This chocolate chip applesauce cake is a delicious and easy from scratch cake you’re sure to love. Some links in this article are affiliate links that may earn me a commission if you purchase through them.
I originally happened upon this cake at a church social hour, and my entire family fell in love with this moist cake. Bonus? It is dairy free naturally without being switched up.
Note: You do grease and flour the pan. This is the only place where I currently use butter, but you can use coconut oil in its place and keep it dairy free.
They aren’t wrong. This feels much more like a coffee cake than a full on cake in the overall cake spectrum. And nope, no need to frost it.
It’s really a great simple cake and so easy to throw together, which makes it perfect for last minute get togethers.
Think of this more like an applesauce snack cake than something you enjoy for a birthday cake, for example. It isn’t overly sweet, so you can enjoy it all day long and not just for dessert.
What kind of applesauce should I use?
This works best with unsweetened applesauce. It doesn’t need the additional sugar, and unsweetened applesauce lets the spices and other flavors shine.
If you want to be all fancy and use homemade applesauce, all the better. Most of the year, I use jarred unsweetened applesauce, however.
If you only have “regular” applesauce, that will work, but it will change the flavor and texture slightly. Decrease the sugar you add by two tablespoons.
Do not use cinnamon applesauce or any other flavored applesauce for your cake. That overpowers the rest of the flavors you want to enjoy.
What kind of nuts should I use?
Chopped pecans are perfect for this vintage applesauce snack cake. If you don’t have pecans, go ahead and substitute walnuts.
Whichever one you use, toast them gently in a dry pan for two to three minutes to bring out the flavor. This makes a huge difference and takes just a couple minutes and minimal effort.
Nuts are always optional, and in my house, we skip them. This cake turns out just fine if you choose to omit them, as well.
How should I serve this?
This chocolate chip applesauce cake needs no frosting. We usually eat it just plain – with the sugar crusted top and the chocolate chips embedded within it – and maybe with a glass of milk.
When I serve I for company, I do dress it up somewhat, however. Use a sifter to sprinkle powdered sugar over the top for a quick fix.
I also offer it with whipped cream or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream atop it. It’s delicious with any or no toppings!
How should I store leftovers?
Once this applesauce snack cake cools fully, place it in an airtight container. This keeps well on your counter for up to three days.
If you plan to enjoy it for longer than that, wrap it tightly with plastic wrap, and place it in the freezer. You can freeze this for up to two months.
To enjoy it after that, unwrap it and let it thaw at room temperature. You can also pop it in the oven for a minute or three (without plastic!) to gently warm it up if you prefer.
How to Make Chocolate Chip Applesauce Cake
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and flour a 9×13 inch baking pan. Alternatively, you can use an 11×17 inch baking pan for a thicker cake.
To grease and flour a cake pan, rub cold unsalted butter along the bottom and sides of the baking dish just enough to coat it.
Add a quarter cup of flour to the bottom and shake it around to coat the bottom and sides of the pan. I do this holding it over my flour bin to catch any that falls out, as you want to bang it to ensure as thin a coating as possible, then dump out the remainder.
Add the nuts, if you choose to use them, to a dry pan over medium heat. Shake it periodically for a couple minutes to toast them and bring out the flavor.
Once they cool enough to comfortably handle them, chop them into bite size pieces. You can do this either with a food chopper or a knife.
Mix the vegetable oil and the 1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar in a mixing bowl. Beat in the eggs.
Stir in the cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, applesauce, baking soda, and cocoa powder. Add the flour and mix until just moistened.
Pro tip: Sift your flour before you add it to ensure you don’t have little clumps of flour after it bakes. If you don’t have a sifter, use a fork to stir up the all purpose flour before you spoon it into your measuring cup.
Pour the cake batter into a greased and floured 13×9 pan.
Sprinkle the with the last two tablespoons of granulated sugar. Top with nuts (or not), and sprinkle the chocolate chips over the cake.
You can lightly stir this in or leave on top. I tend to leave it on top.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. If it starts to brown too much on top, cover with foil but I’ve never found the need to do that.
Once the cake is fully cooled, store in a tightly sealed container on your counter for two to three days. You can freeze it, if needed.
Bookmark this chocolate chip applesauce cake to make again!
For the cake
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
For the topping:
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 cup chopped and toasted nuts (optional)
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease and flour 9x13 inch baking pan, then toast and chop nuts.
- Mix vegetable oil and granulated sugar, then beat in eggs.
- Stir in cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, applesauce, baking soda, and cocoa powder. Add flour and mix until just moistened.
- Pour batter into prepared 9x13 pan.
- Sprinkle the remaining sugar, nuts, and chocolate chips.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.
- Once the cake cools, store in a tightly sealed container on counter for two to three days.
- You can also bake this in an 11x7 pan, which will make for a thicker cake.
- If the cake starts to brown too much on top, cover it with foil but I've never found the need to do that.
- For more tips, be sure to read the full article.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 217Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 145mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 1gSugar: 20gProtein: 3g
This site uses an outside source to provide nutrition as a courtesy. If you need exact values, please calculate yourself.
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