While in Arizona visiting my grandparents a couple of weekends ago, my mom reminded us that our aunt’s birthday fell on that Saturday. Mom dashed out to Target for cards and a gift, while my brother and his best friend borrowed Grandma’s car to drive to the store for dessert.
Since they had sat next to my aunt on the flight, they tried to remember what treats she had mentioned enjoying. Chocolate? Flan? Tres leches cake? After debating, they ended up calling Mom and me from the supermarket to get our input…
And Mom replied to get all of them!
I definitely know where my sweet tooth came from…
So after lunch, we gathered around the assortment of desserts to sing happy birthday and give my aunt the first choice of treats. Out of the flan, regular tres leches cake slice, chocolate tres leches cake slice, and the miniature two layer chocolate cake, she opted for the flan.
Mom and I secretly cheered. More chocolate cake for us!
Yet as I slid the first bite into my mouth, I felt a tinge of disappointment. The cake tasted really sweet… But not very chocolaty at all. It had a very muted chocolate flavor, borderline bland, and I actually scraped off the frosting. Pretty disappointing.
So when I arrived back home, I baked this Ultimate Healthy Chocolate Bundt Cake to get my chocolate cake fix! It’s the exact opposite of that grocery store chocolate cake: supremely rich, incredibly decadent, and extremely chocolaty. It tastes a little fudgy too, as if you combined chocolate cake and brownies together into one dessert!
And also unlike that grocery store version… This ultimate healthy chocolate bundt cake contains no artificial ingredients, refined flour or sugar and only 96 calories in a slice!
I definitely went back for seconds of this homemade chocolate cake! 😉
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST CHOCOLATE BUNDT CAKE
Let’s go over how to make this ultimate healthy chocolate bundt cake!
You’ll start with a combination of unsweetened cocoa powder and whole wheat pastry flour. You just need the regular kind of unsweetened cocoa powder. Dutched cocoa powder and “special dark” cocoa powder have a different acidity level, which can affect both the taste and texture of your cake. (I’ve also found that Dutched and “special dark” cocoa powder don’t taste as strong in this particular cake and result in a more bland and muted chocolate flavor.) To ensure this ultimate healthy chocolate bundt cake tastes really rich and decadent, you’ll actually use more cocoa powder than flour!
Whole wheat pastry flour is the flour I used for this cake, and it’s made by finely grinding a special type of soft wheat. It has the same health benefits as regular whole wheat flour (like extra fiber!), but it has a taste and texture closer to all-purpose flour. That difference is what allows the moist and fudgy texture, along with the incredibly rich flavor, of your ultimate healthy chocolate bundt cake to truly shine!
Just remember, it’s extremely important to measure the cocoa powder and flour correctly, using this method or a kitchen scale. (← That’s the one I own and love!) Too much of either ingredient will dry out your cake batter, and too much cocoa powder will make your cake taste bitter, instead of rich and decadent. I promise it’s worth the extra time to measure properly!
Whereas many traditional chocolate cake recipes call for lots of melted butter or oil to keep them moist (I’ve seen anywhere from ½ to 1 full cup!), you just need 1 tablespoon for this one. That shaves off anywhere from 712 to 1,527 calories — and that really helps keep this ultimate healthy chocolate bundt cake low fat and low calorie!
The majority of your cake’s tender texture actually comes from one of my favorite ingredients. If you’ve browsed through my recipes before, I’m sure you know what it is…
Greek yogurt! Greek yogurt adds the same moisture to your cake batter as extra butter or oil but for a fraction of the calories. It also gives your ultimate healthy chocolate bundt cake a protein boost!
Protein-packed healthy chocolate bundt cake… Does that make it breakfast food? 😉
One more thing contributes to the texture! You’ll actually add both baking powder and baking soda to your cake batter. This is really important! Because you’ll also mix in…
Distilled white vinegar! It may sound like a strange ingredient for chocolate cake, but it’s actually the secret ingredient in this one. The vinegar (an acid) reacts with the baking soda (a base) to create air bubbles. Those air bubbles make your cake rise, and they also give this ultimate healthy chocolate bundt cake a deliciously moist and fudgy texture.
I love nerdy baking chemistry like that!
To sweeten your ultimate healthy chocolate bundt cake, you’ll actually use two ingredients: liquid stevia and erythritol. Both of these ingredients are plant-based, no-calorie sweeteners that contain nothing refined or artificial (aka they’re clean-eating friendly!). I actually buy both online (here for the liquid stevia and here for the erythritol!) because that’s where I’ve found the best prices.
Tip: You’ll use liquid stevia in all of these recipes of mine and erythritol in all of these recipes of mine too!
I normally try to stick with just one sweetener to make life easier for you. I know it isn’t fun to try to track down even more ingredients! However, I found that the cake tasted bland and not sweet enough when I just used one or the other, but when I combined the two…
Pure chocolate cake magic!
