Naked Chocolate Cake

This stunning cake is a Naked Cake, or a cake that is made with less sugar and fat and has fewer calories. The trick to making a delicious chocolate naked cake is using a good-quality chocolate and a flavorful sugar substitute-like the sweet natural sugars found in the fruits that adorn the cake. Add to that a homemade whipped cream (where you can control the sugar) and a no-fat chocolate sauce, and you have a decadent cake that will satisfy all your sweet cravings!
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 5 min
  • Prep: 5 min
  • Inactive: 35 min
  • Cook: 25 min
  • Yield: One 8-inch cake
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Ingredients

Cooking spray

1/2 cup coconut oil

3/4 cup vanilla yogurt (you can use Greek yogurt)

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup applesauce

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 cups whole-wheat flour

1/2 cup good-quality cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

3/4 cup milk (I prefer whole, but skim milk will work fine)

1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

2 big bunches green or red grapes

1 pint raspberries

1/2 pint blackberries

1/2 pint blueberries

1/2 pint strawberries

Homemade whipped cream (you can make it with less sugar if you prefer), for serving

Store-bought chocolate syrup, for drizzling

1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar, optional

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray two 8-inch round cake pans with cooking spray, or butter and flour them. 
  2. Warm the oil in the microwave until it is softened or even melted but not hot to the touch, up to 30 seconds, then pour it into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the yogurt, brown sugar, applesauce and vanilla, and mix until combined. 
  3. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. 
  4. With the mixer on low, slowly add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the yogurt mixture, then 1/4 cup of the milk. Repeat with the rest of the dry ingredients and milk. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer, and fold in the chocolate chips. Divide the batter between the prepared cake pans. 
  5. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 22 to 26 minutes. (Cooking times vary depending on the quality of the ingredients and weather conditions.) Let the cakes cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. To assemble: Rinse the grapes, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and strawberries until they're shiny and clean. 
  7. Place 1 cake layer on a cake stand, and top with about 3/4 cup whipped cream. Place a strawberry that's 1 to 1 1/2 inches high upside-down in the center of the cake. (This will help keep the cream from smooshing out when you add the next cake layer.) Spread some of the fruit around the edges of the cake. Because this is a naked cake, you will want to pay attention to how you place the fruit on the edge. 
  8. Place the remaining cake layer on top. Starting with a bunch of grapes still attached to the vine, place the grapes on the cake, then start building up around them. Fill in with the raspberries, blackberries and blueberries, and place a few more grapes around to balance the color. Finally, place some strawberries around the edge and maybe even 1 on top. 
  9. Drizzle the chocolate syrup over the cake, and chill until ready to serve. If using confectioners' sugar, sprinkle it over the top immediately before serving.
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