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Vegan Chocolate Cake

June 22, 2012

Even though I’m calling this “Vegan Chocolate Cake,” it should really be called “Chocolate Cake (That’s Surprisingly Vegan).” When it comes to vegan baking, I find it best to withhold the “vegan” part from Andrew until he has had time to taste and praise it. He loved the cake and after I told him that it was made without any milk, butter, or eggs, he was even more impressed.

Sometimes vegan baked goods require unusual ingredients or techniques, but this isn’t one of them. It’s made with ingredients that I always have in my pantry and is incredibly easy to put together.


The cake is so moist and delicate that I like to bake it in a spring form pan instead of a traditional cake pan so that I know I can get it out without breaking. Once the cake has baked and cooled, it’s covered with a simple chocolate glaze and a sprinkling of grated super dark chocolate.

In terms of taste and texture, it kind of reminds me of a cake made from a box, but in a good way. Boxed cakes have an airiness and lightness to them that I don’t always associate with homemade cakes. The crumb is usually looser and the flavors aren’t as rich, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes you crave a rich and dense chocolate cake, but other times a lighter version, like this cake, will do just fine.


The Recipe

Vegan Chocolate Cake
Inspired by Instructables

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 cup natural cane sugar
1 cup warm water
1/3 cup sunflower oil, plus more for the pan
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1 cup confectioners sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 to 5 tablespoons of warm water

Small piece of dark chocolate for garnish (optional)

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Using a paper towel or a pastry brush, oil the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan. Line the bottom of the pan with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit. Then oil the top of the parchment paper and the sides of the pan. Depending on your pan, you might want to flour the pan too to prevent sticking.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, instant espresso, and salt. Add the sugar and whisk to combine. In another bowl or glass measuring cup, lightly whisk together the warm water, oil, vanilla, and vinegar. Add it to the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Place the cake pan on a wire rack and let the cake cook completely.

When the cake is cool, remove it from the pan (leave the bottom on if you prefer), place it back on the wire rack and make the glaze. Sift the confectioners sugar and cocoa powder into a medium bowl, then whisk in the warm water 1 tablespoon at a time until it is just thin enough to glaze the cake easily (it usually takes about 3 tablespoons for me).

For easy clean up, place a piece of plastic wrap or wax paper underneath the rack with the cake on it. Pour the glaze over the cake and use a rubber spatula to help coax the glaze over the sides so that the cake is completely covered. Before the glaze hardens, grate a piece of dark chocolate over the cake if using. Once the glaze has hardened, transfer the cake to a cake stand or serving plate and serve.

Makes a one layer 9-inch round cake.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

thelittleloaf June 23, 2012 at 6:19 am

I love it when a recipe is so delicious it defies categorisation as vegan or vegetarian or fat free etc. This looks like a gorgeous chocolate cake and beautifully light. I have a friend who can’t eat eggs or butter so its absolutely perfect for him.


Amanda June 27, 2012 at 9:45 pm

This looks irresistable! I am loving your sweet treats with oil instead of eggs. They all seem to look and taste wonderfully light and moist.


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