Say, would you like a little chocolate cake with that chocolate fudge frosting? :)
This recipe is great because you can soak the flour to break down the phytates if you want. Or if you don’t, that’s okay too.
Buttermilk Whole Wheat Chocolate Cake
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/3 cups sucanat
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup melted coconut oil or melted butter
1 1/3 cups buttermilk
Chocolate Fudge Frosting
If you choose to soak your flour, mix the 2 cups of whole wheat flour with the 1 1/3 cups buttermilk. Cover and allow this mixture to soak overnight on the countertop. Add remaining ingredients (everything but the frosting, that is) and bake as directed.
Mix dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Add eggs, oil or butter and buttermilk. Mix with beaters until batter is smooth and well mixed.
Work very hard to avoid grabbing a spoon and eating the entire batter directly out of the bowl before it has been baked.
Butter two round cake pans or one 9×13 inch cake pan.
Bake round cakes at 350° for 25-30 or a 9×13 inch cake for 35-40 minutes. OR, leave the cakes in the oven until a toothpick poked in the middle comes out clean. Every oven is different, right?
Allow the cakes to cool completely before removing them from the pans. I used a butter knife to loosen the edges from the sides of the pan. Place the cakes on plates.
Did I forget to mention that you would need some of this Chocolate Fudge Frosting? Oh yes, you DO need a batch of this Chocolate Fudge Frosting. Plop a nice amount of frosting on one cake and spread it around well.
Carefully place the other layer of cake on top of the frosted layer.
Oh look…it’s a chocolate fudge sandwich!!
Plop another nice amount of frosting on top of the second layer. Carefully spread the frosting over the top and sides. This step is not very easy for me and I’m usually messy and have to lick my fingers. Bummer.
Ah, a slice of chocolate heaven…
I will work (sometime within the coming months) to come up with a white cake and white frosting. However, when you’re using whole wheat flour and sucanat, the results are not going to be white. Anyone up for a Tan Cake? Mmm, sounds good to me!
Get ready to share YOUR recipes Friday!!! Can’t wait to see what you’re going to share!!!
You are killing me here… oh my GOSH… Chocolate!! Printing now…making this weekend :)
Now I don’t have an excuse to eat all the frosting with a spoon! Ahh! :)
Wow! I am SO tempted to make this right now! That looks awesome!
I will share this with my cake-baking daughter =) Thanks for the whole wheat help, Laura!
please pass the cake!
Ashley Godoy says
This looks splendid! Nice work!
looks so easy!! Thanks for sharing!
What a dark, rich looking slice of cake!
yum yum yum! looks really yummy. thanks for the chocolate cake recipe, we will defineately try this one
That looks yummy! And I have everything here, may just need to make tomorrow. God bless – Holly
This looks really fudgey. I can’t wait. Thanks!
The batter looks so light and fluffy, which makes a great cake. Could I convince myself that this is healthy like your breakfast cake :)
Thanks for another great recipe.
Another one for my “to try” list! Thanks! :)
That looks really yummy! Thanks for sharing!
Oh, My Goodness!!!!!! That is what I said when I saw the beautiful cake. My son is going through cancer and that looks like the best thing on earth compared to our circumstances. I wish you lived next door to my family because we would be right over in a second with a gallon of ice cold milk to go with that Yummmmmmmmy sweet confection!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Carol E. says
Wow, does that look like my new “go to” recipe for chocolate cake.
Sara R. says
Yum! My baby’s first birthday is coming up, and I’ve been looking for healthier cake recipes that actually taste good…since it’s you posting it I know this one will be delicious! I think I’ve found my winner!
Can’t wait to give this a try!!
Cindy Dukes says
Yum! I will definitely try this for the birthdays we have coming up. My little one loved the chocolate cake I made last year from your cocoa cookbook. I’m sure we’ll love this, too! Thanks!
Have you ever made it with anything except buttermilk? As someone without dairy, I haven’t really ventured into the soaking thing, because almost all of the recipes call for dairy and I am not sure how to sub out…. In regular recipes I use rice or almond milk, but not sure if it would work as buttermilk even with lemon juice added… Any one know??
