Guilt-Free Chocolate Brownie Cake Recipe

This classic comfort dessert is brought up to date by replacing the butter with vanilla low-fat yogurt and just a little oil. Perfect for birthdays or any day, this is a great cake with lots of decadent taste but only 141 calories per serving.

A super way to celebrate the mud-luscious advent of spring.


1 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup natural granulated sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds, optional
1 cup vanilla low-fat yogurt or soy yogurt
2 tablespoons safflower oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup low-fat milk, rice milk, or soy milk, as needed
1/2 cup chocolate chips, preferably cane-juice sweetened

1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly oil a 9×9-inch baking pan.

2. Combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and flaxseeds, if using, in a mixing bowl and stir together.

3. Make a well in the center and pour in the yogurt, oil, vanilla, and enough milk to make a smooth and slightly stiff batter. Stir until completely mixed, then stir in the chocolate chips.

4. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until the sides of the cake begin to pull away from the pan, and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean (with the exception of the melted chocolate chips). Allow to cool in the pan until just warm, then cut into squares to serve.

Makes 12 or 16 squares.

Adapted from The Vegetarian Family Cookbook, by Nava Atlas (Broadway Books, 2004). Copyright (c) 2004 by Nava Atlas. Reprinted by permission of the author.
Adapted from The Vegetarian Family Cookbook, by Nava Atlas (Broadway Books, 2004).

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Ms Marsbar
Mars Bar7 years ago

Annie, this recipe looks great.. For those of you who haven't tried rice milk yet, do yourself a favor and get a pack of powdered rice milk. Ok it's not that great in tea, but in cooking and baking I wouldn't think of using anything else..Dark organic choc can be chopped up and it doesn't contain any dairy products either. I like the fact that you've used bicarb instead of baking powder.. A far healthier alternative..I will be trying this recipe for sure and will report back in due course.. thanks

Lyn Woodrow
Marilyn Woodrow7 years ago

Back to the wonderful looking choc brownie cake! Please can someone help me sort a huge problem that has eluded me for years and I am a cook! I am always reluctant to try these recipes because of weights and measures. Can anyone tell me exactly what is a cup measurement dryweight in either pounds and ounces or grams, and liquid measurement in fluid ounces or litres. The information I have had has only confused me more. I would be so grateful for help with this. All the best from the UK. Lyn x

Susan Barnes
Susan Barnes7 years ago

Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't the comment section for comments on the recipe? Most of you have completely gone off topic and are airing your views/feelings about everything but. I am interested in what folks thought about the recipe after making the cake! Please find another arena to air your views.

Valeria Balogh
Valeria Balogh7 years ago

Reflect peace, honor life, be compassionate.
Thank you for sharing these wonderful receipes on this web site. I enjoy being creative with them.

Carol Schott
Carol Schott7 years ago

Some of you people are vicious. Have respect for others when posting your views. It would make for a healthier environment.

Gorel Robsarve Malmros

Great, a recepie "without everything"! I also changed it into gluten free mix...

John Beck
John Beck7 years ago

Donna Pharis - you are a challenge to me. For me to realize you don't mean to be ignorant or cruel, that's just where you are now.

"Dairy Cows" are only CALLED "Dairy Cows" because that is the use humans put those animals to. That is not their purpose on this planet. They must have babies to make milk. This is simple biology. No female mammal produces milk without being pregnant first.

I understand 'modern' dairies don't need bulls - sperm is purchased frozen, and the dairy cows are subjected to what is colloquially known as the 'rape wrack'. Artificial insemination for cows. It's up to the dairy farmers when they want to start breeding their cows. Some start as young as 40-50 days after birth. True, this tends to shorten the cow's useful milk producing years, but they start making milk much younger then.

This is all what effect you want to have on this planet, what effects you want your life and times to have.

I picked up some soy yogurt on my way home from work yesterday to try this recipe out, and some vegan sugar too. (it can be tricky - animal foods and products end up in the darnedest places).

Lesley R.

Starsong Starsinger, yes, knowledge is power, I suggest you try & gain some.
Donna Phariss, I think your Grandfathers & Uncles were hiding the truth from you. Either that or they had the only cows in the world that could produce milk without calving. Oh, & if cows milk is ok for humans, why not cut out the middleman & suckle straight from the udder? Check out the Dark Side of Dairy facts on

Angela Johnson
Angela Johnson7 years ago

It's lovely to see a recipe with alternatives, to dairy. Some of us well, over 2million + are lactose intolerant, or just alergic to milk entirely. I will definetly make this for my children.

Donna Phariss
Donna Phariss7 years ago

john beck, you must not have grown up on a farm. When you feed cows they produce milk not just because their pregnant. That's what milk cows are for--producing milk. at least my grandfathers and uncles cows did that and they didn't raise calves and had NO bulls on the property.