Wednesday, March 9, 2011

My Favorite Chocolate Cake - to Make AND Eat!


This is often my go-to cake when I'm asked to bring a dessert - especially on birthdays. When my father-in-law requested that I make something chocolatey for my mother-in-law's upcoming birthday - I knew this was exactly what I would make. This is a healthier version of traditional chocolate cake and a recipe from Devin Alexander's Most Decadent Diet Ever. I normally don't even like chocolate cake and Bill doesn't like cake at all, but both of us enjoy this. It has a moist texture and doesn't skimp on frosting either. Sometimes I tell people the secret behind it and sometimes I don't. Note, I didn't say it was "healthy cake" or "diet". It is still cake. You still should only eat one piece, but you can definitely enjoy it with a lot less guilt!

PS: Did you remember that I met Devin and had her sign my cookbook? Yes, I'm a nerd!

Butter-flavored cooking spray
1 1/2 cups whole-grain oat flour*
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon very finely ground espresso beans
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 teaspoon white vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large egg whites
2 cups dark or light brown sugar (not packed)
1 cup fat-free, artificially sweetened vanilla yogurt (Note: Most yogurt is served in 6 oz cups, so you will often need two)
Raspberry Preserves (Optional)**

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly mist two nine-inch nonstick cake pans with cooking spray. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, espresso, and salt in a medium mixing bowl.

Use a sturdy whisk (or an electric mixer, but be careful not to overmix) to mix the buttermilk, vinegar, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl until well combined. Whisk in the egg whites, brown sugar, and yogurt and continue mixing until blended. Gradually stir in the dry ingredients until just smooth. Divide the batter evenly among the pans. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry (a few crumbs are okay).

Cool the cakes side by side on a wire cooling rack in the pans for ten minutes. Then, carefully flip the cakes onto the rack. If the cakes stick to the sides of the pans, gently run a butter knife around the rims of the pans to loosen them. Meanwhile, prepare the Chocolate Buttercream Frosting (recipe below).

When the cakes are completely cool, place one cake, flat side down, on a platter. Spread 3/4 cup frosting over the top of the cake. Top it with the second cake, flat side down. Spread the remaining frosting evenly over the top and sides of the cake. Slice the cake into 14 equal wedges. Serve immediately, or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to three days.

* I make my own oat flour by putting oatmeal in the food processor and pulsing until powdery.
** Once, I made this adding a generous amount of raspberry preserves to the middle layer (in addition to the chocolate buttercream. It was divine!!


1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons light butter (stick, not tub), room temperature
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons light cream cheese, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
2 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons fat-free milk

Add the butter, cream cheese, vanilla, and salt to a large mixing bowl. Beat on high speed until smooth. Add half of the powdered sugar. Beat on low speed until well combined. Beat in the remaining powdered sugar and the cocoa powder until combined. Add the milk and beat on high speed until fluffy. Tightly cover the bowl of frosting with plastic wrap until the cakes are cooled (do not refrigerate it before frosting the cake).

Each slice has: 294 calories, 6 g protein, 59 g carbohydrates, 6 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 11 mg cholesterol, 4 g fiber, 384 mg sodium
You save: 261 calories, 27 g fat, 17 g saturated fat
Traditional serving: 555 calories, 7 g protein, 65 g carbohydrates, 33 g fat, 20 g saturated fat, 124 mg cholesterol, 4 g fiber, 199 mg sodium

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