Vegan Chocolate Cake Recipe | FoodByMaria

Dips & Spreads

Easy Vegan Chocolate Cake

Prep

20 minutes

Cook

35 minutes

Yield

10-12 pieces

Oh baby! I think I truly outdid myself with this Easy Vegan Chocolate Cake recipe. I’m telling you, this will NOT last in your house for very long. 

Why you’ll love this Easy Vegan Chocolate Cake recipe: 

  • Quick: You can make it in under an hour. Who has time to bake for anymore than that? 
  • Healthier: I’ve substituted as many unhealthy ingredients in this recipe with healthier alternatives
  • Plant-Based: It’s vegan and plant-based, but even your non-vegan friends will love them
  • The Icing: The frosting is so damn creamy and delicious (and made with cashews) for this recipe and seriously one of the highlights
  • Chocolate: So much chocolate goodness… do I need to say more? 

Close-up of a slice of moist Easy Vegan Chocolate Cake recipe garnished with cashew frosting and blueberries.

Slices of Vegan Chocolate Cake recipe scattered on white plates on the countertop.

Ingredients:

For this  Vegan Chocolate Cake you’ll need the following ingredients:

Ingredients for vegan chocolate cake

Ingredient Notes:

Cocoa Powder: This is the good stuff that makes the chocolate cake, well, chocolate! What many people don’t know is that cocoa powder is rich in theobromine which helps reduce inflammation and can protect you from diseases. It’s actually low in fat and sugar to, so it’s not as bad as you think it would be!

Plant-Based Milk: I used almond milk for this recipe but any plant-based milk will work. Finding your favorite plant-based milk can be challenging as the benefits, texture, taste are all so different, but when you use it within recipes like this, you can’t tell the difference. If you aren’t vegan, you can also substitute this for regular dairy milk.

Cashews: I love to use cashews in sauces and frosting. It’s a healthy way to make creamy goodness and they are loaded with benefits. Cashews are low in sugar and rich in things like fiber, healthy-fats, and plant protein. 

How do you make vegan chocolate cake? 

I’m not one to drop you a super complicated recipe, and this Easy Vegan Chocolate Cake recipe has “easy” in the title for a reason. All you have to do to pull together this perfect dessert is:

Greased and lined baking pan

1. Lightly grease a 9-inch baking tin with vegan butter and set aside 

2. Preheat your oven to 350F

3. To a small bowl, add your vinegar, and plant-based milk. Vinegar may seem weird in a cake, but this is actually how you make a plant-based version of buttermilk with ingredients you likely have right in your house. Note that it’s meant to curdle here, so don’t stress

Dry ingredients in a mixing bowl

4. To a large bowl, add your brown sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk all this together until there are no lumps

Wet ingredients being added to dry

5. To the bowl, add the oil, vanilla, and milk mixture. Using your hand mixer or whisk, whisk this all together for around 1-2 minutes. The mix should be lumpy

Adding wet ingredients to dry

Ingredients being mixed in a bowl

6. Gently add the boiling water and whisk for another 30 seconds 

Cake batter being added to a baking pan

7. Transfer mix to the baking tin and bake for 32-35 minutes before removing & letting it cool in the baking tin

Easy Vegan Chocolate Cake with 2 slices removed and on plates with forks, ready to eat.

Icing vegan chocolate cake

How do you make vegan chocolate frosting? 

The frosting is always the best part, isn’t it? For this frosting, all you do is add all the ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend for 1.5 minutes. Place the frosting in the fridge for ten minutes to let it set before frosting the cake. 

For this frosting, I used soaked cashews that help you achieve that creamy flavor that we all love in frosting. To top off this cake and really make it look beautiful and summery, I added some fresh berries I had on hand. You can get creative here and add whatever fruit you have in your fridge or want to use up. You can even decorate it further with edible flowers or mint.

Serve this vegan cake recipe with your favorite plant-based ice cream and you are set with the perfect summer, chocolate dessert that your whole family will love. 

Side angle shot of a vegan chocolate cake that is topped with blueberries and fresh herbs.

Close-up of fresh blueberries and flowers that top the vegan chocolate cake.

Expert Tips & FAQ: 

Sugar: If you do not have brown sugar white sugar will work just fine.

Do I need to use coconut oil? If you do not have coconut oil on hand, melted vegan butter will work just fine

Storage: The cake will last up to 1 week in a tightly sealed container on the counter at room temperature. Any leftover icing will last up to 1 week in a sealed container in the fridge.

Non-Vegan Version: Note, if you are making this cake and are not vegan, you can use regular milk and regular butter but I highly suggest you try this cake as it is. It’ll really show you just how easy vegan baking can be!

Other sweet recipes you’ll love: 

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Easy Vegan Chocolate Cake

  • Author: Maria Koutsogiannis
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minues
  • Yield: 10-12 pieces 1x
  • Category: Sweet Treats, Kid Friendly, Dips & Spreads

Description

This super Easy Vegan Chocolate Cake recipe is to die for. Made with healthier alternatives than your traditional cake, and loaded with chocolate, your whole family is going to love this vegan dessert.


Scale

Ingredients

For the cake:

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 

1 1/4 cups almonds milk, any vegan milk will work

2 cups brown sugar*

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 + 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2  tablespoon baking powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

large pinch of salt

1/2 cup melted coconut oil**

1 tbsp. vanilla

1 cup boiling water

Chocolate Frosting

2 cups raw cashews, soaked in cold water for a least 1 hour then strain and rinse

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 cup icing sugar

1/4 cup + 1 tbsp. if needed almond milk

1 tsp. vanilla

pinch of salt


Instructions

Lightly grease a 9-inch baking tin with vegan or non-vegan butter and set aside.

