The Best Chocolate Cake Recipe (with a secret healthy ingredient)

Best Chocolate Cake Recipe | Wake the Wolves

Who doesn’t love chocolate cake? Moist, dense, rich…and healthy too! We’re bringing this top Google-searched recipe post back FOR YOU – just in time for Valentine’s Day. We first shared it when my sister tweaked it for my 30th birthday last year. We swear it’s the best chocolate cake ever. It’s oddly healthy, with a primary, secret ingredient being a vegetable – a total “Steph” kind of concoction.

What is it? You’ll just have to see…

BUT FIRST, Choosing the right sweetener

My sis knows me well. I’m choosy about my homemade dessert ingredients, preferring natural, unrefined sugar (whenever possible); less flour-focused recipes; and oils or butter with very little processing (i.e. – no canola or vegetable oil please). So after digging around on the web, she found a funky chocolate cake recipe by a healthy dessert blogger, Chocolate Covered Katie. Yum!

Since my pantry only has coconut sugar, raw honey, or maple syrup, we had to make a few adjustments.

Instead of using xylitol (a sugar alcohol derived from plants) or stevia (a sweet leaf that’s often ground and processed), we used coconut sugar (which derives from the cut flower of a coconut palm tree).

The biggest secret ingredient

The most surprising “healthy” ingredient of the whole concoction is…cauliflower. Wha..what? Yes! The crunchy veggie that’s in the same family as broccoli! It’s a triple-whammy vegetable:

  • full of vitamins
  • loaded with fiber to aid in digestion
  • AND it’s high in antioxidants

The original creator of this recipe (Katie) was a genius to put this in for added nutrients, moisture, and fiber. Read the instructions below carefully.

Extra bonus healthy points

The rest of the recipe calls for pretty straight forward ingredients, but combining them into the best chocolate cake recipe may seem kind of odd. Here’s a quick rundown:

  • Spelt flour – An ancient grain cousin to wheat that is slightly more nutrient dense AND does not seem to cause as much sensitivities and irritation to the gut lining (like other wheat flours do).
  • Dark chocolate – Look for the darkest possible.
  • Almond milk – A great dairy-alternative to those with dairy sensitivities
  • Coconut oil – A must-have pantry staple that works well in high-heat temperature cooking
  • Natural peanut butter – a real nut butter with nothing but peanuts
  • Cacao Powder – A simple way to add the dark chocolate fix without the sugar. Btw, it’s not hot cocoa mix – just plain, baking cacao (aka – cocoa) powder.

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You are a big deal

This recipe that I’m coining as the best chocolate cake ever, is truly a symbol of my life – made with love, full of oddly complementary ingredients, real, risky, and surprisingly satisfying.

We’ve never been one to celebrate “big” on birthdays (or Valentine’s Day), mostly because every day we’re blessed to just be here, ya know. BUT as I get older, I remember the small and wonderful traditions that my mom passed down to us (even during her busiest days). Notes in lunch boxes. Heart-printed, matching pajama pants and a sweet “love” note on Valentine’s day, or even flowers by our bed side before we’d wake up on our birthday.

She reminds me that creating traditions are important and that it’s ok to set time aside to make them happen.

Throughout the last 365 days, our whole fam has made it a point to take a moment and celebrate (whatever the occasion). Big party? No. Fancy restaurant? Eh. A simple, stress-free, healthy home cooked dinner with family and without the computer. Perfect! Kicking it off with my big 3-0 birthday…Graham BBQ’d, my sis and I cooked, and my cousin moved the couch and set up a beautiful blanket with candles in the middle of the living room floor. It was momentous!

So from us to you, don’t forget to make yourself a big deal. It’s not about being the center of attention, but rather a moment to truly celebrate all that you are grateful for – including your health. Enjoy my sister’s rendition of Katie’s best chocolate cake ever.

Best Chocolate Cake Recipe | Wake the Wolves

Best Chocolate Cake


¾ cup spelt flourBest Chocolate Cake Recipe | Wake the Wolves
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
½ cup coconut sugar
¾ cup dark chocolate chips (very important)
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 loosely-packed cups frozen cauliflower, thawed completely and brought to room temperature. The cauliflower is raw, not cooked. (NOTE: Chocolate Covered Katie says she tried subbing the cauliflower for 1 cup of cooked pumpkin if the cauliflower is too weird)
½ cup almond milk
3 tbsp coconut oil
½ cup Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting (below)

Original recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease a 9” round baking pan (preferably with a removable bottom). Chocolate Covered Katie used a 8×8 square baking dish.
  3. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl, and mix well.
  4. Combine all liquid ingredients and the cauliflower in a food processor and blend until super-smooth, so there are NO lumps whatsoever.
  5. Pour wet into dry, and mix until just combined, then pour into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes.
  6. Let cool completely before frosting. Serve and enjoy. If there are any leftovers, be sure to keep it in the refrigerator. (NOTE: I noticed that the cauliflower flavor wasn’t noticeable the same day my sister baked it, BUT the next day leftovers did have a hint of a cauliflower node).

