by Olena

Healthy Chocolate Cake

by Olena

4.7 from 25 reviews

This Healthy Chocolate Cake Recipe with yogurt, maple syrup and whole wheat flour is every dark chocolate lover’s dream and is perfect for beginners bakers.

This Healthy Chocolate Cake Recipe with yogurt, maple syrup and whole wheat flour is every dark chocolate lover's dream and is perfect for beginners bakers.

Healthy Cake

I’ve had this healthy chocolate cake recipe of mine popping up here and there on iFOODreal since 2014, without comments, and frankly, making me nervous. Every time I would see it, I would cringe. And that is not good when you cringe at your own food, especially if you make a living off cooking. It just can’t be good, the cake and the situation.

You know what no comments means? Well, sometimes, not always, but it means that recipe sucks. I bet there are at least 2 human beings that made my cake and thought “meh”, but were too polite to protest. However, there were no life threatening comments either. So, I think it wasn’t that bad but could be better.

This Healthy Chocolate Cake Recipe with yogurt, maple syrup and whole wheat flour is every dark chocolate lover's dream and is perfect for beginners bakers.

I also blame this chocolate cake on a batch of Instant Pot yogurt. Have you tried yet? Now, that I calculated it is 5 times cheaper than a store bought, I make a batch of organic yogurt every few weeks, place in Mason jars with plastic lids, and we are good for 10 days. Seriously, life changing hack and I was super sceptical – “why would anyone wanna make yogurt in the pressure cooker when you can go buy it?!”.

This Healthy Chocolate Cake Recipe with yogurt, maple syrup and whole wheat flour is every dark chocolate lover's dream and is perfect for beginners bakers.

What you need to know about this slice of heaven:

  • It is every dark chocolate lover’s dream! My kids claimed that, since they love their overly sweet milk chocolate, me and Alex were left to enjoy pretty much entire cake (if too much dark chocolate keeps you awake, I recommend eating 1 slice before bedtime – sounds like a doctor’s advice haha).
  • It is moist, not overly sweet and light.
  • I based my chocolate cake on vanilla sour cream cake I grew up with in Ukraine.
  • If you are not “a baker” like me, this healthy chocolate cake is for you! The process and ingredients list couldn’t be simpler. You and whoever you make it for will love it!

How to Make Healthy Chocolate Cake

  • Gather all your ingredients.
  • Prep cake pans: Place 2 cake pans bottoms down on 2 pieces of parchment paper, circle around with pencil, then cut out each circle with scissors. Place cut outs inside each cake pan and spray with cooking spray covering the sides. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add eggs and maple syrup, beat with an electric mixer for 30 seconds or until well incorporated.

This Healthy Chocolate Cake Recipe with yogurt, maple syrup and whole wheat flour is every dark chocolate lover's dream and is perfect for beginners bakers.This Healthy Chocolate Cake Recipe with yogurt, maple syrup and whole wheat flour is every dark chocolate lover's dream and is perfect for beginners bakers.This Healthy Chocolate Cake Recipe with yogurt, maple syrup and whole wheat flour is every dark chocolate lover's dream and is perfect for beginners bakers.This Healthy Chocolate Cake Recipe with yogurt, maple syrup and whole wheat flour is every dark chocolate lover's dream and is perfect for beginners bakers.This Healthy Chocolate Cake Recipe with yogurt, maple syrup and whole wheat flour is every dark chocolate lover's dream and is perfect for beginners bakers.This Healthy Chocolate Cake Recipe with yogurt, maple syrup and whole wheat flour is every dark chocolate lover's dream and is perfect for beginners bakers.This Healthy Chocolate Cake Recipe with yogurt, maple syrup and whole wheat flour is every dark chocolate lover's dream and is perfect for beginners bakers.

  • Add yogurt, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla, salt and beat with a mixer for another 30 seconds.
  • Add cacao powder and using a whisk, whisk until well mixed.
  • Add flour and whisk until smooth and well combined. Do not over mix but whisk until smooth consistency.
  • Bake: Divide batter between 2 previously prepared cake pans and bake on a bottom rack for 27 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

This Healthy Chocolate Cake Recipe with yogurt, maple syrup and whole wheat flour is every dark chocolate lover's dream and is perfect for beginners bakers.This Healthy Chocolate Cake Recipe with yogurt, maple syrup and whole wheat flour is every dark chocolate lover's dream and is perfect for beginners bakers.This Healthy Chocolate Cake Recipe with yogurt, maple syrup and whole wheat flour is every dark chocolate lover's dream and is perfect for beginners bakers.

