Recipe: Whole Wheat Chocolate Cake with Easy Whipped Cream Frosting

This whole wheat chocolate cake 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. :)


4.7 from 12 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 or cake 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 recommend melted butter or 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.

4.7 from 12 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.
We recommend organic ingredients when feasible.


Related Posts: Whole-Wheat Chocolate Cookies

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  • Comments

    1. |

      That looks great. My son has a birthday coming, so I’m going to try this recipe. All food rules are usually off for birthdays, but after 4 years of a birthday boy who gets super hyper in the beginning of the day and then crashes hard at the end, I think I owe it to him to change traditions and keep our food rules (mostly) intact on B-Day.

    2. The Table of Promise |

      A half batch makes 9 cupcakes. They are in the oven right now….wish me luck!!

    3. Lisa |

      Recipe review: The cake came out delicious! Very comforting and delicate! You will not be disapointed.

      It did come out VERY sweet, so perhaps reduce the sugar content. Or perhaps since I’ve laid off sugar for so long anything tastes extra sweet to me, or, the brand of cocunut oil I use (Spectrum) is known to be too sweet tasting. Anyway, for those that don’t like your desserts too sweet, perhaps reduce the sugar content just a tad.

      Great job Lisa!

    4. Lori |

      I’m am loving your blog! Any suggestions for school lunches that are real food and don’t contain dairy or nuts? We have several kids at my child’s school with dairy/nut allergies. I don’t want to send my kid to school with something that could send another child to the ER.

    5. Mindy |

      I made a tie dye cake from scratch for my daughters’ BDays (I have 2 daughters that are born a week apart). I used your icing recipe. It was amazing! There was no cake left that night. That was a first! I have tried several of your recipes and I have to say they are all amazing and very simple to make! Thank you!!!!!

    6. |

      What a great idea to use whole wheat flour in a cake recipe..sounds so nice and rich. And LOVE the frosting and coloful additions on the top. Thank you for the idea with the toothpicks..makes it so pretty!

    7. Jacquie |

      I’m a bit confused about the sugar and flour. I’m on the 10-day pledge…and I think we’re not to use white flour–or any type of sugar. Are there substitutions for these with this cake?

    8. |

      Home made cakes taste so much better, since they are made with LOVE xx

    9. |

      My husband is wheat-sensitive, so I simply substitute brown rice flour for wheat flour in most recipes. It can cause some issues, but it mostly works. As for sugar substitution, the most creatively I’ve ever done this was to blend an equal or slightly greater portion of dark sweet cherries and substitute it for sugar in a recipe (I did this with brownies). I had to lower the liquid requirements, but it mostly came out ok. It is a trial-and-error thing. I especially like the colorful fruit drizzle in this recipe; not only adds color but a tangy taste!

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