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Healthy Chocolate Cake

This Dairy-Free Healthy Chocolate Cake is moist and dense, rich and super chocolatey. We’ve packed it with a whole flax meal, extra virgin olive oil, and no butter – so it’s not only incredibly delicious but also much healthier than most cakes!

A slice of chocolate bundt cake on a plate next to a glass of milk.
This Healthy Chocolate Cake is rich, moist, and densely chocolatey. It’s healthy yet indulgent,

Video: Watch Us Make This Recipe

Why This Recipe Stands Out

We all love a good chocolate cake, but how often is it both delicious and healthy? This healthy chocolate cake is a game-changer. Here’s why this recipe works:

  • Simple: You likely have all the ingredients in your pantry already, just like this One Bowl Chocolate Cake.
  • Healthier: This cake is packed with whole flax meal, extra virgin olive oil, and Omega-3, just like our Healthy Blueberry Muffins.
  • Versatile: You can top it with any frosting you like or just sprinkle it with powdered sugar, similar to our Brown Sugar Cookies.
  • Moist and Rich: The use of oil in the batter results in a cake that stays moist and rich for days, reminiscent of Chocolate Kahlua Cake.

Key Recipe Ingredients

Ingredients for a healthy chocolate cake on a black table.
  • Flour – We use all-purpose flour, which gives the cake structure and stability.
  • Dutch Process Cocoa – This is what gives our cake its rich, dark chocolate flavor.
  • Whole Flax Meal – Packed with Omega-3 fatty acids, it’s a healthy addition to our cake.
  • Instant Espresso Powder – It enhances the chocolate flavor in the cake without adding a coffee flavor. Decaffeinated espresso powder is great, too.
  • Granulated Sugar – Sweetens the cake, using natural sweetener to make it healthier.
  • Large Eggs – They provide structure and stability to the cake.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil – It adds moisture to the cake without using butter, making it incredibly moist and delicious.
  • Pure Vanilla Extract – It enhances the chocolate flavor and adds a sweet aroma.
  • Mini Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips – These are optional but highly recommended for an extra dose of chocolate.

Substitutions And Variations

This healthy chocolate cake recipe is incredibly versatile. Here are some tasty substitution and variation ideas:

  • Flour: You can swap all-purpose flour with white whole wheat flour for a healthier version.
  • Gluten-Free: To make this cake gluten-free, use a gluten-free flour blend like we did for our Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies.
  • Espresso Powder: If you don’t have instant espresso powder, you can use instant coffee powder. Decaffeinated instant coffee powder is fine, too.
  • Dairy-Free: For a dairy-free version, simply use dairy-free chocolate chips.
  • Add-ins: Feel free to add your favorite mix-ins to the batter prior to baking. Ideas include toasted shredded coconut, roasted chopped walnuts or pecans, or even a cup of freshly shredded/drained zucchini. Keep in mind you may need to increase bake time with certain add-ins.

Step-By-Step Recipe Instructions

  1. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk well to combine.
  2. Add eggs, oil, and vanilla to the dry ingredients and beat until smooth.
  1. Slowly add water and beat until smooth.
  2. Pour the batter into the greased/floured Bundt pan. Bake in a preheated oven at 350F for 40-43 minutes.
  1. Cool the cake on a wire rack, then carefully use a thin knife to loosen the edges. Invert the cake, gently but firmly tap, and remove the cake.
  2. Use any drizzle or frosting you like, or simply sprinkle generously with powdered sugar.

For full list of ingredients and instructions, see recipe card below.

How To Prep Ahead

This healthy chocolate cake is the perfect make-ahead dessert. Take a look at our favorite prep-ahead strategies for this recipe:

  • Pre-Mix: Dry ingredients can be combined and stored in an airtight container at moderate room temperature for up to a week.
  • Freeze: You can freeze this healthy chocolate cake for up to 1 month. Simply wrap it well in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place it in the freezer. When you’re ready to enjoy it, let it thaw at room temperature.
  • Make Ahead: This cake keeps well at room temperature, so you can bake it a day or two in advance. Just make sure to store it in an airtight container.
A healthy chocolate bundt cake on a plate with a slice taken out.
This healthy chocolate cake is wonderful for breakfast, plain, with a cup of coffee.

