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Healthier Chocolate Cake

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.

Healthier 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.

Published on February 8, 2011

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Chocolate Covered Katie is one of the top 25 food websites in America, and Katie has been 
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ABC's 5 O’Clock News. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating dessert every single day.

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  1. Liz @ Tip Top Shape says

    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. lian says

    Ahh, lovely ! You’re making me hungry 😀

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

  5. 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!)

  6. Ellen @ Undercover Runner Eats says

    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.

  7. Carrie (Moves 'N Munchies) says

    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!

  8. Kayla (Little Miss Healthify) says

    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!

  9. 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.

  10. Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn says

    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!:)

  11. 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.

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      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.

  12. 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*

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      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!

  13. Kari says

    Lovely cake! (and the raw fudge one too…you can post that picture as many times as you like)

    I definitely think there’s a positive gut reaction to fat-free for me. Social conditioning I guess?

  14. Karine says

    Thanks for the recipe! 🙂

    I’ve just thought about something about vegan and chocolate : vegans seem to have difficulty finding some vegan chocolate. (Am I wrong??) I can easily understand it for milk chocolate. But isn’t dark chocolate vegan in the USA? How do you deal with it? (In my country, the basic dark chocolate (72%) you can find in the basic supermarket contains sugar, cocoa solids, cocoa butter, and unfortunately aroma. It’s the best one and one of the cheapest ones…)

    (Beside the point : I also always eat with my chopsticks since I came back from Japan! 🙂 )

    Have a nice day!

    Karine (from the “land of chocolate”… Switzerland. 😉 )

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      Gah, Switzerland??? You lucky! I hate snow and cold, but to be in Switzerland I would gladly take the cold! I’ve wanted to go there for-evah! The skiing, the friendly people, the chocolate, the chocolate, the chocolate… 😉
      I actually am always puzzled when people ask me how I still eat chocolate as a vegan. ‘Cause I’ve never had a problem finding vegan chocolate. Some of the cheap-o dark chocolates do have milk solids, but the higher-quality bars are usually vegan. If I’m at a natural store, like Whole Foods, I have NO problem finding all sorts of flavored chocolate bars, chips, and even ricemilk chocolate. But even at mainstream grocery stores, I can easily find vegan chocolate chips, as well as flavored chocolate bars from the likes of Green and Blacks or Ritter. My omnivorous friends go crazy for Ritter chocolate marzipan bars!

      • Karine says

        Haha, I don’t like cold and snow either… Don’t worry, as long as you don’t live in the mountains, there isn’t much snow here. (But… people aren’t friendly unfortunately! 🙁 )

        And I’m glad to see that you can easily find vegan chocolate! 🙂

        • Melissa says

          Yup. Vegan chocolate is easy!
          It’s finding non-slave labor ones that are rough. 🙁 I recently was reminded that chocolate is one of those things you HAVE to source carefully and now I’m soooo bummed ’cause my favorite cocoa powder, while not the worst, isn’t definitely slave free or fairly traded. Sigh.

          I’m using fair trade, slave free stuff now but it’s not as good as my beloved Droste. I’ve super bummed and wish Droste would just get ethical already! Equal Exchange is no where near as tasty! (yes, I’m semi-tantrumy about it. I found Droste to be the perfect cocoa… except ethically. Sigh.)

          • Karine says

            Yup, you’re right, to find a fairly traded chocolate (and vegan and organic of course) that tastes as good as other ones can be difficult… I haven’t found the perfect brand yet…

          • Melissa says

            I got the Dagoba cocoa and am not impressed. It’s really bland and weak compared to Droste. I think I generally prefer dutched over natural and the Droste is super dutched, very dark and rich. Darn you Droste! *fist shake* It’s seriously so amazing. SOB. :/ Also I just found out that Dagoba was bought by Hershey so it’s not even truly ethical any more (grrr) PLUS those jerks added a tiny bit of dairy to all the Dagoba dark bars!!! Grrrrrrr.

  15. Maryea @Happy Healthy Mama says

    I did unfortunately buy into the fat free thing. I’m always amazed that some people still think fat free automatically equals healthy. Your cAke looks delicious and super cute too!

  16. Heather says

    Bring on the healthy fats! I used to buy into the “fat free” food fad. After finding that it really wasn’t benefiting my body in any way, I started eating “real” whole food.

    My diet is significantly higher in fat that it has ever been and I have never felt better. My weight is also easier to control that when I was limiting the types of foods I ate.

  17. Cat says

    I’m a little embarassed to admit that after reading Matilda when I was little I tried to stare at things until my eyes started to water (since she said she felt like hers were burning) to see if I could make them move too. Didn’t quite work out for me…

    Considering the fact that one of my favorite snacks is a plain spoonful of peanut butter… nope, I don’t do the whole fat-free thing!

  18. Albizia says

    I don’t even know how many times I’ve watched Matilda. It was one of my favorite movies as a kid. But the cake I baked for my father’s birthday reminds me much more of the poor Bruce than yours. Yours is so light and fluffy (and beautiful!). The recipe I used asked for 300 g of dark chocolate 😀 .