If you aren’t soaking this, you wouldn’t have to use buttermilk, just plain milk would be fine. SO, I think it would probably be good with almond or rice milk too. I THINK anyway!
Ooh, this looks delicious! I was looking for a healthier version of chocolate cake for my son’s September birthday… but I’m okay with making another cake just because. :)
Jessica Bish says
oh man that looks good!!!
Dem @ Pleasures of Prairie Life says
Wow, this looks AMAZING. I can’t wait to try it!
Katie M. says
Oh my, this looks absolutely deicious- THANK YOU!
I would so so so LOVE a tan cake recipe. We need something a little lighter than chocolate.
Looks amazing!!! :)
By grace of God, I have leftover buttermilk for some reason. My flour is spending the night in some & can’t wait to bake some cake tomorrow! May even stick some gummy worms coming out and call it ‘dirt cake’ for the kids :)
Wow, this will definitely be the cake and frosting for my 3-year-old’s birthday!
Bethany B. says
Thank you so much for this!!!
Yum! This looks delicious! I will definitely be trying this!
I am looking forward to trying this!!! Nummers
Didn’t know I could make powder sugar at home and now you share the chocolate cake recipe. Just want you to know I do have to homeschool!! I have been spending SO much time in the kitchen and loving all of your recipes. My children keep asking when we can make more apple pies. I only have 2 bags left in the freezer. Thank you so much for sharing. My family has really enjoyed all of your recipes.
This sounds like it would turn out similar to the sour cream (real raw cow’s milk cream gone sour) chocolate cake we used to make all the time while I was growing up. I’m going to have to try this, soaking and all, just to see!
Pam F. says
That looks amazing. It will be hard not to make that this weekend.
Merry Jo says
Sounds so good ~ and healthy! :)
Wow! That looks sooo good. I’ll have to find a way to make it gluten free and dairy free!
Yum!! Ya know, we’re supposed to celebrate my mom’s b-day tonight I think I might just NEED to give this recipe a try!
This looks incredible! My layer cakes always end up with crumbs stuck in the icing, so they look kinda chunky. Guess I just need to use more icing. :-)
Seriously! Yum-o! I hope that I need to bake a chocolate cake real soon because I don’t know how long I can wait to try the cake/frosting combo!!!
It always makes me laugh when I hear people say they can’t make any cake for X birthday because they don’t have any mix. I’ll send them your way next time!
this looks yummy, my little one’s birthday is coming up next week, I am going to try and make this cake.
This just might be my son’s birthday cake for his 3rd birthday. By that time I will be about ready to have another baby so I don’t know if I will be up for baking, but we shall see.
This looks delicious!!!! I am totally making this.
I just made my first cake with rapadura (i think it is the same as sucanat) and coconut oil for my lil girl’s first bday. It came out great! Thanks for giving me the courage to sub ingredients.
THIS LOOKS SO YUMMY!!! I can’t wait to try it!!
WOW—– I am sooooooo making this over the weekend. My kids will forever LOVE you for sharing this recipe.
Yum! I can’t wait to try this!!
Sounds wonderful! I just might have to make this for this weekend!!
I’m hesitant to set before my husband something that good-looking that’s whole wheat! He may feel cheated or he may love it!! Guess I’ll never know until I give it a try… Thanks, Laura!
This looks so incredibly good! Can’t wait to try it!
p.s. Bring on the tan cake!
Wow… chocolate on top of chocolate with a little chocolate tucked inside! Nice!
This is a bad week to ask you questions, I think :>) but have you tried sprouting your wheat (especially now that you have a dehydrator)? I did it once, following the Cardamom’s Pod guest post at Kitchen Stewardship here) and it was very easy… doesn’t grinding that and using right away give you pretty much the same result as soaking?
Oh, yum! I can’t wait to make this recipe soon! I love healthy chocolate cake recipes. Keep em coming!
