Recipe: Whole-Wheat Chocolate Cake with Easy Whipped Cream Frosting

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This recipe is the perfect solution for anyone who wants to make a cake from scratch without spending days in the kitchen or Whole-Wheat Chocolate Cake Recipe from 100 Days of Real Foodhaving the end result look like it was decorated by a 4-year-old. Earlier this year my daughter asked me if I could “write” Happy Birthday on top of her homemade cake, and I practically laughed out loud at the thought of what that would look like.  So cake-decorating skills or not…absolutely anyone can make this “tie dye” cake turn out beautifully. And don’t be afraid to switch up the colors. I used peaches and raspberries in the pictured version, but if you want it to be more “boyish” blueberries would add some great color as well.

Before we switched to “real food” I used to make birthday cakes out of a box topped with frosting from a tub mixed with food coloring from little squeeze bottles. I’ve always loved to bake, but I never used to make cakes from scratch because I didn’t have a good “go-to” recipe and I also didn’t know any better! Now that we’ve cut all highly processed food from our diets I prefer a cake made from scratch with only a few simple ingredients when it comes time for those special celebrations. No matter how much we say junk food is okay in moderation I almost never want the highly processed, factory-made, artificial version anymore. So as I mentioned in my previous whole-wheat chocolate chip cookie recipe, this cake “breaks the real food rules” a little, but I would much rather you make this for your next celebration instead of relying on Betty Crocker (or worse – your grocery store bakery)! Feel free to check out the ingredient list for those options if you don’t believe me that this is a much better choice. :)


4.6 from 7 reviews

Whole-Wheat Chocolate Cake
Serves: 14-16 generous servings
Recipe Adapted from Williams-Sonoma
  • Cake Ingredients
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour, organic pastry or white winter wheat recommended
  • 1 cup all purpose white flour (or can sub whole-wheat flour), organic recommended
  • ½ cup unsweetened “dark” cocoa powder
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar, organic recommended
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 2 eggs, organic recommended
  • ⅔ cup oil (I used coconut oil)
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla
  • Butter for greasing pan(s)

    Whole Wheat Chocolate Cake Recipe from 100 Days of Real Food
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Generously grease two 9-inch round cake pans or other sized baking dish.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together dry ingredients including flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, sugar and salt.
  3. Make a well (hole) in the middle of the dry ingredients and drop in the water, eggs, oil, and vanilla. Mix by hand with whisk until well blended.
  4. Distribute batter evenly into the two cake 9-inch pans and bake for 18 – 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center comes clean. Let cool before adding frosting.


4.6 from 7 reviews

Whipped Cream Frosting and Berry Sauce
Serves: 14 – 16 generous servings
  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream, organic recommended
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons sugar (to taste), organic recommended
  • 1 ½ recipes berry sauce with water reduced in half (subbing either frozen or fresh organic fruit for desired topping color for e.g. raspberries = bright red, peach or mango = orange, blueberries = blue, cherries = dark red)
  • Squeeze bottle or spoon
  • Toothpicks
  1. In a large bowl whip cream and sugar together using an electric mixer.
  2. Meanwhile prepare berry sauce(s) with desired fruit for topping. Let sauce(s) cool.
  3. Turn out one of the cooled cake rounds onto serving platter. Cover the top (that used to be the bottom) with whipped cream frosting. Lay second round cake layer directly on top of first frosted cake layer. Now cover the entire exposed cake with frosting including sides.
  4. Put berry sauce into a squeeze bottle or alternatively you can try to drizzle sauce onto cake with a spoon. I used a “ketchup-style” squeeze bottle with the tip cut off to make the opening at the top a little wider.
  5. Make colored circles on top of cake using berry sauce (pictured).

    Whole Wheat Chocolate Cake Recipe from 100 Days of Real Food
  6. Using toothpicks start in the center of the cake and drag through the sauce to the edge. Repeat until desired look is achieved.

  7. For best results serve within a few hours. Keep leftovers refrigerated.


Related Posts: Whole-Wheat Chocolate Cookies

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184 comments to Recipe: Whole-Wheat Chocolate Cake with Easy Whipped Cream Frosting

  • Heather

    So yummy! I made this into cupcakes for my daughter’s first birthday and they were amazing! (I tried 4 or 5 others in the process and this was definitely the best).

  • Wendy

    Just mixed this up and popped it in the Oven. My Husbands Birthday is next weekend and he loves chocolate cake with Peanut butter icing. So i am doing a trial run with the cake. It smells amazing! Thanks for the recipe!

