Chocolate Deception Cake

whole wheat chocolate zucchini cake recipe spelt honey buttermilk refined sugar healthy whole grain

As you hand your child something healthy to eat, they ask “What is thiiiiiis??”  “Honey, it’s good, it’s really, really yummy,” you say as reassuringly as you can.  Your child takes a long, scrutinizing look at it, makes a face and holds it out to you with an emphatic, “I don’t want it!”  Does this conversation sound at all familiar?

None of us want to lie to our children (“No, that’s not zucchini, it’s…it’s…”).  So we try to cleverly camouflage healthy foods by slipping them into smoothies, grinding them up in meats, stuffing them between the fork tines (well, maybe not the last one), hoping they won’t even notice in the first place.  Sweet deception.

Let me ask you something.  If you showed this cake to your kids, would they turn it down?  I didn’t think so.  Now, come closer so I can whisper something in your ear…..this cake is the ULTIMATE DECEPTION!  Would you believe me if I told you it was 100% whole wheat, made with honey and buttermilk, and had 2 whole cups of zucchini in it?  Well, it’s true!  I created this on a whim last night after the kids were in bed, envisioning a healthily deceptive treat I could offer them the next day.  In examining this rich and decadent cake, I immediately decided to call it Chocolate Deception Cake.

So whether you’re trying to feed your kids healthier treats or eat healthier yourself, this cake is for you!  A rich, moist, finger-licking dark chocolate decadent cake oozing with a drippy chocolate honey glaze.

(And doesn’t this cake look fabulous with my Oma’s (German grandmother’s) gold leaf-rimmed china?)

Let’s get started on this yummy-licious, decadent, healthy chocolate cake!

Using your hands, squeeze as much liquid out of the squash as you can.  This will leave you with about 1 cup of densely packed squash.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In a large bowl, add the sugar, eggs and honey, and beat until smooth, about 1 minute.  Add the oil, vanilla extract, and cocoa powder and beat until combined.  Add the buttermilk and beat for another 30 seconds.

Chocolate Deception Cake prep 1

Using a rubber spatula, gently stir in the squash until the strands are separated and combined with the batter.  Gradually add the flour mixture to the batter and gently fold it in, just until combined.  Be careful not to stir too much.   Gently fold in the chocolate chips.

Chocolate Deception Cake prep 2

Gently fold in the chocolate chips.

Chocolate Deception Cake prep 3

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.  I used Fat Daddio’s pan for this.

Chocolate Deception Cake prep 4

Remove the pan from the oven and set it on a wire rack.  Let the loaf cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing from the pan and setting it on the wire rack to cool completely.

Chocolate Deception Cake prep 5

To make the chocolate honey glaze:  Bring the honey and sugar to a gentle boil in a small saucepan.  Turn off the heat and add the chocolate and let it sit until melted.  Stir the mixture until combined.  Add the sugar and stir until thoroughly combined and smooth.  Once the loaf is fully cooled, poke some small holes across the top to allow the glaze to seep in, and pour the glaze over the entire top of the loaf, allowing it to run down the sides.  Let the loaf stand for at least 20 minutes before serving.  Note:  The glaze will remain soft.  Store in a cake saver.

