Healthy recipe: One-bowl chocolate cake

Yield: 12 servings

Servings: 12

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Recipe Description:


This easy-to-make chocolate cake is dark, moist, rich—and only dirties one bowl! Not quite as easy as boxed cake mixes, but those often contain trans fats. Our simple “from scratch” recipe gives you a home-baked cake with healthful canola oil and whole-wheat flour.

Recipe Ingredients:

  1. 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole-wheat pastry flour (see Ingredient Note)
  2. 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  3. 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  4. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  5. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  6. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  7. 1/2 cup nonfat buttermilk (see Tip)
  8. 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  9. 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  10. 2 tablespoons canola oil
  11. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  12. 1/2 cup hot strong black coffee
  13. Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Recipe Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray. Line the pan with a circle of wax paper.
  2. Whisk flour, granulated sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add buttermilk, brown sugar, egg, oil and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add hot coffee and beat to blend. (The batter will be quite thin.) Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake the cake until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes; remove from the pan, peel off the wax paper and let cool completely. Dust the top with confectioners’ sugar before slicing.

Recipe Tips & Notes:

  1. Ingredient Note: Whole-wheat pastry flour, lower in protein than regular whole-wheat flour, has less gluten-forming potential, making it a better choice for tender baked goods. You can find it in the natural-foods section of large super markets and natural-foods stores. Store in the freezer.
  2. Tip: No buttermilk? You can use buttermilk powder prepared according to package directions. Or make “sour milk”: mix 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar to 1 cup milk.

Recipe Nutrition:


Per serving: 139 calories; 3 g fat (0 g sat, 2 g mono); 18 mg cholesterol; 27 g carbohydrate; 2 g protein; 2 g fiber; 212 mg sodium; 62 mg potassium

1 1/2 Carbohydrate Servings

Exchanges: 1 1/2 other carbohydrate