    As for fats in my diet, my behavior lacks any logic. I could cook my meals absolutely fat-free and then make some dessert with coconut oil or directly attack the jar of peanut butter. I’m just a weirdo… 🙂

  19. Bianca- Vegan Crunk says

    Oh yum! I would have eaten like 10 slices of that cake. I do prefer cakey over creamy. As for fat-free, I’m not down with that. I do try to eat low-fat sometimes to balance things out though. For example, on Superbowl Sunday, I made low-fat edamole instead of avocado-based guac, but I served it will full-fat tortillas chips and a chili-cheeze dog.

  20. rebecca lustig says

    I just wish people didn’t make the association that “fat” makes you “fat”. Perhaps if there was a different, widespread term for ‘overweight’, the misconception would be forever done with!

    i totally agree with you, I’m not a ‘cake’ person– i like my chocolate rich, gooey and/or melty!

  21. GabyE says

    I hate the “Fat Free” campaign. I think its despicable that marketers have tricked people into thinking that fat free foods are good, especially when most of the foods marketed that way have sooooo much refined sugar, chemicals, and mystery ingredients.

    On a happier note — your cake looks delish, and the Charlie Brown decorations are suburb!

  22. Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) says

    The cake looks perfect. I have to admit I used to fall prey to the “fat free” fad, but that is when they said it was healthy. Now I realize that is not always the case. There is a fine like. I think labeling something…like your icing…as fat free is a good thing. Yes it has sugar, but everything in moderation and the fact that there are no crazy chemical ingredients in it makes it a winner for me. I make my glazes with the same ingredients and am happy to label them as fat free. Seriously sweetie, that cake…I need some!

  23. Kelsey @ Snacking Squirrel says

    yes i loved Matilda..i had dreams growing up that i would meet a “Ms. Honey” (i think that was her name) to be my second mommy hehe 🙂

    hmm i dont buy into the fat free but i generally eat a more low fat diet in general. I’m not a cake person and never a cupcake or cookie girl mom never fed us many of those things and whenever she baked it was usually bran muffins or cinnamon buns..or lots of german desserts that werent all that unhealthy. mmm and her apple crumble, actually i need to make it soon lol.

    growing up my mom NEVER used oil in cooking. we used butter ocassionally but it was never something i liked the taste of.. still hate the taste of butter and oil. anything oily tasted bad to, mayo, cheese…the only thing i ever liked was peanut butter..but even then i would only use a bit.

    of course ive warmed up to nut butters and avocados but its still not as tasty to me as sweet potatoes, vegetables, and proteins. i always thought i was a weird kid for eating pasta with just plain tomato sauce..or dry toast..but i realize now that it just wasent a habit in our family and possibly explain why i dont eat a lot of fats today.

  24. ellis says

    I’m a newish reader (and a newer blogger!) and thought I’d stop by to say…what a cute cake! I thought football was boring, but now I can just associate it with Peanuts! (Which is not boring.)

  25. Kelsey @ Clean Teen Kelsey says

    I love Matilda!! This is great, Katie. I want to try this chocolate cake. 🙂 I totally know what you mean about buying into the fat-free fad. I’ve been guilty of that before, but it’s silly. Honestly, sugar does more damage than fat. It’s really interesting to me that people are more concerned over fat-free icing instead of worrying about the sugar content! Haha.

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      Haha that’s exactly what I was thinking when I looked back on the recipe: this thing’s pure sugar! (Of course, a little sugar is ok too; I’m just sayin, just because it’s fat free doesn’t mean it’s healthy!)

  26. Kathleen says

    I totally agree girl!!! Fat-free doesn’t instantly mean “healthy.” I would rather have the real thing than a processed, chemically drenched product that is fat-free.

    Hehe, were you one of the girls with green tongues??? 🙂

  27. VEGirl says

    I LOVE MATILDA! That was my favorite movie as a child– I’ve probably only seen about a bazilion times :). What a cute cake (hehe, almost wrote cuke cate!).

    And yes, I was convinced of fat-free for so long and am still worried about incorporating more fats into my diet. However, I have doctors orders and I’m have just begun working on moving through those food issues, and more. Not easy breaking habits that have been around for more than a year!


  28. Melomeals: Vegan for $3.33 a Day says

    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!

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      But of course, m’dear! Its bubbly-ness adds bubbles (oxygen) to the batter, and it reacts with baking soda (I’m not sure how; I’m definitely no scientist… I just know it does!). So your result is fluffier/airier/lighter. (In other words, not as dense.) 🙂

  29. Allison @ Happy Tales says

    Whoaaa, you are so artistic!! How in the world did you get the characters too look like you just painted them on there!? did you have to dye your icings (like black, beige, yellow etc?!) I am so so so impressed… you should seriously start a business!

    Also, I am sad that so many people *shy away* from fat. Fat is such an essential part of the diet and out bodies (esp the heart and brain!) need it! Too much refined sugar is what those girls should be afraid of, not fat. ha.

