Guilt free. The best part is it tastes anything but that.

Daughter was having one of those days,  one of those days- if you know what I mean. Where you wake up feeling a bit unrested, the clouds are out, things don’t seem to be really going your way, and all you want to do is watch a movie in bed. Chocolate cake. strawberries. Two of daughter’s favorite things in life. (yes she’s a bit of a foodie at such a young age!) I stumbled upon this recipe in a cooking magazine called Cuisine Light. It’s the apple sauce which replaces the oil in this recipe to keep the fat content low. I was skeptical at first, because my kind of chocolate cake has to be rich, chocolatey–the the type that’s so sweet you def need a glass of milk to go with. The taste of the light spongy cake, along with its white chocolate frosting &  decadent strawberries was so powerful for us all. I firmly believe that the best way to lift up the soul, is through your stomach~ Believe that!

(adapted from Cuisine Lite Magazine’s Chocolate Cake recipe)

For the cake, whisk:

1 1/2 cups all- purpose flour

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp. each – baking soda and table salt

combine:

1 1/4 cups hot water

1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 tbsp of distilled white vinegar

2 tsp of each – instant espresso powder & vanilla extract

for the frosting heat:

1 1/4 cups heavy cream, divided

4 oz white bar chocolate, finely chopped

2 tbsp. powdered sugar

8 oz of strawberries (i used about 10 oz) halved

* (I sliced into thirds)

*One more tip- After you cut them all, lay them on a paper towel and pat and squeeze gently–really drain all of the excess water and juices out, too much juice on the cake makes it soggy faster.

preheat oven at 350 with rack in the center. Coat two 8 inch round cake pans with non stick spray, line the bottoms with parchment paper.

for the cake, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.

Combine water, applesauce, vinegar, espresso powder, and vanilla in large measuring cup; pour over dry ingredients and whisk just until combined.

Divide batter between both pans, bake until center springs back when touched, 18-20 mins. *tip- this might be difficult to do so I use a toothpick or chopstick and insert in the middle of the cake at a 45 degree angle. If the toothpick or chopstick comes out clean with just crumbs on it, then its ready.

For the frosting, heat

2 tbsp cream and white chocolate on low heat in small sauce pan until melted.

Transfer chocolate to a medium bowl. Beat chocolate with a hand mixer on medium speed until cooled

Gradually beat in the remaining cream on the medium speed. Increase speed to high, add powdered sugar, and beat to firm peaks.

Spread half the frosting over one cake layer and cover to the edges of cake with strawberries.

Top with remaining cake layer and swirl remaining frosting on top.

Instead of making frosting look even, and flat-I feel that texture gives the cake a fun dreamier feel. Isn’t it funner to eat too? Just use a jelly knife-swirl and whirl in counter clock-wise motion, then repeat on the other side in a clock-wise motion.

282 calories per slice.  You know you have to try this. Guilt free for you, and healthier for your kiddos.