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How to Make Healthier Chocolate Cake

Posted by Gwen Watson on Jan 8, 2016

How to Make Healthier Chocolate Cake

If you love the simplicity of boxed cake mix without all the unhealthy ingredients, this is the recipe for you! This chocolate cake is extra moist and has a rich, chocolaty flavor. Using whole-wheat pastry flour makes the cake much healthier than if regular white flour was used. It also only uses one bowl, which means that you won’t have a big mess to clean up afterwards.

Healthier Chocolate Cake Recipe

Adapted from Eating Well


  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons whole-wheat pastry flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup nonfat buttermilk
  • ½ cup light brown sugar (unpacked)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup strong black coffee (hot)
  • Confectioners’ sugar, optional (for dusting)
  • Frosting of choice, optional (for frosting the cake)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 9-inch round cake pan or a standard Bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Add the wheat flour, granulated sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to a large bowl. Whisk together until the ingredients are well combined. Add the buttermilk, light brown sugar, large egg, vegetable oil, and vanilla to the bowl. Note that if you don’t have buttermilk on hand, adding 1 teaspoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to ½ cup of milk makes an effective substitute.
  3. Beat the cake batter with an electric mixer that has been set to medium speed until all the ingredients are mixed thoroughly. This should take about 1 minute. Carefully add the coffee to the bowl and beat for another 1-2 minutes.
  4. Scrape the sides of the bowl about halfway through mixing to make sure no ingredients were left unmixed. Keep in mind that the batter will look fairly thin – this is part of the reason why the cake will be so moist.
  5. Pour the batter into the cake or Bundt pan and place in the center of the oven. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. This should take about 30-35 minutes but test the cake at the 25-minute point to make sure it isn’t done. Some ovens bake cakes faster than others!
  6. When the cake is done, remove it from the oven and set the pan on a wire rack for ten minutes to let it cool. Once the ten minutes are up, turn the cake over onto the rack so that it can cool all the way through. Dust the cake with confectioners’ sugar or ice with the frosting of your choice just before serving, if desired. You can also serve it with a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream.
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