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Chocolate Cake… With A Crazy Ingredient!

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This cauliflower chocolate cake might be the most “out there” recipe I’ve ever posted.

The cauliflower chocolate cake my boyfriend said was the best chocolate cake he's ever tried in his entire life, healthy or not. - Recipe from @choccoveredkt

Originally, I was hoping to save the recipe for The Chocolate-Covered Katie Cookbook.

But I can’t keep it to myself. This chocolate cake is too good to not share!

healthy chocolate cake

And no, the secret ingredient is not beans.

My boyfriend has proclaimed this to be “the best chocolate cake I’ve ever put in my mouth.” And that’s saying something, because he is not into healthy eating.

Of course, when he said this, he didn’t yet know what was in it. Winking smile

cauliflower cake

Above, topped with my Healthy Chocolate Frosting.

If I tell you the secret ingredient that makes this cake so soft and delicious, will you promise to still give the recipe a chance? It’s pretty fun to test the cake out on people who don’t know what’s in it beforehand. Watch their shocked reactions when you reveal the hidden ingredient: cauliflower!

Don't be scared away... My boyfriend said this healthy chocolate cake was hands-down the best chocolate cake he's ever tried in his entire life, healthy or not! ... Recipe from @choccoveredkt


Crazy Ingredient Chocolate Cake

(can be oil-free)

  • 3/4 cup spelt, white, or bob’s gf flour (120g)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp ground flax – You can omit; it just won’t rise as much
  • 1/3 cup sugar of choice or xylitol (64g)
  • 1/8 tsp uncut stevia OR 1/4 cup additional sugar
  • 1/2 to 1 cup mini chocolate chips – not optional; omit at own risk
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 loosely-packed cups frozen cauliflower, thawed completely but not cooked (250g) (Or omit and sub 1 cup canned pumpkin if cauliflower is too weird for you)
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice (For pumpkin version, use just 1/3 cup)
  • 3 tbsp oil – or omit and increase milk to scant 2/3 cup, for a lower-fat option

Cauliflower Chocolate Cake Recipe: Preheat oven to 350F, and grease an 8×8 square baking dish. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl, and mix very well. Combine all liquid ingredients and the cauliflower in a food processor and blend until super-smooth, so there are NO lumps whatsoever. (See nutrition link below, for an option if you don’t have a food processor.) Pour wet into dry, and mix until just combined, then pour into prepared pan and bake 30 minutes. (Or you can try my super-gooey way: bake only 14 minutes and then leave uncovered in the fridge overnight, and it’ll firm up and turn out like fudge! Not everyone likes this undercooked texture; I wouldn’t serve my gooey version of the cauliflower dessert to anyone but me!) Let cool completely. After a day, this cauliflower cake is best stored in the fridge. (Edit: I frosted with my Reeses Chocolate Frosting, linked above.)

View Chocolate Cake Nutrition Facts


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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. Paige says:

    Katie, the fact that you can journey from “Hmmm, I wonder what I should bake with for my chocolate cake recipe. Aha!, cauliflower,” to “the best chocolate cake I’ve ever put in my mouth,” is testament to your genius. That cookbook cannot come soon enough.

  2. Emma says:

    You have a boyfriend! And he eats caiflower cake! Must be love.
    I’ll make this today for my toddler.
    Ack! An end to single lady cupcakes?????!

    1. No no, of course not. 😉

    2. Ellen says:

      Me thinks a single lady cauliflower chocolate cupcake is in order. 😉

      1. Samantha says:

        I was just looking to see if anyone had requested that yet! OH, please, give us a recipe for a single-lady cauliflower cake!

  3. Mary says:

    Wow! This cake looks amazing! I will definetly be trying it soon. I was wondering, can I use regular size chocolate chips, or does it have to be the mini chips? And I just tried your chocolate chip cookies yesterday — amazing!!!

    1. You can. I just like the mini ones because they spread out better and so you get chocolate chip in every bite. Just use closer to the higher end of the amount listed in the recipe if using regular chips, and it should be fine!

