Healthy Chocolate Therapy Cake (To Celebrate My 26th Birthday!)
Chocolate Therapy Cakes tend to be, well, “therapeutic” in the sense that the cake will immerse you into a deep, food- and sugar-induced coma. Therapy Cakes tend are pretty much the unhealthiest types of cakes out there so I understand if you rolled your eyes when you read “healthy” in the post title. Trust me, I’d think the same thing. But this one is different. This actually IS a Healthy Chocolate Therapy Cake! What better way to celebrate my 26th birthday??
Hint: There is no way.
For some reason I’m feeling really sentimental, so I’m gonna take you on a stroll down memory lane 🙂
It’s October 6th, 2018. At this point in time, I have been food blogging for almost exactly 7½ years… 7½ years!!! This blog and YOU, the person reading these very words I type, are what brings me joy every single day. If you’ve read My Story, you know how I started this blog as a freshman in college because I was trying to procrastinate studying from finals (what can I say, I’m a pro-procrastinator!). But what I’ve never really mentioned, because I was a little hesitant, was the state of my mind that day.
That fateful night when I created this blog, I was sitting in my college dormroom feeling completely alone. I was on the opposite side of the country from family and friends, attending college when I didn’t want to go in the first place, living in a state I’d never even step foot in before, feeling completely lost with zero drive, zero passion, and zero ambition. I was depressed, and honestly a little suicidal. I knew I wasn’t in a healthy place, and I knew I needed to find my way to that healthy place.
So I started a blog. And it turned my life right-side up.
This blog, the online community, and YOU — these are what fill me with so much love and purpose… these are the reasons why I decided to get better, stay in school, and keep on keeping on. This blog right here has given me hope, direction, passion, and a future. I owe y’all my life. It’s hard to type out these feelings, but I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m thankful beyond any words I can possibly form in a sentence.
I just want to share my passion for nutrition and dessert (and a mix of the two)! I’m blessed to have one, this blog as a portal to do so, and two, a loving and caring reader such as yourself who shares this passion 😘❤
Okay, okay. I’ll talk about the real reason you’re here now. This Healthy Chocolate Therapy Cake!
I’m sure you’re still raising an eyebrow… I mean, c’mon Jessica, be real for a minute please. A layered chocolate cake, with fluffy chocolate frosting, a thick topping of chocolate ganache, and real chopped chocolate to coat the sides? How can that possibly be good for you??
Oh, have some faith in me!
This Chocolate Therapy Cake is secretly nutritious. Yes, nutritious.
It’s made with healthy ingredients, none of the butter, zero white sugar, and absolutely none of the bleached flour. I used healthier alternatives to make this cake. The coconut flour is gluten free, low in carbs and high in fiber, the eggs are high in protein, full of vitamins and packed with essential minerals. The unsweetened applesauce provides both moisture and natural sweetness. And protein powder in the frosting? Oh yes 😉
Don’t worry, even though this cake is healthy, it still tastes good… OH SO GOOD!
This Healthy Chocolate Therapy Cake is rich, decadent, sweet, and chocolatey.
Certainly not the things we associate with healthy food, right? But we finally can now!
Healthy Chocolate Therapy Cake
- 224g (2 cups) Coconut Flour
- 80g (1 cup) Unsweetened Natural Cocoa Powder *
- 96g (½ cup) Granulated Erythritol
- 1½ tsp Double-Acting Baking Powder
- 1½ tsp Baking Soda
- ¼ tsp Salt
- 7 large Eggs
- 6 large Egg Whites
- 308g (1¼ cups) Unsweetened Applesauce
- 1 cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
- ⅓ cup Brewed Coffee (cooled to room temperature)
- 1½ tbs Vanilla Extract
- 1½ tsp Liquid Stevia Extract
- 1⅔ cups Light Coconut Milk (canned)
- 2 tsp Liquid Stevia Extract
- 2 tsp Natural Butter Flavor
- 1 tsp Vanilla Paste
- 210g (10 scoops) Chocolate Brown Rice Protein Powder
- 8 oz No-Sugar-Added Dark Chocolate (divided)
- 2 tbs Full Fat Coconut Milk (canned)
For the Cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, spray two 9 inch cake pans with cooking spray and line with parchment paper circles.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut flour, cocoa powder, erythritol, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg whites, applesauce, almond milk, coffee, vanilla extract, and stevia extract.
- Dump the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and whisk vigorously until there are no clumps.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for ~45 minutes**. Let the cakes cool in the pans for ~20 minutes, then flip them over onto wire cooling racks and let cool completely.
For the Frosting:
- In a stand mixer bowl fitted with a whisk attachment, add the coconut milk, stevia extract, butter flavor, and vanilla paste. Whisk on low for a few seconds, then turn the mixer off.
- Add the protein powder and return mixer to low speed. Gradually increase the speed to high. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix one last time.
- Frost the cake.
For the Garnish:
- In a microwave-safe bowl, add 4oz of the chocolate. Microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring between each one, until the chocolate is melted.
- Whisk in the coconut milk. Pour over the cake and spread it out on top.
- Chop the remaining 4oz of chocolate and pat it around the sides of the cake. Slice, serve, and enjoy!