  30. thefruitpursuit (sabine) says

    Ah it’s been so long since I saw that movie!
    I really want to see it again now, I love the character. So smart and witty ;).

    And ew no. Fat = good & delicious!

  31. Gill (snaxandthecity) says

    I used to definitely buy into the FF thing, but then realized that I was consuming so much sugar that it was ridiculous. FF is dangerous – fat is GOOOOD for us!!

    Love Matilda, too!

  32. Elle says

    that cake looks so good! your decorating skills are amazing!! 😉
    i used to buy into the ‘fat is bad’ idea, then i learned that those products are usually just higher in sugar, and fat isn’t always bad for you! i love pb and coconut butter too much to have a low-fat diet anyway. 🙂

  33. [email protected] says

    From my selfish point of view, the timing of this recipe couldn’t have been better – I was just looking for an amazing and preferably chocolate cake to take to work as a way of proving to the vegan doubters that my food has actually been delicious this week so thank you very much!
    The Snoopy cartoon’s brilliant too 🙂

  34. [email protected] of Sugar Free says

    Awwww!!!! What a cute cake 🙂 I just love Charlie Brown!

    I can’t exactly remember if I was ever into the low fat thing….hmmm…I don’t think so. I was always just looking for the sugar content, and figured I could eat as much fat as I wanted as long as there wasn’t any sugar 😉

  35. bitt says

    Such a cute cake! I love Charlie Brown. Do you have one of those printable frosting things?

    Sometimes fat-free can mean fewer calories, but overall, I’d prefer fat. Well if it’s animal-product free fat.

  36. Camille says

    Oh my gosh, I love Matilda. Actually the only part of that movie that I really remember is when the little girl gets thrown in to the flower patch. Great movie 🙂

  37. nadia says

    AH! that movie made me dream of someday making a massive chocolate cake. although I agree – Bogtrotter grossed me out too!!

  38. nadia says

    AH! Matilda made me dream of someday making a massive chocolate cake. although I agree – Bogtrotter grossed me out too!!

  39. [email protected] says

    I am a huge fan of the healthy fats and embrace them wholeheartedly! I eat plenty of nut butters, avocado, coconut, and seeds in my diet, and my hair is so shiny and gorgeous to prove it! I am SO glad I’m not scared of fats anymore 🙂

  40. chelsey @ clean eating chelsey says

    I think everyone is fat free crazed – I know I used to be!! It’s sad that people don’t focus on how good fats are for you!

  41. Lauren @ says

    Katie I LOVE Matilda! And I don’t mean I used to love it when I was little, I still love it haha. Thanks for the cake recipe! 🙂

  42. Emma (Sweet Tooth Runner) says

    Woah Katie, you seriously need to start a Vegan Treats shop!! This looks AMAZING!! And I am so making that raw cake too because….MY ARTISANA FINALLY ARRIVED!! There are coconut melties in my fridge right now, and I have been attacking your recipes page! Seriously, if your hits for that page have gone up by a million percent today, that’s probably me! 😛

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      hahahahahaha you’re so silly :). Always making me laugh. Do make the fudge cake!! It’s one of my all-time favorite recipes… well, actually the raspberry version is my new favorite. I need to hurry up and write a post for that one, because I want to eat it 24/7!

  43. Alyson says

    That cake looks adorable and delicious! It’s definitely on my list of things to bring to parties! 🙂 I also agree with the whole thing that fat-free is bad. People are just really anal about fat, which isn’t really bad for you! It’s silly how upset people are about their weights (I’ve been there too…) because when it comes down to it, health should be number one. Eating modified foods that are fat-free means they are generally more processed and, in the end, less healthy! 🙂

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      I love your comment, Alyson! I had an overweight Italian grandma (from Italy) who ate ONLY good-for-you natural foods (well, and some icky meats lol). But she didn’t eat any of that fake fat or fake sugar stuff. And she lived to be almost 100, even being overweight! So obviously she was healthy :).

      • Alyson says

        Agreed! People just don’t understand that artificial isn’t better, even if it’s fat and sugar free. I suppose our culture has just morphed minds into thinking it’s healthier… 🙁 Sad day!
        And that’s quite the age to live to! Go Katie’s grandma! 🙂

  44. Shannon S. says

    That cake looks amazing – did you free-hand the picture of Charlie Brown? And I’ve already shown my mom the recipe…I now have one more reason to be excited for my birthday! 🙂

  45. Rachael says

    Loved Mathilda – up there in my girlhood litany of book heroines (though Pippi still reigns supreme!)
    My relationship with fat-free ended before my eating disorder did, strangely. I was spooning some Walden Peanut “spread” (no calories! no fat! spun icky air!) and I realized how awful and chemically it tasted. After that, I started noticing how artificial most fat free foods were and decided to at least consume the real stuff.

