Makeover Spiced Cocoa-Apple Cake Recipe
Makeover Spiced Cocoa-Apple Cake Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Makeover Spiced Cocoa-Apple Cake Recipe

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"This recipe was given to me years ago," writes Wendy Keys from Reno, Nevada. "I love it and used to make it often, but haven't done so in a while because of its high fat and calorie count. Can you help?" Our Test Kitchen lightened up her original recipe for this healthier version that tastes even more delicious than the original. How sweet is that?
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Bake: 50 min. + cooling
MAKES:16 servings
Healthy Test Kitchen Approved
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Bake: 50 min. + cooling
MAKES: 16 servings


  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1-2/3 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup baking cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 cups grated peeled tart apples
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 teaspoon confectioners' sugar

Nutritional Facts

1 slice equals 270 calories, 9 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 37 mg cholesterol, 220 mg sodium, 45 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 5 g protein.


  1. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until crumbly, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, then egg whites, beating well after each addition. Beat in the buttermilk, applesauce and vanilla (mixture will appear curdled).
  2. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and allspice; stir into butter mixture just until blended. Stir in the apples, walnuts and chips.
  3. Transfer to a 10-in. fluted tube pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 325° for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar. Yield: 16 servings.
Originally published as Makeover Spiced Cocoa-Apple Cake in Healthy Cooking August/September 2008, p8

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Reviewed Sep. 23, 2013

"I don't normally eat "healthy" desserts, but was pleasantly surprised when my mom made this. It was very good. Very moist, not at all heavy. And my mom didn't feel that the time prep time was that much for a made from scratch cake."

Reviewed Feb. 22, 2011

"I forgot to add that I omitted the walnuts and

semisweet chocolate chips. The cake was very
moist. The adults loved the cake"

Reviewed Feb. 22, 2011

"I doubled the recipe. I added 4 tsps. of cinnamon. Kept the buttermilk for last. May have added 2/3 c. sugar extra and forgot the allspice. But the 2 cakes lasted for 3 days."

Reviewed Apr. 2, 2010

"I don't think the result justified all the prep work needed. The cake was heavy and not moist, and could have used a stronger chocolate flavor. I served this to guests, so I covered each piece with whipped cream. This was a disappointing finish to what had otherwise been a delicious meal."

Reviewed Oct. 7, 2009

"There was a lot of prep time involved and I found the cake "ho-hum". There was just something I couldn't put my finger on that didn't set right and I think it could have been the spicyness. I made it for the 1st time for some company and they felt the same way."

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