Clean Eating Chocolate Cup Cake with Chocolate Icing

This is a clean eating chocolate cake recipe I have been playing around with the last few weeks. My inspiration for this cake came from Ellie Krieger’s moist mocha cake recipe, I made it earlier this month (minus the coffee) and we absolutely loved it. But I wanted to raise the nutrition bar with this recipe and kicked it up a notch with the ingredients to make them more wholesome. I used  honey, pasteurized honey for the cake and then for the frosting I used raw honey for it’s health benefits (the CDC recommends children under the age of 12 months not consume raw honey since it may contain botulism spores). You could use agave nectar but I ran out and used what I had on hand.

I made this cake for my son’s 10th birthday celebration (see football cake below) but didn’t add eggs because one of my nephews has an egg allergy. Overall my kids, my nephews, and my family loved it too.

My kids requested this cake the other day, they wanted me to pack it in their school lunch for dessert. I baked them little cupcakes with the clean eating chocolate frosting and embellished it with a heart-shaped banana slice on top of the cup cakes to remind them of how much I love them, plus this would make a  perfect Valentine’s Day treat! 

My son's 10th birthday cake!

Clean Eating Chocolate Cupcakes  without the frosting~ inspired by Ellie Krieger
Servings: 12/Serving size: 1 cupcake or 1/12 of cake
Weight Watcher points plus: 5
Calories: 155/protein: 5 g/fat: 7 g/carbs: 24 g/ fiber: 3 g
Dry Ingredients:
1.5 c. whole wheat pastry flour or white wheat fl our (regular ww flour makes a tougher, dense and dry cake)
1/2 c. dark cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Wet Ingredients:
1.5 c. Greek low-fat yogurt or regular yogurt
1.5 c. unsweetened apple sauce (banana puree and pumpkin puree taste great too)
2 Tbsp organic unsalted butter, melted
4 Tbsp grapeseed oil
2 egg whites (tastes great without eggs for food allergy sensitive person)
1 ounce of good quality dark chocolate ~ 60% or more cocoa (melted, in microwave or double broiler)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c. agave nectar
optional: 2 – 4 Tbsp water to thin out batter if too thick
12 cup cake liners for cupcakes or one 13 x 9 baking pan for sheet cake. I used a ceramic bowl that happened to be in the shape of a football.
1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. If baking cupcakes, line the cupcake liners in muffin tin, lightly spray with vegetable oil. If using a baking pan, lightly spray pan so batter will not stick.
2.In a small mixing bowl, add all the dry ingredients and stir well until blended well; set aside.
3. In a medium mixing bowl, add all the wet ingredients, mix well until combined.
4. Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredient in thirds. This makes it easier to blend well. You can whisk by hand or use a handheld blender, just don’t over mix or you’ll have a dense dry cake with pockets of air. The batter should look like fudge pudding,  if it’s too thick add a bit more puree or add some water to thin it out, try small amounts at a time like 2 tablespoons at a time.
5. Evenly pour batter into muffin lined tins, bake in the oven for about 18-20 minutes. I like to use a toothpick or butter knife to insert in the middle of cake to see if it comes out clean. When ready, place the cupcakes or cakes out of the oven, to cool before icing. My kids loved them plain without the icing.
Frosting ~inspired by Clean and Delicious with Dani Spies and Elana’s Pantry
Servings: 12 Serving Size: 1/2 tablespoon
Weight Watcher points plus: 1
Calories: 50/protein: 1 g/fat: 2 g/ carbs: 7.5 g/fiber: 1 g 
1/2 c. dark cocoa powder
pinch of cinnamon
3- 4 Tbsp honey (agave nectar) ~ I used raw honey*
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp grapeseed oil
*side note: Do not give raw honey to children under the age of one year’s old, because it may contain botulism spores.
Honey has a thicker consistency than agave nectar, especially raw honey, so I had to add some liquid to thin it out.  I used water, about 0.5 to 1 Tbsp water at a time to get the frosting consistency that I liked. You can use a splash of milk, soy, coconut, or rice milk, etc. in place of the water. Also honey is much sweeter than agave, next time I’ll use agave nectar.
1. Mix ingredients together in a bowl, whisk until blended and smooth. Since I used honey, I added about 1.5 to 2 tablespoons of water, but you may have to play around with it.
2. When the cupcakes or cake is cooled frost! Enjoy!
* for the vanilla frosting on the football cake,  I used  Cherrybrook Kitchen vanilla frosting mix.
Updated: June 16, 2012
Some Tips on the Cake to improve the texture:
  • If you are new to using whole wheat flour in your baked goods, I suggest starting with  1 part ww flour and 2 parts all purpose flour. Whole wheat flour has more protein than all purpose flour, which means it will result in a more chewier texture. 
  •  I made a mistake when I originally posted this recipe, I changed it to 4 Tbsp of grapeseed oil instead of 2 Tbsp.  
  • If the batter is still too thick (from using whole wheat flour)  add more oil or sugar but if you are wanting to keep it on the lighter side, add more applesauce to thin the batter out or water.