YUUUUUUUM!!! I can’t wait to make this cake! I just love this blog….I’ve been tryng new things almost every day – yay. And, I FINALLY found sucanat!! whoo hoo – if I like it I will prob order the next batch online to save $.
Robyn O. says
Mmm. Can I just come to your house for dinner?
Thinking this may make a good Halloween treat for my family this weekend. Have never made a sweet treat using just whole wheat flour, so curious if anyone notices.
Carissa White says
How often do you usually make sweets for your family?
I love this recipe and will hopefully be making it soon.
Just made this cake (times two) for my sons’ birthday party tomorrow! :)
Healthy chocolate cake? Seems like an oxymoron. But I think I’m going to have to find some sucanat – and soon!
Charlotte Moore says
Those cake layers really look moist!!! I need to try this. I am not much for chocolate on chocolate, but I think I could it plain while it is warm…..
I did make a chocolate zucchini bread this summer and it was yummy. I used whole wheat flour and sucanat.
Anything chocolate, anytime–spells good to me. Thank you for healthier ways to eat it. Tan cake sounds good too!
yeah, i’m afraid i would eat the whole thing….it looks so good! i’ll have to make it for a birthday!
Hummm! It looks delicious and perfect for my son’s birthday. What are the benefits of soaking the flour?
Here’s a post that explains that a bit more: https://www.heavenlyhomemakers.com/soaking-those-grainswhat-is-that-about
Jennifer S. says
Now could you please come up with a healthy cherry pie filling so I can make Black Forest Cake. :)
My daughter is lactose sensitive – could this be made with rice/almond milk + vinegar?
Yes, I don’t know why not!
erin fugal says
i’m making this today for my sons birthday. I see there is no salt needed. I’m going to use salted butter this time and try the recipe as is…but, is there supposed to be salt in the ingredient list? if so…how much
No salt needed, although your salted butter is fine to use!
Hope your cake turned out yummy!
This looks good! I was just wondering if you had ever used any other types of whole grain flours. I like to use a variety of grains in my recipes if I can. I have used barley flour (from hulled barley, not the pearled kind)for many of my quickbreads. It seems to produce a lighter texture for me.
I don’t have much experience in this area, I almost always use whole wheat. A friend of mine is experimenting with other grains and has found that often her cookies are crumblier, but the recipe still tastes good!
So I have had this recipie for months now and made this cake two days ago and OH MY GOSH! My husband says this needs to be made weekly so he can lick the bowl and then indulge in this teriffic cake!
Since you have experience making this cake, have you tried any substitutions?
Have you tried honey or stevia? or flax seeds instead of eggs? Thanks!
Mine came out fine, even though I used nonfat dry milk and lemon juice instead of buttermilk. My cake looks slightly denser than yours, but it is definitely not hard to eat. The density could be from the wheat type and flour coarseness. I am making my flour by cracking whole wheat in my malt crusher and then grinding the cracked grain in my coffee grinder. The resulting uniformity leaves something to be desired. I have a grain mill on order, due to arrive soon. Hopefully that will improve my flour.
Amazing! I had no idea a chocolate cake could be made with freshly milled whole wheat flour. I cannot wait to try this.
Haley Larussa says
Yum! This looks SO GOOD! I cannot wait to try this. I was wondering if the butter instead of coconut oil would make a difference?
I think it should work fine either way!
Michelle S says
Is it ok to use regular milk in a pinch???
Yep, no problem at all!
Jennifer Bickerton says
LOVED this! Thanks for all your great recipes!
Would it be possible to sub honey or maple syrup for the sucanat? And if so, I don’t suppose you’d know how much of either of those would be required? (I’ve seen exchange amounts for sugar to honey, but it seems like it would be REALLY complicated if not dealing with whole cups…) :)
Yes, I think I’d do 1 cup of honey to replace the sucanat.
Would this work for cupcakes instead??
If so, would baking time and temp need to be adjusted? Thanks!
