The BEST Nut-free and Vegan Chocolate Cake EVER

I actually like this recipe more than my real chocolate cake. It is rich and delicious and can be decorated any way you choose. It can also be made into a dozen cupcakes, just make sure that whatever cooking spray you use is totally vegan also.

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Makes 2 perfect 8-9 inch layers
2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup  Hershey’s Cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup plain unsweetened Motts Applesauce mixed with 2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup water
½ cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
 Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add applesauce/baking powder mixture, water, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost with chocolate frosting.
Vegan Chocolate Frosting
Makes 3 cups
1 cup solid vegetable shortening (I like Earths Balance)
3½ cups powdered sugar
½ cup cocoa powder
½ teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 tablespoons water
Cream shortening for a few minutes in a mixer with the paddle attachment or with a spoon in a mixing bowl on medium speed.  Sift 3 cups powdered sugar and cocoa into the mixing bowl until the sugar and cocoa are absorbed by the shortening. Add vanilla extract, salt, and water and beat for 3 minutes. If your frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add a little more sugar. If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add additional water 1 tablespoon at a time.