  • Ally

    I made this cake for my husband’s birthday and it was delicious. The recipe made a lot of whipped cream so I think next time I would only use two cups of the cream.

  • Helen

    Never made a cake before…..well…..not successfully anyway! This was so
    Easy and the results were great! Thanks so much

  • Sue H.

    I made this cake for my Hubby’s birthday and it was a HUGE hit! Thank you.

  • [...] it. BUT this time I decided that I could give making it from scratch a try (with a simple sounding recipe)… and thankfully all in this house were happy with the results. MMmmmm cake!! [...]

  • Dina


    This was a great recipe, really easy to follow, and my kitchen smelled heavenly when the cakes came out of the over. The only problem was when I went to make the frosting – I used two cups (not three) of heavy cream, and three tablespoons of sugar, but what I got after brisk hand whisking was not frosting but a very liquidy material – not really sure what to call it. I “poured” it over the cake, covering all sides and the layer in between and have now put it in the fridge hoping it will “solidify” in the cold.

    Can anyone tell me what I did wrong? I used “heavy cream” not “whipping cream” but from looking at other posts, it seems both are the same, so that wasn’t the problem.

    It’s a great cake so now I just need to perfect the frosting…Thanks!

  • [...] week I’ll make a chocolate cake for my daughter’s party–she takes after me with her chocolate love affair–and [...]

  • [...] November 23:  Superfood Rotini + Salad + Chocolate Cake [...]

  • Awesome recipe!!! I also made this for my husband’s birthday dinner!! I substituted the sugar for maple sugar and added agave to the frosting with a touch of vanilla. I also put fresh strawberries in the middle and on the top with sprinkles. This was my first two layer cake and it was easier than I thought!!

  • cassie

    Hi! I am about to make this cake but want to clarify the flours to be used. I was going to just use whole wheatnpadtry flour. Would that work or should I do 1 cup wwpf and 1 cup reg whole wheat flour???? Tia!!! ;-)

  • Candi

    I want to make a cake for my diabetic brother so he has a dessert to eat this Christmas. Can Coconut Palm sugar be used instead of cane sugar? I know the frosting will come out brown, but that is ok.

  • This was the first from scratch cake I made and it was a huge hit! Thank you so much. I didn’t use the whipped frosting, but I doubled this for my son’s first birthday and did cupcakes as well. No one could believe it was my first from scratch cake. Now making cupcakes again for Christmas. Use WW pastry floor and white ww flour with coconut oil and it’s delicious.

  • Renee

    The recipe calls for coconut oil. Is it measured in the solid form?

  • Carla

    I would really like a processed sugar free cake recipe for my daughter’s birthday. Would honey or maple syrup work instead of the sugar?

    • Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Carla. If honey or maple syrup worked well in this recipe, it is what Lisa would have used. :) You could experiment, though. ~Amy

  • Betsy

    YUMMMY!!! My husband and 3.5 yr old just made this for my b-day, it is sooo good! We used 1/2 the whip cream frosting recipe and did one raspberry sauce and one blueberry sauce. We both agreed this was one of the best cakes we’ve ever had. Super moist and not too sweet or overpowering. The frosting was perfect too! Thanks for a delicious recipe, I couldn’t have found it on a better day! Happy Birthday to me!

  • Jen j

    I made this cake (with your vanilla icing recipe and topped with Unreal peanut butter cups) for my husband’s birthday and it was a hit! We all (we have two sons ages 2 and 6) agreed that this was the best cake we have ever eaten! My 6 yr old is already asking when we can make it again. I will never buy a box cake mix ever again and I will make this cake as often as I can so others can enjoy it too! Thank you so much for sharing all of these wonderful recipes and tips. This is by far one of my favorite blogs!

  • Heather

    This recipe looks great…. I want to make my son’s 2nd birthday cake in the shape of a 2. Do you think the texture of this cake would cut well? Also, can I make it ahead of time (minus the frosting) and freeze it?

    (oh and you “decorating” has completely inspired me for my 4 year old’s birthday, which is next on my list– change the colors a bit and that looks close enough to a Spiderman cake ;) )


    • Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Heather. Cutting it into a shape is not something we have tried but I don’t see why you couldn’t. I think it will freeze fine, too. ~Amy

  • Melissa

    Does the better cream icig work on this cake? The one from ur cupcake recipe? I want to make ahead…

  • Liz

    We tried this today for my husband’s birthday cake. It is a very moist cake, and the best chocolate cake I have ever eaten. No need for box mix when this can be your treat. Yum!

  • Sara Marie

    great recipe! the cake was delicious :) thanks!

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