This low sugar and vegan chocolate snack cake is sweetened partly with banana, and made with whole grain spelt flour for a healthier version of a chocolate cake. Perfect for snacking and I’ve eaten it for breakfast, too.
It’s my sister’s birthday today and since I’m not home, I made her a virtual chocolate cake! She’s not vegan/vegetarian, but she’s interested in healthy eating and doesn’t eat much dairy, so I went with a healthier double-chocolate vegan snack cake sweetened with banana and coconut sugar. Usually I stick to light spelt flour for cakes but since this is a snack cake, it’s whole grain, low fat, and low sugar. Still really chocolatey and tasty, though! The end result is a little dense and not too sweet, perfect for snacking. Chocolate is definitely the dominant flavour and who doesn’t like cake for breakfast?
The tradition was always to make black forest cake for my sister’s birthday, but since I’m not big on refined sugar and frozen cherries are crazy expensive, plain chocolate was just fine. There is a recipe in the archives for dairy & grain free black forest cupcakes (from her birthday 3 years ago!) if you love cherries. I chatted with Heidi about it too and she encouraged me to do a more basic chocolate cake since they can be a bit tricky to find both vegan and whole grain/refined sugar free. Since it’s pretty simple, you could add lots of different flavours to the cake, like any kind of red berries, orange, nuts, spices, and so on. Think of it as a base cake; you can have it as is, which is very good, or use it as a blank canvas to add to. It’s a nice valentine’s option if you want to make something, and I listed a few other nice romantic-ish recipes at the end of the post if you’re looking for a little inspiration.
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Vegan Chocolate Snack Cake
- 280 grams / 2 cups whole spelt flour*
- 100 grams / 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 50 grams / 1/2 cup cocoa
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder
- 50 grams dark chocolate chopped (1/2 a bar)
- 375 ml / 1 1/2 cups oat milk**
- 60 ml / 1/4 cup sunflower seed oil***
- 1 large overripe banana mashed****
- Extra chocolate for drizzle
Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F and grease a 20cm / 8 inch square baking tin.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, coconut sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and vanilla. Stir in the chopped chocolate.
In a smaller bowl, mix the milk, oil, and banana until combined. Add to the flour mixture and stir until just mixed and no streaks of flour remain. Pour the batter into the prepared baking tin and bake on the centre rack for 40-45 minutes, or it passes a toothpick test.
Place the cake onto a rack and cool for ten minutes in the tin before removing and cooling completely. It keeps well in a sealed container on the counter for about three days and may be frozen.
To make the chocolate drizzle, melt a few squares of chocolate in a heat-safe bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the cake and serve immediately. The chocolate will set after a while but it'll still taste good.
* I'm sure you can substitute light spelt flour or another whole grain flour like einkorn or kamut with good results.
**Oat milk or another light milk, like almond or cashew, can be used.
*** Any light-tasting oil will work here, as does olive oil if you don't mind a bit of a fuller taste. Coconut oil makes it very dense so it's best avoided here.
**** This was a 200 gram banana, weighed with the peel still on it. You know, so you don't peel a banana in the grocery store to weigh it. Any large-ish banana will be fine.
• I'm sure you can use a regular round tin or a springform, but I haven't tried it. The baking time will differ slightly so just keep an eye on it if you do use a different type of tin.
My favourite valentine’s recipes: