Throughout elementary and middle school, my brother and I immediately dropped off our backpacks at the kitchen table as soon as we arrived home in the afternoons. Although we always started on our homework assignments before dashing outside to play or heading off to sports practices, we usually grabbed a snack from the pantry first.
With our hectic schedules — soccer, basketball, tennis, piano lessons, flute lessons, trumpet lessons, church choir, and so much more — Mom kept the cupboards very well stocked. She usually bought snacks that were portable and traveled well, just in case our typical afternoon schedule changed and we needed to eat them in the car.
Depending on which grocery store she stopped by on Sundays, we often found a small assortment of different boxes and bags of crunchy pretzels, Ritz crackers, Triscuits, Wheat Thins, Goldfish, Nature Valley granola bars, fruit leather strips, boxes of raisins, Quaker chewy granola bars, fruit gummies… Just to name a few!
All of the snacks sat on a shelf directly above the sweet treats that Mom tucked inside of our lunchboxes every day for dessert. Those ranged from Little Debbie chocolate Swiss rolls and oatmeal creme pies to classic Oreos and chewy Chips Ahoy to Hostess donettes and cream-filled chocolate cupcakes. During the fall, that same shelf held our Halloween candy too, which Mom usually added to our lunches instead of the store-bought baked goodies!
We knew better than to ask for one of the sugary desserts as an afternoon snack… But every once in a while, when we earned a really great grade on a test or brought home a stellar report card, Mom let us celebrate with one of those sweet treats after school.
As a huge chocoholic, even back then, I normally reached for one of the chocolate desserts, like Oreos or double chocolate chewy Chips Ahoy… But the chocolate Swiss cake rolls and cream-filled chocolate cupcakes were my favorites!
And now, far too many years later, I’ve finally created a much healthier after school snack cake than those two favorites from my childhood… This Healthy Double Chocolate Oatmeal Snack Cake!
It’s supremely rich and chocolaty, and it basically tastes like fudgy brownies! Yet unlike the store-bought sweets, this recipe is definitely healthy enough for everyday snacking (and even breakfast!) and contains no artificial ingredients, refined flour or sugar… And it’s still really moist and tender with just 100 calories in each slice!
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST HEATLHY DOUBLE CHOCOLATE OATMEAL SNACK CAKE
Let’s go over how to make this healthy double chocolate oatmeal snack cake!
You’ll start with a combination of instant oats, unsweetened cocoa powder, and whole wheat flour. Instant oats are also called quick-cooking or one-minute oats, and they’re not the ones sold in those individual brown paper packets with flavors like apple cinnamon or maple brown sugar! Instead, instant oats are smaller and thinner than traditional old-fashioned rolled oats, which is really important for this recipe. Their smaller size ensures that they soften and bake faster, which gives your healthy double chocolate oatmeal snack cake the best moist and fluffy texture imaginable!
As for the unsweetened cocoa powder, just use the regular kind, like this! I don’t recommend substituting Dutched or special dark cocoa powder. Those types have a different acidity level, which will impact both the taste and texture of your snack cake. Besides, you’re adding a whopping ¾ cup of cocoa powder to your batter, so your healthy double chocolate oatmeal breakfast cake will definitely taste exceptionally rich and chocolaty!
Just remember, it’s extremely important to measure the oats, cocoa powder, and flour correctly. Use this method or a kitchen scale (← that’s the one I own and love!). Too much of any of these three ingredients will dry out your batter and make your snack cake turn out dry and crumbly. This is especially true of the oats because they act like little sponges and soak up lots of moisture! Too much cocoa powder will also make your snack cake taste bitter, rather than perfectly rich and chocolaty.
So the moral of the (measuring) story? Take a few extra moments to measure all of your ingredients properly. I promise you’ll end up with the best healthy chocolate snack cake if you do!
Before we move on to the next bowl, you’ll also whisk baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon into the previous three dry ingredients. The baking powder and baking soda ensure your healthy double chocolate oatmeal snack cake rises well and has a perfect moist and fluffy texture.
