Vegan Chocolate Cake Recipe

By Jessica Hylton -

This Vegan Chocolate Cake Recipe has been my favourite for over 10 years! It’s moist, decadent, fluffy and made with easy pantry ingredients so anyone can make this! I’ve made it literally hundreds of time for hundreds of people and it has rave reviews all around!

slice of a vegan chocolate cake on a white plate

I’ve baked more chocolate cakes than I can count. I’m talking, hundreds. That’s what happens when you have a baking company and everyone wants the chocolate cake. Needless to say, I learned how to make it flawlessly AND I love chocolate cake! Now that I’ve been baking for over 10 years and now that I’m vegan, I knew I would need a vegan version of this. It’s shocking to me that I haven’t share one before, but here we are today.

a bowl of vegan chocolate frosting with a spatula in it

Super Simple Ingredients

I had one clause: this vegan chocolate cake HAD to be simple. No special ingredients like flax or chia seeds, no complicated steps. I want everyone to be able to make this from pantry ingredients. After a few tries modifying my original recipe, I created the best vegan chocolate cake!

The frosting is also super simple, too. If you don’t usually any powdered sugar in your pantry, you can just make some at home. I know, SIMPLE right?!

a photo of vegan chocolate cake with a top side angle

It’s moist, decadent, fluffy and so chocolate-y. It’s the kind of vegan cake that you would never know is vegan, and that’s the point! 

Uses for this vegan chocolate cake

Apart from the fact that it’s a delicious cake to whip up for the weekend, this cake is so good that you can use for any of your special occasions. It’s the perfect vegan birthday cake and for:

  • baby showers
  • holidays
  • dinner parties
  • graduations
  • more birthdays
  • bbqs
  • family reunions and the list goes on!

photo of a chocolate cake with a slice being cut out of it

It’s been way too long since I’ve baked a cake, making this cake has really inspired me to create more vegan cake recipes. I’m definitely making a vanilla version, red velvet and so many more. Let the baking continue!

P.S. if you want a smaller quicker single-serving version, be sure to check out my vegan mug brownie or check out my vegan brownies! If you’re looking for some other vegan chocolate recipes, check out of favourite too!

Enjoy friends! If you make this Vegan Chocolate Cake Recipe, please snap a photo and tag #jessicainthekitchen on Instagram! We’d also love it if you would leave a comment below, and give the recipe a rating! Thanks so much!

slice of a vegan chocolate cake on a white plate

Vegan Chocolate Cake Recipe

This Vegan Chocolate Cake Recipe is the BEST and has been my favourite for over 10 years! It's moist, decadent, fluffy and made with easy pantry ingredients so anyone can make this! I've made it hundreds of time for hundreds of people and it has rave reviews all around!
by: Jessica in the Kitchen
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 16 slices
Course Dessert, Desserts
Cuisine American, Universal
Keyword chocolate cake, vegan cake recipe, vegan chocolate cake
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 
  • 1 cup soy milk or other vegan milk
  • 2 cups sugar (400g)
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (240g)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (60g)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup + 2 teaspoons oil (100g + 2 teaspoons)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water + 1 tbsp instant coffee mixed in until dissolved  stir these together right before you need it so it's still hot

Vegan chocolate frosting

  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup unsalted vegan butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch sea salt
  • 2 1/2 cups to 3 cups powdered sugar 
  • 1/3 cup vegan milk + 1 tablespoon extra if needed 
Instructions

Instructions

Vegan Chocolate Cake

  • Grease and flour two 9” cake pans and line with parchment paper. It’s essential so that the cake doesn’t stick. If making an 8" cake, check the notes.
  • Heat oven to 350°F/180°C. 
  • In a small bowl, add the apple cider vinegar and the soy milk together and stir to combine. It will curdle. Set aside. 
  • Whisk together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl until thoroughly combined. Add milk mixture, oil and vanilla and the coffee water. Beat with an electric whisk on medium speed for about 2 minutes until everything is just combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and stir one more time to ensure everything is incorporated. 
  • Pour the batter equally into the cake pans and bake for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour in the pan on a wire rack before removing from the pan and to the wire rack to cool completely.  

