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Oil Free Chocolate Cake

5 from 15 votes

A secretly healthy chocolate cake recipe so deliciously soft and moist, no one ever believes it’s completely oil free!

Vegan Oil Free Chocolate Cake Recipe

Easy Chocolate Cake Recipe

A healthy chocolate cake that actually tastes good?

It really is possible.

While low fat chocolate cake is so often gummy or dense, this recipe was specifically formulated to be just as rich and chocolatey as traditional chocolate cake, even without all the added fat and sugar.

Also Try These Sweet Potato Brownies – Oil Free Recipe

Oil Free Healthy Chocolate Cake Recipe

Above, frosted with Basic Chocolate Frosting Recipe

Before trying the recipe for the first time, I was absolutely convinced it would fail.

Chocolate baked goods almost always require a fat source in order to achieve a classic deep chocolate flavor and fudgy texture.

In fact, I was so convinced the recipe wouldn’t work that I decided not to serve it to friends.

Instead, I tried the idea out on my parents when they came to visit earlier this year.

And the verdict was… they both LOVED it!

(The cake is also great with Coconut Whipped Cream or even topped with Vegan Chocolate Mousse.)

Girl Eating Cake

For a chocolate peanut butter version:

Use peanut butter in the cake, instead of the extra yogurt.

Frost with the vegan cream cheese frosting recipe from my Easy Cinnamon Rolls post, and beat a half cup of peanut butter (or more as desired) into the frosting.

In the picture above, I baked mine in 6-inch pans for a smaller chocolate cake and topped it with mini chocolate chips and Homemade Peanut Butter Cups.

Healthy Vegan Chocolate Cake

Substitution Notes

Instead of oil, the healthy cake relies on either peanut butter or yogurt to achieve the proper texture.

If you wish to use something else: mashed sweet potato, banana, applesauce, or canned pumpkin will also work.

My favorite version is with the nut butter (almond, sunflower, or cashew butter are fine to use instead of peanut), but the nonfat version—which is the one in the photos and also the one I served to my parents—is still surprisingly good as well.

Need Dinner Ideas? Make Lentil Soup or this Veggie Burger Recipe

Above – watch the video for how to make oil free chocolate cake

Secretly Healthy Oil Free Chocolate Cake Recipe
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Oil Free Chocolate Cake

A secretly healthy chocolate cake recipe that's soft, moist, and completely oil free.
Total Time 25 minutes
Yield 9 servings
5 from 15 votes


  • 1 cup spelt, white, or gf all purpose flour (for low carb, try this Keto Cake Recipe)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp dutch cocoa, or additional regular
  • 1/2 tsp each: baking soda and salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar, unrefined or xylitol if desired
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup yogurt, such as almondmilk yogurt
  • 1/4 cup nut butter, or additional yogurt for fat-free (oil also works)
  • 2 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • optional 1/2 tsp instant coffee
  • optional 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips


  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease an 8-inch baking pan. (Or double the recipe for a 9×13 or double-layer cake.) If your nut butter isn't stir-able, gently heat to soften. Stir all ingredients in a bowl until just combined. Pour into the pan. Bake 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean. 
    View Nutrition Facts


The cake was adapted from my Vegan Brownies Recipe.
As mentioned in the post, the nonfat version will be chewier than if you use nut butter (peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, etc.), and I prefer the nut butter version. But I served the low-fat version to my non-vegan parents and they loved it, so you might like that version too! Frosting options are listed above in the post. For a single-layer cake, you’ll need about 1/3 cup frosting.

Have you made this recipe?

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Published on August 30, 2020

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  1. Lauren says

    This was excellent. The taste seems similar to that of your 100 calorie chocolate cake, but this one has a slightly different texture–richer, if I could say. I preferred this one, I think. I followed your recipe exactly, using white AP flour, regular granulated sugar, yogurt (non-fat vanilla Greek yogurt from Trader Joe’s, as I’m not a vegan), and sunflower seed butter (in place of extra yogurt or oil). I baked mine for 30 minutes (in total, 25 plus 5 extra minutes). I brought it to my parents’ house for dinner, and everyone was non-vegan. Everyone enjoyed it, including my dad, who loves chocolate cake but doesn’t love how sweet some can be. He said, “This is very good. It’s very chocolatey but not overly sweet.” My sister’s husband said, “I think I’m going to eat the whole pan.” Thank you, Katie, for another very good recipe.

    Also, your recipe inspired me to make a “brownie batter” that is edible. This was quite good straight from the bowl–maybe a little less moisture, perhaps omit some of the water, and it seems there one has it: edible brownie batter without beans (maybe heat treat the flour if that’s concerning, as I know it is for some).

  2. Lauren says

    Katie, to follow up my previous post, in case others read the “comments” section like I do, I thought I’d mention that I quartered the cake recipe to make an “edible brownie batter.” It is fantastic. Obviously, I didn’t bake it. I also didn’t heat treat the flour, but I realize that may be concerning for some, so I’m sure one could easily heat treat the flour. Please try it! I hate to recommend something to YOU, but it is your creation after all. I merely did a little math and put the mixture into a small container and then into the fridge. You did the hard work.

    • CCK Media Team says

      That sounds amazing! Katie does have a similar single-serve chocolate cake recipe she likes to make where she only cooks it 10 minutes (recipe not on the blog, but maybe someday I can convince her to add it). Yours sounds even better because who doesn’t love cake batter?? 🙂

  3. Sandra says

    Will Forager’s cashew milk yogurt work here? I’ve never seen you mention Forager’s. Most of your recipes are healthi-ER than traditional recipes, but actually “healthy”? …most of them, not so much. I have them as an occasional not-so-healthy treat.

  4. Angela C. says

    I am vegan and asked my daughter to make this for my birthday. It was delicious!! I highly recommend this cake recipe (we did the pb version).

  5. tori says

    5 stars
    This is one of my go-to recipes from CCK. It’s so good and so easy. Tonight I pureed beets in the Vitamix and used in place of the yoghurt. It turned out beautifully, and I was able to use less sugar since the beets are sweet. This is one I will keep making over and over. I do usually add an extra 2 tbsp or so cocoa powder because otherwise it is not quite chocolatey enough for me. This has been the case with a few different brands of cocoa powder I’ve tried..

5 from 15 votes (13 ratings without comment)

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