  4. Samantha says:

    Of course I will be brave enough! 🙂 I may have to wait until later in the week but this is a great one to look forward to. And with that frosting on top it will be incredible.

  5. Juliana says:

    That’s so intriguing! I would like to try this. What role does the cauliflower play in the cake?

    1. It adds an incredible softness. It also adds moistness, but I hate to use that word because I know so many people hate it!

      1. Rhi says:

        I love the word moist, and the word squidge. But people say I’m weird…

  6. Rose says:

    I’ll deff try this recipe!! Thanks!! Btw how long have you and ur bf been dating?

    1. Since April. I still need to work on him, though… He refuses to even try my chocolate mousse pie because he knows there’s tofu in it!

      1. Amy says:

        What??? He MUST try your chocolate mousse pie.

      2. Janae says:

        Yay, what a lucky guy. Is he vegan? I’m sure if you give him enough of this vegan goodness, he’ll be converted in no time (my husband’s not vegan but he loves my food, so that’s good enough 🙂 ).

        1. He’s not vegan or vegetarian. Right now my challenge is to even get him to eat tofu!

          1. Kathleen says:

            That`s so sweet that you can see past his eating style! Many of my friends were really into a guy, only to break up with him over a burger or something.

            Keep trying, eventually he will accept the wonder of someone making treats for him, and who cares what it`s made of if it tastes good and effort free?

          2. Laura Lou says:

            My husband was converted to the vegan lifestyle thanks to all these amazing recipes thanks to Katie! He especially loves the cauliflower alfredo.

  7. Seriously?! This is like a dream come true. SO STOKED TO TRY THIS. You have opened a whole new chapter in the healthy dessert world. History in the making right here. 🙂 Thanks!

  8. Jaime says:

    Why does the cauliflower need to be frozen? would fresh work?

    1. You’d have to cook it first, but I don’t see why not. Haven’t tried it, though!

      1. Caryn says:

        I can never find frozen cauliflower in the store. I look for it a lot since I like it and it’s more convenient than fresh but I never see it. I know you’re in Texas but in what store do you find yours?

        1. Almost all of them… Sprouts, Market Street, Kroger, Whole Foods…
          Although I did accidentally buy garlic Steamfresh once for a dessert experiment!

          1. Kellie says:

            I used fresh cauliflower, and it worked great!

          2. Thanks for reporting back! I’m happy to know it works… and excited you already tried the cake!

          3. Andrea says:

            I used fresh cauliflower, and I steamed it for about 30 minutes so it was very soft. It worked GREAT! Although, the cake didn’t rise as much, so it was somewhere between chocolate cake and a brownie- but still delicious! Maybe it was my use of flax egg, not real egg replacement. I’m going to try it again with egg replacement, and hopefully it will look as beautiful as yours did in the picture then!

            One thing to note- steamed cauliflower has much more of a “shape” than thawed, I think, so 2 cups of it would be less than 2 cups thawed (b/c thawed veggies are usually cut up small and sort of more soft and mushy) so I just cut them up very small before measuring to make an even 2 cups.

          4. Melissa says:

            I didn’t see egg in the recipe…

  9. Stella says:

    Hey Katie, I wonder if you could start showing a photo of the batter in future baked goods posts ? I think that would be really helpful for people who are new to vegan baking AND people, like me, who like to experiment with flours and stuff – if one could see what the batter is supposed to look like, it’d be way more easier to adjust baking time and flour measurements plus one would know if something is off about the batter before you put it in the oven! Your recipes are all very simple and easy, so a step-by-step guide isn’t necessary imo. Am I the only one who thinks this is a good idea?! I hope you consider it at least 🙂

    1. amanda says:

      yeah thats a great idea

    2. I actually asked, back when I posted the Reeses eggs (in the post right after that). I thought people would want to see, but the majority of people were actually against it. I can try and remember to post some “in process” photos more often on the nutritional info link page if that’d be helpful, though. The other problem is that my kitchen is like a dark cave… terrible natural light for photos! 😉

