The Most Delicious Healthy Chocolate Cake EVER!

Katherines Chocolate Cake

I’m thrilled that certified holistic health coach, Katherine Nilbrink, agreed to write a guest post for me. She is my plant-based guru!

Katherine is a wonderful plant-based chef and the most nutritionally knowledgeable person I know. In fact, I’m surprised I was able to talk her into writing a guest post because she is one busy chica. She is Head of the Instructor Team for eCornell’s Certificate in Plant Based Nutrition course and has her own wellness company, Lifetrekk. A guest post from her is a real treat, so I’ll stop babbling and let her begin!

The Most Delicious Healthy Chocolate Cake EVER!

First I wanted to say what an honor it is for me to be asked by Celeste to be a guest blogger on her site!  I love her site and have so enjoyed being a part of Celeste’s Plant Based journey.

As Celeste knows I have a lot to say about Plant Based Nutrition and hope to bring more of that knowledge here in future posts but I thought I would start out with something fun and easy – DESSERT!

One of the first questions I get from people contemplating switching to a Plant Based Lifestyle is: ‘Can I still have dessert and CHOCOLATE?’  And ‘Of Course!’ is my answer but it comes with a caveat:  If you are addicted to sweets then there is a completely different issue going on here and you may want to hold off on eating desserts for a while as you get a handle on your food cravings (I’ll cover that on another guest post soon!).

So what does a Plant Based dessert entail?  It means that we are dealing with all whole unprocessed (or minimally processed) ingredients – no sugars (including agave, maple syrup, etc), no refined grains, and no oils (another junk food).  Basically no refined products.  So it’s not just about being vegan and animal free, it’s also about nutrition and nutrient density.

I sweeten my desserts with whole plants (unsweetened applesauce, dates, bananas, sweet potatoes, beets, etc) and use only whole grains.  I want to jam as many nutrients into every bite I eat as possible.  That being said – even though this is a highly nutritious dessert – it is still a dessert and thus calorie dense so it should still be eaten as a treat!

Here is a chocolate cake recipe that I created that has been used in restaurants around the world.  It is a bit more dense than a regular chocolate cake but make sure you sift the dry ingredients together and only fold the wet ingredients until mixed and that will add air to it and help keep it a bit more ‘fluffy’ and light. I hope you enjoy it!

Recipe for The Most Delicious Chocolate Cake EVER!


  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • 2 Tbs 100% cocoa bar broken into pieces (or cacao nibs)
  • 20 medjool dates, pitted
  • 2/3 cups white beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 cup beets, shredded
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup unsweetened milk alternative (almond, hemp, coconut, etc)
  • 1 Banana


Preheat oven to 350F.

Sift together all dry ingredients (except nuts and nibs).  THEN add nuts and cacao nibs. Puree beans, dates, vanilla, banana and milk.  Mix in beets.

Mix wet ingredients with dry ingredients until just blended.  Pour into an 8X8 baking dish (non-stick or glass) or 8 inch spring form pan.  Bake at least 60 minutes, or until done, rotating halfway through cooking time.

Allow cake to cool completely and before adding ‘frosting’.  Dust with cacao powder.  Or eat it plain.

Cashew Cream ‘Frosting’

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 4 dates
  • 1 cup unsweetened milk alternative (almond, soy, hemp, etc)
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Place cashews and dates in a bowl of water to soak at least an hours.

Drain and place in a high-speed blender with the rest of ingredients.  Blend until very smooth and creamy.  I like to blend longer to add more air to it to make it fluffy so feel free to just let it blend.

‘Frost’ on a completely cooled chocolate cake.  Dust with cacao powder.  ENJOY!


About celestedimilla

Hey there. I’m Celeste, California girl, writer, psychotherapist and burgeoning plant-based foodie.
This entry was posted in Plant-Based Diet, Recipes and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

54 Responses to The Most Delicious Healthy Chocolate Cake EVER!

  1. Wow, this is superb! I must try white beans in baking now. Thank you, Katherine and Celeste!
    Unfortunately dates + banana makes for very high GI and so unsuitable for diabetics.. darn!

    • Actually Priya, this cake is loaded with fiber and the walnuts give it a bit of fat so it offsets the GI issues with the dates and bananas. And, although I don’t know if you are Type I or type II diabetic, but a whole unprocessed plant based diet can reverse Type I diabetes and significantly lower insulin dependency in Type I. It’s not about the sugar… But that’s a topic for another post! Feel free to contact me if you want more info.


      • Katherine Nilbrink says:

        Oops! I meant reverse Type II diabetes, not Type I. Sorry! 🙂

      • Thanks so much for your reply Katherine! My husband (nearly 30) was diagnosed with LADA (latent Type 1) about a year and half ago. He now takes small amounts of insulin twice a day. I’m always worried about dates and bananas but at the same time I’m not a fan of the sugar substitutes I use in occasional baked treats (in which I always use whole grains and nuts). Any pointers, resources or any info you can share to clear this quandary would be really great!

      • Katherine Nilbrink says:

        A great book that you might find helpful is Dr Neal Barbard’s book Program For Reversing Diabetes. He talks about both Type I and Type II and it will give you a better understanding of what is going on with you husband and how you can support him in minimizing the long term effects of his disease. Using a whole foods plant based diet to get him in optimal health and ‘clean up’ his cells will lower his dependency on insulin and make his body optimally efficient at using the insulin he is getting. Feel free to email me personally if you want to discuss this more but I suggest you read this book. I think it will really help answer a lot of your questions.

