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Healthy Chocolate Cake

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Have you ever seen the movie, Matilda?

Every time someone mentions chocolate cake, I unfortunately think of a scene from Matilda, where a boy named Bruce Bogtrotter is forced to eat an entire chocolate cake. It’s so gross that even I am turned off of chocolate for a while.

Miss Trunchbull kept the whole school late because this boy ate some chocolate cake.

Healthy Chocolate Cake

  • 1 and ½ cups whole-wheat flour (180g)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup sugar or evaporated cane juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar (or white)
  • ¾ cup cold water

Mix dry ingredients. Then add wet. Mix with a fork (not beaters). Pour into a greased and lined cake pan, and bake in a preheated oven at 355F for about thirty minutes. Cool before frosting.

Above, topped with my incredible Chocolate Bar Pie.

Somewhere, Bruce Bogtrotter is smiling.

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Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 
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  1. Aaww, that cake is adorable!!!! Love the Charlie Brown picture! And I totally don’t blame you on not wasting your fudge cake on college boys. They have just about the least discerning palettes in the world. lol
    Oh-and I LOVE Matilda. That’s one of my favorite movies from when I was a kid. That cake scene is pretty gross, though.

  2. Jasmine says:

    Wow wow thank you so much for this, never seen a vegan cake recipe so nice and simple before, will definitely be making this sometime!

  3. emily says:

    What a cute cake, Katie! You are so talented. 🙂
    And I don’t buy the fat free = healthier thing either…you are right, it’s really hard to spread the message that fat isn’t bad when the media does such a great job of making us believe it is!

  4. Jasmine says:

    Oh and what does the cider vinegar do for the cake? 🙂

    1. Vinegar is used to make the cake light and fluffy :). It reacts with the baking soda.

  5. That cake turned out adorable Katie! Love it.

  6. lian says:

    Ahh, lovely ! You’re making me hungry 😀

    I was just wondering; out of what did you draw/make the Peanuts characters ?

    1. I really wanted to do them in fondant, so they’d be 100% edible. But I ran out of time :(. So I hand-drew them on paper… and told everyone NOT to eat them hehe.

  7. Jennifer JCD says:

    You and I should have a movie marathon together – you always mention movies I like to watch. I don’t watch Matilda so much any more, but it’s still on the shelf.

    You are so sweet to bring a chocolate cake to your friends’ party. It looks so delicious and pretty too! You have so much talent.

    As for fat-free, I was never realy a fan. I prefer the eat yummy healthy food diet: avocado chocolate pudding, peanut butter oatmeal, fudge babies, and lots and lots of fruits and vegetables. Mmm… fats taste too good to remove them from my diet. (As I munch on pb cup fudge babies… my favourite!)

    1. Yeah, I shudder to think what my life (not to mention my poor skin) would be like without fats. Artisana coconut butter, alone, is enough to make me a big-fat believer! 😉

  8. That cake looks amazing! I bought into the “fat = bad” idea for a long time. It wasn’t until I started reading In Defense of Food (by Michael Pollan) that I realized fat-free wasn’t always a good thing! Have you read that book?

    1. I haven’t, but I’ve only heard good things about it!

      1. Melissa says:


        Yeah, it just sucks that Pollan is SUCH an ARSE about veg*n stuff. 🙁
        He drives me batty. I agree with him that we should be eating real food but his idea of real food includes animals and he loves to propagate the humane myth. Not a fan. No sir.

        This blogger nails my issues with him pretty well:

  9. I like fat free as long as it’s made with real ingredients.. I don’t like fat free tofu. Tofu is supposed to have some fat.. but I love using real tofu in frosting..does that make sense? I also love to make my baked goods fat free and then ice them with something that contains natural fat.. the best of both words in my opinion!

    1. I didn’t even know there was such a thing as fat-free tofu lol.

  10. I love that movie! It’s one of my favorites. But I agree, that scene is a bit gross and it’s a wonder that I love chocolate or cake at all after seeing it. 😛
    You’re such a good artist! You decorated wonderfully.
    I also brought vegan “special diet” food to my party. AND it was sugar-free (just sort of happened that way). With chocolate of course.