So I promise it’s worth buying and using both!
Your cake batter is almost done! At this point, it’s time to stir the cocoa + flour mixture into the Greek yogurt mixture. However, instead of dumping one bowl into the other, you’ll actually use a method called alternating additions. This simply means that you’ll alternate between adding a little cocoa mixture, gently stirring it in, adding a little milk, stirring it in, going back to the cocoa mixture, gently stirring it in… And continue until you run out of cocoa mixture and milk!
Alternating additions are key because they prevent overmixing. Overmixing the batter results in a tough or gummy texture, instead of the perfectly moist and fudgy texture you want in your ultimate healthy chocolate bundt cake.
Hint: This is why I highly recommend against using an electric or stand mixer! They tend to overmix healthy batters like this one. Use a whisk where instructed and a fork for everything else for the best texture!
Now your cake batter is ready to bake! Before pouring it into your cake pan, make sure you generously coat your bundt pan with cooking spray. Bundt pans have a lot more nooks and crannies compared to the smooth sides of round, rectangular, or loaf pans. If you don’t coat all of those nooks and crannies with cooking spray, your cake won’t slide out onto the cooling rack when it’s done baking.
So be generous!
And if that chocolaty cake goodness just isn’t enough… Then you can add a dark chocolate drizzle on top!
It’s super simple to make. Just stir together a little more cocoa powder, some pure maple syrup, and a touch of milk. Transfer that to a zip-topped bag, cut off a tiny piece of one corner, and drizzle it all over your cooled ultimate healthy chocolate bundt cake.
Then if you can figure out how to stop after just one slice… Tell me your secret. Because I definitely can’t! 😉 And when you make your own, remember to snap a picture and share it on Instagram using #amyshealthybaking and tagging @amyshealthybaking IN the photo itself! (That guarantees I’ll see your picture! 🙂 ) I’d love to see your ultimate healthy chocolate bundt cake!
The Ultimate Healthy Chocolate Bundt Cake
FOR THE CAKE
- 2 cups (160g) unsweetened cocoa powder (measured like this)
- 1 ¾ cups (210g) whole wheat pastry flour or gluten-free* flour (measured like this)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp (14g) unsalted butter or coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
- 4 large egg whites, room temperature
- 1 tbsp (15mL) vanilla extract
- 5 ½ tsp liquid stevia (see Notes!)
- 6 tbsp (90g) confectioners’ style erythritol (see Notes!)
- ¾ cup (180g) plain nonfat Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup (60mL) distilled white vinegar
- 1 ¾ cups (420mL) nonfat milk, divided
FOR THE DRIZZLE
- 3 tbsp (15g) unsweetened cocoa powder (measured like this)
- 2 tsp pure maple syrup
- 2 ½ - 3 tsp nonfat milk
- Preheat the oven to 350°F, and generously coat a 12-cup bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray or nonstick cooking spray with flour.
- To prepare the cake, whisk together the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the butter, egg whites, vanilla extract, and liquid stevia. Stir in the erythritol. Add in the Greek yogurt, stirring until no large lumps remain. Stir in the vinegar and 1 cup of milk. Alternate between adding the flour mixture and remaining milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, and stirring just until incorporated. (For best results, add the flour mixture in 4 equal parts.)
- Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 350°F for 65-75 minutes or until the top feels firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring the cake to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Once the cake has completely cooled to room temperature and just before serving, prepare the drizzle. Stir together the cocoa powder, maple syrup, and milk in a small bowl. Transfer the mixture to a zip-topped plastic bag, cut off a tiny piece of one corner, and drizzle over the cooled cake.
View Nutrition Information + Weight Watchers Points
You may also like Amy’s other recipes…
♡ The Ultimate Healthy Dark Chocolate Cupcakes
♡ The Ultimate Healthy Vanilla Bean Pound Cake
♡ The Ultimate Healthy Carrot Cake
♡ The Ultimate Healthy Blueberry Pound Cake
♡ The Ultimate Healthy Red Velvet Cupcakes
♡ …and the rest of Amy’s healthy chocolate recipes!
Irene Fay says...
Sorry Amy! I used 365 stevia, it’s a Whole Goods brand. By way of reference 4 drops is the recommended amount on the label. I hope that helps?
No need to apologize, Irene! It’s my fault. 🙂
Thanks for sharing! I haven’t worked with Whole Foods’ stevia very much, but I compared the label to the liquid stevia that I use. They have the same ingredients and serving size (4 drops, 0.13mL), so I think that should be a suitable 1-for-1 substitution. (I wanted to make sure the sweetener wasn’t the issue before suggesting something else!)
