Classic Applesauce Spice Bars

Classic Applesauce Spice Bars

There are some flavors that just take me back to childhood. To home. And one of those is just about anything “spice.” As in spice bars or spice cakes. One taste and I’m pretty much transported. And one of my favorites was always Classic Applesauce Spice Bars.

Classic Applesauce Spice Bars

Classic Applesauce Spice Bars


I think I made Classic Applesauce Spice Bars more when the kids were young. Is it a requirement of parenting to always have a jar of applesauce in the fridge? I know I always had one and when the kids lost interest, I’d claim the remains for baking, maybe these bars or maybe my Grandma’s Applesauce Cupcakes. Those are super delish, too!


About Classic Applesauce Spice Bars:

These days everyone talks about Pumpkin Spice and it even has a cute acronym, “PSL.” But no one talks about Apple Pie Spice! To tell the truth, there really isn’t all that much difference between the two. They both can contain any and all of what I think of as “warming” spices: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, clove and maybe mace.

Classic Applesauce Spice Bars will fill your whole house with those divine scents! The old-fashioned sour cream frosting plays so well with those spices. If you’ve never made it, ya gotta try it out. It’s a little lighter and fresher tasting than cream cheese frosting. If ya gotta have cream cheese frosting, I have two here on my site. My Mom’s Cream Frosting is a classic, and the other is a less sweet, more buttery Cream Cheese Frosting. Either will be phenomenal with these bars.

But back to the bars, just in case it’s not all about the frosting for you! (Please don’t tell me that’s only me…) These Classic Apple Spice Bars have just the right amount of spice and they’re beautifully moist, heavy in the hand and meant to be picked up and eaten. In other words, perfect for a party or a get-together. They’re casual and downhome and I love that. There are raisins in the recipe, either dark or golden, but I usually leave them out. Feel free to do what you like.

Classic Applesauce Spice Bars

Classic Applesauce Spice Bars

Making Classic Applesauce Spice Bars:

So basically the difference between a bar and a cake isn’t how exactly how tall or how short either is or isn’t. That’s determined partially be the leavening, but also by how much batter there is and size of the pan it’s baked in. So you could have a thin cake or a thick bar. The real difference is the density and the moistness of the baked good. Cakes are usually lighter and fluffy and generally have two or more eggs and more baking soda and/or baking powder. Bars are heavier, more solid, and moister. They probably have only one egg and very little leavening. These are bars!

The recipe is a very forgiving recipe and you can’t go wrong! You need to be careful of two things with the frosting. Make sure your butter is soft or it won’t blend in and you’ll have lumps, and sift the powdered sugar if it needs it, or you’ll have lumps, too. Everything gets dumped into a bowl, and then you’ll mix the heck out of it. It might seem a bit loose at first if so, let it sit until it’s a nice spreadable consistency. It will set up a bit more on the bars.

If after sitting, the frosting still seems to loose, feel free to add a little additional powder sugar. There could be variances in the sour cream used, which could affect the consistency.

If you realize too late your butter was not soft enough you can save it, but it can be time-consuming. Pop the frosting in the microwave in 30-second intervals, then mix. It might be warm at that point and have to be cooled, then beaten. And if you have to cool it, you’ll have to stir it about every 15 minutes.

Classic Applesauce Spice Bars

Classic Applesauce Spice Bars

Saving Money on Classic Applesauce Spice Bars:

Since I have an Aldi nearby, I pick up all my baking goods there; their everyday prices are usually as good or better than the sale prices at my regular grocery. If you don’t have Aldi, try to stock up during holiday sales, especially the big baking holidays like Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. It can really make a big difference.

Butter can be frozen and keeps well for months, and whenever I bring any type of flour or flour product into the house I freeze it for three days. That eliminates the possibility of any “peskies” being brought into the home.

Dried Fruits & Nuts have the best sales prices between Thanksgiving and Easter. Nuts can be frozen and if your dried fruit is in flimsy packaging, repackage them in a heavy freezer Ziploc bag. Applesauce is usually at a low in the fall. The harvest is in and has been processed, the warehouses are full and the producers want to move at least a good portion of their product quickly. If you eat applesauce regularly, stock up. Seriously.

