chocolate cake? Moist, dense, rich…and healthy too! A few weeks ago I finally turned 30 (woohoo) and my sister made me the best chocolate cake ever, except for this recipe was SPECIAL. It’s oddly healthy, with a primary ingredient being a vegetable – a total “Steph” kind of concoction.
Choosing the right sweetener
My sis knows me well. I’m choosy about my homemade dessert ingredients, preferring natural, unrefined sugar (whenever possible); less flour-focused recipes; and oils or butter with very little processing (i.e. – no canola or vegetable oil please). So after digging around on the web, she found a funky chocolate cake recipe by a healthy dessert blogger, Chocolate Covered Katie. Yum!
Since my pantry only has coconut sugar, raw honey, or maple syrup (like we discuss in the Eat Real Essentials eBook), we had to make a few adjustments.
Instead of using xylitol (a sugar alcohol derived from plants) or stevia (a sweet leaf that’s often ground and processed), we used coconut sugar (which derives from the cut flower of a coconut palm tree). More on sugar alternatives here.
The biggest secret ingredient
The most surprising “healthy” ingredient of the whole concoction is…cauliflower. Wha..what? Yes! The crunchy veggie that’s in the same family as broccoli! It’s a triple-whammy vegetable:
- full of vitamins
- loaded with fiber to aid in digestion
- AND it’s high in antioxidants
The original creator of this recipe (Katie) was a genius to put this in for added nutrients, moisture, and fiber. Read the instructions below carefully.
Extra bonus healthy points
The rest of the recipe calls for pretty straight forward ingredients, but combining them into the best chocolate cake recipe may seem kind of odd. Here’s a quick rundown:
- Spelt flour – An ancient grain cousin to wheat that is slightly more nutrient dense AND does not seem to cause as much sensitivities and irritation to the gut lining (like other wheat flours do).
- Dark chocolate – Look for the darkest possible.
- Almond milk – A great dairy-alternative to those with dairy sensitivities
- Coconut oil – A must-have pantry staple that works well in high-heat temperature cooking
- Natural peanut butter – a real nut butter with nothing but peanuts
- Cacao Powder – A simple way to add the dark chocolate fix without the sugar. Btw, it’s not hot cocoa mix – just plain, baking cacao (aka – cocoa) powder.
You are a big deal
This recipe that I’m coining as the best chocolate cake ever, is truly a symbol of my life – made with love, full of oddly complementary ingredients, real, risky, and surprisingly satisfying.
I’ve never been one to celebrate “big” on my birthday, mostly because I’m uncomfortable with the attention, but this year I made it a point to take a moment and celebrate. Big party? No. Fancy restaurant? Eh. A simple, stress-free, healthy home cooked dinner with family and without the computer. Perfect! So…Graham BBQ’d, my sis and I cooked, and my cousin moved the couch and set up a beautiful blanket with candles in the middle of the living room floor. It was momentous!
Don’t forget to make yourself a big deal. It’s not about being the center of attention, but rather a moment to truly celebrate all that you are grateful for – including your health. Enjoy my sister’s rendition of Katie’s best chocolate cake ever.
Best Chocolate Cake – Ingredients
¾ cup spelt flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
½ cup coconut sugar
¾ cup dark chocolate chips (very important)
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 loosely-packed cups frozen cauliflower, thawed completely and brought to room temperature. The cauliflower is raw, not cooked. (NOTE: Chocolate Covered Katie says she tried subbing the cauliflower for 1 cup of cooked pumpkin if the cauliflower is too weird)
½ cup almond milk
3 tbsp coconut oil
½ cup Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting (below)
Original recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Grease a 9” round baking pan (preferably with a removable bottom). Chocolate Covered Katie used a 8×8 square baking dish.
- Combine dry ingredients in a bowl, and mix well.
- Combine all liquid ingredients and the cauliflower in a food processor and blend until super-smooth, so there are NO lumps whatsoever.
- Pour wet into dry, and mix until just combined, then pour into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes.
- Let cool completely before frosting. Serve and enjoy. If there are any leftovers, be sure to keep it in the refrigerator. (NOTE: I noticed that the cauliflower flavor wasn’t noticeable the same day my sister baked it, BUT the next day leftovers did have a hint of a cauliflower node).
Serves ~ 8-10 slices
Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting – Ingredients
¼ cup homemade peanut butter (or other nut butter)
6 teaspoons real maple syrup (sorry Aunt Jemima)
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
4 teaspoons almond milk (or other milk)
¾ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Original recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie
- Blend everything in a small food processor.
- Store extras in a sealed jar, in the refrigerator.
Yields ~ ½ cup
If you like this recipe, then you’ll love our Eat Real Essentials eBook, enhanced and interactive for the iPad or in a digital-friendly PDF. It’s filled with inspirational stories, grocery shopping and pantry stocking tips, a 3-week meal plan with a whole foods detox, and over 100 recipes designed just for the busy person! Check it out here.