Serves ~ 8-10 slices

Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting


¼ cup homemade peanut butter (or other nut butter)
6 teaspoons real maple syrup (sorry Aunt Jemima)
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
4 teaspoons almond milk (or other milk)
¾ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Original recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie

  1. Blend everything in a small food processor.
  2. Store extras in a sealed jar, in the refrigerator.

Yields ~ ½ cup

Kale. All Day. Err Day.

If you like this post, checkout more nutritious and healthy living tips in our latest interactive book, Kale. All Day. Err Day. It’s enhanced and interactive for a super fun, learning experience. It’s filled with a great story all about kale, how-to videos, and recipes for the busy and the hungry. Did we mention, it’s FREE…for a limited time. Hurry – check it out here. (New book coming late 2016…)


Kale. All Day. Err Day. | Wake the Wolves


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Written By


Stephanie Wong

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  • Mary

    Can’t wait to try this one! Thanks for sharing!

    • stephanie

      Can’t wait to see what you think. It’s super dense and filling…and yum. Unlike other kinds of “airy” cakes where you want another piece right after 🙂

  • shauna plimmer

    Hi Stephanie I really want to try this for my kids (4 and 1) , but they always know when I hide things in food haha! what could I sub for splet flour, pumpkin/cauliflower, coconut Sugar and almond milk? Thanks, Shauna Plimmer

  • shauna plimmer

    Hi Stephanie what can I sub for splet, coconut sugar, almond milk, and cauilflower/punmpkin? thanks!

    • stephanie

      Hi Shauna,

      Thanks for your note. Do you want to sub for all those things? or just a few? Those are the main ingredients and subbing them all out will definitely change the recipe. I suggest trying to make it first to see how your kids respond. I noticed the “cauliflower” taste after the second day, so if they are super sensitive, maybe switch that to pumpkin. You can do an even-even swap of the spelt flour for regular flour, as well as the sugar however regular white sugar is much sweeter than coconut sugar. The almond milk can easily be swapped for regular dairy milk too. I’m not sure how it will turn out if you swap all of these things at once.

      I say give the recipe a try to see what they say. It’s super dark and rich, so may not be a totally kid-friendly recipe if they prefer milk-chocolate/more sweet cakes. Do let us know!!!

      Thanks for asking,

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  • Stephanie

    Hi, I am looking into buying this ebook for my boyfriend for Christmas. He is really active, a workaholic, likes to eat healthy and I recently got him interested in cooking things other than chicken. Since cooking is fairly new to him, he doesn’t have a ton of cooking utensils. I was wondering if you had suggestions for a handful of utensils he may not have and would be using often, based off the recipes in the ebook.


    • Springer

      Stephanie – what a fabulous gift! We love hearing about folks who are getting themselves back into the kitchen to make great food. Knowing that we were going to have a bunch of cooking newbies checking out Eat Real Essentials, we included a whole chapter in the book dedicated to building a natural foods pantry. And the includes the gear. Have him check out page 89 for our recommendations on kitchen tools & utensils. The list isn’t that long and he doesn’t need them all. But it is a starting place. Thanks for the shout out.

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  • Kristina

    I made this last night and it was really quite good. Very rich and dark. I substituted regular white flour for the spelt and soy milk for the almond milk. My cake hardly rose at all, but I’m fairly sure I over-pureed the cauliflower. By no lumps I assume you meant no BIG lumps, because no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t make it into a silky smooth puree.

    Other than not rising, the cake looked and tasted indulgent and the secret ingredient wasn’t discernible. The next day it’s a little chewy when cold but still quite tasty!

    • stephanie

      Kristina — it’s kind of magical huh? AMAZING! I think I might make this again for my 31st bday 🙂 Thanks for the reminder!

  • Joy

    My husband’s birthday is next week and I was looking for a healthy chocolate cake recipe.
    I am glad i found this as it looks wonderful! I was wondering if I could substitute coconut flour for the spelt flour and maple syrup for the coconut sugar.

    • stephanie

      Hi Joy — I’m obviously LATE LATE LATE! How did the cake turn out. Did you make it? A few quickie responses for next time:
      Coconut flour is super dry and requires MORE moisture, so swapping maple syrup for coconut sugar could help with this. I’d recommend adding an additional “moisture” element (like pureed fruit and a bit more oil). Also, coconut flour is like baking with bean flour (like chickpeas). It’s dense and won’t fluff the same spelt does, BUT it’s totally worth the try. Have fun!

  • Christina P.

    Is there a reason the cauliflower had to be frozen and not just fresh?

    • Wake the Wolves

      Hi Christina — yes…freezing the cauliflower and then thawing it out, will allow the vegetable to soften without having to cook it. I’m sure you can lightly steam it and then purée it, but it’s an extra step to cook (then cool). If you can plan ahead a bit, and throw it in the freezer, it will be a little less “work.” Looking forward to see how you enjoy it! -steph