True Love Chocolate Cake Recipe
True Love Chocolate Cake Recipe photo by Taste of Home

True Love Chocolate Cake Recipe

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4.5 16 15
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“A college roommate gave me this amazing recipe and it's been my favorite ever since. To use it for other holidays, just replace the hearts with appropriately-colored hard candies-like peppermints at Christmas.” Stephanie Basker - Caldwell, Idaho
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 35 min. Bake: 35 min. + cooling
MAKES:24 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 35 min. Bake: 35 min. + cooling
MAKES: 24 servings


  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1-2/3 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup baking cocoa
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1-1/4 cups water
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 package (8 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 carton (8 ounces) frozen reduced-fat whipped topping, thawed
  • 3/4 cup flaked coconut
  • 1/2 cup candy hearts

Nutritional Facts

1 piece: 238 calories, 9g fat (6g saturated fat), 29mg cholesterol, 201mg sodium, 39g carbohydrate (24g sugars, 1g fiber), 4g protein


  1. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until crumbly, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in applesauce.
  2. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Add to the butter mixture alternately with water, beating well after each addition. Fold in chips. Pour into a 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan coated with cooking spray.
  3. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
  4. For frosting, in a bowl, beat cream cheese and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Beat in vanilla. Fold in whipped topping. Frost cake. Refrigerate until serving. Just before serving, sprinkle with coconut and candy. Yield: 24 servings.
Originally published as True Love Chocolate Cake in Healthy Cooking February/March 2009, p44

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Reviewed Feb. 14, 2015

"I'd add a little red food coloring to the frosting."

Reviewed Jul. 1, 2014


Reviewed Feb. 13, 2014

"I just made this cake, its very dry. If you like moist cakes this is not for you. I baked it for 30 minutes five minutes less than they recommended. Would not make it again."

Reviewed Feb. 14, 2011

"Made this recipe, but cut it in half and made 12 cupcakes. I baked them for 25 minutes. Happy husband said " Very good.""

Reviewed Nov. 1, 2010

"I will bake less time as it got a bit dry...and my husband still loved it. He doesn't like coconut so I covered with toasted pecans & stuck candy corn in for Fall. I cut the 13x9 in half & made 2 layers with some of the frosting in the middle. Will be making it again soon for more people!"

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