  46. Sarah @ Flavoropolis says

    I certainly never bought into the fat-free craze, especially because most “fat-free” products are incredibly processed and full of sugar and white flour. Give me nuts, avocados, and coconut oil any day. But I do think it’s important to cut down on the unhealthy fats, and so I would be proud to create a fat-free icing and to refer to it as such, since the fat in icing usually comes from butter, trans fats, or other processed and unhealthy stuff. It’s definitely a shame, though, that most people don’t appreciate healthy fats.
    I also think it’s hilarious that the girls came flocking over to the fat-free-icing-iced cake as if the lack of fat in its icing suddenly made it some magical weight loss food. People crack me up some times 🙂

  47. Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) says

    “no way in heck am I wasting expensive coconut butter on a bunch of college guys without discerning taste buds!”–


    I feel the same with any ingredients that are pricey…that if it’s not going to be appreciated, I will use/make the dish or recipe in a cheaper way, i.e. using cheap vanilla extract not the good stuff unless I know the recipient will appreciate it. B/c I am frugal that way 🙂

    Fat free craze? I think the early to mid 90s…everyone jumped on that train! Til we realized fat free = more sugar = not really “ahead” of the game. I happily enjoy full fat products these days 🙂

  48. Jen says

    You are constantly contradicting yourself. You’re always saying how “diet” foods, and “fat free” labels are not setting good examples, blah blah blah, yet all you do is post recipes that are “low calorie,” use applesauce instead of oil, and sautee in water. Consistency is not your strong suit, apparently…

    • Melissa says


      Politeness isn’t yours, huh?

      Since when are recipes that rely heavily on nut butters and coconut butters low calorie? I have to adapt a lot of Katie’s recipes to be low calorie enough that I’ll eat them! I think you need to read the blog a bit better – Katie does lower calorie stuff (with lots of veggies) but she also eats lots of grains (which are very caloric, trust me!) and lots of nut butters/seeds/healthy fat.

      This is NOT a fat free/low calorie blog, IMO. It’s just a healthy whole food one.
      Why be such a judgmental naysayer? If you don’t like it, stop visiting. Easy enough.

  49. Mary @ Bites and Bliss says

    I ALWAYS think of Matilda when eating chocolate cake, too! haha..gah, that cake looked good..but that’s soooo gross.

    Glad you opted out of putting any of those “secret ingredients” in this one. Looks fantastic! and I love the Charlie Brown. 🙂

  50. Heather says

    Your cake is too cute Katie! When I first saw the pic with the green icing I thought you went wild and made an avocado buttercream icing!

    I made this cake from Joy the Baker for a Halloween party I went to and it was a HUGE hit…although on the opposite spectrum of your cake with the “fat free” icing! 😉

    I totally used to buy all the hype about fat free foods…until I woke up one day and realized that I was clueless as to what fats were actually for in a diet and how they could benefit my body. Now, I’m all about the healthy fats! Bring on the nut butters and avocado!

  51. Kat @ Cupcake Kat says

    That chocolate cake looks great. Charlie Brown was an awesome idea
    Hey, college girls NEED their chocolate cake. I come running even if its not fat free
    I try to look for things that are not overly high in fat. In my family we do not belive in fat free products because usually a whole bunch of other crap is put into it.

  52. Melissa says

    I don’t like processed fats like oils. I don’t bake with them much (and I chose coconut oil or organic, expeller pressed canola when I do), preferring to use pumpkin puree or banana instead. 🙂 I’m all for fat in whole food form, though! Coconut butter, avocado, nuts and seeds, nut butters, coconut – all good things!

    Oil is pretty much nutritionally void. It’s like how drinking a cup of apple or orange juice isn’t as good as eating an apple or an orange – yanno? Olives have all sorts of extra goodies in the skin/pulp and the oil leaves that behind. Olives provide more nutrients than just the pressed oil. Ditto nuts and nut oils, etc.

    Plus, a tbs of olive oil a) tastes gross eaten on it’s own, b) doesn’t have any fiber or bulk to fill me up and c) PALES In comparison to some black olives on my pizza! I’d rather eat coconut butter than use coconut oil, eat chia seeds for my omegas than down some flax oil, eat avocado on my salad than use an oily dressing and eat nuts sprinkled over my no-oil added brownies than eat a traditional, oil laden recipe. I’m picky about my fats and I want full bang for my caloric buck! 😉

  53. Hannah says

    I totally agree with the name thing. The more we label things as “fat free” or “cholesterol free” the more we are going to perpetuate fears of foods or macronutrients. So props you for acknowledging that, Katie! 🙂

  54. Jenny says

    I used to love that movie when I was little! (Probably because I could sort of relate to Matilda wanting to read every single book she could get her hands on… <3 books.)

    That cake.

    It looks. DEEE-licious. I'm sure it's especially wonderful with that little bit of oil, too! Just to add a bit of richness and to carry the flavour a bit more, I imagine. Yes, it's so sad that our society has mostly been conditioned to be afraid of "fat", even though we've lately been seeing more articles touting the benefits of healthy fats… Makes me wish I could eat coconut! Not that I think fat-free foods are bad though… After all, most veggies and types of fruit are almost fat free, and they're awesome. Again, as I've seen you mention before (and several other commenters!), what really matters is that we eat real, natural food. 🙂

  55. Ilana says

    If I don’t eat fats, I don’t get full! I could eat carbs forever and not notice. I lo-o-o-oove fat. Healthy plant-based fat. Nuts, nut butter, coconut, avocados, yes please.