[email protected] says
If you made them into cupcakes I would adjust the baking time but
not the oven temp. Maybe try baking them for 18-22 minutes. I do think
I would keep an eye on them though and stick a toothpick in the
center when you think they are getting done just to be sure.
[email protected] says
Yes, that should work just fine!
Mrs W says
I don’t have any sucanat yet. Is there a different type of sweetener that I can substitute okay? (real honey & regular white sugar)
[email protected] says
You can substitute real honey or regular sugar just fine until you have
Made this a couple of days ago! DELICIOUS!! One of my boys usually says he doesn’t like “the cake part of frosting” :) But, he loved this so much he wants to bake another to take to school for “Sample Day”
I enjoy your recipes as I try to make my family’s diet more healthy one step at a time.
Hi.. I m wondering if it is possible to switch from using buttermilk to plain yogurt??
Yes, that would work!
I would love to try this, but I’m wondering what type of wheat you use for your flour. Hard White, or Hard Red, or Soft White?
[email protected] says
Laura uses Hard White, but Soft would also work. :)
Man, so bummed about that :( The only wheat I have available to me is har red wheat.
I mean hard red! Wish I could get a truckload of hard white!
You can use hard red, it just isn’t my favorite. :)
I don’t know if it would be worth it. I’d hate to make a cake that just tasted “wheaty”.
This just wasn’t good for us. If I hadn’t put the peanut butter chips in it would have tasted pretty bad..I used whole white wheat flour. To me it just seemed to have to much flour. I don’t know. I used unsweetened cocoa I’m not sure if that made a difference or not.. I used regular milk instead of buttermilk to b/c in the comments it said that would be fine…it’s ok though I’ll just keep on trying to find the right chocolate cake recipe! The brownies were good though :)
julie m. says
How does the the soaked flour cake seem in comparison to the non-soaked? Which one is the picture above? Do you notice a difference in the moistness between the two? Thank you for the recipe!
The one in the picture is non-soaked. Typically, the soaked variety is a little more moist.
Made this cake and the fudge frosting for my husband’s birthday today, it was absolutely delicious! And my first successful from-scratch cake!
Im looking for a vanilla/white or tan as you mentioned, cake recipe and frosting for my sons birthday. I wanted to know how to make this cake vanilla?? Can I just eliminate the cocoa powder??
Yes, I think just eliminating the cocoa should do it! Youy may want to try this recipe too: https://www.heavenlyhomemakers.com/healthy-strawberry-shortcake
Can you use kefir in replace of the buttermilk, with the same results?
[email protected] says
Julie J says
I just made this recipe. It made 15 cupcakes.
Just made this! It is wonderful, so nice to be eatting a cake that isn’t loaded with white sugar and flour. Thanks for the recipe. I appreciate your blog so much!
nancy haddon says
Mine turned out flat. Yours look nice and light, Laura. What did I do wrong? I used coconut oil and my pans are 9″. Were yours 8″? The frosting is delicious ( the kids and I licked the beaters and bowls), but we aren’t eating the cake until this evening. It looks delicious, just kind of flat. Any ideas?
[email protected] says
I am wondering if they didn’t rise…was your baking soda/powder fresh? That has a huge effect on how well things will rise. I hope it still tasted delicious!
nancy haddon says
Thanks for getting back to me. I remembered Laura once saying that if you don’t grind your own flour, it can be heavier so don’t use quite as much. I use King Arthur’s White Whole Wheat Flour because I don’t have a mill. and so I tried the cake again, using a little less flour, and success! It was delicious with the frosting, and a great feeling to have chocolate cake to feed my family that I didn’t have to cringe over the ingredients! :)
[email protected] says
Oh good! I am so glad it worked out for you!
Hannah VW says
We added a tsp. of peppermint extract and a few chopped fresh mint leaves. It was good enough to eat without frosting :).
I just found this recipe. I have taken to grinding my own flour, but am having a hard time finding right recipe for fresh ground flour. Is this one for the whole wheat you find in the store or for fresh ground?
Thanks so much!
I use freshly ground flour for this, but I would imagine store-bought whole white wheat flour should work fine!