Now that I know that about the sweetener… I think the best thing to do would be to substitute more flour for an equal amount of your Navitas cacao powder to tone down the bitterness. Depending on just how bitter it tasted to you, I’d recommend between ¼ and ½ cup to start. I don’t think you’ll have to make any modifications to the other ingredients or baking time.
Does that make sense?
JUDY BOHN says...
Can I use honey, oat milk or almond milk and non dairy yogurt as replacements?
I really appreciate your interest in my recipe, Judy! I’ve actually covered your questions about honey and other milks in the Notes section of the recipe (located directly underneath the Instructions!). I know it can be easy to miss! 😉 Non-dairy yogurt should work in place of the Greek yogurt.
I’d love to hear what you think of this cake if you try making it!
JUDY BOHN says...
Thank you for getting back to me Amy. I am trying to learn how to bake healthy fluffy great tasting desserts for my family. I have a Niece who has Celiac and I also try to eat very healthy. So no soy, gluten or dairy. When I have company I always try to have something for my Niece, but not one else will eat it. So then I have to have more than one dessert.
It’s my pleasure, Judy! You’re so thoughtful to make something your niece can eat as well. She’s really lucky to have you!
Irene Fay says...
I’ll try it with the 1/4 reduction of cacao, and up the flour by 1/4 cup. I’ll let you know how it comes out. Thx!
It’s my pleasure, Irene! I really hope you and your husband like that version better. I can’t wait to hear how it turns out!
I just made a slightly unhealthified version. I used 110 g of brown sugar (about 3/4 of a cup) for the sweetener. I can’t for the life of me get my family to eat anything with alternative sweeteners so I just bake with less sugar and see what happens. Most of the time it works out and today was no exception. It’s been out of the oven for 15 min and 1/3 is gone (they drizzled the topping on their individual pieces). They devoured it. I’ve hidden the rest of the cake in the safest part of the fridge which is directly behind the large salad bowl. My goal has been to find recipes good enough that my kids don’t know are healthy, low in sugar (and low calorie for me). This will be a staple. Thank you!
Oh my goodness!! That’s amazing, Beth! Such a huge compliment if a third of the cake disappeared within the first 15 minutes of the cake being out of the oven and you already think this recipe will become a staple. Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know — you made my entire day!! 🙂 (I love your salad bowl hiding strategy too. I need to remember that! 😉 )
Joyce Petruzzelli says...
Happy Birthday Amy!
You’re so sweet — thank you, Joyce!! 🙂
Debra Jacobs says...
Do you think I could swap out some of the cocoa powder for more flour say like 1/2 cup cocoa (40g) then 330g flour it would be way to chocolate rich for us
I really appreciate your interest in my recipe, Debra! Yes, you should be able to substitute additional flour for some of the cocoa to make the cake taste less dark chocolaty. If you’d like to reduce the cocoa powder amount by ½ cup and use 1 ½ cups (120g) of cocoa powder and 2 ¼ cups (270g) of flour instead, that should be fine! You can also add an additional 2-4 tablespoons (30-60g) of erythritol to increase the sweetness. If you do add more erythritol, the baking time may increase just a bit — but not by too much!
I’d love to hear what you think of this cake if you end up making it! 🙂
Barbara Tyner says...
I made the bundt cake yesterday and followed the directions exactly reading all your pointers. It came out very moist, but bitter. I later read the comments and I see where you suggested to cut back on the cocoa and add that amount to the flour instead. I will try that next time I bake this bundt cake. I am not sure about the liquid stevia. I used the 5 1/2 tsps as given. I read that one tsp of stevia equals 1 cup of sugar. I am not seeing this ratio as that would have been over 5 cups of sugar and it did not taste like I had any sugar. If I cut back on the chocolate, I feel like I need to add more stevia. What are your recommendations?
It means a lot that you tried making my recipe, Barbara! That sounds disappointing and not like how this cake should turn out, so I’m happy to help solve that bitterness issue. 🙂 In order to do so, I have some questions for you!
Did you use the same exact liquid stevia that I did? If not, what’s the brand and product name of the stevia that you substituted?
Did you use confectioners’ style erythritol? If not, what did you use instead?
Did you make any substitutions or modifications, including those listed in the Notes section?
Did you use a kitchen scale or measuring cups/spoons to measure the ingredients, especially the flour and cocoa powder?
If the latter, can you describe how you used them to measure?
Did you use natural unsweetened cocoa powder or Dutched cocoa powder (also called “special dark” cocoa powder)?
Was everything okay, other than the taste? Since you mentioned the cake was really moist, I’m assuming that’s true, but I still wanted to double check! 🙂
I know I just asked a LOT of questions, but I’ll have a much better idea of the culprit and how to fix it once I know your answers to all of them!
Barbara Tyner says...
