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Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Chickpea Ganache Frosting (Dairy-Free)

Looking for a chocolate cake that’s easy to make and is made with healthy ingredients? This family-friendly Chocolate Cake recipe is for you!

Easy, from-scratch chocolate cake with a fudgy, silky frosting.

This chocolate cake is made with simple ingredients and topped with a rich and creamy chocolate ganache (which is made with a secret ingredient). It’s moist, without being dense, and has the perfect balance of sweetness and rich chocolatey flavor.

The secret ingredient that brings it all together… chickpeas! We know what you’re thinking: Why are beans in my chocolate cake?! BUT this is one recipe you have got to try! The creamy chickpea chocolate ganache uses no heavy cream, which cuts the calories of your chocolate cake in half.


My husband (Erich) has always been the biggest chocolate lover that I know. So much so, that it’s not uncommon to catch him in the pantry door with a big smile on his face and a handful of chocolate chips.

It came as no surprise that he requested a homemade chocolate cake for Father’s Day this year, rather than a gift. Because boxed cake mix often contains an array of unhealthy, heavily processed ingredients, I wanted to create a healthier version on my own. I love a good challenge, and after a little bit of tweaking, this recipe was born.

I decided to create a silky chickpea frosting to amp up the nutritional benefits while preserving the sweet flavor of a traditional frosting. The truth is, once he tasted it, he couldn’t believe that it was made with chickpeas rather than heavy cream… it was THAT GOOD!

Next time you or the ones you love are craving a creamy, moist chocolate cake, treat them to this decadent cake. Trust us, they’ll love it!

REAL-food ingredients

When it comes to cakes, we are big proponents of from-scratch, as opposed to box mixes. Packaged versions are generally made with refined sugar, refined white flour, hydrogenated fats, additives, preservatives, artificial colors and flavoring. Some of these ingredients, such as tartrazine, have even been linked to ADHA disorders.

This home-baked from-scratch cake is made with FfL-friendly, REAL food ingredients. It’s far healthier than most commercial mixes because it uses half the amount of sugar and less than half the amount of oil. Don’t worry, it’s still bursting with delicious flavor!

Why does this recipe use WHITE whole-wheat flour?

If you’ve spent time perusing FULLforLife, then you know the recipes you’ll find here use real-food, minimally processed ingredients whenever possible. Because white flour doesn’t fall into the realm of real food, this recipe uses white whole-wheat flour, which does.

By using white whole-wheat flour, you’ll achieve fluffy chocolate cake, while still receiving all the nutritional benefits whole-grain flour has to offer.

Why not whole-wheat flour?

Because white whole-wheat flour doesn’t have the bitter tannins of regular whole-wheat flour, it yields a lighter, fluffier batter with a mild natural sweetness. This means you still get all the benefits of 100% whole-grain flour, without the bitterness.

How to Substitute White Whole Wheat Flour with a Flour of Your Choice

When substituting flour in a recipe, you’ll get the best results if:

  1. The recipe includes eggs, which help provide structure and bind all the ingredients together.
  2. You swap the white whole wheat flour with an equal amount of the flour of your choice by weight, not by volume. A kitchen scale is the best way to do this. Why? White whole wheat flour is notably heavier than oat or almond flour (white whole-wheat flour weighs 135 grams per cup, while oat flour hits the scale at 89 grams per cup.). If you exchange various flours at a 1:1 ratio in a recipe, you might end up with a problem. Either your baked goods won’t rise enough, or you’ll end up with something way too dense. It’s a delicate balance! Here is the scale we use.
    1. In this chocolate cake recipe, the instructions call for 1 cup of white whole wheat flour, which weighs 135 grams. If you’re switching to a different type of flour, make sure to use a scale and measure out 135 grams of flour.
    2. Let’s say you’re opting for oat flour. In this case, you’ll measure out 135 grams, which is more than 1 cup, as each cup of oat flour is roughly equivalent to 3/4 cup of whole-wheat flour.

How to freeze your chocolate cake

This cake freezes incredibly well for up to 3 months. Wrap unfrosted cake (or slices) in aluminum foil and store in an airtight container. Store your frosting in a separate airtight container. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, frost and serve at room temperature.


