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Vegan Chocolate Cake:
My All-Time Favorite Recipe

If you can find and master a really good vegan chocolate cake recipe, I truly believe you will never feel like going vegan is any type of sacrifice. In fact, a bite of this cake could turn a non-believer vegan.

Even if you live nowhere near any vegan restaurants, you can whip up a decadent, elegant, and delicious cake in under an hour and treat yourself when the time is right.

This vegan cake recipe gives you a reliable, simple, egg free, dairy free chocolate cake that will impress in absolutely any situation. This is my go-to recipe that can be manipulated with your favorite flavor combinations.

My sister loves peanut butter and chocolate, so I came up with this vegan chocolate cake with peanut butter buttercream frosting and vegan chocolate ganache with dollops of the pb frosting on top. It was like a giant Reese's cup, but better. I love Isa Chandra Moskowitz's peanut butter frosting from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World if you're looking for a fool-proof recipe.

Vegan Chocolate CakeVegan chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting and chocolate ganache

You can also use this as your basic vegan chocolate cake and add different flavors to the mix to come up with a completely different cake. Chocolate goes really well with orange, raspberry, strawberry, mint, and coffee, and an easy way to completely change the flavor is to change the extracts and throw in a teaspoon of citrus zest.

My husband is a mint chocolate chip lover, so I can add in a teaspoon of mint extract into the actual cake, as well about 1/2 cup chocolate chips and then frost it with mint buttercream and he swoons.

I sometimes add in chocolate chips, nuts, fruit, caramel, fudge, and any other indulgent treats to ramp up the flavor and texture of the cake itself. Crumbled cookies, macadamia nuts, bits of your favorite GoMax candy, or even fruit mixed in would be delicious too.

You can dress it up with pretty piping with this simple vegan chocolate butter cream frosting, add chocolate shavings, fruit, or mint leaves to the top, dollop on vegan whipped cream, or change any of the flavorings on the inside.

Vegan chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream frosting

If you're a brand new vegan or veg-curious, this is a perfect vegan chocolate cake recipe to get you started. You don't need an electric mixer and there are no egg substitutes to mess with, just combine your dry ingredients, add in the wet, and pour it into a baking pan.

In this recipe, I use my super secret, special ingredient to make the cake incredibly moist and fluffy-- coconut milk. Something about its thick, rich texture gives the cake an airy, delicate, moist texture. If you're not a fan of coconut flavoring, don't panic; you can't taste any coconut at all in the finished product. If you really want to bypass the coconut, you can substitute in another nondairy milk.

I made this recipe from a combination of a few favorites, and it's insanely good. It's light and fluffy, with just the right amount of cocoa flavor. There's not much worse than a cake that is so rich you can only eat a few bites or so sweet that your teeth start aching as soon as it hits your mouth. This vegan chocolate cake is perfect, and it will impress all your friends.

It's also the perfect recipe for those pot-lucks with omnivores where you want to bring a show-stopper to put an end to being teased about eating salads all day long. Nothing impresses like vegan chocolate cake.

The Actual Vegan Chocolate Cake Recipe


  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 c. spelt flour
  • 1 1/2 c. sucanat (or pure cane sugar)
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 c. vegan cocoa powder
  • 2 c. coconut milk (or any nondairy milk)
  • 2 Tbsp. organic raw apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2/3 c. safflower oil (or canola)
  • 1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil two 9" round baking pans and set aside until later.

Combine the flours, sugar, salt, baking soda, and cocoa powder in a bowl and sift to combine.

In a separate bowl, combine the coconut milk and vinegar and set aside for a few minutes until the liquids begin to curdle. Add in the vanilla and oil, and stir to combine.

Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into the dry. Stir to combine, just until you the lumps are gone and the flour is completely mixed together. If you stir too much at this stage, the batter won't be as light and fluffy when it comes out of the oven.

If you're adding chocolate chips into your cake batter, fold them in now.

Divide the batter evenly amongst the two reserved baking pans and tap them on the countertop to release any bubbles.

Bake for 30 minutes, until the edges of the cake pull away from the sides of the pan and a fork inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool on a baking sheet for a few minutes. Invert the pan to loosen the cake, remove the pan, and let the cakes cool on cooling racks until they're totally cool.

I always have to exercise patience at this stage because I want to get decorating, but if you don't wait until the cakes are completely cool, pieces of cake break off and land in your frosting and the frosting can even melt and fall off the cake.

Ingredients for Homemade Chocolate Frosting:

  • 3/4 c. non-hydrogenated, nondairy butter (Earth Balance), softened
  • 4 c. confectioner's sugar
  • 1/3 c. cocoa powder
  • 3-4 Tbsp. nondairy milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract


Cream the butter in an electric (or hand held) mixer for about 5 minutes, until very light in color and texture. Add in the sugar and beat for another 2-3 minutes, until creamed. Add in the cocoa powder and vanilla, and beat until light and fluffy.

For some reason, sometimes I feel like I need to adjust the measurements at the end. If your frosting doesn't taste sweet enough, you can add a little more sugar. If it's so thick that you can't frost a cake with it, add a little more coffee or a teaspoon of nondairy milk. If the cocoa flavor isn't prominent enough, add in cocoa or more vanilla-- sometimes vanilla helps to bring all the flavors together, so it could be your magic ingredient.

When I frost this vegan chocolate cake, I typically go with a simple two layer cake-- placing the first layer on my plate, frosting the top of it, and then covering it with the second layer and frosting. You could also cut each layer in half, creating four layers of cake, and frost in between each one for a more elegant look that allows you to squeeze in even more of that vegan chocolate cake frosting.

› Vegan Chocolate Cake

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