Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Cake


  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 Tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cold water
  • Non-stick cooking spray


  • 9-inch square pan
  • Large bowl
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Medium bowl
  • Mixing spoon


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix flour, brown sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix applesauce, oil, vinegar, vanilla, and water.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Do not overmix. Batter will be thin.
  5. Coat a 9-inch square pan with non-stick cooking spray. Pour batter into greased pan.
  6. Bake on middle rack of oven until center is firm and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. This will be about 30–40 minutes.

Chef’s Notes

  • If doubling the recipe, use 2 (9-inch) pans. This cake does not work well in a 9-by-13-inch pan.
  • Make chocolate muffins instead of cake. Pour batter into a 12-cup muffin pan coated with non-stick cooking spray. Bake as in step 6, about 25 minutes.
  • Dress up the cake by dusting with powdered sugar. Serve with 1 Tablespoon low-fat vanilla yogurt and fresh or thawed frozen berries.
  • Use whole wheat flour in place of half of the all-purpose flour, if you can.
  • White or cider vinegar will work in this recipe.
  • Use leftover applesauce for a healthy snack for adults or kids.

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