sounds like way too much! Can I substitute apple sauce or butter for some of the oil?
I think 1 1/2 cups sounds right, if you substitute applesauce or butter it is certainly feasible but you might have a different outcome texture wise. I love cakes made with oil, they have a lovely crumb and are so moist.
I have a fantastic apple cake recipe that calls for a half cup of oil, and I always substitute 1/2 a cup of applesauce for half of the oil. It works great, and comes out incredibly moist with an amazing crumb. So I think a substitution should work just fine. For what its worth, here's a link to the recipe -- I truly can't imagine any apple cake being more genius than this one... http://www.epicurious.com...
Looks like the recipe you're talking about actually calls for 1 cup of oil -- which is not too far off from this one. Yes, you can substitute applesauce for some of the oil, but you will end up with a different result.
Ooops -- I meant to say tha the recipe calls for a cup of oil, and I substitute in half a cup. Again, I really don't think there is any loss in the substitution -- I actually think there's a gain, as you get moistness without greasiness, in addition to extra apple flavor.