Chocolate Chip Applesauce Snack Cake

Chocolate Chip Applesauce Snack Cake

Even though I think the term “snack cake” may just be a cleverly designed justification to allow cake-eating anytime of the day, I really have no problem with how or when or why people eat their cake.

But I also know that if I’m going to feed cake to me and mine at, say, 3 p.m. on a Tuesday afternoon, I’d like it to be unindulgent enough to satisfy energetic, growing tummies but still leave a little room for dinner.

Enter this applesauce snack cake.

Sweet and treatsy enough (thanks chocolate chips) to be a cake but low enough in sugar and oil to still be a snack, I think we may have truly stumbled upon the best of both worlds.

Because this light and fluffy cake takes just minutes to stir together, we (meaning the kids) make it all the time (it also doesn’t hurt that Brian works for an applesauce company and so we honestly have applesauce coming out of our ears – if you come to my house, I’ll probably bequeath you some applesauce pouches, just sayin’).

It’s fantastic with whole wheat flour in place of the all-purpose, too, especially if you are already at peace with the taste and texture whole wheat brings to the baked goods table. Yum to all of that.

This tasty treat is delicious warm or not and may even be better the next day in my professional snack cake opinion.

The really glorious news? If you wanted to add a scoop of vanilla ice cream or fro-yo to a serving of the gooey, warm cake right out of the oven, no one would be the wiser that it’s slightly on the healthier side of the cake spectrum.

I know this because at least twice in the last month, this cake saved me when guests showed up unannounced and I had no dessert within a 100 yards to serve them (plain vanilla ice cream and freezer burned cookies don’t count).

Forty minutes or less of idle chatter and the cake was made, baked and served…and disappointment averted. Phew.

Applesauce snack cake, I think I love you.

Chocolate Chip Applesauce Snack Cake

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Chocolate Chip Applesauce Snack Cake

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups no-sugar added applesauce
  • 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil or butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (3.75 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (3.75 ounces) lightly packed brown sugar
  • 2 cups (10 ounces) flour, all-purpose or whole wheat (see note)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup (3 ounces) chocolate chips

Optional Topping:

  • 2 tablespoons lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (3 ounces) chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a 9X13-inch baking pan (preheat to 325 degrees if using a glass pan).
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the applesauce, coconut oil (or butter), eggs, vanilla, granulated and brown sugar.
  3. Add the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and chocolate chips (adding the chocolate chips with the dry ingredients helps prevent them from sinking to the bottom while baking). Stir until just combined. Don’t overmix.
  4. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Sprinkle the brown sugar and chocolate chips for the topping (if using) evenly across the top.
  5. Bake for 28-30 minutes until the top springs back lightly to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (although a smidgeon of melted chocolate is just fine).
  6. This cake keeps for several days well-covered at room temperature.

Notes:

This recipe works great with whole wheat flour although I highly recommend using soft or hard white wheat (hard red wheat will give it a denser/coarser texture). I’ve used a 50% whole wheat/50% all-purpose flour mix as well as making it a couple times with 100% white whole wheat flour. Delicious either way, especially if you are used to the taste and texture of whole wheat in your baked goods.

Just like the ingredient list suggests, the topping is optional but adds a delightful texture to the top of the cake and of course, a tad more chocolate.

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Recipe Source: adapted/inspired from a Taste of Home recipe by way of Chef-in-Training after my friend Heather clued me into the yumminess (cut the butter/oil down as well as the sugar, omitted the cloves and cocoa from the batter, left off the nuts for the topping among a few other things)