Preheat your oven to 350F.

To a small bowl, add your apple cider vinegar and plant-based milk.  Stir to combine and set aside.  Do not worry about the curdling, this is meant to happen.  It is essentially cream!

To a large bowl, add your brown sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Whisk till well combined and there are no lumps.

To the bowl, add the coconut oil, vanilla and milk mixture.  Using a hand mixer or whisk, begin whisking for around 1-2 minutes or until combined.  The mixture should be lumpy. Gently add in the boiling water and whisk for another 30 seconds.

Transfer mixture to the baking tin and bake for 32-35 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let the cake cool completely in the baking tin.

For the frosting, simply add all your ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend for 1 minute and 30 seconds. Place the frosting in the fridge for 10 minutes before frosting the cake.

Enjoy with fresh berries or some vanilla ice cream or both!

Notes

If you do not have brown sugar white sugar will work just fine.

If you do not have coconut oil on hand, melted vegan butter will work just fine

The cake will last up to 1 week in a tightly sealed container on the counter at room temperature.

Any leftover icing will last up to 1 week in a sealed container in the fridge.

Note, if you are making this cake and are not vegan, you can use regular milk and regular butter but I highly suggest you try this cake as it is.  It’ll really show you just how easy vegan baking can be!

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 12
  • Calories: 473
  • Sugar: 39.5
  • Sodium: 639
  • Fat: 21.2
  • Saturated Fat: 10.2
  • Unsaturated Fat: 2.2
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 69.2
  • Fiber: 3.5
  • Protein: 7.5

Keywords: Vegan Chocolate Cake, Cake, Chocolate Cake, Chocolate, Easy, Vegan Dessert

Adrienne

Any substitutes for cashews for the icing?

Maria Koutsogiannis

I didn’t test it this way but I have heard tofu might word! Or you could use butter!

Cheri

This is amazing! My two girls made it all by themselves and then couldn’t eat it fast enough! Sooo good!

Maria Koutsogiannis

YesS!!! This seriously makes me so happy!

Laura Bratti

This was so easy to make and so so moist… I followed the recipe exactly- This recipe is definitely a keeper! Fed it to non vegan friends and they were none the wiser!

Maria Koutsogiannis

YESSS!! This makes me so happy!!! Thanks, Laura!

Karen Perault

No one knew this was vegan! Such a huge hit!

Maria Koutsogiannis

This makes me so happy!!!

Whitney Driegder

I haven’t had a chocolate cake this moist in awhile.

Maria Koutsogiannis

Thank you so much, Whitney!!!!

Saka

can i replace the apple vinegar with regular vinegar?

Maria Koutsogiannis

Yes, white vinegar or lemon will work just fine!

Jane

can you use stevia brown sugar?

Maria Koutsogiannis

You could try! I didn’t test it that way. Just keep it might stevia is much sweeter tasting so it might come out tasting slightly different.

Heidi

This is my new favourite chocolate cake!! So easy and so delicious!
We made it three times to celebrate my birthday week!

Maria Koutsogiannis

Oh my gosh, this makes me so happy!! Thank you so much for the love hun!

Madeleine Lush

Hiya Maria! Thank you so much for this recipe – it really is wonderful. I’ve made it twice but wasn’t sure about the oven setting (I’m in Australia and we use celsius) is it 350F fan forced? Or standard? Thank you!

Maria Koutsogiannis

I think standard!!!!!

Maria Koutsogiannis

100%% would be perfect for that!

Sandra

Wow! The texture is amazing, so moist and pleasant… this cake is an absolute game changer!
An extra point for the not too overwhelming chocolate-y taste, it’s just perfect. Thanks for this recipe Maria!

Maria Koutsogiannis

You’re so welcome!!! Thank you!!!

Nele

Would this work if I layered it? So another layer of cake on top of the frosting and double the recipe? Or would it not hold?

Maria Koutsogiannis

I would half the recipe into two cake tins then do your plan!

Utkarsh

Hi! Can i cut the cake in to layers if I made this in slightly smaller tin and the height increased?I am thinking of making this cake but need to know this.

Maria Koutsogiannis

That should work perfectly fine!!

Paula @Cooltobegood

This cake!!! So tasty and moist. Though I follow Maria on IG, I actually came across this cake because a non-vegan friend cooked it for my bday! It was sooo good that I kept the recipe and tried it yesterday. Easy to make, with common pantry staples and the result is all I was craving for: Chocolate goodness 🤎

Maria Koutsogiannis

YESSSSSS THANK YOU SO MUCH PAULA!!!!

Talia Levi

Such an amazing vegan chocolate cake.

Made it over the weekend and everyone loved it! We didn’t have blueberries so I topped it off with strawberries instead. Still delicious, thank you!

Maria Koutsogiannis

Amazing! Thanks for the love, Talia! Can’t wait to hear what you make next and please leave us a star review next time! You’re the best!!!

Halimah C

I made this last night using all the ingredients you listed in this recipe.
Wow! I couldn’t even tell that this was a VEGAN chocolate cake!
I’ll make more today.

Maria Koutsogiannis

That makes me so happy! Thank you!!!

Janine

I love simple great and quick recipes 🌷

Maria Koutsogiannis

Thank you so much, Janine!!!!

Ana Paula

Isn’t the coconut flavor from the oil too strong in the cake? I usually find it overpowering in baked goods… I would love to hear your thoughts before swapping for a different ingredient..

Sounds amazing tho, can’t wait to try it

Maria Koutsogiannis

Hey Ana, thanks for your question. The coconut oil is not too strong in this recipe. I would have called it a coconut chocolate cake if it was too overpowering. I have not tested this recipe with any other oils so please consider that if you do swap it!

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