Recipe: Applesauce Spice Cake

Yesterday I stopped by Chicken Scraps R Us to buy something, and as soon as I walked through the door,  Produce Guy spotted me.

“Hey Mavis… You’re just in time.  I was getting ready to toss a bunch of scraps.  Let me get them for you.”

“Sweet,” I somehow mustered.

2 minutes later I found myself wheeling 5 boxes of scraps to the car. I quickly loaded them into the backseat, and then I drove off, totally forgetting to make my purchase.

As I was sorting the boxes, I noticed one of them was almost half full of free apples.  I stood there dazed for a good 5 minutes before I realized I was actually going to have to do something with the apples.  I mean, that’s the whole point of picking up free food isn’t it?  Even if I didn’t plan on picking it up, or really had the extra time to do anything with it, I still had to do SOMETHING.  I couldn’t let it just rot on my kitchen floor or in a dumpster now could I?  I think I am officially over the honeymoon stage in my adventures with chicken scraps.  Don’t get me wrong, The Girl and I LOVE all the free fruits and vegetables we are able to salvage {for the record, the HH and Monkey Boy still think we are weird} but it really is a lot of work.

So even if I come off as a little cranky, I still think it’s worth it.  My freezer is proof of that.

So what did I do with all those apples?  I made a giant pot of applesauce of course.  And then I made an applesauce cake.  Because honestly, I didn’t know what else to do.

Spiced Applesauce Cake {slightly adapted from this Gourmet recipe}


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda {15 Cool Uses for Baking Soda}
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sweetened applesauce

The original recipe calls for a cream cheese frosting.  But I had a bit of leftover butter cream frosting from the cupcake making extravaganza so I used that instead.


  • Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.
  • Beat butter, brown sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer at high speed until pale and fluffy. Add eggs,  then beat in applesauce. At low speed, mix in flour mixture until just combined.
  • Spread batter evenly in pan and bake at 350 degrees until golden-brown and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool in pan 15 minutes.
  • Frost cake and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream if you have it.

Hungry Planet: What the World Eats is a fascinating look into lives of people around the world and what they eat on daily basis.  Amazon currently on sale for $16.49.

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  1. Kristin says

    You should can Apple Pie Filling. I do this a lot. Then you can make an apple pie super fast any time you need it- just open up your can and put into a pie crust.

  2. Heather S. says

    Apple butter? I’ve heard some people say that grocery stores don’t let people pick up the ‘chicken scraps’ because they stop getting them shortly after they start. If it’s too much for some weeks, can you just give it all to your chickens? I don’t know how much they eat, but at least you won’t have to sort through it every single time. Plus, I’m sure in the summer, you will be even busier with the produce you are growing, but if you stopped getting it, you may wish you still had it in the winter… Maybe if the chickens can’t eat it all you can get a goat – they eat anything, right? :)

    • Mavis says

      I know, and I totally want the scraps in the winter. Maybe I need to look into getting a pig. But where would I hide it?

  3. Krista says

    I vote for making apple butter. All you really need to do is put some of your applesauce in a crockpot, squeeze in some lemon juice, add your favorite spices like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, whatevs…and let it cook until it’s thick enough and tasty enough to your liking. Some people add apple cider or even sugar. I’ve used hard apple cider in mine before and it turned out well. The long cooking pretty much evaporates the alcohol.

    • Helen in Meridian says

      Give the HH some warm apple butter and some of his favorite Irish Cheese to dunk in it. It just smells so good and screams Fall, even tho it is May. I use warm apple butter and chunks of gouda for an appetizer. What did you forget to buy from Chicken Scraps R Us?

  4. Becca says

    Dried apple slices, but I don’t have any experience with that so I don’t know if it’d be an absolute pain. Barter with the neighbors if all else fails! 😉

    • says

      I made them for days from reclaimed apples just last week. The counter top apple corer-slicer made it simple. I just rinsed them, cored/slicer/peeled them, and then made one slice through the center to make them fit into the dehydrator. The next day, they were done, so I started the process again. They make great snacks.

  5. Robin in SoCal says

    How about partnering with a few other neighbors, do you think anyone else in high maintenance suburbia would want to harvest from the scraps you accumulate (Mavis scrap co-op) then your husband would have something new to shake his head about LOL? Sure would cut down on all the time you’ve spent sorting through the boxes you are getting? Or is there a shelter / church nearby that would be open to getting some freebies whenever you are overwhelmed? By the way that cake has my name all over it! FYI I stopped by a not too close produce stand in my area I was told you have to get there early in the morning as they have a line of people waiting for the chicken scraps…I’ll try some others!

    • Mavis says

      Ummm My Husband would pass out. Which of course just gives me more incentive to try they Mavis so-op idea. Thanks you little trouble maker! 😉

  6. Robin in SoCal says

    Oh forgot to tell you to break out the dehydrator and your apple corer/slicer thingy….have your kidlets make some dehydrated apples. Great for after all those sporting events…every teenager I know loves dehydrated apples.

  7. Heather says

    Bust out the dehydrater… Pineapples strawberries apples… mangos. ALl super yummy. I have been doing that a lot lately at my house and the kids/hubby are eating it faster than I can dehydrate it.

    I also dehydrated my kale… then broke it up and put it in my dried parsley shaker. Better for you. It is now known as the FArmer secret ingredient!

  8. Talaena says

    My stores will only give their scraps to the food banks out here, which is totally understandable but still a bummer. But when I do get a great deal on apples I buy extra and throw some in the dehydrater. It only takes a couple mins to slice them up and pull out the seeds then a day or so to dry out just right. And , of course they never seem to last long enough!!!! Yum!!

  9. CathyB says

    You can also can the applesauce in quart jars. I pack it while it is hot and I think that I do a water bath for 40 minutes, but you can look it up in a canning book or on the internet. I love having jars of applesauce in the pantry!

  10. darlene says

    I made this with the applesauce I put up last year. Covered it with homemade butter cream frosting. Yum!!!!!!!!!! My family of 3 ate the whole darn thing! .

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