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« Sweet Sixteen Oatmeal Raisin Bars | Main | Sweet Heart, Strong Heart Chocolate Frosting »

Sweet Heart, Strong Heart Chocolate Cake

It's hard to believe that this tender, rich chocolate cake has no cholesterol. That's right: using flax eggs, apple sauce, and coconut spread makes it good for your sweetheart's heart. It's even made with all whole-grain flour! It's an easy introduction to plant-strong vegan baking, too. Frost with Sweet Heart, Strong Heart Chocolate Frosting.

vegan chocolate layer cake uses coconut spread and flax eggs but looks like a rich traditional American layer cake

Sweet Heart, Strong Heart Chocolate Cake

Active time: 30 minutes. Total time: 1 hour and 15 minutes Serves 12


  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance Coconut Spread (4 ounces or 113 grams)
  • 3/4 cup Hershey's Cocoa (60 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seed (14 grams)
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce (128 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour (270 grams)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar (300 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • shortening, flour, and parchment paper for cake pans


  1. Let coconut spread come to room temperature. Boil one cup water and pour over cocoa in a medium bowl (this intensifies the flavor of the cocoa). Heat ground flax seed and two tablespoons water in a microwave-safe bowl on high for 45 seconds, then stir until texture becomes eggy.

    mostly organic ingredients for this chocolate layer cake: ground flax seed, Earth Balance organic Coconut Spread, Hershey's cocoa, King Arthur organic White Whole Wheat Flour in canister, sugar, Frontier organic vanilla

  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two 9-inch cake pans, line with parchment, grease parchment, and flour pans and parchment.

    cutting out parchment paper to line cake pans

  3. Put dry ingredients into a mixer bowl. Mix on low speed using an electric mixer until well combined, about 30 seconds. Add coconut spread and mix briefly, then add remaining ingredients and mix on medium high with a stand mixer or high with a hand-held mixer for about 90 seconds until somewhat fluffy. The batter will not get as fluffy as a cake made with butter and eggs.
  4. Pour batter into prepared cake pans and bake for 28 - 35 minutes, until top feels firm when you press on it gently and a tester comes out clean when inserted in the center of the cake. Let cake cool in pans for 10 minutes, then remove from pans, peel off parchment, and cool right-side up on wire racks. Frost with Sweet Heart, Strong Heart Chocolate Frosting when completely cool.

    peel parchment from chocolate cake layer before cooling

cutting a homemade vegan chocolate layer cake with chocolate frostingTips and Notes

I first used white whole wheat flour for this cake out of desperation: it was the only kind I had in the house on one cold night when I really wanted a cake. But that flour turned out so well it has become my choice.

If you find its mild wheat flavor annoying, use all-purpose flour instead for some or all of the white whole wheat flour. You can also serve the cake cold. The wheat flavor is strongest when the cake is warm.

Reader Comments (3)

WOW- I am anxious to try this-it looks yummmy!!!!!

Your pics look great too!

Feb 15, 2012 | Registered Commentermamacheese

This looks amazing, but my husband doesn't really like the taste of coconut. How strong is the coconut flavor in the cake and frosting? Looks delish!

Feb 24, 2012 | Registered Commenterwendyjoy

Wendyjoy, you'll notice the coconut flavor but it's not strong. Chocolate is the main taste. You'll notice it more in the frosting than the cake.

I'm going to try it with the Earth Balance Soy-Free Buttery Spread, but haven't yet. If you or anyone else does first, please share your results.

Feb 24, 2012 | Registered CommenterLinda Watson
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