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Healthy 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.

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.

5/5 (1)

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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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253 Comments

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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 ?
    <3

  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!

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