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Makeover Spiced Cocoa-Apple Cake Recipe

Makeover Spiced Cocoa-Apple Cake Recipe

"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 YIELD: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


  • 1. In a large mixing 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.

Nutritional Facts

1 slice: 270 calories, 9g fat (4g saturated fat), 37mg cholesterol, 220mg sodium, 45g carbohydrate (27g sugars, 2g fiber), 5g protein.

Reviews for Makeover Spiced Cocoa-Apple Cake

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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."

Reviewed Jan. 24, 2009

"I made this cake and although it required a lot of ingredients and prep time, it was well worth the time. My 3 1/2 year old daughter said it was delicious and of course, did not know, it was a reduced lighter version of an original."

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