What a beautiful sight.
You can totally have that extra slice of cake. My cake is lower calorie than typical chocolate cakes and doesn’t have any of the typical unhealthy baked good ingredients. It will make you feel like you’re cheating, but you’re not! 😉
With love and good eats,
This looks fantastic!! I can’t wait to try it. I have a question…with the frosting, do you think I could use Casein instead of the brown rice protein powder?
Hmmm, I haven’t tried it so I can’t be sure. Whey and casein protein powders tends to get really gooey so it might not hold up well. You can give it a shot, but you might need a few extra scoops to help it thicken. Just to be safe, I would give it a taste before frosting the cake. Good luck!
what can i used instead of the butter extract?
You can use extra vanilla paste or vanilla extract 🙂
Happy birthday! This is absolutely one of the best healthy decadent baking blogs, and this cake totally illustrates that! Looks soooo yummy 🙂 I love how you’ve used easy-to-find ingredients, I don’t live in the US so it’s sometimes difficult to find some ingredients you use, but this is 100% executable!
This looks like chocolate cake heaven! 🙂 Thanks for creating this lovely recipe.
How gorgeous and delicious!!!! Holy cow, that would be the perfect piece of therapy for me. And totally healthy?! That cake could solve any problem in the world. 🙂
How gorgeous and delicious!!!! Holy cow, that would be the perfect piece of therapy for me. And totally healthy?! That cake could solve any problem in the world.
Your cake looks stunning!
I am certain it would taste as good as it looks, or even better!
This would be awesome for the low carb people if you left it FULL FAT and cut the carbs some way??? I guess this is a plea for help, it looks so good. 🙂
For a lower carb cake, you can try using canned pumpkin puree instead of applesauce 🙂
wow it looks amazing!
Oh my. I need therapy!
hi stevia does not agree with us. can you recommend s sweetener alternative that does not have chemicals
I use organic stevia, which does not contain chemicals. I don’t know of any substitutes… 2 tsp of stevia has the sweetness of 2 cups of sugar, and if you were to use a granulated sweetener (such as Sucanat or Coconut Sugar, it would absorb a lot of liquid and the cake would turn out dry 🙁
I haven’t tried this substitution in the cake, but you can give this a shot:
-Omit the stevia
-Add 1 cup Coconut Sugar
-Add 1 cup of Agave Nectar
I hope these substitutions work out for you!
this looks amazing! i’m planning on making it tomorrow and have a quick question: did you use natural or dutch processed cocoa powder? thanks!
Yay I’m so glad you’re gonna make the cake! I used natural cocoa powder, not Dutch processed. Sorry for the confusion! I hope you like the recipe 🙂
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I totally gonna make this cake. It looks so seductive! Any chance there’s an alternative to the apple sauce to lower the sugar content just a tad more? Hopefully without drying out the cake. Thanks so much for the recipe!
Thanks so much Shelby! I haven’t tried replacing the applesauce, but you can try using 100% Pure Pumpkin Puree instead. Because pumpkin is thicker than applesauce, you will also need to add ~3 more tablespoons of almond milk 🙂
I hope you like the cake!!
Do you think this would freeze well>
Absolutely! I’d recommend wrapping the cake after baking, when it’s just slightly warm to the touch, so you can lock in some of the moisture, and freeze in an airtight container. Hope you like the cake!
HOw many tsp of egg replacer should i use instead! as I’m allergic to egg
I’m afraid there isn’t a substitute for eggs in this recipe. There are too many required and they help with leavening, binding and the texture 🙂
Could this be made in a 9×13 instead of layers?
Absolutely! The baking time might be different so be sure to keep an eye on it while it’s in the oven 🙂
I hope you like the recipe!
This looks AMAZIIIIINGGG! Way to go :)) is there anyway I could substitute the brewed coffee by any chance?
Awww thanks! And yes, you can substitute the coffee with more almond milk 🙂
Hope you like the cake!
What would work instead of protein powder?
There’s no substitute for the protein powder because it acts as a binder 🙁
I have some other frosting recipes that you might want to check out though!
This is amazing! I can’t believe there is no sugar or fat added to this recipe. So clean tasting and I love that I can have a BIG slice and not feel sugar jitters. I made this for my 5 year olds birthday cake and she loved it. Thank you so much for sharing your recipes! You have saved me in a world full of sugar crazy, and box processed cake recipes.
I recently was diagnosed with an allergy to Stevia in all forms, due to it being in the same family as ragweed. Can Erythritol be substituted?
Sorry to hear about your allergy! I’m scared 2 cups of erythritol would dry out the cake.
I haven’t tried this, but I’d recommend replacing the 2 tsp of stevia with 1 cup of erythritol PLUS 1 cup of honey/pure maple syrup/agave. I hope this works for you! 🙂
Hey! I was looking for coconut flour recipes and low in fat and sugar as well, and finally I found the best recipe untel now to make me more exited to try the coconut flour! However, I have 2 questions if you don’t mind: can I use homemade coconut flour? For the chocolate powder do you think if I reduced the amount it will turn good? What if I used chocolate protein powder instead of chocolate powder? Really sorry my questions seems stupid but I never used coconut flour before. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe!
