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Healthy Chocolate Cake

This secretly healthy chocolate cake has one ingredient you will absolutely never guess!

Healthy Chocolate Cake With A Secret Ingredient Cauliflower

Above, topped with my Healthy Chocolate Frosting.

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

Chocolate Covered Katie Cauliflower Cake

And no, the secret ingredient is not beans.

Not this time.

If I tell you the secret ingredient that makes this healthy 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.

Look for their shocked reactions when you reveal the hidden ingredient: cauliflower!

Also Try This Keto Cake Recipe – NO Flour Required

Cauliflower Chocolate Cake

Above – Watch Me Make The Healthy Chocolate Cake!


Originally, I was hoping to save the recipe for my new vegan cookbook.

But I can’t keep it to myself.

This chocolate cake is too good to not share!

Secretly Healthy Chocolate Cake Recipe (Vegan, Made With Cauliflower)

Healthy Chocolate Cake

Leftover Cauliflower? Make Cauliflower Pizza Crust!

Healthy Chocolate Cake

Total Time: 30m
Yield: an 8-inch cake
Print This Recipe 4.95/5
Healthy Chocolate Cake


  • 1 cup spelt, white, or bob's gf ap flour
  • 1/2 tsp each: baking soda and salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp ground flax - Here's a vegan chocolate cake without flax
  • 1/3 cup sugar, or xylitol for sugar free
  • 1/4 cup additional sugar, OR 1/8 tsp uncut stevia
  • 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 crazy 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


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. (I frosted the cake with my Healthy Chocolate Frosting, recipe linked at the beginning of this post.)

View Nutrition Facts



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4.95/5 (21)

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Published on June 18, 2012

Meet Katie

Chocolate Covered Katie is one of the top 25 food websites in America, and Katie has been 
featured on The 
Today Show, CNN, 
Fox, The 
Huffington Post, and 
ABC's 5 O’Clock News. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating dessert every single day!

Learn 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?????!

  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!!!

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      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.

      • 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 🙂 ).

          • 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?

          • 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.

      • 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?

          • 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.

  5. 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 🙂

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      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! 😉

      • 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

      • 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! 😉

      • Kriss says

        Dear Choc covered Katie!
        Wow wow wow….had to find a recipe with a secret ingredient for a Mothers Union meeting!! Found your cauliflower choc cake…. Just done a dummy run to see how it turned out! Good job I have to make another as CANNOT stop eating this first one!! Not easy to find flax in a small town in UK and couldn’t wait for Internet delivery, it came out well cooked and brownie texture – even more yum!!! PS I don’t feel guilty at all about my naughty mouthfuls – five small bites are my 5 a day healthy eating!! Sooooooo happy to have found your site – hope your still baking! Best wishes, Kriss from UK

  6. 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.

  7. 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….

      • 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!!

  8. 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!

  9. 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.

    • 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.

        • 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.

    • 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!

  10. 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.

  11. 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!

  12. 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!!

  13. 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)

    • Anonymous says

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

  14. Julie Loveless says

    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. 🙂

      • 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…

  15. The Blissful Baker says

    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 @ !

  16. 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!! (:

  17. 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!

  18. Mandie Lauren says

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

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