Not that long ago, I was teaching a Food for Life nutrition education and cooking class at a large cancer center in South Carolina. We were still setting everything up before class, and a few patients had begun to trickle into the room. This recipe for easy vegan chocolate hot fudge cake soon became the the topic of conversation for healthy vegan desserts.
People can’t believe this hot fudge cake is healthier
The handouts for class had already been put down at each seat, and a couple of women were looking over them since they were early. Handouts for classes include copies of recipes, menu planners, and more.
At the time, they were looking at the Menu Planner. It consisted of rows for ‘Breakfasts,’ Lunch & Dinner,’ and ‘Desserts & Snacks.” Included were a number of different options for each section, along with space for them to fill in their own personal preferences and ideas.
I heard one of the class participants lean over to the other one and say, “Hot Fudge Cake! This must be some kind of a joke.”
Vegan Chocolate Hot Fudge Cake is dairy-free
This hot fudge cake recipe is completely oil and dairy-free. It’s very simple to make and has only 143 calories and 1 gram of fat per serving.
Class participants were thrilled to realize that a whole food plant-based lifestyle is not one of deprivation. In addition to this recipe, there are other great healthy vegan desserts listed like No-Bake Chocolate Pie, Glazed Carrot Cake, and Mango Lime Sorbet. These, of course, are not something we eat every week, but they are great treats once in awhile.
One of the last steps in this recipe is to pour a mixture of sweetener and cocoa powder evenly over the batter in the pan. It will be thin and watery, but will thicken up when baked. Trust me, just do it. It will be a frosting-like covering over the cake and is delicious!
If you leave the cake in pan instead of dumping out, just spoon the gooey fudge over each serving. Yummy!
Video from a Friend That Made This Hot Fudge Cake
My friend, and fellow Food for Life instructor, Beth Perera, shared her experience making this recipe recently. Click on the pictures to see the process in action including her bubbly, fresh-out-of-the-oven Hot Fudge Cake. I love her excitement. Chocolate has the same effect on me!
Recipe adapted from Dr. Neal Barnard’s book, Breaking the Food Seduction. Per slice: calories 143, protein 3 grams, fat 1 gram
Most of us have about nine meals that we make over and over, because we like them and they are familiar to us. We keep the ingredients on-hand and can whip them up in no time. I call those the 9 meals in our Wheelhouse.
The key to being successful with plant-based nutrition is changing out those old Wheelhouse meals to healthier ones.
The Meal & Snack Planner HERE will help guide you to do that. It links breakfast and snack ideas from my website to help get you started.
Other Great Dessert Ideas
Plant-Based Starter Kits
Want to go plant-based but not sure where to begin? We have Plant-Based Starter Kits for only $27 that include a book, DVD set, and all the material shown below. Click photo to find out more and how to order.
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (divide in half)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup vanilla almond milk (or any plant milk)
- 1/2 cup apple sauce
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar (use 1 cup if you like it sweeter)
- 1 cup hot water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place flour, baking powder, salt, and 1/4 cup of the cocoa powder in a large bowl.
Whisk dry ingredients together.
In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, vanilla, and apple sauce.
Pour wet mixture into flour mixture and mix well.
Spoon mixture into a silicone nonstick 8-9" square pan. Link to amazon below. Since silicone pans are very flexible, you will need to use a baking sheet underneath for stability. Glass or metal pans lined with parchment paper also will work fine.
In a clean bowl, combine brown sugar and last half of cocoa powder. Gradually beat in hot water using a whisk and blend thoroughly. Note: I use approximately 1 cup + 2 Tbsp of water.
Pour evenly over batter in pan. It will be thin and watery, but will thicken up when baked. Trust me, just do it. It will be a frosting-like covering over the cake and is delicious! If you leave the cake in pan instead of dumping out, just spoon the gooey fudge over each serving.
Bake on center rack of oven for 40-45 minutes. Remove and allow to cool. Spoon fudge sauce over each serving. Ovens vary, so if your sauce isn't quite thick enough, after 45 minutes, lower temp to 325 and allow to cook 5-10 more minutes.
Serve warm or chilled. Enjoy!