The Best Chocolate Cake Recipe (with a secret healthy ingredient)

Best Chocolate Cake Recipe (with a healthy secret ingredient)

Recipe Makeover

Stephanie Kanoeola Megumi Wong

Who doesn’t love 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.

Best Chocolate Cake Recipe (with a healthy secret ingredient) Best Chocolate Cake Recipe (with a healthy secret ingredient) Best Chocolate Cake Recipe (with a healthy secret ingredient) Best Chocolate Cake Recipe (with a healthy secret ingredient) Best Chocolate Cake Recipe (with a healthy secret ingredient) Best Chocolate Cake Recipe (with a healthy secret ingredient) Best Chocolate Cake Recipe (with a healthy secret ingredient)

 

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.

Celebrating my dirty thirty!

 

Best Chocolate Cake – Ingredients

¾ cup spelt flourBest Chocolate Cake Recipe (with a healthy secret ingredient)

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

Steps 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease a 9” round baking pan (preferably with a removable bottom). Chocolate Covered Katie used a 8×8 square baking dish.
  3. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl, and mix well.
  4. Combine all liquid ingredients and the cauliflower in a food processor and blend until super-smooth, so there are NO lumps whatsoever.
  5. Pour wet into dry, and mix until just combined, then pour into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes.
  6. 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

Steps 

  1. Blend everything in a small food processor.
  2. Store extras in a sealed jar, in the refrigerator.

Yields ~ ½ cup

 

Eat Real EssentialsEat Real Essentials - Available Now!

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.

 

 

Facebook86Twitter4Google+2Pinterest0Email
Thanks for reading! My name is Stephanie Wong and I am a certified holistic health & nutrition coach, home-grown natural food cook, lover of all things ginger, and a strong believer that strength is beauty. [read more...]

Comments...

  1. Mary says:

    Can’t wait to try this one! Thanks for sharing!

    • stephanie says:

      Can’t wait to see what you think. It’s super dense and filling…and yum. Unlike other kinds of “airy” cakes where you want another piece right after :)

  2. shauna plimmer says:

    Hi Stephanie I really want to try this for my kids (4 and 1) , but they always know when I hide things in food haha! what could I sub for splet flour, pumpkin/cauliflower, coconut Sugar and almond milk? Thanks, Shauna Plimmer

  3. shauna plimmer says:

    Hi Stephanie what can I sub for splet, coconut sugar, almond milk, and cauilflower/punmpkin? thanks!

    • stephanie says:

      Hi Shauna,

      Thanks for your note. Do you want to sub for all those things? or just a few? Those are the main ingredients and subbing them all out will definitely change the recipe. I suggest trying to make it first to see how your kids respond. I noticed the “cauliflower” taste after the second day, so if they are super sensitive, maybe switch that to pumpkin. You can do an even-even swap of the spelt flour for regular flour, as well as the sugar however regular white sugar is much sweeter than coconut sugar. The almond milk can easily be swapped for regular dairy milk too. I’m not sure how it will turn out if you swap all of these things at once.

      I say give the recipe a try to see what they say. It’s super dark and rich, so may not be a totally kid-friendly recipe if they prefer milk-chocolate/more sweet cakes. Do let us know!!!

      Thanks for asking,
      Steph

  4. Stephanie says:

    Hi, I am looking into buying this ebook for my boyfriend for Christmas. He is really active, a workaholic, likes to eat healthy and I recently got him interested in cooking things other than chicken. Since cooking is fairly new to him, he doesn’t have a ton of cooking utensils. I was wondering if you had suggestions for a handful of utensils he may not have and would be using often, based off the recipes in the ebook.

    Thanks!

    • Springer says:

      Stephanie – what a fabulous gift! We love hearing about folks who are getting themselves back into the kitchen to make great food. Knowing that we were going to have a bunch of cooking newbies checking out Eat Real Essentials, we included a whole chapter in the book dedicated to building a natural foods pantry. And the includes the gear. Have him check out page 89 for our recommendations on kitchen tools & utensils. The list isn’t that long and he doesn’t need them all. But it is a starting place. Thanks for the shout out.

  5. Kristina says:

    I made this last night and it was really quite good. Very rich and dark. I substituted regular white flour for the spelt and soy milk for the almond milk. My cake hardly rose at all, but I’m fairly sure I over-pureed the cauliflower. By no lumps I assume you meant no BIG lumps, because no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t make it into a silky smooth puree.

    Other than not rising, the cake looked and tasted indulgent and the secret ingredient wasn’t discernible. The next day it’s a little chewy when cold but still quite tasty!

    • stephanie says:

      Kristina — it’s kind of magical huh? AMAZING! I think I might make this again for my 31st bday :) Thanks for the reminder!

  6. Joy says:

    My husband’s birthday is next week and I was looking for a healthy chocolate cake recipe.
    I am glad i found this as it looks wonderful! I was wondering if I could substitute coconut flour for the spelt flour and maple syrup for the coconut sugar.

    • stephanie says:

      Hi Joy — I’m obviously LATE LATE LATE! How did the cake turn out. Did you make it? A few quickie responses for next time:
      Coconut flour is super dry and requires MORE moisture, so swapping maple syrup for coconut sugar could help with this. I’d recommend adding an additional “moisture” element (like pureed fruit and a bit more oil). Also, coconut flour is like baking with bean flour (like chickpeas). It’s dense and won’t fluff the same spelt does, BUT it’s totally worth the try. Have fun!

Tell us what you think...

*


eight − 4 =