The Washington Post

Applesauce Raisin Cake

Applesauce Raisin Cake 8.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Oct 10, 2017

When Julee Rosso learned this cake was on the agenda, she suggested the raisins be macerated, which wasn’t part of the original recipe’s plan. She consented to adding salt to the batter, which may be standard baking practice now, but wasn’t something you did back in 1982. Although the authors specified a "chunk-style" applesauce and pureed it, you can use either chunky or smooth, depending on whether you like a few small apple pieces in the cake.

To read the accompanying story, see: These three cookbooks went viral before the Internet existed — and they still hold up today.

Make Ahead: The raisins need to macerate for 30 minutes.

8 - 10

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 8-10 servings; makes one 10-inch tube pan cake

  • For the cake
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup apple brandy or Calvados
  • 3 cups flour, plus more for the pan
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups homemade or best-quality store-bought plain, no-sugar-added, smooth or chunky applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For the icing
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh orange juice


For the cake: Combine the raisins, orange juice and brandy in a small saucepan over medium-low heat; cook until the liquid begins to bubble slowly. Turn off the heat and let sit for 30 minutes. Drain and discard the liquid from the raisins.

Meanwhile, combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Use some butter to grease a 10-inch tube pan, then add enough flour to coat, shaking out any excess.

Combine the butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer or handheld electric mixer; beat on medium speed for 3 or 4 minutes, until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the applesauce and vanilla extract. Stop to scrape down the bowl.

Sift the flour mixture over the wet batter, then add the raisins, stirring gently until evenly distributed.

Pour the batter into tube pan; bake (middle rack) for about 70 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the icing: Sift together the confectioners’ sugar and cinnamon into a small bowl. Dribble in the citrus juices, stirring constantly to form a smooth icing.

Drizzle the cake with icing. Let it set before serving or storing.

Recipe Source

Adapted from “The Silver Palate Cookbook,” by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins (Workman, 1982).

Tested by Charlotte Druckman and Diana Maxwell.

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Nutritional Facts

Ingredients are too variable for a meaningful analysis.

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