Vegan Chocolate Frosting

  • Add the cocoa powder, vegan butter, 2 1/2 cups of the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, sea salt and half the vegan milk to the bowl of an electric stand mixer or a hand mixer. Start mixing it together at slow speed, gradually increasing speed until it’s very thick and smooth. Add the 1/2 cup of the extra powdered sugar at a time until it reaches your desired thickness and consistency. If needed, add in the other half of the milk about 1 tablespoon at a time.

Putting it All Together

  • Frost cakes and decorate. The frosting will set at room temperature. Enjoy!
  • Place 1 of the fully cooled cakes on a platter (or any plate wide enough) and dollop half of the frosting on top. Cover the top and the sides, distributing it equally. P
  • Place the remaining cake upside down on top of the frosted cake and spread the remaining frosting on the top and sides, blending the upper and lower portions of the sides as you go.
  • If you're using 3 layers, do the same, but split into thirds instead.
  • Decorate with some shaved chocolate or extra cocoa powder! The frosting sets at room temperature perfectly. Slice and enjoy!
NOTES
You can also make this cake with three 8" cake pans. Bake it for about 30 to 35 minutes!
Coffee Water
If you want that deep rich chocolate flavour, please don't skip this! The cake doesn't taste at all like coffee, and instead the coffee enhances the chocolate flavor like crazy. You can use decaf coffee, or just use a cup of boiling hot coffee instead of the instant coffee.
To Freeze This Cake
Slice the cake into even slices and freeze each slice, flat, in foil. You can store it further in a freezer safe zipped bag if storing for more than a month, but if under a month you don't have to. To thaw, let the cake thaw at room temperature or in the fridge.

Nutrition

Calories: 341kcal | Sodium: 431mg | Fiber: 5g
by Jessica

Recipe by: Jessica Hylton – Jessica in the Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats

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19 comments

  1. Judy says:

    5 stars
    Love, love, love this. Thank you

    • Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Thank you SO much Judy!! I’m so glad that you enjoyed it!!

  2. Ivy kirwan says:

    5 stars
    I always bake vegan chocolate cakes but I’m definitely going to try this. Very simple. Can’t go wrong. Thank you xx

  3. Lisa Bulloch says:

    A lovely recipe, easy to follow and you end up with a delicious and impressive looking cake

    • Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Thank you so much Lisa! I truly appreciate that and I’m so happy that you enjoyed it!!

  4. Jessica P says:

    5 stars
    I made this cake and my non vegan family and friends loved it. It was so moist and delicious. I have to make another because I made it a Saturday and today Monday it’s gone!

    • Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Hi Jessica,

      Thank you so much for your feedback! I’m so excited to hear that and that everyone loved it!! Haha I can totally relate to how quickly this cake can be eaten!

  5. Lb says:

    5 stars
    Looks beautiful! Do you have any suggestions towards subbing the regular flour with almond flour or coconut flour & subbing the sugar for a sweetener alternative? Thank you !

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Hi LB thank you so much! We actually haven’t tested this yet so I wouldn’t be able to give you an answer.

  6. Shalini Pangotra says:

    5 stars
    What Can I use instead of apple cider vinegar?

    • Hey Shalini,

      You can use lemon juice! You can also use regular vinegar but ACV is a lot milder, which is why I prefer to use it. You still shouldn’t be able to taste it though!

  7. Zsuzsanna says:

    5 stars
    Best vegan chocolate cake ever! So naughty! Rave reviews from anyone who tried it!

  8. Rachael Bond Palmer says:

    This recipe is golden! The cake is light and flavorful, and it was also devoured by my husband! LOL Thanks Jessica!

  9. Joanne says:

    Hi Jessica,

    This cake looks soooo good! Will be making it today. Just want to double check on the baking powder, it’s 1 tablespoon and not teaspoon? thanks in advance! 🙂

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Hi Joanne! Yes it’s one tablespoon. We really hope you enjoy it!

  10. Jessica Beriotto says:

    Hi, this looks amazing! Any tips or changes to cooking time if I were to put these in cupcake form instead?

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