"This type of chocolate cake was popular during World War II with my mom and godmother because it has NO DAIRY (milk, eggs, butter) and tastes great! My version is a spice cake with moist yummy applesauce. I supposed you could even add nuts if you wanted them!
My own version reduces the oil and sugar amounts using applesauce and tastes lovely.
I am making it for Christmas gifts this year by placing the dry ingredients mixed together in a zipped plastic bag, an applesauce cup, and another small bag of powdered sugar with a paper doily inside an oven mitt, tied with a bow and a wooden spoon."
In an 8" square dish that has been lightly greased or sprayed. Add all the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Make a well in the center to add wet ingredients to mix. My godmother used to make a smiley face and pour the vanilla in one "eye" the vinegar in the other "eye" and the oil and applesauce in the smile. Over all, pour one cup COLD water. and mix until completely combined. Bake about 45-50 minutes until toothpick comes out clean in center and sides pull away from pan. When cool, place a paper doily over the cake and sift the powdered sugar over the doily to cover. Gently lift the doily and dump the excess sugar into the sink and dispose of the paper. The resulting cake looks charming and tastes great! See Footnotes for Gift instructions.