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KITCHEN SCOOP: Betty's Chocolate Applesauce Cake

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The only thing more wonderful than baking for friends is baking with friends. Kitchen Scoop reader, Rick Herron of Corsicana, Texas sent not only a delightful and unusual cake recipe, but a wonderful story of friendship to go along with it.

Here's his letter.

Dear Alicia,

I wanted to share with you a recipe for applesauce cake that my mom left me when she passed away. Her best friend, Betty, gave it to her in 1965. Betty's son and I went to elementary school together in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Betty was movie star beautiful, with dark brown hair, flashing eyes and a perpetual smile on her face and I was in awe of her. She loved to laugh...and cook, and when she made this cake once for my birthday, I was hooked. It is so moist, thanks to the applesauce. These days, when I make it, all those wonderful memories of Betty and mom laughing and cooking come flooding back. Mom and Betty are gone now, but I think they'd be glad to know that people are still enjoying the cake as much as I do.

Rick Herron

Thanks Rick. I think Betty and your mom, just made a bunch of new friends with this cake!

Betty's Chocolate Applesauce Cake

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup butter, at room temperature – OR- 1/2 cup margarine and 1/2 cup shortening
2 eggs
2 cup applesauce
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon each of cinnamon, allspice, cloves and nutmeg
6 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup chopped pecans, optional
2 tablespoons sugar, optional
whipped cream for topping, optional

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Cream together butter (or margarine and shortening, if using) and 1 ½ cups sugar. Add eggs one at a time and mix well. Add applesauce and mix well.
3. Add flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and spices and mix slowly until well incorporated; then on medium for 30 seconds to blend well.
4. Pour into a buttered 13-inch x 9-inch baking pan. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the entire top of cake. Add chopped pecans and sugar, if desired. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Serve warm with a dollop of whipped cream on top, if desired.

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