Vegan Baking and Sweets/ Vegan Cakes and Pies/ Vegan Desserts/ Vegan Recipes

Easy Vegan Chocolate Cake

Easy vegan chocolate cake

This totally delectable, moist vegan chocolate cake is our extended family’s favorite for birthdays and other special occasions. It demands just minutes of hands-on time. An easy frosting made with chocolate chips and a hint of nut butter is the icing on the (vegan) cake! To make this a layer cake as shown above, see note following recipeAdapted from Vegan Express. 

Makes one 9-inch round cake, 8 generous or 12 smaller wedges;

  • 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3/4 cup unbleached white flour
  • 1 cup natural granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup safflower oil
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
  • 1 heaping tablespoon peanut, cashew, or other nut butter
  • 3 tablespoons rice milk

To serve (optional)

  • Fresh berries
  • Flaked coconut

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Combine the first 7 (dry) ingredients in a mixing bowl. Stir together until well combined.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in 1 cup warm water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Stir together with a wooden spoon until the dry ingredients are moistened, then use a whisk to stir vigorously just until the batter is smooth.

Pour into a lightly oiled 9-inch round cake pan. Bake for 30 minutes, or just until a knife inserted into the center tests clean.

Let the cake stand until barely warm, and at this point, make the frosting. Combine the ingredients 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.

Spread the frosting over the top of the cake immediately, then let stand for 30 minutes or so. Cut into wedges to serve.

Note: To make a layer cake, simply double the cake recipe and bake in two separate pans, preferably silicon or springform, so that you can get the cakes out of the pans easily. Let both cool before taking them out of their pans. You can either double the frosting recipe or make 1 1/2 times the quantity given here and spread raspberry or strawberry jam in the middle layer.

Nutrition Information:
Per serving: 235 calories; 7g fat; 3g protein; 41g carbohydrates; 2g fiber; 350mg sodium

Easy vegan chocolate cake

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  • Reply
    April 3, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    This looks amazing! Could I sub applesauce for the oil? Thanks! – Tracy

    • Reply
      April 3, 2015 at 2:11 pm

      Tracy — I almost always use applesauce in baking (with only a smidgen of oil), with the notable exception of this cake. So since I haven’t tried it, I can’t say for sure. If you decide to brave it, let me know how it turns out. You may need to use a bit more applesauce than the amount of oil called for.

  • Reply
    April 3, 2015 at 4:25 pm

    Thank you Nava! I will let you know if I brave it 🙂 Maybe I could sub almond butter, that might be better.

  • Reply
    December 8, 2015 at 10:12 pm

    I just made this and am so thrilled! It’s a wonderful recipe. I winged the frosting completely, but it’s amazing– a little dark chocolate bar w/ almonds, a bar of Ibarra Mexican cinnamon chocolate, tahini and soy milk. The tahini is perfect.

  • Reply
    August 2, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    I made the cake and it came out terrific except for 2 things. Mainly, when I cooked it at 300 degrees for 30 mins it was not nearly done. I cranked the heat up to 350 and baked it for about 15 more mins and it was perfect. Only other issue I had was I felt it needed a little bit more cocoa, but maybe it was the brand I used? Anyway, I will make it again. It actually reminded me of the cake part of Devil Dogs.

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