Oil-free Chocolate Cake with Cashew Vanilla Frosting. Finally, a healthy, plant-based cake that doesn’t taste terrible! No applesauce here; the moisture in this cake comes from cooked sweet potato and non-dairy yogurt. You can’t taste the sweet potato at all, it just tastes like a rich chocolate cake! Top with Cashew Vanilla Frosting for a healthy and delicious celebration!

Piece of Oil-free Chocolate Cake with Cashew Frosting

I have been wanting to come up with a healthier cake for awhile now. Though every time it’s someone’s birthday, I get too afraid of making a terrible tasting cake and I end up making a pretty standard, vegan butter filled one.

Well, we had my son’s 2 year birthday party last weekend, and I did make a regular cake with the vegan butter and sugars…… But I decided to try my hand at a healthier, oil-free, lower sugar one as well.  And you know what? The healthy one was SO delicious!

Oil-free Chocolate Cake with Cashew Frosting

This cake would have been just fine on it’s own, at any celebration. It’s a little more dense than a regular cake with white flour, but I didn’t mind that at all, and I don’t think you will either.

It’s perfectly moist, not dry at all, which is what I feared with an oil-free cake. I also don’t LOVE the taste of applesauce in baked goods, so I really wanted to avoid that if I could. I ended up using a combination of cooked sweet potato, almond milk and non-dairy yogurt. The combination was just perfect! You really can’t taste the sweet potato at all, which I also was a little afraid of.

I added in some chocolate chips, because why not? They really add a lot to the cake, so I wouldn’t skip them unless you need to.

Oil-free Chocolate Cake with Cashew Frosting

The frosting was the next challenge! I love frosting, I’m not going to lie. 🙂 So a cake without frosting is, well, just sad to me!

I went with this Cashew Vanilla Frosting, which is just soaked cashews, lemon juice, almond milk, a few tablespoons maple syrup and vanilla extract. It turned out amazing, and totally hit the spot on this cake!

It would be great on cupcakes, too! It helps if you can let it cool in the fridge for a couple of hours, as it will thicken up considerably as it cools. It will definitely help if you have a high powered blender such as a Vitamix for the frosting, but it is not absolutely essential! Just soak the cashews in very hot water for at least an hour before blending.

I hope you love this healthy, Oil-free Chocolate Cake with Cashew Vanilla Frosting as much as we did!

Oil-free Chocolate Cake with Cashew Frosting

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If you make this recipe, let me know how it goes! Rate it, leave a comment and tag a photo @noracooksvegan on Instagram. Enjoy!

Inspired by Dreena’s Sweet Potato Cake.

Piece of Oil-free Chocolate Cake with Cashew Frosting

Oil-free Chocolate Cake

Finally! An oil-free chocolate cake that you can feel good about! This cake is made with cooked sweet potato, non-dairy yogurt and whole wheat flour. It has way less sugar than most cakes, and will satisfy all your birthday cake (or other celebrations) desires without putting you in a sugar/oil/butter coma. Top with Cashew Vanilla Frosting.
4.88 from 8 votes


Dry ingredients:

  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar, or regular sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup non-dairy chocolate chips, optional

Wet ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup cooked and peeled sweet potato, see notes
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy yogurt, plain or vanilla


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9 inch cake pan with oil, using as little as possible. You can also cut a circle of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan. This will make it easier to pop the cake out when it's done.
  • Add all dry ingredients, including chocolate chips, in a large bowl and stir to combine.
  • In a blender, add the cooked and cooled sweet potato, almond milk, apple cider vinegar and pure vanilla extract. Blend until very smooth.
  • Add the blended mixture to the dry ingredients, and also dump in the non-dairy yogurt. Stir with a wooden spoon until just combined, being careful not to over mix.
  • Add the cake batter to the pan, spreading it evenly with a spatula.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Let cool completely before frosting.


-I simply microwaved a sweet potato for about 5 minutes, until it was cooked through. You can also bake a sweet potato whole, and then measure out 3/4 cup. I don't recommend boiling sweet potato chunks, as that may make the cake too watery and it won't turn out right.
-I used a cashew based plain yogurt, but any non-dairy yogurt will work such as soy, almond, coconut or cashew. If you are avoiding extra sugar, try to find an unsweetened variety. 
-The chocolate chips are optional, but they add a lot to the cake! Calorie calculation includes chocolate chips.


Serving: 1serving, Calories: 122kcal, Carbohydrates: 24g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 183mg, Potassium: 120mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 1415IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 69mg, Iron: 1mg
Oil-free Chocolate Cake with Cashew Frosting

Cashew Vanilla Frosting

The key to this easy frosting is to soak your cashews in very hot water for an hour if possible. This will become your go-to healthy frosting. It's super low in sugar compared to most frostings, and it is completely oil free!
4.88 from 8 votes



  • Boil a few cups of water. I do this by heating water in a tea kettle. Once it's boiling, pour it over the cup of cashews in a small bowl or measuring cup. Just cover the cashews. Set aside to soak for an hour.
  • Drain and rinse the soaked cashews.
  • In a blender, add the cashews, lemon juice, almond milk, maple syrup and vanilla. Blend for a few minutes until very smooth. You may need to scrape the sides a few times. 
  • Place the frosting in a bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before spreading onto the cooled cake. It can be used right away, but it will thicken up the longer it cools, which will make it easier to spread.


Serving: 1serving, Calories: 90kcal, Carbohydrates: 8g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 10mg, Potassium: 99mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 19mg, Iron: 1mg

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Oil-free Chocolate Cake with Cashew Frosting

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