  • While cake is baking, prepare the frosting. In a large bowl, add yogurt, maple syrup, cacao powder and vanilla; whisk well. Refrigerate until ready to assemble the cake.
  • If you want runnier frosting like mine, use 2%+ yogurt. But if you want thick frosting that you can spread, use 2%+ Greek yogurt. You would have to buy 2 large containers of yogurt anyways, so you can choose the type of frosting.
  • Here is my test #2 picture, when I frosted entire cake with 2% Greek yogurt frosting.

This Healthy Chocolate Cake Recipe with yogurt, maple syrup and whole wheat flour is every dark chocolate lover's dream and is perfect for beginners bakers.This Healthy Chocolate Cake Recipe with yogurt, maple syrup and whole wheat flour is every dark chocolate lover's dream and is perfect for beginners bakers.This Healthy Chocolate Cake Recipe with yogurt, maple syrup and whole wheat flour is every dark chocolate lover's dream and is perfect for beginners bakers.

  • Remove cakes from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.
  • Remove from pans and let cool: Using a spatula, separate the edge of each cake from the pan, flip over on your hand, peel off parchment paper, and place bottom down on a cooling rack. Let cakes cool off completely before assembling.
  • Cut in half for frosting: When ready to assemble the cake, using long (fillet) knife, cut each cake in half lengthwise.
  • Frost: Place bottom layer and spread 1/4 of frosting on it (my picture show drizzle, you actually spread with spatula). Repeat with remaining layers. I would recommend to use a bit more frosting in between the layers and less on the top – cake will be richer.

This Healthy Chocolate Cake Recipe with yogurt, maple syrup and whole wheat flour is every dark chocolate lover's dream and is perfect for beginners bakers.This Healthy Chocolate Cake Recipe with yogurt, maple syrup and whole wheat flour is every dark chocolate lover's dream and is perfect for beginners bakers.This Healthy Chocolate Cake Recipe with yogurt, maple syrup and whole wheat flour is every dark chocolate lover's dream and is perfect for beginners bakers.This Healthy Chocolate Cake Recipe with yogurt, maple syrup and whole wheat flour is every dark chocolate lover's dream and is perfect for beginners bakers.This Healthy Chocolate Cake Recipe with yogurt, maple syrup and whole wheat flour is every dark chocolate lover's dream and is perfect for beginners bakers.This Healthy Chocolate Cake Recipe with yogurt, maple syrup and whole wheat flour is every dark chocolate lover's dream and is perfect for beginners bakers.

Decorate however you wish. I grated a few candies on top, you could use sprinkles, fresh berries or icing sugar.

This Healthy Chocolate Cake Recipe with yogurt, maple syrup and whole wheat flour is every dark chocolate lover's dream and is perfect for beginners bakers.

How to Store Healthy Chocolate Cake

Refrigerate covered for up to 5 days.

Freeze tightly wrapped or in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Trust me, I have a few pieces frozen because with all the testing who can eat so much cake in 2 weeks?!

More Healthy Cake Recipes

Print

Healthy Chocolate Cake

4.7 from 25 reviews

This Healthy Chocolate Cake Recipe with yogurt, maple syrup and whole wheat flour is every dark chocolate lover’s dream and is perfect for beginners bakers.

