Even without all those specialty ingredients, however, this is a cake I can make for my vegan friends without problems. Even better, it's one of the easiest recipes you'll find. Prep time is less than 10 minutes, and this is wonderful served warm straight from the pan, so you can whip it up when unexpected guests pop in too.
It's rich enough to not need any frosting at all. If you're not a vegan, you can sprinkle some regular chocolate chips over the top or serve it warm with some non-vegan ice cream. Or just make it plain and simple; it's that good.
Oh yes, it's also a perfect choice for introducing kids to baking, since there are no raw eggs to worry about if they end up licking--and licking and licking--the uncooked batter.
Chocolate Applesauce Cake
1 1/2 c sugar
1/2 c cocoa
2 c unsweetened applesauce
3/4 c canola oil
1 t vanilla
2 c flour
2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1. Beat together the sugar, cocoa, applesauce, oil, and vanilla.
2. In another bowl, stir the flour, baking soda, and salt together to be sure they are mixed well. Pour this mixture into the applesauce mixture and stir well to be sure all ingredients are combined.*
3. Pour into a well-greased 9 X 13 pan or 10 inch tube pan. Bake at 350 degrees (325 if using a lightweight, disposable aluminum pan) for about 35 to 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
4. If you are planning to take the cake out of the pan before serving, allow to cool for 10 to 15 minutes first. The cake is very tender and may not come out of the pan in one piece if you try to remove it too soon.
*If you have a flour sifter, just measure the flour, soda, and salt into that and sift over the applesauce mixture.
This recipe will make about 24 cupcakes. Just top each one with an almond, half a walnut, or a sprinkle of mini chocolate chips and skip any frosting for these too.