Thank you Amy, I did not use the same liquid stevia, I purchased the Great Value, Walmart brand, liquid Stevia, I since then purchased the brand you used. I believe that may be the problem. I used the same cocoa powder you used but did not use a scale. I did however use a fork and shake it into the measuring cup. I did use the Truvia confectioners sugar, but did notice Swerve aso has a confectioner sugar that I will try. I was very careful not to modify any of your directions. I am not a baker, but I plan on making this cake again and will again until I can perfect it. I am sure if I get the sweetness right it will be delicious. It was very moist. I do love your website and love your recipes and plan on trying them all.
It’s my pleasure, Barbara! I’m happy to help. It truly means so much that you’re loving my recipes and want to try more of them too — you just put the biggest smile on my face with your sweet words!! 🙂
We found the issue — it’s the liquid stevia that you used! The Great Value liquid stevia (if it’s the one that comes in a squeeze bottle and says something like “2 squeezes = 2 teaspoons of sugar”) isn’t as concentrated of a sweetness as the brand that I use. For the Great Value liquid stevia, 1 teaspoon is the sweetness equivalent of ⅓ cup of sugar. For the brand I use, 1 teaspoon of liquid stevia is the sweetness equivalent of ½ cup of sugar. If you used 5 ½ teaspoons of the Great Value liquid stevia, that’s the sweetness equivalent of a generous 1 ¾ cup of sugar — versus the sweetness equivalent 2 ¾ cup of sugar from 5 ½ teaspoons of the liquid stevia that I use. That’s almost a 1-cup “sugar sweetness” difference! (Can you tell I’m a little nerdy and love both math and science? 😉 )
Thank you for sharing the rest of your answers too! I’m excited to hear that you used my fork measuring tip for the cocoa powder. As long as you only shook the fork (and not the measuring cup!), that should’ve ensured that the correct amount of cocoa powder was added! Also, I think Truvia’s Sweet Complete confectioners sweetener should be fine to use as a 1-for-1 substitute for the confectioners’ style erythritol.
So all of this is to say… If you bought the NOW Foods liquid stevia and use that to make this cake, and that’s the only change you make, your cake should turn out much better next time!
Barbara Tyner says...
Thank you Amy! So nice to speak with you and thank you so much for offering all these healthy recipes to us. It’s so nice that you care as much as you do to help those of us that are just trying to stay healthy. What a delicious way to make that happen!
You’re welcome, Barbara! Sharing recipes brings me so much joy too, especially when I have the pleasure of interacting with people as sweet as you. It’s the best kind of win-win scenario! 😉 ♡
Linda Meadows says...
I made the bundt cake with regular whole wheat flour becasue I couldn’t find the pastery flour It turned out really, really dry. Was the flour the issue? I also did the carrot sheet cake and it was perfect!
I’m so glad you enjoyed the carrot sheet cake, Linda! It really means a lot that you made both of my cake recipes. I’m honored! 🙂
That sounds disappointing and not how this chocolate bundt cake should turn out at all, so I’m happy to help figure out what happened. In order to do so, I have some questions for you!
Was it just the texture that was off? Or was the flavor off too?
What brand of whole wheat flour did you use?
Did you make any other substitutions or modifications to the recipe, including those listed in the Notes section? (Other than the regular whole wheat flour!)
Did you use a kitchen scale or measuring cups/spoons for all of the ingredients — especially the cocoa powder, flour, yogurt, and milk?
If you used the latter, can you describe how you used them to measure the flour and cocoa powder? Did you happen to dip the measuring cups directly into either container, by any chance?
Did you use the same liquid stevia and erythritol that I did? If not, what did you use instead?
Can you describe the consistency of this chocolate cake batter before you transferred it to the bundt pan?
When you tried to cut the cake after it had fully cooled to room temperature, was it super crumbly and falling apart with each knife cut?
I know I just asked a LOT of questions, but I’ll have a much better idea of the culprit once I know your answers to all of them! 🙂
This sounds great. I have family that is gluten and dairy free so try to alter recipes to fit. I know you said non-dairy yogurt should work but what about unsweetened applesauce?
Stacey @ Amy's Healthy Baking says...
Peggy, I’m so happy you’re excited about this bundt cake! We haven’t tried using applesauce as a substitute in this particular chocolate cake recipe, so I’m honestly not sure and don’t want to lead you astray. I do know non-dairy yogurt works though, if you are able to find one that suits your family’s dietary needs! I’d love to hear what you think if you end up trying this recipe!
Thanks for your help! I appreciate all the notes and work you put into your recipes. I have learned a lot! I may give it a try and I’ll let you know what my experience is if I do. Thanks again.
Stacey @ Amy's Healthy Baking says...
You are so sweet, Peggy! We really appreciate the feedback and it brings us so much joy to hear about how much you are learning! I can’t wait to hear about your baking adventures! We are happy to help any time! 😉