For a vegan variation, simply swap out the egg for a chia egg (1 Tbsp. chia seeds + 2 Tbsp. water).

For a layer cake

For a two-layer cake, simply double the cake recipe and triple the ganache frosting.

Bake your cake layers and let them cool completely. Use a serrated knife to level the top of each cake. Place a small dollop of frosting on your cake stand. Place the first cake layer (top-side down) on top of the frosting to secure it. Apply a layer of frosting on top of your cake and smooth to coat. Top with the second layer of cake, leveled/top-side down. Finish the cake with a thick layer of frosting, starting at the top and working your way down the sides of the cake.

Pro Tip: Cold cake makes fewer crumbs. Refrigerate your cake for an hour or two just prior to frosting it. This helps the cake not to crumble as you frost it.

A few helpful tips

  • If possible, allow the egg or milk to come to room temperature before making your cake batter (just get them out of the fridge a few minutes ahead).
  • Use high-quality vanilla (we prefer to make our own), It saves money and makes a huge difference in flavor!
  • If you’re using hot coffee rather than room temperature or chilled, add it to your cake mixture AFTER you’ve combined wet and dry ingredients. Because there is egg in the wet ingredients, it’s best not to add hot coffee or you may end up with scrambled eggs in your batter!
  • For an extra fluffy frosting, mix 1 cup of whipped cream with the ganache before you frost your cake. One of our readers recommended this, and we gave it a shot—it was absolutely delicious!

Did you make this recipe?

If you make this Chocolate Cake, we would love to hear how it turned out! Leave a comment below sharing what your friends and family thought of it. We love hearing from you and your ideas inspire us all! Don’t forget to tag @fullforlifegal on Instagram so we can admire your masterpiece! 🌟

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Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Chickpea Ganache Frosting (Dairy-Free)

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5 from 1 review

  • Total Time: 31 minutes
  • Yield: 9 1x


This chocolate cake is made with simple ingredients and topped with a rich and creamy chocolate ganache. It’s moist, without being dense, and has the perfect balance of sweetness and rich chocolatey flavor.



Chocolate cake:

Chocolate ganache frosting:

Optional topping:

  • sliced berries


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×9 non-stick baking dish.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix flour, sugar, cacao powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix egg, milk, coffee (if hot, refer to #2 in notes below), oil and vanilla until thoroughly combined (an immersion blender or mixer works best for this). Gradually add dry ingredients into wet and mix until thoroughly combined. Pour batter into prepared baking dish and bake for 15-17 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.
  4. While cake is baking, combine all ganache ingredients in a food processor. Process for 60 seconds, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Process for 30 seconds more. If necessary, add 1-2 tablespoons of water and puree until ganache reaches a creamy consistency. Optional: Fold whipped cream into the ganache, adding it gradually.
  5. Allow cake to cool completely before frosting it with chocolate ganache.
  6. To lock in moisture, in an airtight container or cake stand with a secure lid for 4-5 days. To maintain freshness, store in the refrigerator.


If coffee is hot, add AFTER you mix dry ingredients into wet. This may slightly alter your bake time (by a minute or two).

If you incorporate whipped cream into your frosting, store it in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

Recipe for Homemade Vanilla Extract.

We recommend organic ingredients when feasible.

Always check for FfL-friendly ingredients.

Substitutions: (may slightly alter taste and texture)

Coffee with warm water (although it will have slightly less flavor).

Coconut oil with a MILD flavored extra virgin olive oil.

Milk for unsweetened almond milk. This works but does slightly alter the taste and texture.

White whole wheat flour with a gluten-free flour blend (swap 1:1 by weight).

Egg for a chia egg (vegan-friendly). We have not tried this method. If you do, please comment below and let us know how it turns out.

  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 16 min
  • Category: Recipes

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1 Comment

  1. Erica

    Absolutely DELICIOUS! I used whole wheat pastry flour in place of white whole wheat flour and divided the batter into two rounds (to make two thinner layers). Because I divided the batter, the layers kind of broke apart as I got them out of the pans so I will use parchment on the bottom of the pan next time instead of just greasing it. I also decided to add homemade (lightly sweetened) whipped cream to the chocolate hummus to make it more “frosting like” – I folded the whipped cream into the hummus a bit at a time.


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