Dark Chocolate Crabapple Cake



Crabapple season is here!  My friend, Jennifer McGovern, stalks the wild apple trees in her Anchorage neighborhood and turns the sour fruit into a moist and tangy chocolate cake.  If you’re not a chocolate fan, try this Triple-Ginger Crabapple Cake instead.

“Once every year, I get together with a friend and make large batches of crabapple cakes.  She chops while I mix up the batter.  We make 6 to 8 cakes, freeze them in quarters, and then savor them all winter long.  We always make chocolate crabapple cakes.  This recipe has been adapted from the “Alaska Wild Berry Guide and Cookbook.”  The original recipe calls for regular cocoa powder but I prefer a darker chocolate so I can get my chocolate fix.  To freeze, cut cake into desired serving size, wrap tightly with plastic wrap, then aluminum foil. Label and freeze for up to 6 months. I” –Jennifer McGovern

Dark Chocolate Crabapple Cake

Yield: Makes 6 to 8 servings  |  Total time: 1 hour 30 min
Print Recipe

Dark chocolate and red crabapples make a beautiful cake.  Try to use dark cocoa if you can for deeper flavor.


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons dark cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped crabapples



  1. Preheat oven to 325°. 
  2. Cream together, using an electric or hand mixer, butter and sugar in a large bowl.  Add eggs and beat until light and fluffy.  Beat in water carefully as it may spill over.  
  3. Whisk together flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda, and spices.  Add slowly to butter-sugar mixture and blend well.  Add vanillla. Fold in chocolate chips and crabapples and stir to combine.
  4. Spoon into well greased and floured bundt pan.  Bake one hour or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean; some melted chocolate might stick to tester.

Date Published: September 29, 2014

All recipes have been tested by the Test Kitchens unless otherwise noted.

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2 comments... read them below or add one


  1. October 10, 2014 2:17 pm by marcia freed Reply

    Your personal story is so compelling and so well expressed. It adds a lot to yourMOUTHFUL OF STARS. I read your entire cookbook and suggest you look at the Indian author,, Julie Sahni and her recipe for tomato ginger chutney. It has fewer ingredients than yours but it is very good although it does not make a lot once it is cooked down. I think you would like it . I am looking forward to trying your curry leaf syrup and cocktail. The curry leaves has been my biggest cooking discovery this year. I love the perfume.

    • October 22, 2014 6:35 pm by kim Reply

      Thanks for your kind words. And for pointing me to author Julie Sahni; I will check out her chutney recipe among others. I hope you like the curry leaf syrup and cocktail. I love the fragrant hit the leaves offer to so many dishes. I recently made Suvir Saran’s shrimp and sweet corn curry, which makes such great use of curry leaf.

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