This vegan chocolate brownie cake recipe brings a classic dessert up to date with applesauce to replace much of the dairy and sugar.
This is a more cake-like version of brownies, enhanced by a simple frosting and a crunchy topping supplied by trail mix.
Applesauce is my favorite replacement for the fat usually used in baked goods. It makes vegan cakes nice and moist, and reduces the amount of sugar needed, since it’s so naturally sweet.
This has long been a family favorite for special occasions and company, but it’s an easy cake to make as an everyday treat as well.
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 cup natural granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup applesauce
- 2 tablespoons safflower oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup plain or vanilla plant-based (nondairy) milk
- 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup vegan chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons plain or vanilla plant-based (nondairy) milk
- 1 tablespoon smooth peanut butter, optional
- 2 to 3 tablespoons trail mix, optional (see Note)
- Preheat the oven to 350º F.
- Combine the first 5 (dry) ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir together.
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the applesauce, oil, vanilla, and enough plant-based milk to make a smooth and slightly stiff batter. Stir together until completely mixed, then fold in the chocolate chips.
- Pour the batter into a lightly oiled 9- by 9-inch cake pan and smooth in evenly.
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until the sides of the cake begin to pull away from the pan, and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean (with the exception of the melted chocolate chips).
- Let the cake stand until just warm, and at this point, make the frosting. Combine the ingredients (except the trail mix) in a small bowl and microwave for 45 seconds, then stir together until smooth. Or, combine in the top of a double boiler, cooking over boiling water until the chocolate is melted, then stir together until smooth.
- Spread the frosting over the top of the cake. If using trail mix, sprinkle it over the frosting. Let the cake stand for at least 30 minutes, then cut into 12 or 16 squares to serve.
- Allow to cool in the pan until just warm, then cut into squares to serve.
If using the optional trail mix, crush any whole nuts or large nut pieces for easier distribution.
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See lots more easy vegan desserts & sweets.