Greek Yogurt Chocolate Chip Cake
While my favorite way to eat Greek yogurt is covered in blueberries and honey, my favorite way to bake with it is making chocolate cake. Maybe it was the sheer quantity of Greek yogurt in the supermarket – everywhere – that set me on this path. I searched for sour cream to bake a chocolate cake but instead could only see Greek yogurt in my mad-dash through the store. So I gave it a try. Instead of the usual sour cream I used plain low-fat Greek yogurt, and the result was outstanding – a cake rising high in the pan, and when sliced, it was moist and flavorful. And did I mention it was lower in fat, higher in protein, and pretty darned perfect for Valentine’s?
For the most calorie and fat savings when baking with Greek yogurt, choose low-fat or fat-free yogurt instead of regular. But, be forewarned that the fat-free has more sugar than the rest. I prefer the low-fat yogurt, which offers up per cup, 180 calories, 5 grams total fat (3g saturated), and a whopping 22 grams protein. Compare this to sour cream’s 480 calories, 40 grams fat (28g saturated), and 7 grams protein, and really there is no contest.
Feeling so smug about my new perfect chocolate cake, I thought of a ton of other ways to introduce Greek yogurt into baking – banana bread, biscuits, cinnamon coffee cake, cheesecake, rice pudding, pound cake, and cream pies.
Plus if you are determined to reduce fat in baking even further, put Greek yogurt in your buttercream frosting. The only caveat is that you’ve got to keep the cake refrigerated, and it is heavier and moist compared to traditional buttercream. But if you are open to a little change this year, give the frosting recipe a try. Bake my chocolate cake in layers, frost, and you will have a fabulous, fit chocolate cake that embodies a new way to bake.
- 1 package (15.25 to 26.2 ounces) chocolate cake mix (see Note)
- 1 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt
- ⅔ cup water
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup fresh raspberries and 1 teaspoon confectioners’ sugar
- 4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
- 4 tablespoons low-fat or fat-free plain Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 ½ to 5 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- For Cake
- Place a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mist a 12-cup Bundt with vegetable oil spray, and dust with flour. Shake the excess flour from the pan and set it aside.
- Place the cake mix, yogurt, water, oil, and eggs in a large mixing bowl and blend on medium speed until smooth, 1 to 1 ½ minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl, and fold in the chocolate chips. If desired, add a pinch of cinnamon or a ½ teaspoon almond extract to the batter and stir to combine.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and place the pan in the oven. Bake until the cake springs back when lightly pressed in the center, 50 to 55 minutes. Let the cake rest on a rack in the pan for 15 to 20 minutes. Then run a knife around the edges, shake the pan to loosen the cake, and invert the cake onto a rack to cool completely, 30 minutes. Slice and serve with fresh raspberries and a dusting of confectioners’ sugar.
- For Frosting
- Place the soft butter and yogurt in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium-high until combined, 30 seconds. Add vanilla and 1 cup of the confectioners’ sugar, and beat on low until just combined. Add the rest of the sugar, 1 cup at a time, until well combined. Beat on high 1 minute to incorporate the sugar well.
- Cover and chill the frosting 15 minutes before frosting a cake. This thinly frosts a 2-layer cake.