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The Best Ever Vegan Chocolate Cake
This is the best vegan chocolate cake recipe – it’s super moist, rich and decadent, with a hint of optional coffee!
Chocolate cake is my most favorite go-to dessert, it never fails to please a crowd and it’s so simple to put together.
Making a simple two layer cake makes it look professional, even if you’re a beginner baker.
Not to mention it’s completely dairy and egg free, but you’d never be able to tell!I also use a quick homemade vegan buttercream for this vegan cake recipe and it’s to die for!
Vegan butter has really come a long way, and it makes the frosting incredibly easy to put together.
For this vegan chocolate cake, it’s a perfect sweet complement to the rich decadent flavor, and I spread it on generously!
Easy Vegan Chocolate Cake Recipe
The true secret to making a super decadent vegan chocolate cake recipe is to “bloom” the cocoa.
For this recipe, this simply means adding boiling water to the cake batter to fully dissolve and distribute the cocoa’s true flavor.
I’ve made vegan cake recipes without using this trick before, and you really miss out on a TON of flavor.
Another thing I love to do with chocolate desserts is add a hint of coffee – it brings out even more flavor from the cocoa and adds a deep richness.
If you don’t love coffee you can leave this out or just use a little, but I think it takes this vegan cake recipe to the next level.
Vegan Cake Recipe Ingredients:
- All-Purpose Flour – Bleached or unbleached, you can also use a 1:1 gluten free flour blend.
- Cocoa Powder – I love using dark cocoa powder, but you can also use regular or cacao.
- Sugar – I used half brown and half white for added flavor.
- Vanilla – Any good chocolate cake needs some vanilla flavor.
- Plant Milk – Any plant milk is fine, I always opt for oat or almond.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – When mixed with the plant milk and allowed to sit, it creates a vegan buttermilk perfect for baking.
- Oil – This adds so much moisture to the cake.
- Ground Coffee – Optional for added flavor.
- Ground Flaxseed – This helps act as a binder much like an egg would.
- Baking Powder & Baking Soda – These both interact with the apple cider vinegar to help the cake rise and get fluffy.
- Salt – Helps to bring out all the wonderful flavors.
- Boiling Water – This helps to “bloom” the cocoa and bring out all the depth and flavor it has to offer!
For this rich vegan chocolate cake recipe, you’ll want a big glass of plant milk to wash it down.
Or, maybe a cup of homemade Vegan Hot Chocolate for extra chocolaty goodness!
It’s also wonderful with a latte to bring out the chocolate and coffee flavors.
If you just want a single serving of delicious vegan chocolate cake, try my Chocolate Vegan Mug Cake!
How to Make Vegan Chocolate Cake
Preparing the Cake Batter
What I really love about this cake is that it’s a simple one bowl recipe. I even just wash the bowl out and use it to make the frosting!
To begin, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and mix together your plant milk and apple cider vinegar.
Then whisk together your dry ingredients in a large bowl and pour in your homemade buttercream, oil and vanilla.
After this is mixed (and it will be a bit thick), you add your cup of boiling water to bloom the cocoa. It will be a bit runny after this but it bakes up perfectly!
Lightly spray two 8×8 cake pans with non-stick spray, or gently coat with oil or vegan butter and place a circle of parchment paper in the bottom or each, and pour half the batter into each pan.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean.
Let them cool in the pan for 10 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack and removing the parchment paper, and start on your frosting!
Making Vegan Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
To make your yummy buttercream, you’ll want to make sure your vegan butter is at room temperature, so let it sit out on the counter overnight or for a few hours.
I highly recommend to avoid microwaving the butter because it can get too soft really quickly and make the frosting too runny. But if you must, just do it for 5-8 second increments until it’s workable but not melted at all.
Add the vegan butter to a bowl with the cocoa powder, plant milk, vanilla and salt and mix together well.
If it’s a little runny, add a bit more powdered sugar, and if it’s a bit too thick add a tablespoon or two more of plant milk until you reach the desired consistency!
Now to assemble your cake!
Once the cakes are fully cooled, take one cake and add a layer of frosting to the top, then add the second cake on top carefully.
Generously frost the top and sides of your cakes with the remaining buttercream, and you’re all done!
How to store vegan cake:
- Store cake in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days, but it’s best enjoyed when it comes back to room temperature.
- Cake can be frozen for up to 1 month, let it thaw in the fridge overnight and frost right before serving.
Dairy Free Chocolate Birthday Cake
There’s nothing that compares to a rich, homemade chocolate cake, and now you can enjoy it without any dairy or eggs if you are avoiding them.
It’s a perfect option for a vegan birthday cake for chocoholics of any kind, especially when served with dairy-free vanilla ice cream!
Some plant milk, vegan butter and ground flax seeds are great alternatives and help create that ideal soft and moist texture in your cake.
Also, making your cakes from scratch makes for the most delicious desserts, and you’re going to love the result!
If you do want to serve a lower sugar cake, you can omit the frosting in this recipe and instead use yogurt or coconut whipped cream!
This vegan chocolate cake recipe is:
Check out these other chocolaty vegan desserts:
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- 1 3/4 Cups All-Purpose Flour
- 3/4 Cup Cocoa Powder
- 1 Cup Brown Sugar
- 1 Cup Cane Sugar
- 2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 Cup Plant Milk
- 1 Tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1/2 Cup Neutral Oil
- 2 Tbsp Ground Coffee (optional)
- 2 Tbsp Ground Flax Seed
- 1 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
- 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
- 1 Tsp Salt
- 1 Cup Boiling Water
For the Frosting:
- 3 1/2 Cups Vegan Powdered Sugar
- 1 Cup Vegan Butter (room temperature)
- 2/3 Cup Cocoa Powder
- 2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- 3-5 Tbsp Plant Milk
- 1/8 Tsp Salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together plant milk and apple cider vinegar and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, ground coffee, ground flax seed, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- Add plant milk mixture, oil and vanilla and mix with a spoon or spatula until smooth. Add boiling water and mix until smooth (it will be a little runny).
- Spray two 8x8 cake pans with non-stick spray and place a circle of parchment paper into each, then pour half of the batter into each. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean!
- Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan then transfer cakes to a cooling rack and remove parchment paper.
- Add room temperature vegan butter, cocoa powder, vanilla, plant milk and salt to the same bowl (rinsed out!) and mix until smooth. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time and mix with a hand mixer or vigorously by hand.
- Frosting is ready when all powdered sugar is used up, if it's a bit runny add a tiny bit more sugar, and if it's too firm add a bit more plant milk.
- Once the cakes are fully cooled, spread a thin layer of frosting over the first cake, add the second cake and generously spread with remaining frosting on top and on the sides. Enjoy!
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 451Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 360mgCarbohydrates: 64gFiber: 2gSugar: 47gProtein: 4g