Applesauce Chocolate Chip Cake

This recipe for “Applesauce Chocolate Chip Cake” is so good.  It has a full 2 cups of applesauce, but you don’t taste the apples so much as the cinnamon, cardamom and chocolate.  It’s homey but exotic at the same time.  Oh, and the pepper.  Don’t leave that out because it adds a lot of character to the cake.  First, you get all the spices and chocolate and then suddenly you taste pepper and the roof of your mouth heats up a little.  In this case, the pepper taste came on at the end and was very pleasant.  This cake might make for an interesting wine pairing. Or go the opposite route and eat it for breakfast.  At any rate, it’s one I’ll be making again. And it doesn’t even require a mixer!

Applesauce Chocolate Chip Cake

By the way, cardamom and chocolate are both aphrodisiacs, so keep this in your files for Valentines’ Day too.  Original recipe is here.

Applesauce Chocolate Chip Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This is an incredible tasting Bundt cake that has a little bit of everything -- chocolate, spices and fruit. It may sound like an odd mix of flavors, but everything comes together perfectly.
Recipe type: Applesauce Chocolate Chip Cake
Cuisine: American
Serves: 16
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • One 12-ounce bag semisweet-chocolate chips
  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° and spray a 12 cup Bundt pan with flour added spray (or grease and flour).
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, cardamom, salt, cloves and pepper. Whisk in the applesauce, eggs, oil and melted butter. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  3. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs attached.
  4. Transfer the pan to a rack and let the cake cool for 10 minutes, then invert it onto the rack and let cool completely, about 20 minutes.
  5. When cake is cool, sprinkle sift confectioners' sugar over the top.


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  1. says

    mmm. this looks super. it has been a while since i’ve made an applesauce cake -thanks for posting one that’s perfect for the holiday season!

  2. Connie says

    I have a question that you may not know the answer to–no one else seems to. I see applesauce regularly in baking recipes. My daughter is allergic to apples in any form. Is there any magic in using applesauce or can you use other pureed fruits?

  3. says

    This looks so good–I’m definitely trying it–love the pepper and cardamom in there. I’m such a dork because I’ve had my Dec. issue of F&W sitting on the coffee table for a week now, unopened, because I want to save it for the perfect time when I can peruse it leisurely and enjoy it. The Nov. issue was great, so I’m glad to hear Dec. won’t be a let down. What did you think of the desserts by Nancy Olson in the Nov. issue? I really want to try the cranberry coffee cake, and most of the others too.

  4. Michelle R says

    I made this cake yesterday (with a couple of substitutions) and it was soooo good! I didn’t have cardamom and couldn’t bring myself to pay $11.50 for it at the store, so I substituted pumpkin pie spice. And I was too chicken to use pepper. But I was very pleased with the results – it was so moist and chocolaty, and the spices added a great warmth without being too much. I got lots of compliments on it. Thanks! I love your blog – it’s become my favorite, as I love to bake, too.

  5. says

    Hi Michelle,

    Glad to hear everyone liked it. I almost chickened out on the pepper too, but I was glad I used it because it went really well with the cardamom and left kind of a burn.

    But maybe it’s best that you left out the pepper since you also left out the cardamom.

  6. Dawn says

    You have another new fan here in Charlotte, NC – her name is Debbie and (as Forrest Gump said of Bubba) she’s my “my best good friend!” I sliced her a hunk of this cake I baked last night to have with coffee this morning, and oh my! Simply delicious, and I would have never known of its existence if not for you!
    Baked just as instructed with all ingredients (confession – I did anxiously add the pepper!), and my bake time was about 67 minutes. It now has official induction into my 3 ring binder called “Winners!”. Thank you Anna!

  7. mushi says

    I enjoy your site.
    gives me good idea.

    I made this 2 days ago & this is very good.
    my kid loved it,
    but I think this is quite grown up’s cake.
    such a small amount of cardamom, but it really stand out beautifully.
    this cake is very addictive.
    I’m having hard time not eat all the time.

    I didn’t check the label of apple sauce.
    I bought sugar added one…
    It tasted very sweet so I reduced sugar to 1 cup.

    next time I will check the label for sure.

    little bit of adjustment here and there.
    but cake came out beautiful.
    so I was happy.
    and I’ll make this again.

  8. says

    I just made this yesterday and it was delicious. I had apples I needed to use up, so I used those instead of apple sauce and it worked great. I brought it to a party and everyone loved it.

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