A healthy chocolate peppermint cake, rich in wholesome ingredients including organic sugars by Wholesome, as well as quality chocolate and hidden veggies. Let's bake things better with a dessert that taste wonderful and is full of nutrition. Also vegan, gluten-free, oil-free and delicious.
Chocolate Peppermint Cake
Everyone needs to serve a chocolate peppermint cake during a holiday at least once a year, right? What about serving a cake that is actually healthier, and allows guests to feel great after eating even their second helping?
That's what I'm suggesting here. My recipe uses organic sugars from Wholesome, producers of sugars that we know are organic, fair trade and non-GMO.
Organic means the sugar is grown without pesticides, so important because not only do ingested pesticides increase the risk of disease, but even disturb mental health and hormone balances.
Fair trade means the Wholesome company has taken care to only deal with suppliers that treat farmers and workers fairly in terms of working conditions and pay. And non-gmo means Wholesome does not work with genetically modified anything!
How Healthy Is This Chocolate Peppermint Cake?
This holiday traditional cake is not like most. Thanks to the carefully chosen wholesome ingredients, it is full of fiber, protein and many elements that boost mood and provide essential nutrients. This includes use of quality chocolate which is a mood booster, and supports the heart. And means replacing all dairy and eggs and even oil with wholesome ingredients such as aquafaba from chickpeas and even pumpkin puree! Or apple sauce if you don't have pumpkin puree on hand.
What is the Texture of a Healthier Chocolate Cake?
I made mine as a bundt, so it has the texture of a dense chocolate pound cake with a chocolate flavor so rich I felt like singing after my first bite, haha. I also used a thin vanilla glaze on top but you can go all out with you favorite frosting. I provided a rich chocolate frosting recipe as well below.
Either way, I hope you try using Wholesome sugars. This brand has an amazing mission, always seeking out real alternative methods to protect the planet and our health. And I love their pioneering spirit toward creation of healthier ways to sweeten our treats!
How to Make Chocolate Peppermint Cake Dairy-free And Vegan
I made the following replacements to make this cake dairy-free, oil-free, and vegan:
1. Instead of eggs and oil, I added vinegar to milk. This kicks off a process that leads activation of the baking soda which lifts the cake.
2. Instead of eggs, I used aquafaba - 3 tbsp of this liquid equals one egg. The liquid can be found the cans of organic chickpeas. Look for BPA-free to continue the same quality and clean standard of Wholesome sugars.
Aquafaba not only replaces the liquid that eggs provide, but also build in cake structure as do eggs.
3. If you want to increase the cake density, you could also add ¼ tsp of xanthan gum if you have some handy, although this is not crucial.
How Does This Chocolate Peppermint Cake Taste?
I would describe it of rich chocolatey flavor with a pound-cake like crumb. No, you can't notice the hidden veggies, or the coffee which just deepens the chocolate flavor. I have made this cake with peppermint extract in the batter and without, only adding crushed peppermints to the top. Both ways taste fresh and fun.
Make This Recipe as a Layered Cake or Bundt
I have a lot of cake recipes on this blog. Like this zucchini chocolate loaf and this dairy free chocolate layer cake. So that's why I chose to make this recipe in the shape of a bundt. However, it works well as a layered cake as well.
This recipe makes about 5-6 cups of batter. That fills two six-inch wide bundt pans easily. It also fills two 6-inch wide circular layered cake pans. I use six-inch in my house to exercise portion control on desserts.
If you want to make a more traditional 7-inch layered cake or even 8-inch, you could use this recipe as is - the layers will just be thinner. Or you could double the recipe and make 3 tall layers.
Doubling the recipe would also make enough batter for a full sized bundt which I believe takes about 8-9 cups of batter. The cake texture is sturdy and perfect for bundts.
Tips to Make This Holiday Cake Recipe
My process following the basic road of cake baking. Mix up dry ingredients. Mix up wet. Combine dry with wet, and bake.
Here are some tips and substitutions.
1. Veggie puree vs Eggs: Any vegetable puree can be used instead of the sweet potato puree, including steamed cauliflower or zucchini without the skin, or even apple sauce, although please use unsweetened.
2. Aquafaba vs Apple Sauce: Three tbsp of apple sauce can also be used instead of the aquafaba.
3. Unsweetened cocoa vs Cacao: I used a quality unsweetened cocoa powder with this cake, but you can use cacao powder. It is healthier but also more expensive.
4. Sift flour and cocoa: Be sure to measure the flour and cocoa first, combine and then sift and re-measure. Most likely the amount will match but that's the process I follow. Sifting is important to combine the cocoa and flour well and to reduce clumps.
5. Peppermint vs Mint extract: I suggest using peppermint extract, although you can use mint extract if that's all you have handy. The difference is mint extract tastes like spearmint, a milder minty flavor, whereas peppermint extracts tasts bold and coldly mint, just like the candy cane.
Can I Make A Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes?
Sure ! I think this recipe will fill 18 cupcake liners, more or less.
How to Store This Chocolate Peppermint Cake
Store this cake at room temperature, loosely covered if frosted. It will be okay for about 2 days before it will begin to dry out.
You can also freeze the cake unfrosted for months.
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Chocolate Peppermint Cake
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour or a GF flour
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup organic cane sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
- ⅓ cup sweet potato puree or apple sauce
- 3 tbsp aquafaba, the liquid from a can of chickpeas
- ½ tsp peppermint extract
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1-3 tsp milk
- ⅛ tsp peppermint extract
- 3 ¾ cups organic powdered sugar
- 4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 tbsp vegan butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 5 tbsp almond milk
- add maple syrup to make it shiny
- Preheat your oven to 350 F.
- Coat the inside of two 7-inch single layer pans or one 7-inch bundt pan with butter, coconut oil or a non-stick spray. You can add parchment paper on the bottom if you are using circular or square pans.
- Activate your milk by adding the vinegar to it and stirring so it curdles. This creates a mixture that activates the baking soda and creates a lovely moist crumb.
- Sift together the flour and cocoa.
- To the large mixing bowl, add the flour/cocoa mixture, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Use a hand mixer or just a spoon or whisk to combine these dry ingredients.
- Add in the curdled milk, veggie puree, aquafaba and extracts.
- Mix with a hand-mixer or hand whisk until combined, but don't overmix.
- Pour the batter evenly into prepared pan(s).
- Bake for 30 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.
- Let cool for a ten minutes in pans, then pop cakes out onto a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.
Make a Glaze
- If you plan on glazing this cake, whisk together powdered sugar, milk and extract. Add a touch more milk if the glaze is too dry. But be careful, add a drop at a time. It can turn liquidy very fast. Sprinkle with sprinkles or crushed candy canes.
- If you plan on frosting the cake, mix up frosting ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
- Use a hand-mixer or an electric mixer to combine. Add the milk gradually until you have a creamy consistency.
- If your frosting seems too wet, add powdered sugar, if it too dry, add milk a tsp at a time. The final frosting should be spreadable.
This post is sponsored by Wholesome. My opinions are my own.
Dee Dine is founder of Green Smoothie Gourmet, a plant based recipe blog, and author of the recent cookbook, Crazy Healthy with 4 Ingredients and another immunity-boosting smoothie shot book, 4-Ingredient Smoothies + Juices , due out in January 2021. On this blog you'll find incredibly easy recipes with hidden veggies for anyone wanting to eat healthier, regardless of diet. Dee has graduate degrees in sciences and journalism, editor at The Feedfeed and a nutritional expert at WikiHow. More about Dee Dine here.