Chocolate Apple Cake with Fudge Topping

Hungry for chocolate even in this season of apples and pumpkins and lots of rich sugar cookies? Ready for a different dessert after all those Thanksgiving pies?

Here’s a quick and easy cake that will satisfy your chocolate sweet tooth that you could almost pretend to be healthy–something we all need after the turkey day indulgences.

This one is a quick “one-bowl cake,” with chopping the apples the longest part of the work. The topping goes together while the cake is baking, so there is no need for frosting. You can eat it warm right out of the oven or save some of it (especially the cupcake version) for lunches through the week.

 Chocolate Apple Cake with Fudge Topping
3 cups apples, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup canola or other vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup 60% chocolate chips (or semi-sweet chips if the dark chocolate ones are not available)
1/2 to 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1.  Beat the oil, sugar, eggs, cocoa, and spices together until fluffy and well blended.
2.  Chop the apples and add to the oil and sugar mixture. Beat until well combined.
3.  Sift (or stir together very well) the flour and soda and add to the batter. Beat for 2 minutes.
4.  Pour into a well-oiled 9 X 12 pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 to 35 minutes.
5.  Meanwhile make the topping. Stir the 1 cup sugar and water together until well mixed. Put in the microwave and bring to a rolling boil–about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from microwave and immediately stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts. Stir until the chips are melted. These dark chocolate chips don’t seem to melt as smoothly as others, so the mixture may remain a little grainy. Don’t worry!
6.  When the cake is done,* remove from the oven and immediately spread the chocolate chip mixture over the top, poking holes in the cake to allow the mixture to be more fully absorbed into the entire cake. Then spread with the walnuts while the cake is still hot.
*How to know when it is done? Test by inserting a toothpick into the cake near the center. It shoulld come out with no batter clinging to the toothpick when you remove it.

Cupcake Variation

Makes 24 standard sized cupcakes

Prepare the batter as above. Spoon the batter into paper-lined cupcake pans and bake for about 16 to 18  minutes, until just done.

Make the topping as above but do not stir in the walnuts. While the cupcakes are still in the pan, spoon a little of the topping over each and sprinkle with walnuts if desired.