Grandma’s Chocolate Applesauce Cake

My grandmother’s signature cake was this super moist chocolate applesauce cake, topped with chocolate chips and cinnamon sugar (and sometimes chopped walnuts).  It freezes incredibly well–I just pulled this cake from the depths of my freezer from I-won’t-even-tell-you-how-long-ago, and it tastes as good as the day I made it. Well, the chips aren’t all melt-ey and gooey as they are fresh from the oven, but I supposed I could fix that by warming it up.

It is not the intense chocolate experience of some deep, dark cakes. Rather, it is a more subtle chocolate experience, like hot cocoa, with an undertone of cinnamon and apples, with the chocolate chips giving you an occasional jolt of pure chocolate. It is the way that these flavors combine that makes this cake so irresistible.

It is not a fancy dessert, just a humble 9″x13″ pan snack cake. But, cut it into squares and platter it nicely, and you can serve it at the fanciest dessert buffet. People will devour it.

Grandma’s Chocolate Applesauce Cake
Simple to whip up, but prepare for raves when you serve this dense, moist, faintly spicy, and slightly gooey chocolate cake.
4 ounces margarine or 1/2 cup oil (I haven’t tried this with oil, but Earth’s Best margarine works perfectly) (update: oil also works perfectly)
2 cups flour
1 3/4 cups sugar (reserve 2 Tbl. of the sugar for the topping)
2 heaping Tbl. hot cocoa mix (I usually use Dutch process cocoa powder)
2 eggs
3/4 cup chocolate chips for mixing into the batter
3/4 cup chocolate chips for sprinkling on top
2 cups applesauce
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon (mix with the reserved 2 Tbl. of sugar for the cinnamon sugar topping)
1/2 tsp. salt (can omit if using salted margarine)

Cream the margarine and the sugar. Add the eggs (note: if you are  substituting oil for the margarine, mix the eggs and sugar, whipping them until light and the sugar is dissolved, and then mix in the oil).

Sift together flour, cocoa, salt (if using), and baking soda. Add the flour mixture to the egg/margarine/sugar mixture alternately with the applesauce. Add the 3/4 cup chocolate chips.

Pour batter into a greased 9″x13″ pan (my grandmother used a roasting pan, which is larger, but I just use a foil 9″x13″ and it works out fine). Sprinkle over the batter the remaining chips and the cinnamon sugar. You could also sprinkle over some chopped walnuts, but so many people have nut issues that I don’t bother.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes (I bake it longer, until it tests as done with a skewer or toothpick. The cake is done when the toothpick comes out clean and the sides of the cake pull away from the sides of the pan).

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13 Responses to “Grandma’s Chocolate Applesauce Cake”

  1. Rivki Locker (Ordinary Blogger) Says:

    This looks great, and I love that it’s freezer friendly. I can’t wait to try it!

    • pragmaticattic Says:

      You’ll love it . . . . And it is very kid friendly (esp. without the nuts). When I make this, no one wants me to give any away (but it is a great thing to make to bring over for Shabbos or for someone who just had a baby).

  2. Lauren Says:

    Sounds delicious! I love a simple traybake!

  3. Lisa @ Sweet as Sugar Cookies Says:

    Mmm, I love how this cake is so much lower in fat than others. But, I bet that you can’t even tell when eating it. I have a sweet treat linky party going on at my blog and I’d like to invite you to stop by and link your cake up.

  4. Chavi Samet Says:

    Had I just waited a couple of days I would have seen this post and been able to try this instead of the Applesauce Pound Cake I made….. I know what Im making the next time I have leftover applesauce…

  5. BumbleVee Says:

    chocolate anything…. can’t go wrong can we?

  6. amy Says:

    This looks and sounds like a delicious cake. How wonderful you’ve got this amazing recipe from your Grandma. SO precious!

    I’m hosting the Culinary Smackdown Battle for March–the theme is Cookies. Would you like to join in for the fun? It doesn’ have to be a new post on your blog. You can pick your favorite cookie from your previous post too. All you have to do is link up your cookie creation. I have some great prizes waiting. Hope to see your entry soon!


  7. Carine’s Israeli Nesquik Chocolate Cake « Pragmatic Attic Says:

    […] not having the intense chocolate punch of such cakes. The amount of chocolate-ness is similar to my grandmother’s chocolate applesauce cake (which is MUCH lower in […]

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