Anna Maria Locke

lightened-up chocolate cake with ganache icing


Ben and I decided to stay home on Valentine's Day and cook ourselves a fancy dinner we could enjoy in our comfy clothes for half the price of going out. We "winter grilled" steak and veggies on the stove in a cast iron grill pan (one of my favorite Christmas gifts!), enjoyed a bottle of Cab Sav, and finished off the evening with a chocolate ganache cake that was so delicious I had to share it with you!

(Candles! So fancy!)

I was looking for a chocolate cake recipe that I could "healthify" a little bit, since I knew I wanted to slather it in chocolate ganache, which is un-healthifiable and could probably make anything taste like heaven.

(Side note: Ganache is my lover. It is so easy to make and yet always seems so impressive! There are only two ingredients: chocolate and cream. Not exactly low-cal, but SO much better for you than hydrogenated frosting from a can!)

I found this chocolate cake recipe on Eat, Live, Run and decided it would fit the bill. I halved the recipe to make a single layer cake since there's only two of us in the house, and made some substitutions to lower the sugar and calorie load. For a relatively low-fat cake, it turned out dense, fudgy, and delicious even without the ganache! It's also vegan (until you cover it in heavy whipping cream), AKA you can lick the bowl, spatula, and beaters without risk of salmonella.

And then maybe eat some of the batter out of the pan before you stick it in the oven...

Lightened-Up Vegan Chocolate Cake
(adapted from Eat, Live, Run)
Makes one 9" cake layer, can be doubled for two layers
-1 cup white whole wheat flour
-1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
-1/2 cup cocoa powder
-1/2 t baking soda
-1/2 t salt
-1/2 cup sugar
-1/4 cup canola oil
-1/4 plain Greek yogurt
-1 t vanilla extract
-2 T apple cider vinegar
-1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk


Preheat oven to 375 F.

In a medium bowl, combine vinegar and milk and set aside to curdle.

Grease and flour one 9" cake pan.

In a large bowl, sift together dry ingredients (through salt). Mix wet ingredients into milk and vinegar bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix thoroughly. Pour batter into pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Chocolate Ganache Icing
Makes 1 cup, double for a larger cake
-4 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (one Baker's bar)
-1/2 cup heavy whipping cream


Pour cream into a pot and heat on the stove, stirring with a whisk, until cream comes to a boil. Immediately take the pot off the heat, add the chocolate, and whisk until melted and smooth.

Allow to cool for 10-20 minutes (can put in fridge) until thickened, pour over cake, and enjoy!

Dense, chewy, chocolatey, so. good.