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Healthy Chocolate Cake (whole wheat, gluten-free, vegan options)

This healthy chocolate cake is super moist, made a little healthier with whole wheat flour and is honey-sweetened. Can also be made gluten-free or vegan!

Author Erin @ Food Doodles

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (320 grams) honey* or 2 cups (400 gram) granulated sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups (210 grams) whole spelt flour, whole wheat flour, white whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour or 1 3/4 cups (236 gram) Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1 gluten-free baking flour for a gluten-free version
  • 3/4 cup (85 grams) cocoa powder (I prefer Dutch-process)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs (50 grams each, out of shell or 2 chia eggs** for vegan)
  • 1 cup (240 milliliters) milk of choice***
  • 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) olive oil (or another neutral-tasting vegetable oil that's liquid at room temp)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (240 milliliters) boiling water (this is not a typo!)

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 °F (167 °C). If not using honey (which bakes quicker than sugar, hence the lower temperature), preheat to 350 °F (175 °C).

  2. Line a 9"x13" pan with a piece of parchment paper.

  3. In a large bowl, stir together the sugar (if using honey, don’t add it yet), flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

  4. Add eggs, milk, honey (if using), olive oil and vanilla. Mix for 2 minutes on medium and then stir in the boiling water. The batter will be almost as thin as water. Pour into the parchment-lined pan.

  5. The bake time will vary widely depending on what combination of sugar / eggs / flour you use. The whole wheat / egg / honey version took 48 minutes. The gluten-free / chia egg / honey version only took 22 minutes. For the gluten-free or egg-free versions, I recommend to start checking at 20 minutes and then every 5 minutes after that. Otherwise, start checking at 30 minutes and every 5 minutes after that. Bake until a toothpick comes out with some moist crumbs, but no liquid.

  6. Let cool completely before frosting (frosting recipe is down below).

Recipe Notes

* You can use whatever type of milk you'd like. If you use canned coconut milk, water it down using 1/3 cup coconut milk and 2/3 cup water so that it's runny like regular milk. If you need this cake to be dairy-free or vegan, make sure to use dairy-free milk.
** If using raw honey that's crystallized, you can just measure it out into the bowl where you're mixing all the liquids, and let it sit for 5 minutes. That worked for me.
*** To make a chia egg, mix together 2 tablespoons of ground chia seed with 6 tablespoons of water. Let sit for about minute until goopy like a regular egg.