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Dad’s Healthy Chocolate Cake

This Healthy Chocolate Cake has just TWO ingredients and is deliciously moist, chocolatey, and downright decadent! Such a fun doctored cake mix hack for easier, healthier chocolate cake.

This Healthy Chocolate Cake has just TWO ingredients and is deliciously moist, chocolatey, and downright decadent!

In case you didn’t see “Words with a Body Builder“, it’s my dad’s birthday! Happy birthday, Dad! And in case you didn’t read that post, well, my dad isn’t one to often “fall off the wagon”. So on special occasions as this, he finds the healthiest ways to enjoy the classics.

Case in point, this 2 ingredient, super moist, chocolate cake. And while I’d love to bake it up and share it with him today, German customs will likely not be understanding of my need to send my dad a freshly baked cake. So instead, I share it with you to bake up for your health-loving loved one on their special day!

Ingredients for this 2 ingredient cake

  1. Box of chocolate cake mix
  2. Can of pumpkin
  3. Okay, I lied, 3 ingredients …you also need 1/2 can of water
Dad's Healthy Chocolate Cake

Mix it all up and bake according to instructions on the box of cake mix. That’s it!

Dad's Healthy Chocolate Cake

I also conjured up a low-cal icing to go on this, and though it’s a bit more involved, it’s still ridiculously easy. It involves sugar-free/fat-free instant pudding and whipped cream.

Dad's Healthy Chocolate Cake
Dad's Healthy Chocolate Cake
Dad's Healthy Chocolate Cake
Dad's Healthy Chocolate Cake

Dad’s Healthy Chocolate Cake

This Healthy Chocolate Cake has just TWO ingredients and is deliciously moist, chocolatey, and downright decadent!
Print Pin Rate
Course: Baked Goods, Desserts
Cuisine: American
Keyword: box cake hack, chocolate pumpkin cake, healthy cake
Diet: Vegetarian
Occasion: 4th of July, Birthdays, Easter, Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 50 mins
Total: 55 mins
Servings: 12 people
Calories: 227kcal
Author: Sarah Bond
4.34 from 3 votes



  • 1 box chocolate cake mix
  • 1 can pumpkin puree NOT pumpkin pie filling
  • 1/2 can water


  • 3/4 cup skim cow’s milk soy or almond won’t work
  • 1 package sugar-free/fat-free instant vanilla pudding 1 oz
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup low-fat whipped topping


  • Grease and flour cake pan (to flour, use a dash of cake mix, sprinkling it inside the pan and tipping it around to evenly coat).
  • Beat cake ingredients together, about 2 minutes, then pour into greased and floured pan.
  • Bake according to instructions on box of cake mix.
  • In medium bowl, mix cow’s milk and pudding, whisking until it thickens
  • Mix in powdered sugar and vanilla, then gently fold in whipped topping.
  • Allow to set about 15 minutes in refrigerator.
  • Spread evenly over cake.


Store cake covered in refrigerator.


Serving: 1sliceCalories: 227kcalCarbohydrates: 42.3gProtein: 2.7gFat: 5.5gSodium: 399mg
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Hi, Iโ€™m Sarah!

Showing you how to make easy vegetarian recipes, one ingredient at a time. Read more

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Comments (19)

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  1. Eliz says:

    Darn! No one has anything to say about this cake (which I am going to make for my husband tomorrow when he is at the gym LOL)? I did come up with a question, what size is the can? mls, oz, cups…whatever the amount is in the can you used I can convert (this smart thing called the internet can do the math thank GOD!). Thank you!!

    1. Sarah says:

      Hey, Eliz! Sorry for not clarifying. You just need a standard 15 oz can of pumpkin! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I always find recipes that only require a tablespoon of pumpkin puree and then I’m left with so much of it– now I know what to do with it! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Sarah says:

      So happy to help you use the leftovers! You can also add the extra to smoothies ๐Ÿ™‚ Hellooooo pumpkin pie smoothie!

  3. CP says:

    While I love the convenience of boxed cake mixes as much as anyone, they are in no shape or form “healthy” regardless of what other ingredients you use. The sugar and hydrogenated oils are still there.

    1. Sarah says:

      Hey! Yea, it’s definitely not the equivalent to drinking a kale smoothie by any means, but with reduced fat/cholesterol from the oil and eggs required in boxed cake making, and the addition of fiber and vitamin A from the pumpkin, as far as birthday cakes go, this one is pretty healthy (while still tasting virtually the same as traditional fat-laden cakes).

  4. Ivy says:

    I don’t eat eggs so occasionally I’ll make something similar with boxed chocolate cake and a can of Coca-Cola. I call it “lazy cake” and try not to think of all the EXTRA sugar that went into it because of the soda. Pumpkin sounds like a better option. Does the pumpkin flavor come through at all?

    1. Sarah says:

      I used to do the SAME THING, Ivy! But actually, I would always use diet coke + a box of cake mix (we called it Diet Coke Cake). Was super tasty! But the pumpkin adds a lot more richness, without really changing the flavor into a pumpkin-y taste.

  5. Dawn says:

    Hey Girl of Green Gables, Here’s a tip you might be able to use: I put my leftover pumpkin in an ice cube tray. Freeze it. Place the frozen pumpkin cubes in a Ziploc. Store it in the freezer and then use just the portion I need with various recipes.

    1. Sarah says:

      That’s a great tip, Dawn! Would be especially great in smoothies I bet (with a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg….yumm!)

  6. linda says:

    do u use 2 round pans or 1 ?????? or can it be baked in 9x 13….. you did not clarify… ty

    or what inch did you use

    1. Sarah says:

      Hi Linda, you can just bake it according to the instructions on the package (so using whatever time it is for 2 round pans or a 9×13, either pan would work) ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Lorraine says:

    Do you have to use canned pumpkin or could you just use your own mashed pumpkin?

    1. Sarah says:

      You can use whichever variety you like/have on hand ๐Ÿ™‚ Have you tried the recipe yet?

  8. Julie says:

    Excellent!! Can do w different flavors too. Spice is great too

    1. Sarah says:

      Definitely! I’d love to hear what spices you use if you make a fun variation! ๐Ÿ˜€

  9. Donna says:

    Would coconut milk work?

    1. Sarah says:

      Hi Donna, I haven’t tried subbing in coconut milk, but I think it would not work as well. The fibers and thickness of pumpkin puree give a bit more structure than I think coconut milk would. But if you do try it I’d love to hear how it goes!

  10. Von says:

    The nutritional info posted with this recipe overlooks the info set out within that boxed cake mix. If you check the package it reflects a grand total of 180 grams of sugar for that mix. Not at all what I would consider healthy.