Wholemeal and totally wicked Chocolate Cake

by | Apr 21, 2009 | 31 comments

Wholemeal Chocolate Cake

 Chocolate cake has a dense fudgy texture.

April in my family is a cake heavy month. With four birthdays in the span of 3 weeks, there is so much cake that at the end of it, I vow never to eat cake again. Not for long though, come May and I am already baking well into the winter months. Every few months, we have a serious hankering for good chocolate cake and I always turn to my trusted Donna Hay Heirloom Chocolate Cake recipe. This time around I was feeling really adventurous and after Heidi’s Basic Chocolate Cake recipe started doing the rounds on the internet, I knew it was time to go wholemeal. I have never baked a cake with wholemeal flour, so I was essentially running blind. I have created recipes out of thin air before, judging the quantity of ingredients and the ingredients themselves as I went along. But it has never been so much fun. I replaced plain flour with wholemeal flour, the milk with light evaporated milk, the full cream in the ganache with light pouring cream and the caster sugar with demerara sugar. The cake that resulted out of the marriage of these adventurous ingredients was the best fudgy mudcake I have ever had. And it was so simple, I could’ve cried.

Rich, creamy ganache frosting




Print Recipe Rate / Comment
Course // Baking, Cake
Cuisine // Vegetarian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 10


  • For The Cake
  • 2 cups wholemeal flour
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 4 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 cups demerara sugar
  • 1 cup light evaporated milk
  • 250 butter, softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp coffee liqueur essence [optional]
  • For The Ganache
  • 300 ml light pouring cream
  • 300 g dark couverture chocolate


  • Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and line an 8 inch round springform pan with baking paper.
  • Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Blend with an electric blender for 5-8 minutes until creamy and fluffy. Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake for approximately 45 minutes until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan.
  • While the cake is baking, heat pouring cream in a heavy-bottomed saucepan till it starts bubbling on low heat. Add the chocolate and stir continuously for about 5 minutes till the ganache is glossy and smooth. Cool in the saucepan. Pour over cooled cake. Cover frosted cake pan with aluminum foil and chill for an hour before serving. This helps the ganache to set.


If you don't have access to coffee liqueur or essence, use 1 teaspoon instant coffee mixed in 1 teaspoon water.
Substituting wholemeal flour - For plain flour, just substitute directly for the wholemeal flour. If using self-raising flour, reduce baking powder to 1 teaspoon.
Did you make my recipe?I'd love to hear how you went! Tag me on Instagram @cookrepublic




Find More Recipes By CategoryBaking Cake Chocolate



I love creating easy, vibrant, fresh, everyday recipes and taking gorgeous photos of the food I cook. I have been blogging for 15 years and I have also written a book with over 100 new recipes. If you make a recipe from the blog, Tag @cookrepublic on Instagram. I would love to see!


  1. stephchows

    Great job lightening this up!! I love playing with things to make them healthier. Can’t wait to try this!

    • Sakina

      Can I use self raising flour

      • Sneh

        yes you absolutely can. just use 1 teaspoon baking powder instead of 2 tablespoons.

  2. unconfidentialcook

    This looks right up my alley–how much butter is that?

    • Gel

      Sorry about that. It is grams. I fixed it 🙂

  3. David Airey

    That looks great, but I don’t like the small slice. Can I have the bigger portion? 😉

  4. Y

    This looks so good, *I* want to cry!

  5. Sophie

    What an excellent wholemeal recipe!! The chocolate cake looks decadent & grand!

    MMMMMMMMMMM,…would love to eat 1 big slice this morining!
    .-= Sophie´s last blog ..Eggless wholemeal spelt, banana & coconut breakfast muffins =-.

  6. sally joubert

    Hi. So… I have been searching for a wholemeal cupcake recipe, and dropped them into cupcakes, and they’re in the oven at the moment (very early in the morning). I have tried to make some cupcakes for my husband on his birthday to take to work, I am about 10 days late but I think the long search is over! I have also converted commercial icing for ganache. It’s a far yummier idea! Oh… because I try and work mainly with whole foods, I used cream instead of evaporated milk.

    • Sneh

      I hope they turned out great! 🙂

  7. HuiMin

    I’m baking this cake now! but the cake is rised over the rim of my pan!
    I wonder if 2 tbsp of baking powder is too much?

  8. ummu muhammad

    Hi Sneh,

    I just made the cake and yes you are so true it is totally wicked…. the kids loved it and it is wholemeal !!!
    I totally love your blog.

    • Sneh

      Thanks Ummu! Glad it turned out well for you 🙂

  9. Holly

    Hi I’d really love to make this recipe, the thought of using wholemeal flour makes this recipe so intriguing. My only hesitation is the amount of sugar. I’m not used to using a lot of sugar in my baking and was wondering if this could be reduced? Perhaps to 1 or 1 1/2 cups?

  10. Bint A

    Can’t wait to try this recipe!

    Just wondering if I could substitute the evaporated milk for ordinary milk?

    And what is dark couverture chocolate? Can I use ordinary dark chocolate?

    • Sneh

      You could substitute regular milk, although the taste might be slightly different. Yes, regular dark chocolate is fine too.

  11. Josie

    Absolutely amazing!!! I always use wholemeal flour for pretty much everything, so it is a real challenge to find a recipe that allows the cake to rise properly. Just took this out of the oven, it’s the tallest cake I’ve ever made! Haven’t even tried it yet, but smells wonderful! Thankyou 🙂

    • Sneh

      wonderful!! glad to hear it 🙂

  12. Julia

    Please can you tell me in grams or ounces the amount of flour & sugar required to make this cake, instead of cups. Thank you

  13. John Ee Chee Hong

    My only complains why only 4 tablespoons chocolate powder inside the batter?? Some recipe for that much has 2-3 ounce of chocolate powder.

  14. Dominie Stemp

    Is it 2 tsp of baking powder? The recipe says 2 tablespoons???

    • Sneh

      Dominie, It is 2 tablespoons. Mainly because the recipe uses dense wholemeal flour and needs that extra baking powder to raise the batter into a fluffy cake. If you are using plain flour or any other flour that isn’t very dense and high in fibre, reduce the baking powder quantity. Cheers!

      • Dominie stemp

        What if I use self raiding flour – how much baking powder then?


        • Sneh

          Ideally you wouldn’t need any extra baking powder when using SR flour but I’d still add 1 teaspoon just to ensure the cake is nice and light. x

          • Dominie

            Is buttermilk the same as evaporated?

          • Sneh

            Buttermilk is denser than evaporated milk. So the cake may not rise as well as intended. If you don’t have access to evaporated milk, regular dairy milk or nut milk will do the trick.

  15. Alex

    Hello! This cake looks great for my son’s birthday tomorrow. I am running short on butter though.. do you think I could use olive oil instead or 1/2?

  16. John Jones

    Put it in an 8″ round cake tin – way too small and it overflowed into the oven. What was left tasted pretty good, but really, an 8″ tin was WAY too small.


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