  • Author: Olena of ifoodreal.com
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 27 minutes
  • Total Time: 52 minutes
  • Yield: 10 slices 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: North American
  • Diet: Low Calorie
Scale

Ingredients

Cake:

Frosting:

Instructions

  1. Place 2 cake pans bottoms down on 2 pieces of parchment paper, circle around with pencil, then cut out each circle with scissors. Place cut outs inside of each cake pan and spray with cooking spray covering the sides. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, add eggs and maple syrup, beat with an electric mixer for 30 seconds or until well incorporated. Add yogurt, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla, salt and beat with a mixer for 30 seconds.
  3. Add cacao powder and using a whisk, whisk until well mixed. Add flour and whisk until smooth and well combined. Do not over mix but whisk until smooth consistency. Divide batter between 2 previously prepared cake pans and bake on a bottom rack for 27 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  4. While cake is baking, prepare the frosting. In a large bowl, add yogurt, maple syrup, cacao powder and vanilla; whisk well. Refrigerate until ready to assemble the cake.
  5. Remove cakes from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Using a spatula, separate the edge of each cake from the pan, flip over on your hand, peel off parchment paper, and place bottom down on a cooling rack. Let cakes cool off completely before assembling.
  6. When ready to assemble the cake, using long (fillet) knife, cut each cake in half lengthwise. Place bottom layer and spread 1/4 of frosting on it. Repeat with remaining layers. Decorate however you wish. I grated a few candies on top, you could use sprinkles, fresh berries or icing sugar.

Store: Refrigerate covered for up to 5 days. Freeze tightly wrapped or in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

Notes

*I have not tried this cake with any other flour besides whole wheat, therefore can’t vouch for results. Baking is a science and for best results it is best to follow the recipe closely!

**If you want runnier frosting like mine, use 2%+ yogurt. But if you want thick frosting that you can spread, use 2%+ Greek yogurt. You would have to buy 2 large containers of yogurt anyways, so you can choose the type of frosting.

 Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating in the comments.

olena osipov in the studio

Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys and a wife to Alex. And this is our healthy family recipes blog. I grew up in Ukraine on real food. As an adult, I tried many diets without results. Now for over 10 years, I cook quick and easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

What You Will Find Here

Healthy family recipes with simple ingredients. Many are inspired by my Ukrainian heritage. I share mostly dinner recipes because it just never ends... I’m obsessed with healthy freezer meals. And more than in love with my Instant Pot.

A Little More About Me

Originally from Ukraine, I now reside on magic Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada with my family. I started this blog in 2012 when I ended up at home with 2 small kids unemployed and a wee bit chubby.

108 comments on “Healthy Chocolate Cake

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  1. All my family and friends loved this cake on my son’s birthday party. My son and I love dark chocolate more than regular milk chocolate, so it was a perfect cake for him. The cake was very moist and the frosting is simple yet fantastic! I used 10% yogurt. Now I have 10% yogurt in my fridge all the time! 🙂
    Thank you for the recipe, Olena! I can’t wait to try other recipes of yours.

  2. Hello- would I be able to substitute maple syrup with something else or even take it out? my husband is diabetic and he can’t have that.

    1. Unfortunately can’t take it out – baking really is a science and ratios of dry to liquid have to stay plus taste will be not good. You can sub with any other liquid sweetener of choice. Someone mentioned there is sugar free syrup but I’m not sure.

    1. I just got some cocoa butter Wafers that I’m dying to try in a recipe and wondered if you think this would be okay to use one cup in place of half of the yogurt?

      1. Hi Holly. I have never baked with cocoa butter wafers so I can’t really say if it will work as a substitute for the yogurt. If you give it a try, let me know how it turns out 🙂

  3. HI, this sounds like a lovely recipe that I would like to try. I would like to ask if I could skip baking soda? I only use baking powder in my cakes and allows them to rise. However, when I add baking soda they do never rise and the texture becomes chewy. Would it be OK if I skip it? Also, can I replace maple syrup with date syrup? Thank you.. looks lovely..

    1. Hi Areej. I have not tested this cake w/o baking soda. I tested with it and it works great. If you want to experiment it your way – go for it. Date syrup would be fine. Have fun!

        1. Full fat greek yogurt is my preference as it gives richer flavour. You can use non fat yogurt, but it can affect the texture and taste.

  4. Took me forever to find a recipe like this! I’m glad I stumbled upon it. The only difference was I did use unbleached white flour. The cake turned out amazing! My kids and I loved it. I will say, after refrigerating it over night, it was even better. Reminded me of an ice cream cake. Thanks for this great recipe! Definitely one I’ll be saving!!

