 minutes until firm enough that it can be turned out onto rack to cool the rest of the way.
  11. If using the optional rum, pour 1/4-1/3 cup rum over cake and let it soak in. Once top is dry, move on to next step.

  12. When cool sprinkle with powdered sugar. You can also serve with a Caramel Sauce on the side to drizzle over the top.

  13. I like to leave mine with the bumpy side on the top as when you sprinkle it with powdered sugar it just looks like mounds of snow.
Nutrition Facts
Applesauce Spice Fruit Cake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 264 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 4g20%
Cholesterol 28mg9%
Sodium 134mg6%
Potassium 171mg5%
Carbohydrates 42g14%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 23g26%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 170IU3%
Vitamin C 0.7mg1%
Calcium 17mg2%
Iron 1.2mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Applesauce Spice Fruit Cake