Vegan chocolate cake is so good that you won’t even notice it’s vegan. Make this vegan chocolate cake recipe if you’re baking without eggs and are out of milk, too! It’s super moist, chocolatey and delicious! You don’t have to tell anyone it’s vegan!


vegan chocolate cake recipe

Vegan chocolate cake recipe:

It’s never really been a secret how different my husband and I are from each other. I’m a loud and proud Texan, he’s a quiet, mellow Californian. Barbecue is my favorite meal out, while he loves a place that just makes a great salad with a great view. While I love butter, full-fat dairy and runny eggs, he loves green juice, spiralized veggie noodles, and a daily salad. Apples and oranges, we are.

My husband dabbles in veganism to deal with high cholesterol, and I’m here for all of the crunchy taco salads with big scoops of guacamole that I get out of it. Most nights, I make a vegan dinner, but I add cheese or chicken to it for me and our daughter. I don’t make a big deal out of making something that’s vegan, because I almost always have a jar of homemade romesco in the fridge that he can have with some chickpea pasta. If Camille and I want Cowboy steaks and bacon wrapped asparagus bundles, we will indulge happily. Also, sometimes he indulges right along with us!

Valentine’s Day dessert for two idea:

But since Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, I want to make a vegan chocolate cake for him! I’m really great about making vegan cakes, but when it comes time to frost said vegan cake, I struggle without buttercream or ganache. Usually, I just opt for my vegan brownies in that case.

Speaking of, did you know my vegan chocolate cupcakes are naturally made without animal products because I fully believe in a moist fluffy cupcake made with oil and leavened with a small amount of vinegar? And furthermore, I love using peanut butter as a butter replacement in frosting. That recipe is just perfect, but I’m digressing. We’re here to talk about this vegan chocolate cake recipe.

vegan chocolate cake for two

We have options with this cake! The recipe below is for the petite cake on the right that serves 2-4 people. It’s a one layer cake that we slice in half and layer with vegan chocolate buttercream, and then decorate. However, you can double the recipe for a larger cake–it doubles exactly as written!

On the left is single layer 9″ cake that serves 8-10 made by doubling the recipe below, but feel fee to quadruple the recipe below and get two 9-inch layer cakes.

If you double the recipe, you can also bake it in a 9″ bread loaf pan with mini chocolate chips–no frosting needed!

I hope all of the options for cake sizes make sense to you–if not, ask below!

Vegan chocolate cake ingredients:

For this cake, you will need:

-cocoa powder
-baking soda
-neutral oil (any oil without a flavor, such as canola, grapeseed or safflower)
-vanilla extract
-vinegar (to make the baking soda react, since we lack the acidicity of dairy products)
-fresh hot coffee

Since I normally forget that buttercream contains, well, BUTTER, I grabbed a few sticks of vegan butter made with avocado oil. A vegan chocolate cake this good deserves a vegan chocolate buttercream on top.

For the vegan chocolate frosting, you will need:

-plant-based butter substitute
-powdered sugar
-cocoa powder (I used dark cocoa powder for the frosting)
-vanilla extract
-splash of hot coffee to bring it together

Yield: 4 slices

Vegan Chocolate Cake

vegan chocolate cake recipe

Vegan chocolate cake for two made in a 6" cake pan; recipe doubles for a single layer 9" cake pan. Or, quadruple the recipe for a 2 layer 9" cake. Can also double the recipe and bake it in a 9" bread loaf pan.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 34 minutes
Total Time 49 minutes


For the vegan chocolate cake:

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar*
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1/2 cup hot coffee

For the vegan chocolate buttercream:

  • 1 stick plant-based butter substitute, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • splash of hot coffee to bring it together


  1. Preheat the oven to 350, and place an oven rack in the center position of the oven.
  2. Spray one 6" cake pan with 2" sides with cooking spray, and then line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper and spray again.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. In a large measuring cup, whisk together the oil, vanilla, vinegar, and coffee.
  5. Slowly pour the coffee mixture into the bowl while whisking. Whisk until the cake batter is mostly lump-free, but try not to mix too much and make a dense cake batter.
  6. Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pan, and bake on the center rack of the oven for 32-34 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
  7. While the cake cools, make the frosting: beat together the softened 'butter' with the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla, pinch of salt and 1 tablespoon of coffee. Add the remaining coffee if needed to bring it together.
  8. Once the cake is cool, slice it in half horizontally. Place the bottom of the cake on a plate, and scoop 1/3 of the frosting on top. Spread the frosting almost to the edges. Place the remaining cake layer on top, and frost with the remaining frosting. If desired, portion some frosting into a bag fitted with an open star tip and decorate the cake with buttercream roses and sprinkles.


*My vegan husband tells me that pure white granulated sugar isn't vegan, thanks to the bone char process. I can't really comment on the validity of this or not, so use natural cane sugar if this concerns you.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 665Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 61mgSodium: 763mgCarbohydrates: 90gFiber: 3gSugar: 66gProtein: 5g

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