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:
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.
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:
-neutral oil (any oil without a flavor, such as canola, grapeseed or safflower)
-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
-cocoa powder (I used dark cocoa powder for the frosting)
-splash of hot coffee to bring it together
Vegan Chocolate Cake
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.
For the vegan chocolate cake:
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup granulated sugar*
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 ½ tablespoons canola oil
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon vinegar
- ½ cup hot coffee
For the vegan chocolate buttercream:
- 1 stick plant-based butter substitute, softened
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- splash of hot coffee to bring it together
- Preheat the oven to 350, and place an oven rack in the center position of the oven.
- 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.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
- In a large measuring cup, whisk together the oil, vanilla, vinegar, and coffee.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Once the cake is cool, slice it in half horizontally. Place the bottom of the cake on a plate, and scoop ⅓ 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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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 665Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 61mgSodium: 763mgCarbohydrates: 90gFiber: 3gSugar: 66gProtein: 5g
I would love to make this, but am wondering if I can freeze this or if it is possible to keep this 'fresh' for a week? A friend of mine is vegan and we celebrate two birthdays on a holiday, a week apart. I basically want to make this cake once in advance and use it twice. What advice could you give me?
Christina Lane says
Totally! Make the chocolate cake (without the frosting), and freeze it in a single layer. Defrost in the fridge overnight. make the frosting the day-of. If you need to make the frosting ahead of time, go ahead and put it on the cake, and then refrigerate. Then, leave the cake at room temperature for about 20 minutes before serving to soften. Happy Birthday to you and your friend!!
Beth E. says
I made this cake today for Valentine's Day with Bob's Red Mill 1:1 Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour, some instant espresso since I don't drink coffee, and Earth Balance spread for the buttercream. It turned out perfectly! It was very rich and moist. I'm looking forward to trying the white cake next.
I came across your blog and found your incredible chocolate cake recipe. I absolutely loved it and so did members of the staff where I work.
Not being a coffee lover, ever, I used hot water instead. The cake came out light, fluffy, and had just enough chocolate flavor. I frosted it with whipped cream cheese icing too. The combination rocked!
I'm not a vegan, but prefer to bake without eggs. They tend to go bad before all are eaten or used.
Thanks again for sharing this recipe!
Can I bake this in a 6 inch pan which is taker than 2 inches ? Would it work ?
Can I use sunflower oil or palm oil instead of canola oil?
How do you think this cake would do in 4 inch pans? I was thinking of making a mini cake but only have 4 inch pans!
Hi! I love your recipes! However, I just wanted to ask, are the calories for the whole cake? Or per portion?
Christina Lane says
Anytime the calories seem high, it's probably because the app is calculating the entire cake. I don't have much control over the app, I'm sorry!
I make a cake for 9x13 or 2 8 or 9 in round pan with the water not coffee in it. I put peanut butter frosting on top of it and its real good
I made this cake with whole wheat flour, coconut oil and monk fruit sweetener (wow lol, I know, I changed a lot of things) and it worked (surprisingly).