Monday, April 8, 2013

Healthy Chocolate Cake

Healthy Chocolate Cake

I struggled with what to title this post. Originally I was going to go with "guiltless chocolate cake" but that implies that low-fat ingredients are used or it's a low calorie cake. And it is, but it's more than that. "Healthy" chocolate cake implies that this cake is actually good for you, and therefore might taste kind of terrible as far a proper chocolate cake goes. That doesn't adequately describe it either. It's kind of a cross - except for the tasting bad part. It's totally amazing- because while this cake is much lower in calories than regular cake, it also uses very healthful ingredients to get there like Spelt flour, canned pumpkin, unsweetened almond milk and coconut oil. However, because this is a "proper cake" there is still some white sugar and an egg involved. I am sure this is why it bakes up so nicely. You can substitute flax seed for the egg if that bothers you. Just for comparison consider this:

This "healthy" chocolate cake calls for 1/3 cup of sugar

A normal chocolate cake of the same size would typically call for 1- 2 whole cups of sugar

The recipe subs a tiny bit of stevia for making up the sweet flavor. In the end, the cake is only mildly sweet but this is how my family likes it. If you plan to top it with the "healthy" Reeses pieces frosting that I'll be blogging about tomorrow -you lucky ducks, you- it works very well. You can add more stevia if you'd like yours on the sweeter side (or use a sweetened milk instead of unsweetened). This cake, with the frosting, actually tastes a lot like my Cracker Barrel Coca Cola Cake oddly enough. My husband who does not love frosting in general and doesn't appreciate the whole peanut butter chocolate combination that make up this frosting, preferred to eat his naked. -Insert inappropriate comment here about how my husband appreciates most things naked- He seriously loved this cake. And? When my kids come home from school today I won't feel guilty about feeding them squares of this cake (sans frosting) as an after school snack. It's too wholesome.

Healthy Chocolate Cake

I promise, promise, promise you can't taste the pumpkin in here. It just helps keep everything moist while making up a lot of the normal fat called for in cake, like say, a whole stick of butter. This way we only need to add 3 tablespoons of coconut oil to the whole thing. Another plus? Coconut oil revs up the metabolism like no other. Bonus! And, as if it could get any better, the spelt flour is a whole grain so this cake will make you feel satisfied with a smaller portion. This can be served up in nine servings at 120 calories each (without frosting). Truth be told, I prefer my serving size a tad bigger, but at that rate, I don't really care to know the calorie count. I just know it's good and I shouldn't feel guilty. What the heck are you waiting for anyway?!

Healthy Reeses Pieces Frosting

As you look over the recipe, you'll see lots of options for substitutions. This is just so you can fit this into your own personal definition of "healthy."

Healthy Chocolate Cake
adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie

Makes an 8x8 inch pan

  • 3/4 cup spelt flour or sub white flour (for less healthy) or Arrowhead Mills gf (120g)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (20g)
  • 1 egg or 2 tbsp ground flax. You can omit; the cake just won’t rise as much.
  • 1/3 cup white sugar (64g)
  • 1/8 tsp uncut stevia (I use NuNaturals NuStevia) or 3 nunaturals packets (or 1/4 cup more sugar)
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate (60-120g) (Do not omit. The recipe just won’t be the same if you do.)
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup milk of choice (I used unsweetened almond milk)
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted, or canola oil
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 pumpkin in a mini food processor or mini blender and blend until super-smooth, so there are NO lumps whatsoever. Pour wet into dry, and mix until just combined, then pour into prepared pan and bake 30 minutes. Let cool completely
I frosted this with a "healthy" Reeses Chocolate Frosting.