Applesauce snack cakes are the afternoon sweet snack you need. They’re moist, full of fruit, and make the house smelling cozy. Bake a batch and you will see why they’re the best snack cakes.
Apples Three Ways for the Best Snack Cakes
Three kinds of apples get used in the snack cakes: dried apples, apple cider, and applesauce. The dried apples will be simmered in apple cider to deepen their apple flavor. The dried apples will simmer in the cider until the liquid evaporates and the mixture appears dry. Cool the cider-simmered apples to room temperature. If you can’t find apple cider, apple juice will work in a pinch.
The snack cakes will bake at a lower heat, at 325 degrees. Next up, prep an 8×8 square pan by spraying it with nonstick cooking spray. Then, cut parchment paper or foil to 16-inches in length. Then, fold lengthwise to 7-inch width. The parchment or foil will be used as a sling to pull up the cake once it’s done baking. Fit the parchment into the pan, pushing it into corners and up sides; allowing the excess to overhang the edges of the pan.
Whisking the dried ingredients—flour and baking soda—in a medium bowl ensures that the leavener is evenly distributed. In a separate bowl, whisk together the spices and sugar. You will then measure 2 tablespoons of the spiced sugar mixture into a small bowl and set aside for topping.
Ready to Bake Snack Cakes
In a food processor, process the cooled dried-apple mixture and applesauce until smooth so the apple flavor will be incorporated throughout the cakes.
In a large bowl, combine the egg and salt before adding the spiced sugar, whisking continuously until well combined and light colored, about 20 seconds. Add the butter in three additions, whisking after each. Add the figs, applesauce mixture and vanilla, whisking to combine.
Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, folding gently until just combined and evenly moistened. The batter gets turned out into the pan. Sprinkle on the remaining spiced sugar before baking.
Cooled leftovers can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.
Baking for a Crowd
You can easily double the cake by using a 13×9-inch pan. If you decide to go that route, expect the liquid in the dried apples to take longer to reduce. The cake will also need to be baked for 45 minutes. Because the cake tends toward being very moist, opt to over-bake.
Applesauce Snackcake with California Dried Figs
- 3/4 cup dried apples cut into 1/2" pieces
- 1 cup apple cider
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg fresh
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 3/4 cups Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs finely chopped
- 1 cup applesauce unsweetened, room temperature
- 1 egg large, room temperature, lightly beaten
- 1/2 tsp table salt
- 8 tbsp unsalted butter melted and cooled slightly
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 325 degrees. Cut 16-inch length parchment paper or aluminum foil and fold lengthwise to 7-inch width. Spray 8-inch square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and fit parchment into dish, pushing it into corners and up sides; allow excess to overhang edges of dish.
- Bring dried apples and cider to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat; cook until liquid evaporates and mixture appears dry, about 15 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
- Whisk flour and baking soda in medium bowl to combine; set aside. In second medium bowl, whisk sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Measure 2 tablespoons sugar-spice mixture into small bowl and set aside for topping.
- In food processor, process cooled dried-apple mixture and applesauce until smooth, 20 to 30 seconds, scraping sides of bowl as needed; set aside. Whisk egg and salt in large bowl to combine. Add sugar-spice mixture and whisk continuously until well combined and light colored, about 20 seconds. Add butter in three additions, whisking after each. Add figs, applesauce mixture and vanilla and whisk to combine. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients; using rubber spatula, fold gently until just combined and evenly moistened.
- Turn batter into prepared pan, smoothing top with rubber spatula. Sprinkle reserved 2 tablespoons sugar-spice mixture evenly over batter. Bake until wooden skewer inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool on wire rack to room temperature, about 2 hours. Run knife along cake edges without parchment to release. Remove cake from pan by lifting parchment overhang and transfer to cutting board. Cut cake and serve.