This Dutch Applesauce Cake is studded with raisins, spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, and moist with buttermilk and applesauce. Perfect for breakfast or an afternoon snack with a cup of coffee, you could also serve it topped with a little maple syrup or Dutch stroop syrup. If you plan ahead (three months, to be exact), you can make this with brandied raisins, or even other brandied fruit; the recipe for the brandied raisins works just as well for cranberries or apricots instead. For more Dutch delights, try this Savory Cheese Cookies recipe, and this Braised Endive with Bacon and Mustard Sauce recipe.

  • Yields: 1 bundt cake
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr, plus cooling time 
  • Active: 15 min

Ingredients (18)

For the cake:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup unsweetened or homemade applesauce
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar

For the brandied raisins:

  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 cups sultana raisins
  • 2 1/2 cups brandy


To make the brandied raisins, if using:

  1. Place cinnamon stick and cloves in a 1-quart jar with a tight-fitting lid.
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar with water and bring to a gentle boil to dissolve sugar. Add raisins and cover. Turn off heat and let pot sit, covered, for 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in brandy. Pour raisin-brandy mixture over cinnamon stick and cloves in jar. Seal jar with lid. Store in a cool, dry place or refrigerate for at least 3 and up to 6 months.

To make the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease a Bundt pan and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together sugar, eggs, applesauce, buttermilk, and melted butter.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
  4. Fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients and stir until just moistened. Fold in raisins (if using brandied raisins, be sure to drain and pat them dry before adding to batter).
  5. Spoon cake batter into prepared Bundt pan and spread to ensure mixture is distributed evenly.
  6. Bake for 40–45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the deepest section of cake comes out clean.
  7. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. Place confectioner’s sugar in a fine-mesh sieve and shake over cake to dust.

Recipe courtesy of Dutch Feast by Emily Wight, published by Arsenal Pulp Press 2017. Photo by Tracey Kusiewicz / Foodie Photography.