      1. Your very welcome! Didn’t know you had a whole website. Loved reading your story! This is my exact way of living. Its been a journey. The last few years I’ve been trying different desserts without using sugar, so this was perfect. I can’t wait to try your chocolate chip cookie recipe with maple syrup. Thats my go to sugar subsitute. Even in my coffee! Thanks again, your an inspiration!

  5. Awesome cake recipe!!! Light and airy unlike the ones that you get all the stores, big or small. It reminded me of home where you get cakes just like these. I usually don’t post reviews, but this one totally deserved it.

  6. Hi!! Oh my goodness!! This cake was sooooo good!! Love making it, my whole family devoured it! And it was so easy to make!! I have been looking for a good healthy frosting and this is it!! My sister wanted a Chocolate bday cake and I found your recipe!! Thank you!! I made it w honey and it was great!!

    1. If you want to use almond flour I saw a good recipe on chocolatecoveredkatie.com. Similar to this recipe, except with almond flour.

  7. The cake turned out so yummy and looked just like your pictures. My kids and I enjoyed it so much. It was not overly sweet and just perfect for us. I added some chocolate chips on my little one’s request. Yogurt was the main thing that got me attracted to try the cake and I’m glad I did. Thumbs up ?

  8. Hey,
    I really wanna try to make this cake. But I can’t consume lactose. Will it be okey, if I will use coconut yogurt? And also I have only one baking form, maybe I can bake it twice In one form?

    1. Hi Anna. Hmmm, I honestly have never baked with coconut yogurt. I think if you use 1 cup coc. yogurt and 1 cup applesauce that will ensure cake rises. And yes you can use same baking pan twice. And I think coc. yogurt will be fine in the frosting. Let me know how it turns out. 🙂

  9. I am very interesting in making this cake but need to decrease the fat. Wonder how it would work using zero fat Greek yogurt. Any thoughts?

    1. Zero yogurt won’t be tasty. We already removed sugar etc. As healthy as it gets without tasting bland. You can try but I wouldn’t like it. Why no little bit of fat? May I ask. 🙂

  10. I made this cake last year for my birthday and I’m obsessed with it and I also made it yesterday I couldn’t help myself. How would this work if I was to make it into cupcake as like measuring batter for cupcakes

  11. I made this cake when my brother was here. My brothers wife bakes all the time. To his surprise while telling him the ingredients to find out how healthy it was and a wonderful flavor. I will be making this cake again. I cut cake in 12 peices still a nice slice.

  12. Hi,
    This receipt looks lovely, I plan to make it over the weekend. I was wondering what size your cake pans have you used? I am worried if mine are too big they are going to be too thin.
    Many thanks in advance,
    Tabea

  13. Hi! I’m planning on making this for our little one’s 2nd birthday. Will the cake freeze well if I bake it ahead of time??

    Thanks!

  14. I made this with my kids (aged 2 and 4) – we baked the whole quantity in a single spring form tin (just dialled down the oven temperature and cooked for longer). We didn’t ice it. Served it with vanilla yogurt instead. It was a yummy, very moist cake. It reminded me more of a e.g. date loaf than a traditional chocolate cake (unsurprising, given the healthier ingredients). We’ll make this again for sure.

  15. Do you recommend icing the cake right away? I made it for my sons birthday tomorrow. I have the icing in fridge and cakes on counter. Debating icing it tonight or waiting til tomorrow ?

  16. Lovely recipe. Couldn’t believe that something so tatsty could be healthy too. Thank you. I baked it for my husband for his birthday

  17. Really delicious cake. My husband and I enjoyed it throughly. I did make it with a melted 85% dark chocolate bar instead of powder and the cake still came out great. I also added vanilla powder to the cake batter to amp the flavor a little.

  18. Is it crucial to this recipe to use the aluminum free baking powder? Where do you find it? Want to make this cake for my son’s birthday tomorrow but when I looked at my baking powder it lists sodium aluminum sulfate as an ingredient.

  19. I made this with 4 eggs, half the amount of maple syrup, half wheat flour and half plain flour and 0% fat free Greek yoghurt. It wasn’t very sweet, but I was expecting that, but once I added the frosting it was perfect. I love the fact that it has a high protein value. Definitely a recipe I shall use again and again.