Classic Applesauce Spice Bars

Classic Applesauce Spice Bars


Classic Applesauce Spice Bars

A beautifully moist and perfectly spiced bar. It will disappear fast at any get together!

  • Author: mollie kirby
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: varies
  • Category: Desserts
  • Cuisine: American



For the Classic Applesauce Spice Bars:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups applesauce (1 15 ounce jar or can)
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon clove
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup raisins or golden raisins

For the Frosting:

  • 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, optional, for garnish


For the Bars:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 13×9-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, with an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar together until lightened in color and fluffy. Add egg and mix in on low.

Mix together dry ingredients, the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice, clove, and nutmeg.

Add 1/3 of the flour muxture and mix in, then 1/2 applesauce, then 1/3 flour mixture, then remaining applesauce. End by mixing in the last of the flour muxture.

Scrape batter into prepared pan and level. Bake 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, the bars bounce back when lightly touched and/or the edges have begun to slightly pull away from the pan.. Cool completely before frosting.

For the Frosting:

Combine the powdered sugar, sour cream, butter and vanilla in a bowl. Starting out slowly in the center of the bowl, beat until smooth on medium speed, scraping as needed. If the powdered sugar has lumps, sift it first.

Frost the cooled bars and if desired, sprinkle with pecans.

Keywords: Apple, Applesauce, Brownies & Bars, Desserts, Fruit Desserts, Pecans, Raisins

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I’ll be sharing Classic Applesauce Spice Bars at Fiesta Friday #295; I’m also co-hosting this week, so stop by and take a peek at all the posts. Fall is in the air!

These easy old fashioned Classic Applesauce Spice Bars are going to take you right back to "home" at first bite! Beautifully spiced, heavy & moist. #AppleSauceSpiceBars #AppleBars #ApplesauceBars

26 thoughts on “Classic Applesauce Spice Bars

    • FrugalHausfrau

      Oh my goodness, I think it SHOULD be a teaspoon!! My apologies. I hope you added a little more powdered sugar to thicken it a bit more. It’s a rather soft topping but it should not be runny. There may also be some variances in the sour cream. I’ve noticed in some areas of the country sour cream is very thick and in other areas, it’s not so much. I will make some modifications right away and thanks for bringing that to my attention.


  1. Cooking With Carlee

    I can almost smell these baking from here. I can’t wait to try the sour cream frosting too. These look divine!

  2. Ron

    Oh my, Mollie, your Classic Applesauce Spice Bars are indeed a classic. I haven’t had one of these for years but will be making up a batch for the neighbor kids soon. We had a neighbor when I was a kid who always gave these out for Halloween (back before all the meanness in trick or treating). Kids would always rush to their house to make sure they got an applesauce spice bar and warm apple cider.

    • FrugalHausfrau

      I love that you’re going to introduce another generation to them!! Our neighbors gave out popcorn balls, which were never a fave, lol!! Though of course we made sure to thank them profusely!

    • FrugalHausfrau

      Thanks Virginia~ they just make me think about fall and back to school and bake sales! I gotta say anytime I think about pumpkins and Halloween, it makes me thing of all the problems you had awhile back with your Pumpkin Festival~ Hope this Halloween goes great for you guys!

    • FrugalHausfrau

      Oh Jhuls I set them aside in a container for my son to pick up and he hasn’t made it by. Unfortunately, I’ve been getting into it!! They are hard to resist!

  3. Elizabeth Stewart

    Applesauce Spice Bars remind me of my childhood as well and these look amazing! I can’t wait to try them.

    • FrugalHausfrau

      Hi Elizabeth, I hope you enjoy them as much as we have over the years!! 🙂 Feel free to stop back if you do make them!


      • Elizabeth Stewart

        Hi Mollie, I am enjoying an Applesauce Spice Bar with my coffee as I type this! These bars are so tender and the combination of spices is wonderful!! I used chunky applesauce as that is what I usually have and it worked perfectly. Thanks again for a great recipe!

  4. Pingback: Classic Applesauce Spice Bars — Frugal Hausfrau | My Meals are on Wheels

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