    I loved Matilda. Roald Dahl was such a creative mind…his books really captured me as a kid. Always tried to make things move. Ha. But yeah, the chocolate cake scene? In the movie, it’s just a little much.

  56. BroccoliHut says

    Ah Matilda–such a good flick. Whenever I think of that movie, I think of the newt in Ms. Trunchbull’s drinking water!

  57. [email protected] says

    chocolate cake! I love it and can’t wait to try it out! I try to make my fam a little something sweet on the weekend and we freeze indiviudal pieces to last all week! I am going ot have to try this one next!

  58. Namaste Gurl says

    Hehe, I think of the SAME scene when I think of that movie. In fact, that’s an inside joke with others when I see chocolate cake. I can’t help but chanting, “Bruce, Bruce, Bruce…” 🙂

    I hate anything “fat- free”. It usually is more processed, sugar- loaded and has more additives and preservatives.

  59. Misadventures of Fat-free Baking says

    Hi Katie! I just wanted to say a little something after reading the comments. I think that eating fat- free isn’t exactly bad. Its more about eating less things that are processed and stuffed with many chemicals or other science-lab produced ingredients. For example, if I were to substitute applesauce for the oil in this recipe, the fat- free cake wouldn’t be a bad thing. Applesauce is natural too and not processed. If eating something sweet and delicious without having to worry about gaining more weight and adding to the obesity statistics is possible, than why not?

    sorry if I sound angry or something. I’m not and I LOVE YOUR SITE!!!!!!

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      Oh no, don’t be sorry at all! I am always grateful when people are brave enough to express a different view! I definitely agree with you that sometimes fat free is good; my problem is with the media tricking people into believing that it’s ALWAYS better. For example, if you look at low-fat peanut butter, it’s loaded with extra sugar to make up for the fat. I get angry with the media that they’re confusing consumers who *think* they’re making a healthy choice, but really they would’ve been better off with the real pb.
      But I have no problems if people want to cook without oil or replace it with applesauce in a recipe. In fact, that’s why I always offer that option for my recipes in the first place! 🙂

  60. Martha Lilian says

    I actually avoid fat-free foods like the plague. My body NEEDS fat to make my skin glow and keep things firing properly in my brain. Also, good fat doesn’t make you fat. A diet filled with empty calories and chemicals will make you fat. Not eating enough will also make you fat, as I found out the hard way. If your body isn’t getting enough fat in your diet, it will hang on to every pound on your body, making it extremely difficult to lose weight.

  61. Tanya says

    That cake looks sooooo good! I have a thing about chocolate cake (usually chocolate layer cake). And I make myself one each year for my birthday. I’ll have to make this one next year…..but I want it now!

    • chelsea says

      I am making a white chocolate cake with raspberry icing/filling for my MIL for her birthday. I think I’m going to try subbing the cocoa with baker’s white chocolate…. I’ll let ya know how it goes.

        • chelsea says

          It worked out well! I doubled the recipe, cut out about 1/3 of the sugar and the cocoa, and used white chocolate instead. Then I mixed fresh raspberries into some icing and used a raspberry preserves as a filling between the layers. It went over very well! My brother in law ate some and said, “Wow! This is good!” and then I told him it was Vegan and he cringed! hahahaha! *Tricked ya!*

  62. Megan says

    Hi Katie! 🙂
    I have been reading your blog for several months now, and all of your recipes look so yummy!
    This chocolate cake is the only one I have gotten to make so far, but it is delicious!
    My friend and I made it for my birthday, and another time since then. I could eat the whole thing myself… 😛
    I just wanted to say thank you for the awesome recipes, I enjoy reading your blog! 🙂

  63. Bella says

    Wow I just made this for a kids party, I did it in little cupcakes and iced them in you Peanut Butter Frosting, then decorated them like Spring Chickens inspired by Angela from Oh She Glows, and they were SO delish and super cute!

    No one even guessed they were vegan! 😉

  64. Emily says

    I have made this cake twice, and it always turns out “cookie-like” for me… It’s never moist. :-/ I followed step-by-step… So what type of oil did you use? I used whole wheat, but what specific type did you use? I can’t figure out where I’m going wrong. Also, did you use regular sugar or stevia?

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      I used Canola oil… maybe it’s an oven temperature thing? 🙁
      I don’t know what to tell you… it isn’t a misprint in the recipe, since a lot of other commenters have said it worked for them. I’m sorry! 🙁

  65. Qi Ting @ Misadventures of Fat free Baking says

    I blog at “Misadventures of Fat free Baking” but that actually just means I avoid butter, oil, shortening margarine, etc. because its much easier to clean up. Nut butters, avocados (not a fan though), nuts, chocolates… Are highly welcomed into my friendly kitchen and hungry belly! 😀

  66. Lacey says

    made this tonight but I added chocolate chips, used 1/2 applesauce, 1/2 soy yogurt instead of oil, and did 1 cup gluten-free all purpose flour and 1/2 cup oat flour, it came out somewhere between cake and a brownie. yumm. Plus i changed your icing recipe a little and did the sugar, part vanilla part coconut extract, a little coconut butter and the soymilk, and then when it was smooth I added shredded coconut, and sprinkled some more coconut on top of the cake. It was AMAZING!!!!!!!

