Table of Contents
  1. What is 7-minute frosting?
  2. Why use applesauce in cake?
  3. Watch how to make this pumpkin applesauce cake
  4. Pumpkin Applesauce Cake Recipe

A cake does not have to have layers upon layers to be special. This pumpkin cake is simple, almost humble. The recipe merges two of my fall baking favorites: applesauce and pumpkin. Applesauce is a staple in old recipes and can be used in place of oil, giving the same moist texture to baked goods.

This cake requires only a bowl, whisk, and a cake pan. The result is a moist pumpkin cake that’s perfectly spiced. I find it ideal for any weeknight and have fallen in love with making it for company. The simple meringue-like 7-minute frosting that’s piled on top becomes the finishing touch that sends this cake over the edge.

Hand holding fork bite of pumpkin applesauce cake with hand holding other part of cake

What is 7-minute frosting?

A 7-minute frosting is essentially a Swiss meringue. Egg whites and sugar are cooked just enough to dissolve the sugar and stabilize the whites. Once cooked, they are whipped until they form stiff peaks. A little vanilla brings the whole frosting together.

Think of this as homemade marshmallows without the need for gelatin. It’s cloud-like marshmallow fluff piled high atop this seasonal cake.

Top down view of hand taking slice of pumpkin cake with white whipped topping out of rest of cake

Why use applesauce in cake?

Applesauce seems like an odd ingredient. The use of applesauce in baked goods is a trick our grandmas used often. The idea comes from that of using what was on hand. Applesauce was made in late summer and fall using the bounty of apples. To save money, it was then used in baked goods as a replacement for oil and other fats.

But even though it was thought of as a substitute, the result is a deliciously moist cake without the realization of the use of applesauce. Some like to proclaim the “healthier” aspect of using applesauce because it is less fat. But either way, you still have cake. Personally, I use it because I like the crumb and texture applesauce provides.

Close up side view of pumpkin applesauce cake topped with whipped topping and candied orange zest pieces

Watch how to make this pumpkin applesauce cake

Large slice of pumpkin cake sitting on white plate with other slices of cake in background all on white countertop

Pumpkin Applesauce Cake

4.58 from 7 votes
An applesauce cake always means that there will be a moistness to dessert! And when it's a pumpkin applesauce cake, it's an ultimate combination that makes for perfect results!
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 55 mins
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Servings 12 servings


For the cake

  • 1 15-oz can pumpkin pureé
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  • ¾ tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp salt

For the 7-minute frosting

  • 3 egg whites
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp corn syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


For the cake

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Grease a 9-inch parchment-lined round cake pan and set it aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin pureé, eggs, applesauce, molasses, vanilla, and orange zest. Whisk to combine. Add the sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt. Whisk until just combined with no dry streaks.
  • Pour into prepared cake pan and bake in preheated oven until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean, 45-55 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Once cooled, remove from the pan and finish cooling on the rack.

For the 7 minute frosting

  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the egg whites, sugar, salt, and corn syrup. Set over a saucepan with barely simmering water and whisk constantly until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture reaches 160°F.
  • Remove from the heat and return to the electric mixer or hand mixer. Whip on medium-high until the frosting has cooled to room temperature and holds stiff peaks, 6-8 minutes. Add the vanilla extract and whisk to incorporate.
  • Pile the frosting on top of the cooled cake, the more freeform, the better. Serve immediately.


Serving: 1servingCalories: 247kcalCarbohydrates: 54.8gProtein: 5.1gFat: 1.2gSaturated Fat: 0.4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.3gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 378.1mgPotassium: 198.3mgFiber: 2.3gSugar: 32.3gVitamin A: 289.4IUVitamin C: 2.4mgCalcium: 32.4mgIron: 2.1mg
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Difficulty Intermediate
Method Baking

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I’m Kaleb! I'm not a chef, professional baker, landscaper, or designer, but I like to play each on Knollgate Farm. Come join me on my journey and let's learn together!

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  1. 5 stars
    Was hooked on your Christmas design inspirations last year! Looking forward to some more this year!
    Saw your easy to make pumpkin cake and decided to whip it up for my son this morning! Very easy to follow and we are waiting for it now while in the oven. Thank you for all of your inspiration for the busy person. Feeling happy I found your site somehow last year while looking up Christmas decor. Always WONDERFUL!

  2. I have been watching your videos and I love your house and enjoy watching you cook and bake. I’m making applesauce and the pumpkin applesauce cake next week when I’m off work. Will share my pictures with you.

  3. 5 stars
    I had to substitute a couple of ingredients, but they worked! Instead of molasses, I used honey. For the 7 minute frosting, I used maple syrup instead of the corn syrup. There was just a hint of maple in the flavor of the frosting but it went well with the cake. I was pleased.