Decadent Chocolate Cake (Made Healthier with Date Paste!)

Decadent Chocolate Cake with Date Paste

Everybody needs a go-to chocolate cake recipe and this one will be yours! Plus, if you replace some or all of the sugar with nutritionally-dense date paste, you can even claim that your cake is (kind of) healthy, too!

Decadent Chocolate Cake Cupcake Date Paste

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When I got married, the teachers that I worked with threw me a bridal shower and made me a cookbook with all of their favorite recipes. One of the teachers gave me a chocolate cake recipe and swore that it would become the only chocolate cake recipe I used. 

In fact, I made this recipe only weeks later for one of our wedding display cakes (what a time to test out a new recipe, right?? To be fair, I made a test cake about a week ahead. Ha. ). People have eaten this cake numerous times since then, and loved it. But, let’s face it – cake is loaded with sugar, which is not healthy at all.

So when I had the opportunity to try out Date Paste by Date Me, I knew the exact recipe I wanted to update and make healthier. 


What the heck is date paste??

Date paste is literally a paste made from fresh dates. It has a sweet taste reminiscent of brown sugar, so it is perfect as a white or brown sugar replacement. Date paste is an all natural sweetener, so it’s better than most alternative sweeteners which are often made with unnatural ingredients or processing or chemicals. 

Dates are also nutritionally dense, so by using date paste as your sweetener, you increase the health benefits in your food. A 1/4 cup serving of the date paste has 2g protein, 4g fiber and 8% of your daily iron. Date Me’s Date Paste is also certified organic, gluten free, dairy free, vegan, paleo friendly, and contains no added sugar!


decadent chocolate cake date paste


Replacing Sugar with Date Paste

You can replace all the sugar in your recipe with date paste, cup for cup. 1 cup of date paste is equal to 1 cup of sugar. 

OR, if you’re nervous about whether it will change the taste or the texture of your recipe, start with replacing 1/2 (or even 1/3) of the sugar with date paste. Some is always going to be better than none!


Decadent Chocolate Cake Made with Date Paste

This cake is not very involved – in fact, it’s a great one to let the kids help with! Stir the dry ingredients together, and then mix in your date paste. Add the rest of your wet ingredients, except the water and mix thoroughly. 

Add the boiling water (this is the part kids should not help with) about a 1/2 cup at a time, stirring in between. 

Tip: If you mix your cake in a stand mixer, do not mix the water in with the mixer. Mix it in small amounts by hand; otherwise you may find your stand mixer flinging watery batter all over your house. Not that I speak from experience or anything…

Pour your cake mix into your chosen pans. You can make 24 cupcakes or 2-3 round cakes for layering or a 13×9 rectangular cake. 

Bake at 350: 22-30 minutes for cupcakes and round cakes, 30-40 minutes for 13×9 cake.

Let cool completely before frosting with this chocolate frosting or your favorite chocolate frosting.


decadent chocolate cake date paste

Layering Your Cakes

Use a knife or a leveler to level the tops of your round cakes (make them flat). Lay one cake on your cake plate. Drop a large spoonful of frosting on the top and spread to the edges.

Lay 2nd cake on top. Repeat frosting. Lay 3 cake on top and spoon remaining frosting onto the top of the cake. Spread to the edges and down the sides to cover the entire cake. 


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decadent chocolate cake date paste


Decadent Chocolate Cake (Made Healthier with Date Paste)

A deep, dark, decadent chocolate cake, made healthier and moist with date paste. 

  • 2 c. date paste (or 1 c. date paste and 1 c. granulated sugar)
  • 1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 c. good quality cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 c. vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 c. boiling water
  • Favorite Chocolate Frosting Recipe
  1. Preheat oven to 350.  Grease one of the following: 2 or 3 (8 inch) round cake pans, 24 cupcake tins or 1 13x9 rectangular cake pan. Set aside. 

  2. Stir together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. 

  3. Stir in date paste (and sugar, if using). 

  4. Add eggs, vanilla and oil, stirring in between. 

  5. Stir in boiling water, about 1/2 c. at a time. Stir carefully!

  6. Divide cake batter between round cake pans or cupcake holders or pour all into rectangular pan.

  7. Bake at 350: 23-30 minutes for round cake pans or cupcakes, and 35-40 minutes for rectangular pan.

  8. Let cool completely before frosting with your favorite frosting.

  9. To layer cake: Use a knife to level the tops of each round cake. Place 1 cake flat on plate and spread a large spoonful of icing on the top. Set 2nd cake on top. Repeat and set 3rd layer on top. Spread frosting from top down the sides to frost entire cake. 

decadent chocolate cake date paste
decadent chocolate cake date paste

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  1. Angel Sames

    To me the best part of a cake is the sugar but I’d also love to eat healthier. I’m sure you can see my dilemma! Lol. This looks great and I’ll be off to search for date paste. Thanks!

  2. Sarah bockstahler

    This looks amazing!! I love dates I need to give this a try for sure!

  3. awakenandbegin

    ooohhh I never thought I would say this, but now I’m craving date paste 😉

  4. Sarah

    Ok. I’m making this asap. Amazing!!!

  5. Erin

    This date paste sounds amazing! We are cutting out all processed sugar in my household, which is going to be hard but oh so worth it! I really hate the taste of some sweeteners, so it’s good to know there’s a natural alternative!

  6. Amanda Krieger

    date paste is such a great alternative, i’m always looking for great low sugar recipes. plus, this comes just in time for birthday season at my house 🙂

  7. onehoppymomma

    Love creative recipes! I’ve heard of adding avocado to baking recipes but never dates. Pinned for later so we can try it out.

  8. thehabibihouse

    I am completely blown away by the idea of the date paste. Sugar is not my friend. However, chocolate cake is so I can’t wait to try this.

  9. Virginia

    When I am pressed for time and need a nice dessert cake, I will reach for a box of chocolate cake like this…

  10. Colleen

    Ooo! I love chocolate cake and I love dates, but I’ve never made a chocolate cake with date paste. That’s got to be so delicious. I’m pinning this recipe for later! Thanks for the fresh recipe 🙂

  11. Ruebini

    Been enjoying using dates in my baked stuff. Was wondering if I could use whole wheat flour or almond flour? Look forward to making this. Thank you

    1. Lisa

      I would think you could use whole wheat flour – it might be a bit chewier or denser than all purpose. I can’t say about almond flour – that’s not a flour I use often so I don’t know how it would work!

  12. Shelly Rasmussen

    Link for frosting isn’t working… 🙁

  13. Tisha

    This looks delicious! Would it come out okay if the eggs were swapped with “flax eggs”?

  14. N

    Hello, please can you suggest a vegan alternative for 2 eggs? Not flax eggs but anything else?

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