  67. Grace says

    hey katie! so tonight i did a test-run of this cake because i wanted to bring a healthy dessert to a family dinner party later in the week- although when i made the cake, it was pretty dry. do u have any suggestions on how i could alter the recipe to yield a more moist cake? i was thinking of using more white flour instead of wheat and adding more oil, but i’d really value your opinion 🙂

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      Hi Grace,

      I’m really bad about knowing how something will turn out without trying… so I really can’t give you any advice :(. I just do a lot of experimenting! Definitely, more oil will make it less dry. Or applesauce. But really, you never know until you experiment! Let me know how it goes!

      • Grace says

        Okay, so I did some experimenting!
        I made a different variation that contained a bit less fat and calories and I used:
        1/3 c sugar and 1/2 cup splenda (i know, im the devil for using splenda) instead of 2/3 c sugar
        1 T oil and 1/3 c blueberry puree
        1 c water instead of only 3/4
        and I added 1 T of almond milk
        also, i reduced the cooking time to about 17 minutes and baked it at 325 degrees in one rectangular cake pan. The ending result was much more moist and i really enjoyed it, only my harshest critic – my twin brother – complained that he didn’t like the taste of the wheat flour. (whatever – more for ME!)

        I also tried a “naughty” version, using:
        all white flour
        1/2 c semisweet chocolate chips
        1 c almond milk instead of the 3/4 c water
        1/4 c more oil

        This time i baked it in one rectangular cake pan at 325 for 30 minutes. The result was moist and super chocolatey. I cut them into brownies (which better suits how they turned out) and when I let my brother try one he LOVED it! I now have a delicious dessert to bring to my family dinner party 🙂 By the way, i totally don’t mean to criticize your recipe, i feel like i’m coming off as being rather critical. We all do what works for us, and I bet your chocolate cake turned out divine. Thanks for this recipe, I’m glad I can eat chocolate cake without feeling guilty 🙂

  68. Sacha says

    The cake looks awesome! I was looking for a healthy choc cake recipe for my daughters birthday this weekend. Can’t wait to try it. Thanks!


  69. Jillian says

    So, maybe this is a silly question, but from looking at the recipe I can’t figure out what size pans you used. I can’t imagine that this recipe makes enough for TWO pans and still have it come out as awesomely thick as your pictures look. I hope that is the case but what size pans do you use, just so I know. Thanks. I can’t wait to make this.

  70. Kathy says

    I tried this yesterday, making 1/4 of the recipe, and because I was too full, I only ate half of it (or 1/8 of the recipe). So I put it in the freezer, the next day I microwaved it for about 40 seconds, and what I got was a super moist cake!

  71. Janice says

    Hi, Katie!

    Im going to try another one of your delicious recipes – i tried many of your recipes and they were all so good!- tomorrow and its going to be this delicious looking cake! Today is my brothers birthday and we are going to have a dinner for him tomorrow and he is coming over with his wife and kids. My mother will be making a traditional Spanish dish for him as we are Hispanic, and I know my brother likes desserts, especially since his wife bakes them a lot and I want to show him that he can still enjoy yummy delicious desserts without all the bad stuff they usually put in it. -I always try and encourage healthy eating, even with sweet baked goods ;)-

    Anyway, I was wondering if it will still work with unsweetened cocoa powder -I have hersheys- or does it have to be regular cocoa powder?

  72. Jade says

    This looks great! I don’t have much experience with cooking vegan recipes (soy/almond milk is kind of hard to get my hands on at college), but today is my vegan friend’s birthday so we’re going to surprise him with a cake. This sounds perfect for it! I know he misses chocolate rather a lot.

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      Oooh I hope he likes it! But he shouldn’t miss chocolate… there are SO many vegan chocolate options out there!! I used to think that chocolate wasn’t vegan, but it’s far from the truth. They make vegan chocolate chips, chocolate bars, chocolate ice cream, chocolate fudge… sometimes I eat chocolate 5 times a day! 😉

  73. Maria says

    Okay this looks delicious and I really want to make it but where I live Cider Vinegar is not exactly popular so it’s hard to come by so my question would be could I substitute it with something else and still have the recipe come out exactly like it’s supposed to be? 🙂

      • Maria says

        Yay, thanks for the speedy response you’re a doll! White vinegar I can most definitely find. Also need to add that I love most you dessert recipes even a few non-vegan (I’m also not fully vegan due to health issues but I got a nice balance going. hehe) friends of mine have become very fond of them! Chocolatey yummy-ness that’s also healthy, now how could you go wrong there! 😀 x

  74. Amity says

    So, I was at work, working very hard and looking though your recipes and I came across this one! Let me first say that cake is may favorite food ( I’m not ashamed at all! 😉 ) and I also want to suggest that you get your I.Q. checked if you haven’t yet…because I think you might be a genius!! Seriously, it was so yummy! Not to mention I didn’t feel guilty about eating it! Thank you Thank you THANK YOU!

