This nutty, chocolatey vegan cake has long been a family favorite. It's practically foolproof, and, with just minutes of hands-on time, a dream come true for lazy bakers like me. I often make this when asked to bring dessert to a gathering, and when I do, I double the recipe so I can leave one of the cakes at home! Feel free to substitute cashew or other nut butter for the peanut butter, and if need be, try the gluten-free version. And make sure to see the optional frosting below the recipe if you'd like an even richer cake.
Makes 9 to 12 squares, or 8 wedges
- 1 cup spelt or whole wheat pastry flour, or 1 cup gluten-free flour mix (such as Bob's Red Mill, etc.)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder (for spelt or wheat flour) or 1 teaspoon xanthan gum (for GF flour mix)
- ⅓ cup natural granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup applesauce
- ½ cup plain nondairy milk (rice, almond, etc.)
- ½ cup natural peanut butter, at room temperature (smooth or chunky — I prefer chunky)
- 1 cup vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ⅓ cup raisins, optional
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl and stir together.
Combine the applesauce, rice milk, and peanut butter in another bowl and whisk together until smooth. Pour into the flour mixture and stir together until fairly well blended, then use a whisk until the mixture is smooth.
Stir in the chocolate chips and optional raisins. Pour into a lightly oiled 9-inch round or square cake pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden on top, and a knife inserted into the center comes out with chocolate, but no batter.
Allow to cool to room temperature or just warm, then cut into squares or wedges to serve.
Per serving, based on 9 squares:
Calories: 220; Total fat: 11g; Protein: 9g; Carbohydrates: 29g; Fiber: 3g; Sodium: 195mg
If you want to make this even richer, make this simple chocolate frosting: Combine ½ cup vegan dark chocolate chips, 1 heaping tablespoon peanut butter, and 3 tablespoons nondairy milk in a small bowl and microwave for 45 seconds, then stir together until smooth. Or, combine in the top of a double boiler, cooking over boiling water until the chocolate is melted, then stir together until velvety smooth.
- Explore more of VegKitchen’s Easy Vegan Cakes and Pies.
- Sweet tooth still craving? Here are more Vegan Baking and Sweets.
One of the best cakes I have ever made! It instantly became a favourite and I've made it for years. Absolutely delicious! Thank you for sharing this amazing recipe, Nava:)
And thank you for turning this basic recipe into something truly spectacular on your Vegan Magic blog! Readers, please take a look at Adirana's rendition: http://vegan-magic.blogspot.com/2012/04/peanut-butter-chocolate-cake.html
I made this cake this weekend. It is excellent. The only thing I would change is to use white flour instead of wheat because I didn't like the "whole wheat" taste. I would also add one teaspoon of vanilla. The recipe in your book says "optional peanuts" and that was great. Thanks.
Hi Debbie -- I'm glad you enjoyed this cake. I wonder if you used whole wheat pastry flour, rather than whole wheat flour? If the latter, it really shouldn't give much of a whole wheat taste. A light spelt flour works well, too. Adding a spoon of vanilla is a good idea. I'll update the recipe!
Yes, I used the pastry flour as specified your book, "Vegan Express". Maybe that was a misprint? Either way, I have noted the recipe for next time. I will def. try it with regular whole wheat flour. I had never used whole wheat pastry flour before and did think it was odd for a cake. It definitely imparts a stronger "wheat" taste -- almost like a bread rather than a cake. Thanks for the info! Nava, I love your recipes so keep them coming!! (Buffalo, N.Y.)
Help!! What can I use in place of applesauce? Was all physched to make this, but I don't have applesauce
Sally, so sorry for the delayed response — the texture of this does work best with applesauce, but you can also use vanilla yogurt — nondairy, if you're vegan or dairy-free. If you have a couple of apples on hand, it's easy to peel and dice them, then cook them until soft to make your own applesauce!
Loved this! I used organic brown rice flour. Turned out great, moist, and loved the mixture of chocolate, peanut butter, and raisin flavors. Really sweet! I added a little extra flour to some of the dough to stiffen it up a bit, and made a half a dozen cookies. Also delicious. Thanks Nava!!
Flash Gordonette says
I am so making and taking this into work! Thanks for the recipe! 😀
So glad you enjoyed this, Sharon. Sorry for the delayed response!
Hey, Flash Gordonette (love your handle!) — hope you and your colleagues enjoy this!
Yepraksi Yardim says
Can I use almond butter or tahini instead of peanut butter?
Yes; as long as they're kind of runny rather than dense, which will make it harder to fold into the batter. I actually ended up making mine with cashew butter today. I didn't like it as well as with peanut butter, but everyone else did!
Sharon, what a good idea to make some cookies!
Any ideas about the carb count? These look great, and not the worse thing for a diabetic to eat, but I still need to adjust my meds for the carbs.
I just added the nutrition stats, LISgirl! Hope it helps.
Marian Gleason says
They're baking in my oven now & my house smells divine! So simple to assemble. Can't wait to taste!!! Thank you for nutrition info too - my hubby is diabetic so we have to know carb count for everything he eats. Such a bonus blessing. Thanks!
Yum! Do you have a good vegan icing you could texcommend to go with the cake?
Juliey — what a great idea to add a frosting. I updated the recipe to include a simple frosting as a variation, see just below the nutrition info.
Excellent recipe. Simple ingredients & quick & easy to make.