  11. umm YES major culprit right here. and it was only other bloggers who showed me how all the fat-free stuff was WORSE.. boy have i learned… i still have some reduced sugar jam in the fridge that i cnt wait to use up so i can buy fruit preserves.. and not the yucky preservative sweetener added kind i have- cringe!
    this cake looks amazing!!! i cnt believe only 4 tsp of cocoa gave it such a rich color- the frosting decoration is what makes it though!

  12. I always think of that same scene in Matilda when I see a big ole’ chocolate cake, too!! Haha! That part of the movie is so sickening…! Poor kid.

    My mom’s birthday is coming up and I said I’d make her cake, she wants chocolate! So I’m thinking this will be the perfect recipe!

    1. Aw your mom is so lucky to have a sweetheart daughter to make her a homemade birthday cake! 🙂

  13. That Charlie Brown cake is adorable! I love it

  14. I love the cake and I love Matilda! I’ve only seen the movie once but I read the book plenty of times when I was younger.

    The Charlie Brown theme is super cute 🙂

    1. Oh yes, how could I forget the books?! Roald Dahl was a genius storyteller! Esiotrot was one of my favorites! 🙂

      1. O my gosh thank you for bringing back a great memory! I Love Rhole Dahl Esiotrot was my favorite of his! And The Witches! I wonder if my college library has his stuff…

  15. Lindsey in CO says:

    Yeay – vegan cake!! Can’t wait to give this one a try…. well, actually I will wait until we are having dinner guests to share the cake with 🙂 Otherwise my daughter and I just might polish off the whole thing.

    I have to say I never fell for the whole “fat free” craze. I like my hair shiny and my skin without flakes, thank you very much. My grandfather taught me from a very young age that all things are good – in moderation.

    1. Lindsey in CO says:

      Do you think I could replace half of the oil with applesauce?

    2. My grandma taught me that! Hehe but she didn’t exactly follow her own advice… she’d say, “Everything in moderation,” and then she’d take the BIGGEST slice of chocolate cake known to man ;). Smart lady, she was!

  16. Agreed! I MUCH prefer my chocolate melty delicious, not so much in cake form. BUT this looks delicious, so I will have to try it out!

    And girl, that fat free biznass is redonk! Love me my healthy fats:) Slash Matilda is one of my favorite movies of all time!:)

  17. That scene from Matilda gave me nightmares as a kid! I remember being terrified to eat chocolate cake for a while!! haha, but I am totally fine now =] Bring on the cake!

    1. Hahahahaha the movie should’ve come with a warning label, huh? 😉

  18. kay says:

    your cake is gorgeous! you should do a post about decorating cakes soon, I would love to learn some pointers.
    I used to fall for the fat free, or sugar free craze for a while, but now I can’t STAND the fake tasting products. I’m all about the natural fats lately, as they seem to fill me up and have made my skin and hair sooo much healthier. avocados, eggs, butter, all kinds of nuts and nut butters, coconut oil etc… all make an appearance daily in my diet.

    1. Aw thank you so much, kay! I’m embarrassed to admit that this one was super-easy. I drew the characters on paper, cut them out, and stuck ’em on the cake. My mom said that next time I should’ve put tape over them so they didn’t get dirty. But once people started cutting into the cake, no one cared what it looked like anymore lol.

  19. Brandie says:

    Talk about “Holy Talent” girl! Your cakes are awesome 🙂 And yes, I’d rather have a ‘full’ than a ‘free’! I think. But then again I just posted sugar “free” milkshake *giggle*

    1. Well, sugar is a different beast, huh? I love healthy fats, but I’m still not big on how too much sugar makes you feel all crazy, so I still like sugar-free stuff… as long as it’s naturally sugar-free (not including natural sugars, of course). Not an advocate for fake, chemical sugar subs either. I’m seriously going to give your shake a try!

  20. Gen says:

    The cake sounds amazing!!!!!! Thanks for posting the recipe!

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