(Green Tomato) Mincemeat Applesauce Cake

Now that killing frosts have finished off our northern gardens for another year, some of us have access to a lot of green tomatoes. Perhaps my southern friends think immediately of frying ups these end of the season beauties, but, for me, green tomatoes in the fall mean just one thing: green tomato mincemeat. 

I know that many people have never tried mincemeat pie or have and decided it wasn’t for them. However for those of us who do like this fruity, spicy mixture (that is almost always in this day and age totally without meat), there are few better choices to end a festive holiday meal.  Buying mincemeat in the store, however, is rarely a frugal choice, but an old, old family recipe that uses green tomatoes can cut the cost dramatically. If you’d like to try making your own, I posted it several years ago here:


The great thing about that recipe is that you can make a big batch and freeze it for a full season of pies.

Or cake.

With the last of last year’s mincemeat still in the freezer a few weeks ago, I started looking for a way to use it without having to mix up any piecrust. I also had a few jars left from last year’s applesauce canning, so finding a cake that could be adapted to include both applesauce and mincemeat seemed like it was worth a try. 

The result of my experimentation was a super moist cake that was very, very easy. Stir most of the dry ingredients together in one bowl.
Mix the rest in another bowl.

Then combine the two together, stir just enough to blend and pour into the prepared pan.


No mixer to clean up, no time-consuming beating. The hardest part is waiting for the cake to bake and cook enough to get it out of the pan.

If you don’t have green tomato mincemeat, this one might even be worth the splurge of picking up a jar of mincemeat just to make the cake. The fragrance in your kitchen while the cake bakes is by itself well worth the cost.

One other thing: If you really, really want to have frosting on your cake, make a thin powdered sugar glaze using orange juice for the liquid. Spread it over the top of the cake, allowing the excess to dribble down the sides. 


You definitely should try the sauce. It’s easy to make and the flavors are just right with this cake–or for just about any other spice cake. You could even put a little warmed mincemeat over ice cream and top with a drizzle of the sauce and some chopped walnuts for a different mincemeat dessert.


Mincemeat Applesauce Cake

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup green tomato (or prepared) mincemeat
2/3 cup applesauce
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2/3 cup walnuts

Citrus Sauce

1/2 cup sugar
4-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 c orange juice
1-1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (optional)
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract


1.  In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. In another bowl, beat together the eggs, mincemeat, applesauce, brown sugar, and butter; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Don’t beat! Fold in the walnuts.
2.  Pour into a well-greased 9-in. tube pan. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes; remove from pan to a wire rack to cool until just warm. Don’t try to take out of the pan too early, as it will be tender and may not come out whole.

3.  For sauce, combine sugar and cornstarch in a large microwave-safe bowl. Stir in the water until smooth. Cook in microwave about 2 to 3 minutes at medium power level until it bubbles and thickens.. Remove from the microwave and stir in butter until melted. Add juice, lemon zest and extract. Serve warm with the cake.

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