This is an excellent recipe to make with kids. The boys and I made a batch today and even my two-year-old helped.
Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray a 10 inch fluted tube pan or 4 small (5.75 X 3 in) loaf pans) with cooking spray and set aside. Sift together in a large bowl and stir together well:
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
6 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
In a medium bowl, combine:
1 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup oil (we use light olive or canola)
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 tablespoon peppermint extract (we use the Organics brand--it does not contain alcohol and it gives just the right amount of mint flavor without being too strong)
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir just until combined. Pour batter (it will be thick) into the prepared pan(s) and bake at 325°F for 50-60 minutes (large pan) or 30-35 minutes (small loaves). Allow to cool 10 minutes on rack. Remove from pans; cool completely on rack. Delicious served warm, too. When cool, wrap in plastic wrap. These freeze very well!