  75. Kirsten says

    I am thinking of making this cake for thanksgiving (every year I like to make dessert in hopes of finding a “signature” dish. Hopefully this one will be it). I have fallen in love with your peanut butter frosting recipe (who knew that peanut butter and tofu could taste so good together? So I’m thinking of making this cake with the tofu peanut butter frosting and adding mini chocolate chips on top so it’s more like a reese’s peanut butter cup cake. I can’t wait to try it!

  76. Nathalie says

    Hey Katie, I don’t know if this is the idea venue for me to ask this question as it’s an older post, but here goes.

    I tried making this recipe (added a bit of baking powder to it and some of Bob’s Red Mill egg replacer.) It was so thick and pasty that I added probably about 1/3 to 1/2 cup extra water. When I baked it, it a.) collapsed and b.) was uncooked or really super soft/mushy for the most part. I take it it’s not supposed to turn out that way =/

    Any idea what caused that? I was thinking the egg replacer and baking powder would ensure rising/stability, but apparently not. Could it have been the extra liquid? Should I try baking it longer or at a higher temperature? I wanna make this for my folks so badly while I’m visiting home and have an oven available to me; I already made the deep-dish cookie pie (Christmas dessert!) and it was a hit!

    When I get back to Japan I’m seriously going to invest in a better mini oven so I can more precisely try your recipes! Thanks always for the great ideas!

  77. Amanda says

    It’s actually best to eat fats in their whole food form, like avocado, nuts, etc. not as extracted oils. So, I replaced the oil with apple sauce and the cake turned out great!

  78. Valerie says

    so. maybe you’ve already mentioned this elsewhere… but I was wondering how to make the glaze (or is it frosting?) that lies on top of the chocolate pie…

  79. saltdog says

    Looks delicious, I want to serve it for guests. How big are the cake pans and how many servings are there in this recipe?

  80. Sabrina says


    I want to halve the recipe and use just one cake pan. Do you know if this would change the cooking time and/or temperature? Also, I’m assuming the cake pan is a 9″ one? Thanks!

  81. Anonymous says

    oh my god yes!
    I love chocolate now, thanks to you:)
    Pretty much always did, actually, but saw Matilda as a kid and totally had some psychological trauma from that scene. Avoided chocolate (especially cake) for a couple years. Until I learned that dark chocolate is healthy, and started to enjoy it again. And when I found your blog, my inner chocoholic sang praises to the heavens (and you). lol
    Now i just need to stock up my pantry with your specialty ingredients (dates, coconut, LOTS of cocoa….)

  82. Katie L says

    This looks amazing! Do you think I could sub in some agave for the sugar? I’m not sure how to switch dry sweetener for liquid without ruining the consistency. If you were to try it, how much would you use?

  83. Andrea Henger says

    Just made your Healthier Chocolate cake and it was DELICIOUS!!!! My husband had to have a second piece, immediately! My nephew is coming over tomorrow and I know he will love this cake. The only problem is that he is diabetic and we need to know the carb count to enter into his insulin pump. Any chance you have that info available?

  84. Julia Smith says

    I love your blog so much!!! 2 questions though, what size pan should this be put in, and whats the nutritional info? Thanks! 🙂

    • Alanna says

      Oops, that was supposed to be a reply to Noa and Julia bout the nutritional info! Also, Julia she says earlier in the comments it was an 8 or 9″ pan.

  85. Anonymous says

    Thanks for another wonderful recipe, Katie! Can’t wait to try it…Wondering if there is a substitute for vinegar, I don’t usually have vinegar in my kitchen.

  86. Anonymous says

    I want to make this cake for my daughters birthday. We need to have enough cake for 15 children….they are all about 5yrs old so will only need about 1 piece each.

    How many children would this cake recipe feed?…..assuming each child had one piece.


  87. Lady T - Innerlock says

    I just made your Healthier Chocoholic Cake into 11 cupcakes. I replaced the sugar with Grade B maple syrup. It makes a hearty cupcake. I like that they are slightly sweet and not like the store-bought kind. I put you Hot Chocolate Butter on the cupcakes and put colored sprinkles on top. The colored sprinkles fooled my 8 year old into tasting them. He was done after one bite. I know the cupcakes were not sweet enough for him, but I devoured them. The nut butter looks so rich and shiny. I was so impressed with the texture of the nut butter. Thanks for the recipe.

  88. Katie says

    My husband made this cake for my birthday last Saturday with the chocolate bar pie topping! I ate half of the cake in 24 hours. I frose two pieces for Valentines day, but I’m pretty sure he’s going to have to make me another one – it’s not going to last another week!

