Applesauce Cake Bars with Buttercream Frosting Recipe

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The other day, I picked up a bag of apples on clearance for around $2.00. The girls love them for snacks and I love having the cores and peels for homemade apple cider vinegar. With these apples though, I wanted to make one of my all time favorite apple recipes. I know that apple recipes are usually a “fall” type of recipe, but these applesauce cake bars with buttercream frosting are one of my all-time favorite desserts. Sometimes a girl just needs to give into a craving, yanno?

Easy Applesauce Bars with Buttercream Frosting - If you love easy apple recipes, you'll adore these Applesauce Cake Bars! They're sweet but not too sweet, easy to make and did I mention covered in buttercream frosting?

 

When I first saw a recipe for applesauce cake, I wasn’t immediately interested. I’m not a huge fan of plain applesauce so it really didn’t sound that amazing to me. I can admit when I am wrong though and in the case of these easy applesauce bars, I was 100% wrong. Now, I make them whenever I get the chance!

 

Applesauce Cake Bars with Buttercream Frosting

So, off to the kitchen I went with my clearance finds from the other day and in the oven these amazing applesauce bars went! Since I’ve been working on losing weight since September 2017, I only allowed myself to have a small one, but my family sure enjoyed them! They have just the right amount of sweetness and of course, the buttercream frosting that they are topped with only makes them better!

When I made my own applesauce bars, I made homemade applesauce, but you can use jarred if you prefer. I prefer to use homemade ingredients whenever I can so I opted to use the apples I had gotten on clearance. This cake bars also use brown sugar instead of white granulated sugar. This keeps them from becoming too sweet when you frost them. Finally, you will need a bit of pumpkin pie spice. As I said, this really is a fall recipe, but I love it so much. It’s a great way to use any leftover spices you have from Thanksgiving and your other fall recipes.

Ingredients Needed for Applesauce Cake Bars
For the Buttercream Frosting

 

How to make easy applesauce bars

To begin making your applesauce cake bars, preheat your oven to 350°F and grease a 9 x 13 cake. If you have a 9 x 13 metal cake pan, it is best to use that, but glass will work otherwise.

 

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice. Use a fork to get the ingredients combined well.

Once you have the dry ingredients combined well, add the applesauce, egg and shortening. When I make these applesauce cake bars, I use a hand mixer to combine the ingredients.

 

 

Once your ingredients are fully combined, pour the cake batter into a greased metal 9 x 13 cake panBake for 15 minutes then insert a toothpick into the center to test to see if it’s done. If the toothpick comes out clean, remove from the oven and allow it to cool completely in the pan. If it is not done, bake for 5 minutes more and check again.

 

Buttercream Frosting Recipe

 

 

While the cake is cooling, melt the butter in a medium saucepan on med/low until it has started to turn a golden brown color. Be careful not to have your heat too high. If your butter burns, your buttercream frosting won’t turn out. When it has melted and cooked the way you want, remove it from the heat and add the vanilla extract and milk then use a wire whisk to gently stir it.

 

 

To start thickening your buttercream frosting, add 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar and mix well by hand. If you use a mixer at this point, you will likely toss liquid everywhere. Pour the frosting base into a medium mixing bowl once you have the initial powdered sugar added. Next, add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time until you have a thick and fluffy frosting. Be sure to taste test a bit as you go so you don’t end up with a frosting that is too sweet for your family.

After your applesauce cake has cooled completely, spread the buttercream frosting evenly on top. Remove the cake from the baking pan and cut into bars. Store your applesauce cake bars in an airtight food storage container in the fridge. These should last around a week if they are stored in an airtight container.

 

 

Applesauce Cake Bars with Buttercream Frosting

 If you love easy apple recipes, you'll adore these Applesauce Cake Bars! They're sweet but not too sweet, easy to make and did I mention covered in buttercream frosting?
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Apple, Bars, Buttercream, Cake, Cinnamon, Pumpkin Spice

Ingredients

Ingredients Needed for Applesauce Cake Bars

  • 1 Cup  All-Purpose Flour
  • 2/3 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp.  Salt
  • 1 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1 Cup Plain Applesauce
  • 1/4 cup Shortening
  • 1 egg
  • Cinnamon sugar topping - optional

For the Buttercream Frosting

  • 3 Tbsp. Butter
  • 2-3 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1-2 tsp. Milk

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a 9 x 13 cake.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice.
  • Once you have the dry ingredients combined well, add the applesauce, egg and shortening.
  • Once your ingredients are fully combined, pour the cake batter into a greased metal 9 x 13 cake pan. Bake for 15 minutes then insert a toothpick into the center to test to see if it's done. If the toothpick comes out clean, remove from the oven and allow it to cool completely in the pan. If it is not done, bake for 5 minutes more and check again.
  • While the cake is cooling, melt the butter in a medium saucepan on med/low until it has started to turn a golden brown color.
  • When it has melted and cooked the way you want, remove it from the heat and add the vanilla extract and milk then use a wire whisk to gently stir it.
  • Add 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar and mix well by hand.
  • Pour the frosting base into a medium mixing bowl once you have the initial powdered sugar added. Next, add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time until you have a thick and fluffy frosting.
  • After your applesauce cake has cooled completely, spread the buttercream frosting evenly on top.
  • Remove the cake from the baking pan and cut into bars. Store your applesauce cake bars in an airtight food storage container in the fridge.
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Stacy Williams

Stacy Williams is a 37-year old wife to a USAF Gulf War Veteran, mother of two teen girls and fur-mamma to a rescued pit bull. The face and brain behind the frugal living and lifestyle blog Six Dollar Family, she also owns and manages Long Haul Wife, Republic Preparedness, The Genealogy Queen and a handful of others sites. By the age of 30, Stacy had overcome a drinking problem, a drug addiction, divorce, survived domestic violence, and had built a life for herself and her daughter after spending 10 months in a homeless shelter. Stacy is passionate about homeless advocacy and addiction education.  Her first book, also called Six Dollar Family is available on Amazon.


Learn how to earn a full-time income from home by learning how to start a blog just like this one! Click HERE to check out Stacy's step-by-step tutorial.
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