Chocolate Deception Cake 1 copyright

Chocolate Deception Cake
 
This deceptively decadent cake is made with 100% whole wheat, honey, buttermilk, and 2 whole cups of zucchini. Dig in...without all the guilt!
:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • For the Loaf:
  • 2 cup grated zucchini or yellow squash (leave the peel on and use the small holes of the grater. Thoroughly squeeze the liquid out with your hands, you will be left with about 1 tightly packed cup). Note: I used yellow squash in the loaf featured in the pictures. Your kids won't be able to detect a single trace of it!
  • 2 cups whole wheat or spelt flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¾ cup brown sugar (1 cup if you prefer a sweeter cake)
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • For the Chocolate Honey Glaze:
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 3 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.
  2. Using your hands, squeeze as much liquid out of the squash as you can. This will leave you with about 1 cup of densely packed zucchini. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, add the sugar, eggs, and honey and beat until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the oil, vanilla extract, and cocoa powder and beat until combined. Add the buttermilk and beat for another 30 seconds.
  5. Using a rubber spatula, gently stir in the squash until the strands are separated and combined with the batter. Gradually add the flour mixture to the batter and gently fold it in, just until combined. Be careful not to stir too much. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Remove the pan from the oven and set it on a wire rack. Let the loaf cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing from the pan and setting it on the wire rack to cool completely.
  7. To make the chocolate honey glaze: Bring the honey and sugar to a gentle boil in a small saucepan. Turn off the heat and add the chocolate and let it sit until melted. Stir the mixture until combined. Add the sugar and stir until thoroughly combined and smooth. Once the loaf is fully cooled, poke some small holes across the top to allow the glaze to seep in, and pour the glaze over the entire top of the loaf, allowing it to run down the sides. Let the loaf stand for at least 20 minutes before serving. Note: The glaze will remain soft. Store in a cake saver.

 

 

Chocolate Deception Cake

15 Responses

  1. candy

    wrote on

    Ohh I so want this right now!!!!….looks delicious…:)

  2. wrote on

    Looks perfect!! and I want some right now too… :-)

    • wrote on

      Coming from a professional baker, that’s a nice compliment! Everybody, check out bakeaffairs (see above) for some luscious European-style baking.

      • wrote on

        Dear Kimberly, thank you so much for your kind comment & wonderful compliments. I really appreciate that coming from you!

  3. wrote on

    Great recipe! I love using zucchini and whole wheat flour in cakes!

    • wrote on

      Thank you, Jayne! So do I. Whole wheat baked good often struggle with the problem of dryness, unless they’re drenched in something syrupy. The 2 cups of zucchini, while being virtually undetectable visually and in taste, combined with the whole cup of buttermilk, really transform the whole wheat into a beautifully moist and decadent creation. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. wrote on

    This looks delicious. I love to cook but rarely bake – mostly because I can’t believe how much butter and sugar goes into most cakes. Thus, my kids have been deprived of home-baked goodies in the house. But I’m thinking I might surprise them and make Chocolate Deception Cake. It looks amazing and I love the ingredients. My kids are teenagers. I wonder if they’ll ask why it’s called chocolate deception cake or if they’ll just ignore the name and dig right in?

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Thank for the compliment, Lisa, and for stopping by. Well, since your kids are old enough to know what the word “deception” means, you may just need to “up” the deception by not telling them what it’s called! ;)

      This cake is definitely not quite as sweet as what we’re accustomed to here in the U.S.. The chocolate-honey glaze adds a delicious touch of sweetness though. It’s funny, a friend of mine back in Germany recently made this and shared it with her family. They couldn’t eat it because they said it was much too sweet. It’s interesting how perception levels of sweetness vary across cultures. Here in the U.S. this cake would be lower than average on the sweetness scale.

      If you make it, let me know how it goes over!

  5. wrote on

    […] adapted a cake recipe from here and used a glaze recipe from here to come up with these little […]

  6. Shelley Sharp

    wrote on

    Have you tried the recipe with any other flours? Gluten-free?

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Hi Shelley! It works equally well with spelt flour, one of my favorites, but no, I haven’t tried gluten-free. If you try it, let me know how it goes!

  7. Stephanie

    wrote on

    Hi Kimberly,

    I made this cake last night – so yummy! It’s very dense and chocolatey, and not overly sweet. It also gave me a chance to experiment with some ingredients that I have not used before (whole wheat flour, coconut oil). Thanks for posting, I will be making it again! Next I want to try the “barfi” fudge. Will keep you posted!

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Hi Stephanie, that’s wonderful! So happy to hear you made and enjoyed it! Spelt flour is another fun one – it’s an ancient form of wheat and has a lighter texture than whole wheat flour. YES, BARFI! I love barfi! Let me know if you try it and what you think!

  8. Erika Henry

    wrote on

    what is the nutritional information?

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Hi, Erika! If you’re looking for a calorie/carb/fat/protein breakdown, there are several free online sites you can use to enter in each ingredient to get the total.

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