Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Anne of Green Gables: Chocolate Chip Applesauce Cake

"Yes; but cakes have such a terrible habit of turning out bad 
just when you especially want them to be good," sighed Anne, 
setting a particularly well-balsamed twig afloat. 
"However, I suppose I shall just have to trust to Providence
 and be careful to put in the flour."

~Anne of Green Gables,  Chapter XXI

I have had my share of cooking disasters, including (but not limited to) the molten lava enchiladas I made for my dyspeptic grandmother, the crystallized Christmas fudge that felt like sand on your tongue, and the pecan pie of 1996. Oh that pie, that miserable pie. It was my first Thanksgiving as a newlywed, and I insisted on bringing a pecan pie to my in-laws' because I wanted to impress my husband's mother (aka the world's greatest lover of pecan pie). I showed her alright. I smirked a self-satisfied grin when she saw my gorgeous pie and duly fawned over its presentation. It was beautiful, with its perfectly congruent pecans that radiated in perfect circles from the center of the pie. But then she tried to actually eat it. Apparently, if you overcook corn syrup, sugar, and butter, you can turn out your own batch of homemade concrete. Beautiful, congruent, radiating concrete. As she stuck a knife into the pie to cut the first piece, she met with some resistance. With a little heave and a grunt, she wedged the knife down hard into the center of the pie. When she tried to remove the knife to make another stab at it, the entire filling came out in one perfect solid mound. She stood there with my pie filling on the end of her knife looking like Mary Poppins holding an umbrella---an umbrella made of pecans. "Oh dear," she whispered. 

It took me 12 more Thanksgivings to get up the guts to try another pecan pie. The fact is, sometimes the kitchen conspires against us, and sometimes the mealtime muse never arrives. Luckily for those of us trying to impress guests, there are a few recipes that you simply can't get wrong. This cake is one of them. My mom made this cake for Miriam and I growing up, and after two generations of wowing crowds, it is still going strong. It is the perfect tea/snack cake with its moist, dense texture and rich taste.  If only Anne and Marilla had one of these lovelies on hand as a backup when the minister and his wife were ready for dessert.  (And if only my mother-in-law loved chocolate chips as much as pecans . . . )

Chocolate Chip Applesauce Cake

Cream the following:

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs


15 oz can of applesauce
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves

Mix until well blended and add:

2 1/2 cups flour

Pour into a greased and floured 9x13 pan.

Sprinkle the top of the batter with the following:

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 package of chocolate chips

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until a knife comes out clean in the center of the cake.  
Let cool and slice into squares or bars.

Many happy and successful cooking endeavors to you all!


  1. Hehehe! I laughed my way through reading this. I have had a few cooking disasters myself... but I always remember my sister, who somehow managed to burn water when she was younger and yet still turned out to be an amazing cook! So one of these days I'll be good at it.. I just know it. :)

  2. I've enjoyed reading all your Anne of Green Gables posts - just went back and read them all. THis cake looks so yummy. I'm a big fan of all things Anne. I live in Canada and have been to her house several times, even though I live in Ontario. Lucy Maud Montgomery actually lived in Ontario for much of her life and I did a post about one of the houses she lived in (in Leaskdale) which you can read here if you are interested:

  3. Hi! I just tried this cake last night and it was SO yummy. I had to make do without applesause (throw in the pumpkin) and the chocolate chips (sprinkle some butterscotch) and it came out moist and a possible new family favorite. So good with coffee!

    I really enjoy your blog. God bless!

  4. This looks so good! I'm here from the weekend blog party, and now I'm a new follower on GFC. It sounds like we love a lot of the same books. I'm looking forward to lots of great posts! I'd love for you to come visit me at Worst Mom Ever. It's nice to meet you both!

  5. Oh my, that sounds scrumptious, I'll just have to see how that turns out for me soon, yummy!

  6. This looks delicious! I can't wait to try this recipe. Thanks so much for sharing! I love the pecan pie story. Making pies is a huge hobby of mine but I've never made pecan pie by myself, even though it's one of my favorites. I've always made it with my Mom or Mother-in-law because I've been too scared to try on my own. :) ~ Jamie

  7. These are our favorites!! Thanks for linking up to our "Strut Your Stuff Saturday." We loved having you and hope to see you back next week! -The Sisters

  8. First I love Anne of Green Gables. Even at my age I still love reading the books over and over! Second, this cake turned out super yummy! I had some leftover homemade applesauce to use and found your post on Pinterest. So glad I did! I cut the amount of sugar in half as we try to limit it in our house and it was great.


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