Applesauce Cake with Kentucky Bourbon Frosting

While applesauce cake is always an enjoyable thing, let’s be honest, the bourbon frosting is what prompted you check this post out, am I right? I usually am blasé when it comes to frosting, almost always opting for the store bought kind which is nothing to write home about except that it’s quick and convenient. However, since the frosting was the item that actually called for the bourbon (sorry to disappoint but alas no, the applesauce cake does not have any bourbon in it), I knew that store-bought icing was not going to cut it. However, my effort at homemade frosting came out well. And while I am not a fan of bourbon on the rocks, bourbon mixed in with butter, milk, and copious amounts of powdered sugar was sinful…positively sinful. It’s been a while since I’ve wanted to eat just the frosting…yes, bad I know.

The cake like everything from the cookbook was relatively easy to make although I had a bear of a time removing it from the pan intact. Although the recipe calls for two cups of applesauce, I feel that the golden raisins somewhat “drowned” out the taste of the applesauce although the applesauce did serve its purpose which was to deliver a particularly moist cake.

It’s something I would definitely recommend making as a holiday treat. And while the recipe only calls for two tablespoons of bourbon, if any spills over that’s not necessarily a bad thing. For the record I used Four Roses’ Small Batch.

Applesauce Cake with Kentucky Bourbon Frosting

recipe courtesy of Albert W. A. Schmid’s The Kentucky Bourbon Cookbook

8 servings


1 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

2 cups golden raisins

1 cup chopped walnuts (I omitted these)

1/2 cup plus 2 3/4 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 pinch salt

2 teaspoons ground cloves

2 teaspoons ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 cups applesauce


4 tablespoons plus 2 tablespoons butter, softened

3 cups confectioners’ sugar

2 tablespoons Kentucky bourbon 

2 1/2 tablespoons milk

-To make the cake: Cream the butter using an electric mixer and gradually add the sugar, beating until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. 

-Dredge the raisins and chopped walnuts in the 1/2 cup of flour and set aside.

-Combine the 2 3/4 cups of flour, baking soda, salt, cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon. 

-Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan. Add the flour mixture and applesauce to the creamed mixture in alternate amounts, beginning and ending with the flour. Pour the batter into the tube pan and bake for about 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan for about 10 minutes and then remove it to a wire rack. Let the cake cool completely. 


To make the frosting: Cream the butter, gradually adding the sugar, bourbon, and milk, and beat until the mixture reaches spreading consistency. Spread the frosting on the cooled cake.

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  • Reply
    December 13, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    Looks yummy. I have never heard of a frosting with Bourbon! I might have to make it for a Bourbon lovers birthday sometime!

    • Reply
      Julie Tulba
      December 14, 2013 at 2:22 pm

      When I was down in Kentucky I got this terrific cookbook-recipes all featuring bourbon (soups, entrees, desserts, etc). I loved it so much I even got it for my SIL’s husband as he loves to cook as well as bourbon. For a true bourbon lover, just make the frosting and bottle it up 🙂

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