  89. Emma says

    I just made this amazing cake tonight for desert.
    I used stevia rather than sugar and only half of the amount.
    I also used rather than the whole 1/3 oil, half coconut oil and half apple purée.
    I iced with a puréed pumpkin and cocoa icing and served with natural yogurt and a warm clean chocolate sauce.
    I am certainly in heaven!

    • Emma says

      Oh also before I forget, I melted some dark chocolate into the coconut oil before mixing into the dry Ingredients… Delicious!!!!

  90. rachel says

    I’m sure I just missed it somewhere, but does this recipe make two 8-inch layers, or one? Can’t wait to try it!

  91. Ellie says

    i think i’m going to make this for my birthday cake but i how many calories are in it and how many does it serve?

  92. cherry says

    Hey Katie, tried the recipe. I could definitely swap this for other chocolate cakes with white flour!!
    I’m just wondering tho, is it supposed to be on the denser side? It wasnt as dense as a brownie, but more like a chocolate muffin? My family is a litttle picky and likes thwir cakes fluffy. If yours happened to be fluffy, pls let me know so I know if this recipe is capable of fluffy cakes.

  93. Jennifer says

    You my girl are genius, you my girl are genius, did I say YOU my girl are genius!!!!!!!!
    From a menopausal fan 🙂

  94. Alexandra says

    Didn’t have the ingredients on hand to make the moose on top, so I just made the cake and it was absolutely wonderfully moist and chocolate-y! Awesome recipe!

  95. Zia says

    Hey! Tried out this recipe and batter was a bit too thick, so decided to thin out with some milk and some coffee in boiling water. Resulted in a fudgy, awesome, chocolatey cake. I then topped off with some whipped cream and brown sugar frosting. Simply divine. Will definately be making again! Thank you for the recipe.

  96. Tianda says

    hi there. i was just looking at this recipe and thinking it’s the perfect cake to make for my son’s 1st birthday 🙂 I guess my question is how many servings do you think this would be?

  97. Katherine Chen says

    I am an aspiring pastry chef and this is absolutely one of my go- to desserts to bake!!! It is that delicious and the plus side is that it is so YUMMY.thanks katie for posting this awesome recipe!!!:)

  98. Angela says

    I’m about to try this recipe because it sounds amazing, and I’m dying at your Bruce Bogtrotter comment. You are my favorite blogger, hands down.

  99. Mary Schroeder says

    Can coconut or almond flour be substituted for this recipe, and what is evaporated cane sugar and where can I get it. What is a substitute for it?

  100. Mischelle says

    I have a vegan chocolate cake recipe sitting on my “pile of recipes” but i thought of looking if you actually got some. OMG. I will have to try this recipe for my 90’s theme friend’s birthday party! we’re vegan so we deserve the best cake right? also, can you recommend a frosting/ icing that won’t be too wet or something that could hold? are fondant icing vegan?

    • Unofficial CCK Helper says

      Do you have her cookbook? She has a chocolate cake and chocolate frosting recipe in there that I can vouch for being really good.

  101. Veronica Esterly says

    Thank you Katie for this amazing Chocolate cake! My mom recently developed allergies to the chemicals used to process our food, so I’ve been searching the web trying to find healthy but delicious recipes with limited ingredients. I used your Reeses Pieces Fudge Frosting and this cake for her birthday and the whole family agreed that its been the best cake we’ve had -since she got sick or before! We’re excited to try more -keep up the good work!

  102. Jake says

    I love this. My girl friend made it for me and then gave my mom the recipe. We make it often and everyone always gives it rave reviews.

  103. Evelyn says

    I have to say I’m pretty disappointed with how this cake turned out, despite the yummy-looking pictures. It was very dense and dry (more like a brownie than an actual cake, really) and obviously tasted of whole-wheat flour. My mother took a bite and couldn’t finish the rest, even after I frosted it and drizzled some caramel on it. 🙁

  104. Lindsay says

    I just made this chocolate cake. I did not top it with the chocolate bar pie but I followed the cake recipe to the T. I topped it with this frosting which was delicious!

    I did not expect this cake to be sweet (that’s why I made a sweeter frosting) but it was so dry, bland, and crumbled into a mess when I tried to cut a slice! What a huge disappointment! Absolutely disgusting! I’ve decided I will never make another recipe from any blogs where the comments are all “omg this looks amazing!” Does anyone even make these recipes?!?!

    I will say this cake was easy to make but it will be just as easy to throw out. Which is saying a lot: I never throw food away. What a waste.

  105. Aimee says

    I made this in a double batch layered cake for my son’s 3rd birthday this year and it was amazing! I did a trial run at home with wholewheat flour and my husband and son gave it two thumbs up. For his party I used GF flour and added baking soda and it was a more dense, fudge like cake but it was delicious and a few mums then asked for the recipe. Thank you so much! I topped it with a vegan chocolate fudgey-icing I whipped up, I wish I had a photo but it was pouring down with rain and we ended up rushing the party (we were in a park getting soaked). That was 2 months ago and I’m about to make it again into cup cakes for afternoon tea. THANK YOU!

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