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 having 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. :)
Whole-Wheat Chocolate Cake
- 1 cup whole-wheat flour - organic pastry or white winter wheat recommended
- 1 cup all purpose flour - (or cake flour) organic recommended, or can sub whole-wheat flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder - I recommend Hershey's Special Dark
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 ¼ cups sugar - organic recommended
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups water
- 2 eggs - organic recommended
- 2/3 cup coconut oil - or melted butter (1:1)
- 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
- butter - for greasing pans
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Generously grease two 9-inch round cake pans or other sized baking dish.
In a large bowl whisk together dry ingredients including flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, sugar and salt.
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.
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.
Whipped Cream Frosting and Berry Sauce
- 3 cups heavy whipping cream - organic recommended
- 3 tablespoons sugar - organic recommended, to taste
- 1 ½ recipe 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). See link below.
In a large bowl, whip cream and sugar together using an electric mixer.
Meanwhile prepare berry sauce(s) with desired fruit for topping. Let sauce(s) cool.
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.
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.
Make colored circles on top of cake using berry sauce (pictured).
Using toothpicks start in the center of the cake and drag through the sauce to the edge. Repeat until desired look is achieved.
For best results serve within a few hours. Keep leftovers refrigerated.
Tools needed: squeeze bottle or spoon, and toothpicks.
We recommend organic ingredients when feasible.
Related Posts: Whole-Wheat Chocolate Cookies