A simple one-bowl recipe, this vegan chocolate snack cake is so easy to make and great to have on hand. Perfectly reasonable for breakfast, it includes fruit, is minimally sweetened, and made with whole grain flour. Chocolate for breakfast is always a good thing.
This is truly a snack cake in that it won’t make you crash after having a slice. It’s a good afternoon snack in that you should feel you have more energy after a piece, not less, so it’ll keep you going until dinner time.
It’s slightly dense, very chocolate-y, and has just a hint of banana flavour. Think old fashioned sheet cake but with whole grains.
Why You Should Try This Recipe
Chocolate snacking cake is truly the best afternoon pick-me-up without a sugar crash – with a lower sugar content than a normal cake, it’s a great way to get a bit of chocolate. If that doesn’t pique your interest, consider:
- It’s a one bowl recipe: everything is mixed in a single bowl. All you need is a bowl, fork, and whisk to make the batter.
- It’s a high-fibre cake: it’s still a cake and contains sugar, but this recipe also provides a good chunk of daily protein and fibre needs in a single piece, thanks to the whole-grain spelt flour.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Spelt Flour: substitute light spelt flour or whole wheat pastry flour for whole spelt. I haven’t tried making this recipe gluten-free.
- Cocoa: use baking cocoa, not raw cacao, if possible (and not drinking cocoa).
- Banana: as ripe as you have. The riper the banana, the sweeter it will be.
- Oat Milk: or another dairy-free milk. Don’t use canned coconut milk for this recipe.
- Olive Oil: or another light tasting liquid oil, like avocado oil. Not coconut oil, which can make the cake heavy when it cools.
- Vanilla: extract. If using powder, reduce the amount by half.
- Chocolate Chips: optional, but a nice addition! Mini chips make for more chocolate per bite.
Step by Step
1. Mash bananas: add to the mixing bowl and mash with a fork, or puree if you don’t like the texture.
2. Add liquids: add all the remaining liquid ingredients to the same bowl.
3. Mix: whisk very well to combine. The oil will separate, that’s normal.
4. Add dry ingredients: to the same bowl, add the dry ingredients, no need to sift them in.
5. Mix the batter: use a whisk or wooden spoon but don’t over mix. A few streaks of flour are fine.
6. Add chocolate: gently fold in with a spatula to avoid over-working the gluten.
7. Transfer to tin: spoon the cake batter into a greased square baking tin.
8. Bake: for about 40 minutes, but do a toothpick test to be sure.
If you can’t see the recipe video for this post, please watch it here instead.
I haven’t tested this, but it should be fine to bake in a standard round cake tin rather than square. If using a differently sized dish, be sure to do a skewer test and check the cake sooner than the time listed in the recipe.
How to Store
Storage: this will depend partly on the temperature of your home, as the cake contains banana. If topping with ganache or whipped cream, the cake must be refrigerated in a sealed container. Otherwise, it can usually be kept at room temperature for a couple of days.
Freezing: chocolate snack cake freezes really well – cool fully, then freeze in an airtight container for up to six months. Individual pieces can be frozen and thawed in the refrigerator overnight or more quickly at room temperature before serving.
If this is your first time baking a cake, or the first time you’re trying to bake with spelt or whole grain flours, here are some helpful tips for the best results.
- Don’t over mix: as spelt flour contains gluten, when over-mixed it can make for a tough cake. Mix until just combined and don’t whisk too long.
- Careful with flour types: some readers have had success with using gluten-free flours, but I have not tested this. I wouldn’t recommend subbing almond flour, for example, but have heard that oat works well. Proceed with caution, as this is a spelt-specific recipe.
- Grease the tin: no need to line with parchment, but a good even greasing is valuable here! I usually use coconut oil for greasing as it’s easier to see where the tin has been coated.
- Check oven temperature: this is a common problem with underachieving cakes. Home ovens often run 10-20°C off from what they’re set at (I’ve had an oven that was often 50°C too hot!) so a small oven thermometer works wonders. If you find that your bakes are often failing despite following the recipe exactly, you may need to check this.
- Bake in advance: if you plan on topping the cake with ganache or any other icing, keep in mind that it must be completely cool beforehand. This can take several hours, so plan accordingly.
More Chocolate Snacks
If you make this Chocolate Snack Cake or any other snack recipes on Occasionally Eggs, please take a moment to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It’s such a help to others who want to try the recipe. For more OE, follow along on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest, purchase the Occasionally Eggs cookbook, or subscribe for new posts via email.
Chocolate Snack Cake
- 1 large overripe banana
- 375 ml oat milk
- 60 ml olive oil
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 300 grams whole grain spelt flour
- 100 grams coconut sugar
- 50 grams cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 50 grams dark chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) and grease a 20cm (8 inch) square baking tin.
- Add the banana to a large bowl and mash with a fork. Whisk in the oat milk, olive oil, and vanilla until combined. whisk together the flour, coconut sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and vanilla. Stir in the chopped chocolate.
- Add the the flour, coconut sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix until just combined, but be careful not to over mix.
- Add the chocolate chips and fold to evenly incorporate.
- Transfer the batter into the prepared cake tin. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and cool for ten minutes in the tin before carefully removing and cooling completely on a wire rack.
- If topping with ganache, the cake should be refrigerated. Otherwise, it can be stored in an airtight container in a cool place for 2-3 days. This cake freezes well.
* For American cup measurements, please click the pink link text above the ingredient list that says ‘American’.
Nutrition is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate. If this information is important to you, please have it verified independently.
This post was first published in January 2018. It has been updated with additional pictures and a video as of February 2022.
If you’re looking for approachable, seasonal vegetarian recipes, you’re in the right place! Occasionally Eggs is all about healthier plant based recipes that follow the seasons.