Yay! Glad you found this recipe 😀
I’ve never heard of homemade coconut flour (that’s awesome!), so I can’t be sure if that would work… I wouldn’t recommend using it just in case it doesn’t turn out.
I think you can reduce the amount of cocoa powder (let’s say, 2/3 cup?), but I definitely wouldn’t using chocolate protein powder instead. Protein powder would dry out the cake. I wish it was possible though! Then I’d be baking a bajillion protein cakes 😉
Dear Jessica, Your cake looks amazing. I was specifically looking for a chocolate cake which was sweetened with stevia.
I baked the cake part this evening. I followed the recipe to the letter, but when it came to pour the batter, it wasn’t pourable. It was thick and had to be spread in the pan. And the batter didn’t rise at all.
I’m wondering if I could have made the batter more pourable before putting it in the cake pan and perhaps had better results. Would the addition of more eggs, egg whites and/or applesauce have been a solution, or would the batter have needed a bit more baking powder and/or baking soda to compensate? Thanks for any suggestions you can give me. Best wishes, Mike
This cake batter isn’t pourable like typical cake batters because of the coconut flour but the cake should have risen in the oven. What was the texture of the cake like after baking?
It looked more like a brownie than a cake layer but wasn’t brownie-like inside. It was cooked but very dense and heavy. When I broke it apart, is behaved a bit like a flat scone or moist heavy cookie. The ingredients are so radically differnt for me in terms of those I have baked with when I baked cakes with the usual sugar, flour, butter, oil ingredients. Thanks so much for your answer. Best wishes, Mike
Your results don’t sound at all like what I experienced in my kitchen… and I’ve made this cake multiple times so I’m not sure what went wrong. Did you measure your ingredients by weight using a kitchen scale?
Thanks again for your feedback. I didn’t measure by weight. I have a kitchen scale but it is ounces and pounds. I never dawned on me the 224g meant a weigh measure in grams. What I will do is check out other recipes you have created and might attempt one of those. Thanks again and best wishes. Mike
hello, can I use normal cake flour instead of coconut flour and yogurt instead of applesauce? will the subsitution be the same? thanks
I’m afraid not. Coconut flour absorbs a lot of liquid, unlike cake flour, and yogurt bakes off differently than applesauce.
Jessica, I made this. And it was ah-mazing. I was totally prepared for it to be a flop because I am a terrible cook (and baker) and the batter looked too thick when I put it into the oven. I kept telling myself not to be disappointed but OMG, it was fantastic. It looked like a chocolate cake, it smelt like a chocolate cake and what’s more, it tasted like a chocolate cake (that’s like a record for me). I halved the recipe as the number of eggs sounded too high to me and now I wish I hadn’t. I also skipped the butter flavour and used cocoa instead of protein powder in the frosting because those things are not available in India but it was still really good. Thank you for a great recipe.
I can’t tell you how happy your comment just made me!! I’m so glad the recipe worked out for you and I’m even happier that you liked it 🙂
Thanks for baking the cake and letting me know how it turned out!
I would love to try your cake, but living in Austria I can’t find liquid egg whites. Do you think this cake would work with all whole eggs?:)
Thank you so much! Your blog is awesome!
Hi Anna! This recipe doesn’t call for liquid egg whites, it calls for the whites from 6 fresh eggs 🙂
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Can I find out the nutritional value of this cake. Especially carbs and fat content
I didn’t calculate the nutrition facts for this particular recipe, but feel free to do so! 🙂
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Happy Birthday!! I love you recipes and have made so many of your treats. Hope you have a great day 🙂
Awwww thank you so so much Dawn! You just made my morning! <3
Happy birthday Jessica!!!!! The cake looks amazing and I can’t wait to try it:) Thank you for creating healthy, delicious recipes and sharing them with us.
Thank you Norma!! Hope you love the cake <3 🙂
Happy birthday Jess! You have a beautiful and creative blog with the most amazing recipes. This cake definitely does your birthday celebration justice. I hope you have the best birthday ever!
I had an amazing bday weekend, thank you so much Cassie! You are the sweetest 🙂
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I found this recipe while browsing Pinterest…your photography is stunning! I am so intrigued by the idea of a healthy chocolate cake, I am most certainly going to try this! Thanks for the yummy recipe ❤
Just tried this yesterday and I love it! 😍 Thanks 😘
This is a really good chocolate cake recipe. I made one last night for a party I had full of personal trainers and they all loved it. Of course, we did a few squats after but still pretty guilt free given the natural ingredients.
Awwww Scott you totally just made my day! So glad you all liked the cake 🙂
Dear Jessica: I Loved this cake recipe!
I made it on the second day of the religious fast. I kept it since your birthday and tried it today when I’m in need! I Meringued the 6 egg whites and folded them in last. It helped the poring consistency of the batter, and raised the cake higher. The box cakes are too sweet for me and this cake is satisfyingly pleasing to my taste. Thank you.
Omg this makes me so happy!! I’m glad you liked the cake 🙂
Great idea with whipping the egg whites for extra fluff!
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