Healthy dark chocolate cake & fudge frosting… Words you never thought you’d hear together! 😀 I was not planning to post this recipe, but it turned out SO GOOD! I had to share!
I try to avoid processed sugar and wheat, so finding a truly delicious and decadent dessert recipe with those standards can be pretty difficult!
Especially when it comes to frosting. I love a good buttercream or cream cheese frosting, but as anyone who has made frosting knows, it requires a TON of confectioners sugar! As I shared in my blog post about doing an elimination diet, confectioners sugar gives me a sharp headache almost every time I consume it. Farewell to the days of puppy chow, whipped frostings, and almost every tasty holiday treat! 🙁
This dark chocolate cake & fudge frosting recipe is a fabulous dessert option during holidays, birthday parties, and special occasions. Best of all? No guilt or sugar-induced headaches!
Healthy Dark Chocolate Cake & Fudge Frosting
- 1 3/4 Cups Gluten-Free Oat Flour or grind oatmeal in food processor until fine flour develops
- 1/3 Cup Vanilla or Chocolate Protein Powder or substitute 1 tsp Xanthan Gum, 1/4 c Potato or Corn Starch, & 1/4 c Additional Oat Flour
- 3/4 Cup Cocoa
- 2 tsp Baking Soda
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Salt
- 2 Eggs
- 1 Cup Soured Milk or Buttermilk I use unsweetened plain almond milk, sour milk by adding 2 Tbsp White Vinegar
- 1 Cup Strong Black Coffee or 2 tsp instant coffee plus 1 cup boiling water
- 12 Dates pitted
- 1/2 Cup Canola or Coconut Oil melted
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 4 Dates pitted
- 1/2 Cup Creamy Natural Cashew Butter or nut butter of choice, using peanut butter will provide a nice peanut butter chocolate flavor
- 1/4 Cup Cocoa Powder
- 1/8 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 tsp Honey or Maple Syrup
- Plain unsweetened Almond Milk, as needed
- Preheat oven to 350f. Grease 2 9″ round pans, or 12 lined cupcake tins, with coconut oil.
- In small sauce pan, boil 1 cup coffee. Chop pitted dates and add to boiling coffee. Remove from heat and allow dates to soak in the coffee for at least 10 minutes while preparing the remaining cake ingredients.
- In medium bowl (or electric stand mixer bowl), add the Oat Flour, Protein Powder (or substitute ingredients), Cocoa, Baking Soda, Baking Powder, and Salt. Whisk thoroughly until well combined.
- Add soured Milk (or buttermilk), Oil, and Vanilla extract. Mix for a few minutes until combined.
- Add eggs one at a time, whisking thoroughly after each, until smooth batter forms.
- Using an immersion blender or a smoothie blender, puree the coffee/date mixture until dates are smooth. Gradually pour this coffee and date mixture into the cake batter, mixing until silky smooth.
- Pour cake batter into prepared and greased cake pans.
- Bake cakes for 30-40 minutes (or 20-25 minutes for cupcakes) until done and inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool in cake pans for 5-10 minutes before removing from pans to finish cooling on cooling racks.
- Chop pitted dates in small bowl and cover with boiling water. Allow to soak for at least 10 minutes until softened.
- In food processor or smoothie blender, puree the softened dates, honey or maple, vanilla, and nut butter. Add 1-2 tablespoon of almond milk if needed to obtain smooth mixture.
- In small bowl, blend the date/nut butter mixture with cocoa powder and salt.
- Add almond milk or cocoa powder as needed to create frosting consistency.
Discovering recipes like this one gives me hope!! 🙂 It is actually possible to indulge in my love for baking (and dark chocolate) without compromising my health during the holidays or parties!
There are so many possibilities with this healthy dark chocolate cake & fudge frosting recipe! If you’d like to get fancier, you can try
- Adding toasted pecans for a “Turtle” twist
- Toasted coconut flakes
- Chocolate chunks or peanut butter swirled into the cake
- For an “adult” dark Bourbon infused flavor, try adding a Tablespoon of Bourbon with the coffee
If you loved this healthy dark chocolate cake & fudge frosting recipe, you may also be interested in my recipes for delicious Gluten Free Double Chocolate Banana Bread and my go-to Double Chocolate Protein Cookies for Two! For those double-the-chocolate kind of days… 😉
Oh my word…tasted this today…AMAZING!!! Absolutely delicious! I cannot believe this is gluten and sugar-free! Thank you for posting this recipe!
I’m so glad you liked it, Stephanie!! 😀 I love having healthy “no guilt” dessert options! Please let me know if you ever have suggestions for other recipes I should try- I always love to find new ones!
I’ll be trying this for sure!! ❤️
Hello, Ms. Dana!! <3 I hope you enjoy it, please let me know how it goes! It's one of our favorites. 🙂
love this recipe! I’m always looking for great new dessert recipes – thanks to my sweet tooth!
So true, Saudia! I have a sweet tooth as well, so I’m always seeking healthier ways to satisfy those cravings!! ? Enjoy!! XOXO
This cake was absolutely phenomenal! So delicious, light and moist. I couldn’t believe how the texture of the cake seemed just like a regular cake! That is something that’s definitely lacking in other gluten free cake recipes I’ve tried in the past. I didn’t try the frosting and just ate it plain (I was just in a hurry for some cake!) but I definitely will next time I make it! I would add a couple more dates to the cake to make it a little sweeter if I wasn’t having frosting, but with some canned coconut milk drizzled on the top it was great! Thank you for this recipe that will be my new go-to healthy cake recipe!
I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Rachel! 🙂 This is one of my favorite recipes too! I find that the sweetness can vary depending on the ripeness, size, and variety of dates used, but it gets easier to know how many you need to use after making it a couple of times! 🙂 Happy baking! XOXO
Can you help please, the substitution of the Protein powder is not clear. Do I replace it with 1tsp xanthan gum and 1/4 c corn starch?
Hi Pam, I’m sorry for the confusion regarding substitution (I’m actually working on re-writing this recipe without protein powder to help people make it with great results- so stay tuned!) … basically, you want to add just a bit of xanthan gum (a little less than a teaspoon), 1/4 cup cornstarch, and 1/4 cup oat flour to create the thickening reaction that the protein powder would have provided. OR: If you have a gluten free flour blend on-hand that already has xanthan or guar gum in it, then you could also add about 1/3 cup of the gluten free flour blend + one Tablespoon of cornstarch or tapioca starch. I hope this was helpful. Sorry for the delay in responding- and check back if you’d like to try my updated paleo version that should be published by the beginning of February! 🙂
This recipe looks amazing – something I’ll try making for my kiddo as she loves chocolate cake and I love the idea of making it healthy. What a great idea to use dates as the main sweetener – brilliant!
Thanks Kristina! We try to use dates and other natural sweeteners as much as possible. Much better for you and they taste great!
These pictures make me want to eat a slice of this cake right now! Looks delicious
Thank you so much Lillian!