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Modern Potluck

Beautiful Food to Share

by Kristin Donnelly

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Ingredients (15)

  • Unsalted butter or baking spray, for the pan
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup safflower oil* or *coconut oil, or ½ cup each melted butter and oil
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 (12-ounce) bag semisweet chocolate chips
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
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A version of this one-bowl cake has been my absolute favorite since I was a kid. It’s moist and spicy, with just the right amount of chocolate so it’s not overwhelming, and it holds up for days on the counter (if you can resist eating all of it at once). I’ve since updated the recipe a little, dialing back the sugar a bit, adding black pepper and cardamom to the spice blend, and using some whole wheat flour. If you don’t have a Bundt pan yet, now might be the time to get one, especially since you can do a lot of other things with your Bundt pan besides baking cake.

  • What to buy

    Nordic Ware Platinum Collection Heritage Bundt Pan

    This bundt pan is made of easy to clean cast aluminum that allows quick release and easy cleanup.

    Buy on Amazon ›


  1. 1Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously butter and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan or use baking spray with flour. (I mean it! This is the cake’s one challenge—it tends to stick, so the more you grease, the better.)
  2. 2In a large bowl, whisk the flours with the sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, cardamom, salt, cloves, and pepper. Whisk in the applesauce, oil, and eggs. Fold in the chocolate chips. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
  3. 3Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs attached. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Invert the cake onto the rack and let cool completely. Sift confectioners’ sugar over the cake, slice, and serve.

Vegan Variation: If you want to make this cake egg-free, you can substitute a chia seed gel for the eggs: use 2 tablespoons of ground chia seeds soaked in 6 tablespoons water for at least 10 minutes.

Potluck Prep: The cake can be stored covered at room temperature for up to 3 days.

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