The Ultimate Healthy Chocolate Cake

January is supposed to be about detoxing and eating healthy. Well, I want to have my cake and eat it too! So I came up with a healthy chocolate cake recipe while my sister shared her recipe for a healthier cake frosting. Together you get a decadent dessert that satisfies all your chocolate cravings, plus it’s easy on the hips! The secret ingredient is mayonnaise, which is a much healthier alternative to butter.

85g dark chocolate (60-70%)

85g plain flour

25g cocoa powder

¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda

100g caster sugar

50g brown sugar

½ tsp instant coffee

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp buttermilk

1 egg

100g mayonnaise, preferably light

Ganache frosting

100-150g chocolate (50-70%) I don’t like a lot of frosting so I used 100g, if you like lots of frosting just use more chocolate

1 tbsp Greek yoghurt or light sour cream


1. Preheat oven to 180C. Gently melt the dark chocolate in the microwave or in a bowl over a pot of boiling water. Once melted let the chocolate cool slightly.

2. Line a 22cmx5cm round tin or 19cmx5cm square tin with baking paper. Sift the flour, cocoa and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl. In another bowl, stir the sugar into the cooled chocolate along with the coffee, vanilla and buttermilk. Add 1 tbsp warm water. Whisk in the egg, then the mayonnaise and beat until smooth and glossy. Gently gold through the flour and cocoa mix but do not overmix.

3. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs (the cake will continue to cook once taken out of the oven). Leave in the pan for 15 minutes, then cool on a wire rack until completely cool.

4. Meanwhile, make the ganache frosting. Melt the chocolate in the microwave, then beat in the yoghurt or sour cream until smooth. For even more flavour without the fat, add the zest of half an orange. You may like to add a little more yoghurt or sour cream if it needs it. Once the cake has cooled top the cake with the frosting. Great served room temperature or chilled in the fridge.

© Julia Blanter