Commonly Asked Questions

Can I use white whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour?

Absolutely! White whole wheat flour is a great healthy alternative to all-purpose flour. It will give the cake a slightly denser texture and a nuttier flavor, but it will still be delicious.

What is the purpose of adding espresso powder to the cake?

The espresso powder enhances the chocolate flavor of the cake. It provides a wonderful depth, but doesn’t make the cake taste like coffee at all. It just makes the chocolate flavor more intense and rich.

Can I use a different type of pan for this cake?

Yes, you can. You can use a 9×13-inch pan or two 8 or 9-inch round cake pans. Just make sure to adjust the baking time accordingly.

How long does Healthy Chocolate Cake keep?

This Healthy Chocolate Cake can be kept for up to 3 days at mild room temperature. You can keep it longer when stored airtight in the fridge. Make sure to cover it well to prevent it from drying out.

Can I freeze chocolate cake?

Absolutely! Let cake fully cool at room temperature. Then, wrap it airtight and freeze for up to a month.

Did you make this?

Please give us a rating and comment below. We love hearing from you!

Healthy Chocolate Cake

5 from 23 ratings
This Healthy Chocolate Cake is rich, moist, and densely chocolatey. It's healthy yet indulgent. Perfect for dessert with frosting and ice cream. Wonderful for breakfast, plain, with a cup of coffee. The cake is even better the next day.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 12
Author: Amy Dong



  • Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and preheat to 350F. Grease and flour a Bundt pan.
  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, flax meal, espresso powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar. Whisk to combine well.
  • To the same bowl, add eggs, oil, and vanilla. Beat just until smooth.
  • Slowly add water and beat just until smooth. Fold in chocolate chips. Pour batter into greased/floured Bundt pan.
  • Bake for 40-43 minutes or just until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out almost clean, with a few tender crumbs attached.
  • Cool cake in the pan on a wire rack. Once cake is completely cooled, carefully use a thin knife to loosen edges. Invert cake, gently but firmly tap and remove the cake.


  • Use any drizzle or frosting you like, or simply sprinkle generously with powdered sugar.
  • Cake keeps well if covered airtight at room temp. You can also freeze it in an airtight container for up to one month. 
  • Adding whole flax meal to your cake not only boosts its nutritional value but also adds a pleasant, nutty flavor. If you’d like, you can substitute with ground chia seeds. 
  • Instant espresso powder is a secret ingredient that can take your chocolate cake to the next level. It intensifies the chocolate flavor without adding a coffee flavor, making your cake richer and more decadently chocolaty.
  • Don’t skip the step of greasing and flouring a Bund pan. This will ensure that your cake doesn’t stick to the pan and comes out beautifully shaped.
  • When adding the dry ingredients to the wet ones, do it gradually. This will help you avoid lumps in the batter and make sure that everything is well incorporated.
  • Be careful not to over-mix the batter. Over-mixing can make the cake tough instead of light and fluffy.
  • See original article for ideas for variations and add-ins. 
  • Cool your cake completely before adding any drizzle or frosting. 
  • If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and give it a rating. We ❤️ hearing from you! 
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Nutrition (per serving)

Calories: 381kcal | Carbohydrates: 52.2g | Protein: 6.1g | Fat: 16.8g | Saturated Fat: 3.2g | Cholesterol: 62mg | Sodium: 326.9mg | Fiber: 3.5g | Sugar: 34.2g
Course: cake, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegetarian
Method: baking

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  • Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake This Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake will forever change the way you think about mousse cakes! This cake is rich yet light, decadent yet melt-in-your-mouth.
  • Chocolate Zucchini CakeIndulgently rich, this chocolate zucchini cake is surprisingly healthy too! It has the perfect balance of moisture and rich chocolate flavors that satiate your sweet tooth.

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