Although cinnamon might seem a bit strange for a chocolate cake… I just have the hardest time making anything with oats and not adding spices. Maybe you’re the same way?? But in this healthy double chocolate oatmeal breakfast cake, it turned out SO well! The cinnamon added a lovely warmth and richness to the cake, which really enhanced the decadent chocolate flavor!
Tip: I buy my favorite cinnamon online here! It tastes sweeter, richer, and cozier than the regular kind of cinnamon. (It’s super affordable too!)
Unlike many snack cake recipes that call for lots of oil or melted butter, you just need a mere ½ tablespoon for this recipe. That really helps keep your healthy double chocolate oatmeal snack cake low calorie and low fat! Yet it’s still just as moist and tender as those other traditional “indulgent” recipes because of…
Greek yogurt! If you’ve browsed through my recipes before, then you already know how much I love baking with Greek yogurt. I’ve used it to make muffins, scones, cupcakes, pound cakes, brownies, and even frosting! In this particular recipe, it adds the same moisture to your cake batter as extra butter or oil but for a fraction of the calories. It also gives your healthy double chocolate oatmeal breakfast cake a protein boost!
There’s another ingredient that also really helps with the moist and fluffy texture of your snack cake: egg whites. For this recipe, you’ll need 3 of them. The protein in the egg whites helps your healthy double chocolate oatmeal snack cake maintain its moist and fluffy texture while it cools. When I just used 1 or 2 egg whites, the cake had a tendency to sink a bit while it cooled in the pan, which led to a denser consistency… But with 3 egg whites, this healthy double chocolate oatmeal snack cake turned out with the perfect texture!
Also unlike those store-bought cakes from my childhood that included lots of refined granulated sugar, you’ll sweeten your healthy chocolate oatmeal snack cake with pure maple syrup instead! You want the kind that comes directly from maple trees, where the only ingredient on the bottle is “maple syrup.” Skip the pancake syrup and sugar-free syrups! Real, genuine, pure maple syrup generally comes in thin glass bottles or squat plastic jugs (like this!).
Finally, you just need one more chocolate component… Mini chocolate chips! I love using the mini ones because their small size ensures that every bite of this healthy double chocolate oatmeal snack cake contains at least one morsel of chocolate — if not more!
This cake batter is fairly thick, so you’ll need to spread it into your pan with a spatula. That’s intentional! Just like with using 3 egg whites, the thicker batter consistency also helps prevent your fully baked snack cake from collapsing and sinking while cooling. Then once you’ve pressed a few more chocolate chips into the top, popped it in the oven to bake, and waited as [im]patiently as possible for it to fully cool to room temperature…
Cut yourself a slice or two and enjoy! 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 healthy double chocolate oatmeal snack cake!
Healthy Double Chocolate Oatmeal Snack Cake
- 1 ½ cups (150g) instant oats (measured like this and gluten-free, if necessary)
- ¾ cup (60g) unsweetened cocoa powder (measured like this)
- ½ cup (60g) whole wheat or gluten-free* flour (measured like this)
- 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tbsp (7g) coconut oil or unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 3 large egg whites, room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ¾ cup (180g) plain nonfat Greek yogurt
- 6 tbsp (90mL) pure maple syrup
- 7 tbsp (105mL) nonfat milk, divided
- ¼ cup (56g) miniature chocolate chips, divided
- Preheat the oven to 350°F, and coat a 9”-square pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the oats, cocoa powder, flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, egg whites, and vanilla. Add in Greek yogurt, stirring until no large lumps of yogurt remain. Stir in the maple syrup and 1 tablespoon of milk. Alternate between adding the oat mixture and remaining 6 tablespoons of milk, beginning and ending with the oat mixture, and stirring just until incorporated. (For best results, add the oat mixture in 3 equal parts.) Gently stir in 3 ½ tablespoons of miniature chocolate chips.
- Spread the batter into the prepared pan, and gently press the remaining miniature chocolate chips on top. Bake at 350°F for 28-32 minutes or until the center feels firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with a few crumbs attached. Cool completely to room temperature in the pan before slicing and serving.
View Nutrition Information + Weight Watchers Points
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