16 Responses to Clean Eating Chocolate Cup Cake with Chocolate Icing

  1. Healthy chocolate cake?!? Love it!! And you know it tastes good if the kids are asking for more. :)

  2. So flattered to have been an inspiration to your deelish looking cupcakes (And even happier to have found your blog)! Can’t wait to try your cupcakes!!

  3. I am in such a chocolate mood right now lol.. and I must say I am in LOVE with that cupcake. I really shouldn’t be eating any more chocolate but I know I would love that to end my birthday lol

  4. What a great idea behind the treat. And what kid wouldn’t love to find one of these waiting in her/his lunchbox?

  5. Holy cow! That football cake is too cute! I love it. I’m always in awe of cakes…they are so not my thing. Mr. N would about fall over to find one of those cupcakes in his lunch too. :)

  6. I’ve never thought of “healthy” and “chocolate cake” together! You’ve definitely changed my thoughts about that!! I’m excited to try this. I know some real chocolate lovers to make this for and see what they think!!

  7. Look at how pretty that cupcake is Lisa! I love Ellie Krieger’s recipes too…! I have to try this one (you know me and dark chocolate ;-)). And what about that football cake, wow, mom… You really knocked it out of the park with that one! (err, wait a minute, I think I may be mixing up my sports metaphors :)).

  8. Heh, whenever I hear “healthy” cake, the first thing that comes to mind is some dry, boring looking thing. You disspelled that image from my head. What a fantastic looking cake – so moist and squishy! Did you find the taste of apple came through a lot in the final product?

    • No, we really couldn’t taste the apples in this recipe. I used 1 to 1 1/4 cup but when I tried it with banana’s the flavors came through. My kids are use to my baking healthy, though some of my the kids down our street will only eat it if I add more icing to mask the flavor! lol

  9. Bookmarked! Healthy cupcake with frosting!

  10. I’m bookmarking this, too! I’m always trying to figure out the best thing to do for birthdays… my husband’s is in March, and I really want to try this one, yum! Hope you’re feeling better, too. :)

  11. Ashley forbus

    I made this recipe both cake and frosting and I used it for cake pops! Absolutely delicious!! My daughter loves cake pops and I was looking for a healthy alternative. This was amazing! Will def make more!

  12. I made the cake and the icing. The icing got raves, but a family member politely stated the cake tasted like sponge. The rest of the group agreed. Oh, well. I liked it anyways. The price I pay for healthiness! =D

    • Hi Caitlyn, Glad the icing got some great reviews but sorry to hear the cake had the consistency of a sponge. I will have to review the ingredient list and get back with you on what could make it better. Thanks for you comment and hope you have a great weekend!
      Lisa :)

  13. These look great! Love the first picture. Yum!

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