- 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
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a large bowl, mix flour, brown sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a medium bowl, mix applesauce, oil, vinegar, vanilla, and water.
- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Do not overmix. Batter will be thin.
- Coat a 9-inch square pan with non-stick cooking spray. Pour batter into greased pan.
- 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.
- 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.