      1. Kathleen says:

        I have to say, I don`t really need batter pictures. I follow your recipes more than any others I see, but I always tweak things and play with different gf flours, so the end result is always good but rarely spot on. I`m ok with that, but I`m just saying I personally don`t need them

      2. mel says:

        To please both types of readers maybe you could link to a photo of the batter, so those who don’t want to see it can skip it, and those who do can take a peek? I don’t mind either way, but that might be a good compromise… though more work for you! 😉

    3. Alyssa B says:

      This is a great idea, it would be super helpful!

  10. Doroteia says:

    I don’t want to lose the craziness of the cake. but I don’t have a food processor so I’m gonna have to :(. I was wondering… can I use mashed banana instead of canned pumpkin (cauliflower sub). It would soften the cake.. and I saw the comment that said the cauliflower did that,so.. do you think it would work? ( I love bananas so a little banana taste would do no bad)
    Love your recipe.. and I love how crazy you go with experiments.

  11. Suzie says:

    Yum, this looks so decadent and love that it uses cauliflower– I am a big fan of squeezing veggies in my dessert! 🙂

  12. Anonymous says:

    Do you make it with ALL the sweetener listed for yourself, or is it okay to scale it back? I like my chocolate cake really rich and moist (hahha) but not too sweet. I don’t have a huge sweet tooth….

    1. I can only vouch for the taste if you use all the sweetener… But if you’re used to less-sweet desserts it shouldn’t be a problem to scale back! Taste the raw batter and add more if needed.

      1. Anonymous says:

        Awesome, thanks! I just wasn’t sure if losing some of the “bulk’ that comes from the sugar would be a problem. I’m DEFINITELY trying this recipe out. Looks so yummy!!

  13. Michelle says:

    this is awesome… just made nacho cheese yesterday with Cauliflower…so I think this would be a great addition to the cauliflower recipes..

    and a boyfriend… wahoo…. hope he is great as you deserve it!

  14. Michele M says:

    I bet the purple cauliflower would be great for this!! I sometimes get them on clearance and cook and freeze it. Purple wouldn’t be noticed in the chocolate! I will have to try this.

  15. Breenah says:

    We used to have a recipe for chocolate cake with cabbage. I wish I could find it.

  16. Jamie says:

    i can’t wait to try this!!!

  17. Leah says:

    Could I use a real egg instead of the replacement? I can’t get that where i am.

    1. kelly says:

      that’s what I was wondering- and yes, I am willing to try it. Every one of your other recipes has been amazing! Hubby still isn’t quite on board, (lol, just cause he knows the ingredients) but the kids (all 4 of them!! LOVE the desserts) So 5 out 6 here, not bad at all.

      1. Sorry, I haven’t actually baked with a real egg since I was around 13 years old… so I really have no idea if/how a person would go about making that substitution.

        1. Nichole says:

          We aren’t vegan, so I don’t have the substitutions laying around. I used butternut squash instad of pumpkin (I had fresh from the farmers market and its a bit lighter in flavor than pumpkin), and used 1 egg (fresh from a friends hens, probably a “large”). Next time I am going to sub out the sugar for agave – but we use wheat flour (even for baking), so I need to lighten it up.

    2. Lauren says:

      I haven’t tried this recipe yet, but I’ve used real eggs instead of the replacements for all of the Chocolate Covered Katie recipes I’ve tried. No problem whatsoever. I’m not opposed to ener-g powder or chia egg, just don’t happen to have them lying around!

  18. Debbie says:

    Can’t wait to try this. I ate almost an entire cauliflower for dinner last night. It was just too good to stop eating,
    I don’t know how you come up with these recipes, but they are amazing and I am so glad you do.

  19. Lauren says:

    Great device for hiding veggies from the kids! I love dessert hummus, so I’m game for this!

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