  20. I only thing I did differently was 5% fage yogurt in the cake and boy was it thick! It was a.chore to spread, but did come.out very well. If anything it was super fluffy, full of air pockets and a tad bit spongey. I was thinking it could also have to do with how the leavening reacts in different altitudes… Worth a mention of the difference. In high altitude my cakes would need extra help, but I live in low altitude and baking powder and soda just make it bubble like crazy. Overall a very good recipe for the desired flavor of a typical chocolate cake!

  21. Great recipe!! I never liked the idea of baking cakes because it’s inherently unhealthy…but I chanced upon this and am now hooked onto baking without guilt! Many thanks for this perfect recipe and please share more of these gems

  22. Very good we loved it. Very moist, I added honey and almond butter to the frosting, and berries on top, Awesome.

  23. Sorry I think your name is Olena not Jeanette. Your recipe was perfect! Let me know if you would like pics of it as I made it a bundt.

  24. The honey was overpowering. Way too much honey and we didn’t even put in the full amount. I should have used maple syrup instead. No one wanted to eat it. Only good thing was that it was moist. It was very dense and I used half whole wheat and half all purpose flour because I anticipated that it would be too dense with all whole wheat.

    1. In all fairness, Jeanette, if you followed the recipe your cake wouldn’t be so dense. You can’t expect recipe to work if you cut back liquids and use half of different flour. AGree about personal preference on honey, sure. And other thing, you can’t expect whole wheat baked goods to taste exactly same as white flour goods. If you want a taste of cake with white flour, butter and sugar then you bake or buy cake made with white flour, butter and sugar. Hope you consider this info for next time you decide leave some other recipe 1 star.

    2. Thank you Jeanette so much for this recipe! I made it for my son’s second birthday, and everyone thought it was delicious, even my two year old!

      What I did differently: Instead of using cake pans, I used a bundt pan. I also added about a cup of jumbo raisins in the cake batter, and studded raspberries on top of the bundt.

  25. I made this for my daughter’s 3 year birthday cake. It looked amazing and was pretty delicious. The only thing is that it needed more maple syrup than I had in my fridge so I used honey in the cake and maple syrup in the icing. I wished I had used maple syrup for the cake because it tasted very strongly of honey. Or perhaps I should have used slightly less honey than the recipe called for. It was also quite dense although I like that. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    1. You are very welcome, Charlotte! Whole wheat flour is more dense than all purpose. Try spelt next time, it is lighter. And yes, honey has a strong taste.

      1. Hi there,
        I’d love to give this a go without wheat flour. When you say try with spelt, would you use white or wholemeal spelt? Same measurements?
        Also, does it make a difference to use cacao/cocoa/Dutch press cocoa? I’m learning!
        Thanks so much.

        1. Hi Amber. Spelt is kind of wheat. The only one I have seen is just spelt flour, sprouted or not. Same measurements. So not sure what is white or wholemeal.
          Cacao powder is less processed than cocoa powder or Dutch cocoa. You can use any. Enjoy and happy baking!:)

    1. Um no. Not because it is less healthy or because I’m being difficult. But because it will throw off the ratio as maple syrup is a liquid and sugar is dry ingredient. Cake won’t come out right. Sorry.:(

      1. Hey thanks for your reply. I tried it with brown sugar. Added some water to turn it into a liquid. Decreased baking soda. It rose beautifully but fell flat 30min in. Very dense. Nevertheless it was delicious! We loved the taste! So thank you for sharing 🙂 Will experiment with the ratios next time… 🙂

  26. Hello!

    I just made this cake , and I have to say it was a big success! Not overly sweet, good texture, and all my friends loved it 🙂 I will definitely bake it again!

    Thank you 🙂
    Andrea

  27. gave this a go today..only because i had spare wheat flour and all the other ingredients to hand. Must say it was easy and i got a decent result. thanks

  28. Very easy to make, and super yummy. I would use 1 1/2 tsp of baking soda instead as my cake was quite dense

    1. Glad to hear.:) It wasn’t as fluffy as mine? Whole wheat flour is heavier and you can’t achieve same lightness like with all-purpose flour. But still should be fluffy like in pics.

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