    • Thanks so much for your comment Priya! Katherine is super knowledgeable about nutrition, so I’m glad she got back to you about the diabetic issue. Have a wonderful weekend girlfriend!! Celeste 🙂

  2. Wow this sounds incredible! Can’t believe the clean ingredients list when it looks so decadent! Could you specify a measurement in cups for the dates Katherine? I’d love to make this for a goodbye celebration I’m having before moving to a new city in a couple of weeks time.

    • Katherine Nilbrink says:

      Hmmmm…. I actually don’t know the measurement in cups on the dates. I have always just counted them out because you have to pit them anyway. I should have also specified that these are the plump medjool dates. Sorry.

    • Thanks so much for your comment Emma! I would love it if you shared how the cake turns out for you. And good luck with your move. I’ve moved so many times in my life, and it’s such a chore. Celeste 🙂

  3. sophiazerg says:

    I’ve baked with black beans, but never with white! How interesting. Can’t wait to give this a try.
    Thanks for sharing Celeste & Katherine!

    • Oh my gosh Sophia! Your new photo is great – you look so beautiful!! Not that you didn’t look beautiful in your other photo, but wow girlfriend! Anyway, I hope you try this and tell us how it turned out for you. Celeste 🙂

      • sophiazerg says:

        Haha, thanks so much! Too nice…
        I am trying this for sure, and will definitely let you know when I do. Need to get some dates, all out…

  4. Katherine Nilbrink says:

    Reblogged this on LifeTrekk and commented:
    So I was a guest blogger today on my friend, Celeste’s Honk If You Are Vegan site. Check it out! Thanks Celeste!

  5. So happy to “meet” Katherine – – and that beautiful cake of hers! I love the healthy ingredients. NO guilt!

  6. PigLove says:

    OMP (oh my pig) You had me a chocolate! That looks delicious my friend. Printing this off for mommy to try. Thanks!! XOXO – Bacon

  7. Namrata says:

    One amazing recipe. So different, so healthy and looks oh so tempting.

    • Thanks so much for your comment – I appreciate it!

      I met Katherine at a plant-based dessert class she gave at Whole Foods Market. I was a plant-based newbie, and I knew little about healthy cooking. I watched as she put fresh orange juice, avocados, cocoa powder and dates in a blender and thought YUCK! But when she blended it up it looked just like chocolate pudding, and when I tasted it I was amazed at how yummy it was! I’m rambling, but I guess what I wanted to say is that once you learn how to cook plant-based that it’s just as tasty as not cooking plant-based (and so much healthier!!). Here’s a link for Katherine’s pudding recipe in case you’re interested:

  8. Geraldine says:

    sounds really good! looks yummy too.

  9. Thanks Celeste and Katherine for this wonderful and amazing post. So much goodness going on here with banana, beats, dates and walnuts. Lately I am reading more and more recipes using black beans or white beans in baking cakes and brownies. I am trying to understand the science behind it. Is the protein of beans used to substitute the protein of eggs in baking? If yes, then what is the proportion?
    Thanks again for an excellent excellent recipe. A musty try for sure 🙂

  10. Wow, fruits, beets and beans! Loaded with great nutrition. I have used fruit veggies and beans in cakes but never beets! Thanks for the great idea.

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  12. This looks so yummy!!! Love the cashew cream icing it sounds amazing 🙂

  13. Sophie33 says:

    MMMMMM! What a lovely guest post & what a very delectable chocolate cake! Yummy!
    Beans , dates & beans,..Yum, It works, I know!

  14. This looks so fantastic! Yum! This sounds like a great recipe for me to try some day!

    • I still have yet to try this recipe myself, but I’ve tried lots of Katherine’s other recipes and they’re wonderful! She is somehow able to mix the healthiest ingredients in the most delicious ways. If you try this cake, please let me know how it turns out for you. Celeste 🙂

  15. BloomLisa says:

    Hi Celeste, You should add a Pin It (Pinterest) option under Share This….I would Pin It in a heart beat. Sounds delicious, thanks!!

    • Thanks for stopping by Lisa! Yea, that’s one of the things on my to-do list that I should get to soon. Thanks for mentioning it – that might make me get to it faster. Hope you’re having a beautiful week girlfriend! Celeste 🙂

  16. Thanks for sharing this wonderful, decadent chocolate cake! Awesome ingredient – beets?!!!!

  17. nusrat2010 says:

    Probably…wait…definitely this is the most healthiest cake idea ever! And who says ‘healthy’ doesn’t look pretty?
    Insanely in love with this genius recipe 🙂

    • Yes, Katherine knows how to put healthy ingredients together and make them taste fabulous! I met her at a class where she was making pudding out of avocados. It grossed me out when I saw her put avocado, cocoa, orange juice and dates in a blender, but when I tasted it she won me over. She is a master! Here’s the recipe I was just referring to if you’re interested:

      Anyway, thank you for stopping by my blog! I just checked out your blog and you rock! You have the most creative food blog ever!! You are going to be soooo famous one day soon. I hope everyone reading this comment will check out your blog – I can’t imagine anyone not loving it! Celeste 🙂

      • nusrat2010 says:

        You are a beautiful human and that’s why you are able to compliment others in such a lovely manner ♥
        I’m so blessed to find you. There’s a lot to learn from you, my dear Celeste ╰⊰✿

    • Aw thanks – that really means a lot to me!! You’re a sweetheart! Celeste 🙂

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