Healthy Chocolate Cake

This recipe has been featured in a post on The Recipe Girl blog: Chocolate Cake- a low sugar, low fat recipe.

Yield: 15 servings

Prep Time: 25 min

Cook Time: 30 min

Heatlhy Chocolate Cake

My father in law is diabetic and really has to watch his sugar-intake. I brought this cake to him for his birthday and he was very grateful :)


2 1/4 cups unsifted oat flour
1 1/2 cups nonfat dry milk powder
2/3 cup granulated sugar (see cooking tips below to use Splenda)
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 (23 ounce) jar of unsweetened applesauce (or just measure 23 ounces)
5 large egg whites, lightly beaten
3 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 (8-ounce) package low-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel), softened
1 cup powdered sugar, sift after measuring
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 Tablespoons nonfat milk


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Coat 13x9x2-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Prepare cake: In a large bowl, whisk together oat flour, dry milk powder, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together applesauce, egg whites and vanilla.

3. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Don't over-mix or you may toughen the texture of the cake.

4. Pour batter into the prepared pan, smoothing to edges, and bake until springy to the touch and toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean- it should take anwhere from 25 to 35 minutes. Check at 25 and add minutes onto baking time if necessary.

5. Cool cake to room temperature on a wire rack.

6. Prepare frosting: With an electric mixer at low speed, beat cream cheese, sifted powdered sugar, cocoa and vanilla in a medium bowl until smooth. Slowly add nonfat milk and beat until it's a good spreading consistency- about 1 minute.

7. Swirl frosting over top of cake. Cut into 15 squares, and serve.


*You can buy oat flour (health food sections in your market likely carry it) or you can make it yourself. Just put rolled oats into a blender and blend away until it turns into powder. Now you have oat flour!
*To make this recipe sugar free, you can use Splenda for Baking- be sure to use the kind that is specifically for baking (not the little packets that are for coffee). I haven't tried this recipe using Splenda, so I can't vouch for how it tastes. In the cake portion, replace granulated sugar with 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons Splenda. In the frosting, replace powdered sugar with 1/2 cup Splenda.
*I made this cake in a 9x13-inch pan, but I think it would work just as well baked in two 8-inch round cake pans. There certainly is enough frosting to use for a two layer cake.
*If you want to make it in a 9x13 pan and you'd like to be able to remove the entire cake from the pan and onto a platter, line the pan with parchment paper that overhangs on the sides. Spray the parchment all over with cooking spray. After cooled, you should be able to lift the entire cake out of the pan (carefully) by holding the overhanging parchment. Then you'll need to do use some racks or baking sheets to turn, peel off the parchment and the turn right-side up onto a platter.

Nutritional Information per serving:
Serving size: 1/15 of the cake
Calories per serving: 195
Fat per serving: 4.7g
Saturated Fat per serving: 2.3g
Sugar per serving: 21.3g
Fiber per serving: 3.5g
Protein per serving: 6g
Cholesterol per serving: 8.5mg
Carbohydrates per serving: 35g

WW POINTS per serving:
Points Plus Program: 5 Old Points Program: 3.5

Source: (Adapted from GMA's Cut the Calories Cookbook)

21 Responses to “Healthy Chocolate Cake”

  1. postedJan 7, 2010 6:56 PM

    Have never used oat flour- wonder if I can even find it. Cake looks delicious.

  2. postedJan 27, 2011 6:27 AM

    What a great recipe. I’ve never heard of oat flour. So happy I can make it myself. I would like to use honey instead of sugar. Do you know how I could substitute it?

    • January 27th, 2011 @ 6:48 AM

      @christina, I’m not quite sure how that works… sorry! You can always experiment!

  3. postedJun 5, 2011 9:20 AM

    I was very excited about this recipe. I replaced half the sugar for 1/4 cup agave. Tasty cake but looks a bit uncooked in the bottom and didn’t rise that well.

    • June 5th, 2011 @ 10:26 PM

      Must have been the agave.

  4. postedNov 3, 2011 7:19 AM

    Can the Neufchatel be replaced with Philadelphia cream cheese?

  5. postedNov 20, 2011 3:49 AM

    I cannot find dry millk powder in the stores and was wondering if I could use skim milk(liquid form) instead. If I do so, what will be the ratio? Also, can I replace applesauce with non fat yogurt? Thanks!

    • November 21st, 2011 @ 8:17 AM

      Not sure- since I haven’t tried either w/ this recipe.

  6. postedJan 13, 2012 9:00 AM

    Do you think I could make this with whole wheat flour instead ofthe oat flour?

    • January 13th, 2012 @ 9:13 AM

      I’ve not tried it, but you can certainly try!

  7. postedFeb 14, 2012 8:24 PM
    Linda Hielscher

    Hi Lori, I made this cake last night I was very very pleased with the way it turned out. It is one of those cakes that taste better cold and the next day. The kids were a little iffy but that’s okay, leaves more for me and the hubby.

  8. postedApr 12, 2012 11:30 AM
    Irene Williams

    This cake looks awesome! My daughter cannot eat wheat. I have been looking for good , easy gluten free recipes. What can I substitute for the applesauce? My boyfriend is allergic to apples.

    • April 12th, 2012 @ 12:30 PM

      Allergic to apples? Wow. Hmmm… something similar like pear sauce or maybe pureed prunes (or use baby food in jars).

  9. postedApr 12, 2012 1:16 PM
    Irene Williams

    Hmmm, guess I should have added he’s also allergic to pears & stone fruits, lol. Makes things a bit challenging.

  10. postedApr 24, 2012 12:11 PM

    Can this be made as cupcakes? Should I lower the baking time (I would guess around 18 minutes or so)? I’m probably going to give this a shot as black-bottom cupcakes just wondering if you had any cupcake tips :)

    • April 25th, 2012 @ 8:08 AM

      I’ve not tried to make these as cupcakes, but I’m guessing it would probably be okay. Try 18 to 22 minutes.

  11. postedMar 22, 2013 7:32 PM

    hi lori my name is corrina and i was wondering if u can use old fashion oats to make oat flour , are rolled oats the same ? thank you

    • March 24th, 2013 @ 9:33 PM

      They should work fine too.

  12. postedAug 3, 2014 4:25 AM

    I know that this is an old post, however my da has to have low fat and sugar free so I trawled the net and found this cake. I’m not from america and apple sauce has to be made. so my question is as it’s unsweetened would it be better to use sweet apples to make it or should I just stick to bitter apples?

    • August 5th, 2014 @ 7:46 PM

      I think sweet apples would be just fine.

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