I wanted a better name for this chocolate cake than merely “healthy,” and my husband suggested the “crazy eight” because this cake has EIGHT different fruits and vegetables in it! I admit to being somewhat nervous that it wouldn’t taste very good, but it was delicious and yes, it tastes like rich, decadent chocolate cake! It was certainly more work to make than one of those box mixes where you dump some eggs, water, and oil in, but nutrition aside, this is a special occasion cake. I made it for my daughter’s 1-year birthday party and it was a big hit! I cut the prep time down by doing all chopping, slicing, and shredding with my Vitamix at Variable setting 3-4.
This cake recipe is courtesy of the Dr. Fuhrman Member Center, and the chocolate frosting recipe I used (after the cake recipe) is from Chocolate-Covered Katie. I’ve also included Dr. Fuhrman’s Chocolate Nut Icing recipe at the bottom of this post as an alternative to the one I used.
- 1+2/3 cups whole wheat pastry flour (I used normal whole wheat)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3 tsp baking soda
- 3+1/2 cups pitted dates, divided
- 1 cup pineapple chunks in own juice, drained
- 1 banana
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 cup shredded beets
- ¾ cup shredded carrots
- ½ cup shredded zucchini
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- ½ cup currants
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1.5 cups water
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a small bowl and set aside.
- In blender or food processor, puree 3 cups of the dates, pineapple, banana, and applesauce.
- Slice remaining ½ cup dates into ½ inch thick pieces (I used my Vitamix at Variable setting 3-4 to do all the slicing, shredding, and chopping required for this recipe).
- In large bowl, mix sliced dates, beets, carrots, zucchini, cocoa powder, currants, walnuts, water, vanilla and flour mixture. Add the blended mixture and mix well.
- Spread in a 9.5" X 13.5" nonstick baking pan or two round baking pans for a layered cake, as I made.
- Bake for 45 min-1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Vegan Chocolate Frosting
1 can full-fat coconut milk (I used Thai Kitchen)
1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
sweetener to taste (I used one stevia packet)
Open the coconut milk, and leave the can (or transfer to a bowl) uncovered in the fridge for several hours or overnight. (Don’t shake the can before opening.) It should get very, very thick–think Crisco-thick. Once thick, transfer to a bowl (I left out the watery bit at the bottom of the can to keep it thicker) and whip in your cocoa, vanilla, and sweetener. Frost the cake and store uncovered in the fridge; the frosting gets even thicker. Note: I doubled this recipe for the layer cake.
Chocolate Nut Icing
1 cup raw macadamia nuts or raw cashews, unsalted
1 cup vanilla soy milk
2/3 cup pitted dates
1/3 cup brazil nuts or hazelnuts
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Using a high powered blender or food processor, combine all icing ingredients until smooth and creamy. Place a dollop over warm cake and serve. If desired, you may spread on cooled cake instead.