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Chocolate Healthy Birthday Cake with Chocolate Frosting


Chocolate Healthy Birthday Cake / Gail Ingram Photography

I admit, cake makes me happy. I’m not even going to try and pretend to be a “clean eating” purist who never eats something sweet. In fact, there is just no way I could manage to do the whole healthy eating thing if I couldn’t have something sweet here and there. However, my sweet treats aren’t dietary disasters by any stretch either. I always manage to sneak in some healthy ingredients. But above all the recipe absolutely must taste good. There is no point in eating cake if it doesn’t take good! This recipe for my Chocolate Healthy Birthday Cake with Chocolate Frosting is worth celebrating even if you could care less about eating healthy.

Happy Chocolate Healthy Birthday Cake

It is always wise to have in your repertoire a fail-safe chocolate healthy birthday cake. It doesn’t need to be fancy or exotic, just plain good. And that’s what the recipe below is. It’s actually a version I have tweaked and re-tweaked over the years until I got it just right. It is now the go-to cake I not only make for birthdays but also for special occasions…

Healthy Birthday Cake Makes a Great Special Occasion Cake

Not many desserts are as easy or well-loved as cake! That’s my mom in the photo below (she’s also the Clean Cuisine food photographer)—and she helped me perfect the recipe. She actually last made the cake at a family Father’s Day dinner and it was a hit … as always.

Gail Ingram holding a Healthy Chocolate Cake

Superfood Ingredients for a Healthy Birthday Cake

Ok fine, so no cake will ever be a superfood, but that doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate superfood ingredients! My chocolate healthy birthday cake is very different than your typical healthy birthday cake recipes because the only thing in the whole cake that isn’t healthy is the sugar—and there’s not even very much of that. I use less than half the sugar found in your typical cake recipe (most of the sweetness in my healthy birthday cake comes from the antioxidant-rich prunes!) Here’s the superfood ingredients you’ll use:

  • Prunes
  • Unsweetened cocoa
  • Organic extra virgin coconut oil
  • Organic peanut butter
  • Pastured Eggs
  • Hemp milk

Great for Other Occasions Too / Gail Ingram Photography

For the flour I use “white” whole wheat  because it’s lighter in texture than regular whole wheat flour but still has all the same nutritional goodness—all the fiber, “germ” with nutrients, etc.

Vegan Chocolate Frosting

Creating the vegan frosting for my healthy birthday cake came to me on a whim because I actually use the same basic recipe when making my son’s peanut butter-chocolaty popcorn (which, by the way, is definitely worth trying!) However, the concoction works brilliantly as a vegan frosting for cake. And, best of all, the frosting can be made in minutes and requires zero artistic skill or dexterity to look beautiful spread on your cake.

You’ll have plenty of time to celebrate at the party when you whip this cake up in a jiffy. Have fun!


Happy Healthy Chocolate Birthday Cake with Chocolate Vegan Frosting

Serves: 12

Healthy Birthday Cake:

  • 1 cup pitted prunes, lightly cooked (see directions below)
  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour (such as King Authur Flour) or 1-for-1 gluten free flour
  • ½ teaspoon unrefined sea salt (such as Real Salt)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons good quality unsweetened cacao powder (such as Ghirardeli)
  • ½ cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 pastured eggs, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup organic extra virgin coconut oil (such as Barlean’s), melted
  • 1 ¼ cups hemp milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 8-inch round baking pans with parchment paper.
  2. Place the prunes in a small saucepan and add just enough water to cover; cover and bring to a boil. Boil for 8 to 10 minutes, or until prunes are soft. Drain the prunes and set aside to cool.
  3. Sift and mix dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder and sugar) into a large bowl.
  4. Place the drained prunes, eggs, melted coconut oil, hemp milk and vanilla extract in a high speed blender; process until smooth and creamy. Mix the wet ingredients in with the dry.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 22 to 25 minutes. Cool completely in the pans on a rack.
  6. Spread ½ of the vegan frosting (see recipe below) on top of one of the cake rounds. Place the 2nd cake on top and spread the remaining frosting on top. Decorate and serve.

Vegan Chocolate Frosting

**Note: If you like a lot of frosting you may want to double the recipe

  • ¾ cup vegan dark chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup organic creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon organic extra virgin coconut oil (such as Barlean’s)
  1. Place the chocolate chips, peanut butter and oil in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 2 minutes. Remove from microwave and use a fork to blend the ingredients well. Set aside to harden for at least 45 minutes before frosting (you can speed this up by placing the frosting in the freezer, but be careful not to leave it in too long or it will turn rock-hard.

Ivy Larson

In 2010, Clean Cuisine was launched because Ivy Larson wanted to share her anti-inflammatory lifestyle and delicious recipes using ingredients in their most natural and nutrient-rich state. In 2020, Ivy passed the website to Aimee and Madison. Since then, they have been adding new recipes and nutrition posts while updating old recipes and articles. Thanks for visiting Clean Cuisine!

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Sunday 13th of September 2015

Hi Ivy,

Thanks for the recipe. I finally tried this cake recipe and it was a hit! Is it supposed to be more dense compared to regular cake? I used whole milk because I couldn't find hemp milk.

Ivy Larson

Monday 14th of September 2015

Hi Kaneez! So so happy you liked the recipe ;) And yes, it is a dense cake. I actually have a brand new recipe for a mint chocolate cake because it is my dads birthday party this Friday! I will be posting the recipe for that next week. Stay tuned =)

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