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.
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)
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).