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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. Mary says:

    I was just thinking last week that I wished someone came up with more ways to put cauliflower to use. Thank you, thank you!

  2. Sarah says:

    This is awesome!!! I love cauliflower!! I can totally see why it would make it all yummy 😉

    Speaking of boys who don’t like eating healthy–last night I was drooling over the one-minute chocolate cake, so I asked my husband if he wanted chocolate cake. He looked at the picture doubtfully, because he knows how much I like to make healthy dessert with ingredients he doesn’t like (like, almond milk, applesauce, now cauliflower….). So I said, “Don’t worry, it will have real milk, real sugar, real everything, and it will be on a plate, with real ice cream on top!” So he said, OK! And, I was able to make him exactly that, while I made my own HEALTHY cake (with raspberries on top, by the way)!

    So, thanks for the single lady recipes, that I can use to make something good for both of us, and for awesome recipes like this on a day I can trick him into eating cauliflower 😉 Hehe!

    Can’t wait for your cookbook!!

    1. This made me smile.
      I think it’s my favorite thing to hear when guys like the desserts… Guys can be so hard-headed when it comes to eating healthy!

      P.S. good call on the raspberries :).

  3. Caitlin says:

    Yes! I bought a bag of frozen cauliflower on a whim yesterday. I can’t wait to try this recipe!

  4. It sounds interesting, but I trust your judgement! Not to mention that cauliflower doesn’t have a strong taste so I could see how it could easily blend in 🙂

  5. Katie, I really want to try this! I was just craving something chocolate and wanting a new healthy idea to try … but what is a flax or chia egg? Is it chia or flax mixed with water? … also, can I just use an egg?

    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.

      As for chia or flax eggs, just google “how to make a chia egg” for tutorials–some even have photos :).

  6. Therese says:

    I am soooo happy to know I’m not the only crazy dessert maker out there… I’ve been plotting chocolate cake with beets (or maybe brownies) for a while, might adapt your recipe! Also my mom has snuck broccoli into her cookies before (and I thought that was a little wild, silly me)

    1. Anonymous says:

      OOOH, chocolate cake with beets is AWESOME. My ex mother in law used to make THE BEST chocolate cake with beets 🙂

  7. I’ve made chocolate cake with sauer kraut in the past – a cruciferous veggie is a cruciferous veggie, right? 🙂 I’m all over this, though I DO wish it used less sugar.

    I was also wondering what purpose the cauliflower served, if not a flour or egg substitute. Glad it’s for moistness. I LOVE the word moist, because it ALWAYS makes me think of cake.

    PS – make your deep dish chocolate chip cookie pie for your boyfriend; that’s how I sell all of my friends and family on weird desserts. That, and flourless chocolate cake, made with black-eyed peas and tofu. 🙂

    1. If you use xylitol and stevia (and the sf chocolate chips noted in the nutritional notes), it’s completely sugar-free :).

      Your black-eyed-pea cake sounds really cool!

      1. Amy says:

        Just wondering, because I live in Australia, we don’t have the NuNaturals stevia packets over here, so could I just use stevia powder or drops instead? Do you know how much I would need? I’ve noticed you use the packets in a few of your recipes (which I really want to try! :)), but I wasn’t sure how to go about substituting with stevia powder…

  8. Cauliflower?! Really? That is such an amazing and unique idea! I’m gonna have to try this one…just too curious to let it go!

    Be sure to check out my latest healthy & delicious recipe @ !

  9. Aurelie says:

    Wow, cauliflowers!?? Genius, seriously! You have the most ingenious ways of sneaking in the most unexpected veggies into totally yummilicious things! If only all kids learnt about veggies from you 😉

    By the way, is the nutritional information for ONE square of cake, or all 9!? It seems too good to be true, honestly. Looking forward to your next recipe, AND your cookbook!! (:

  10. Anna says:

    I love all of your recipes! I’ll be giving it a try soon! I make a chocolate cake with zuchini that incredibly moist and yummy!

  11. Mandie Lauren says:

    Psh! Cauliflower! That’s not nearly crazy enough! xD I’ll definitely be adding this to my “Summer Desserts” folder!

  12. Aw I’m glad you’re loved up! Was that the guy you wrote about having a date with a while back? So cute to follow the story..!

    I am not put off at all by the idea of cauliflower, more intrigued! But I don’t have a food processor right now so I may have to put it off and go with the pumpkin substitute for a while! I’ll keep this recipe in the back of my mind though 🙂

    1. No… oh my word, that was a weird blind date :-?. I really (really!) wish I could write a post about it, but I’d be worried he might see it. But it would’ve made for a funny blog post.

      (I think I actually like the pumpkin sub version better.)

      1. Katherine says:

        I’m wondering if when you substitute the pumpkin, does the pumpkin flavour come through very strong?

          1. Katherine says:

            I was also wondering if you used coconut oil in this recipe (it doesn’t specify in the ingredients). And I read that you told any reader that they could sub banana, I love banana so I was wondering do you think I could do some banana and some pumpkin puree? My boyfriend is going to make a cake for my birthday this coming Tuesday, and naturally I wanted to choose the best healthy recipe (instantly checked your page). I just want to make sure he has all the information before undertaking this mission! hehe 🙂

            By the way, after reading posts that you especially like when men compliment your desserts, I thought I should let you know that my boyfriend, dad, brother in-law and EVEN my 10 year old nephew loved all of the recipes I’ve made of yours (deep dish cookie pie, blondies (my nephew said it was the BEST brownie he ever tried.. and it was made with beans!) Needless to say, I was very impressed by this and you are my new favourite dessert blog! 🙂

  13. amanda says:

    You know what i love about this site, all your recipes actually taste good and ARE healthy. i have gotten other books on sneaking veggies and stuff into food but the review were terrible and the food didnt even look good. i have seriously tried SO many recipes nad despite being NOT vegan (or even vegetarian) and having a family that lives on junk food, we all LOVE your recipes. i really hope you book is a huge success because you have a very rare gift of creativity, humor and talent.
    in CHRIST

    1. Aw Amanda, thank you. I feel like, if it doesn’t taste good there’s no point in eating it. Being happy is part of being healthy… and I am not happy drinking wheatgrass ;).

  14. Aja says:

    Wow, I expected avocado. Sounds interesting!

  15. Michaela says:

    I absolutely dislike cauliflower, but since this is YOUR recipe, I will so make it and I am sure I will love it!!
    And congrats on the boyfriend 🙂

  16. Sarah says:

    This looks delicious! I have used pureed cauliflower in my muffins before (which gives them the perfect texture), but not in a chocolate cake!

  17. I would TOTALLY do this recipe!!! I would never think to put in cauliflower- people will NEVER see it coming!! 🙂

  18. Megan E. says:

    I’m another one wondering about the egg… as I’m not a vegan, can I just use a regular egg? Or can you post a “quick tip” about what a flax egg is?

    This sounds worth trying when DH isn’t in the kitchen and then serving after dinner with no comments about ingredients.

    1. 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.

      But for chia or flax eggs, just google “how to make a chia egg” for tutorials–some even have photos 🙂 .

  19. Rana says:

    Oh YES, I’ll be trying it! Hey, if you say it works then it works.

  20. Jeanne says:

    Brilliant!! I don’t think you have to be brave to try this at all 🙂 I’ve made enough of your recipes to know that I’ll love them!

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