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
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 
  • 1 cup soy milk or other vegan milk
  • 2 cups sugar (400g)
  • 2 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 


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!
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.


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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Recipe Rating


  1. Autumn says:

    5 stars
    So delicious- easy to make, and foolproof. I’ve made this too many times to count and am now craving it again!

  2. Christie says:

    5 stars
    Followed the recipe to a tee and it turned out perfectly. It was super chocolatey, incredibly moist and just absolutely delicious. We made it for my son’s 7th bday and our (non-vegan) family members were all blown away by how great the cake was. I tried another vegan chocolate cake recipe in June (from another site) and the flavour was ok, but it was very sticky and heavy. This one knocked it our of the park and we will absolutely be making this over and over again. Thank you for the incredible recipe!!!!

  3. Amanda says:

    5 stars
    This is hands-down the best cake I’ve ever had. It’s rich and moist and just crazy delicious. I used baking strips around the cake pans to get even layers and it was so easy to assemble. Jessica’s frosting tips are A+. This is a must-bake in my family now for everyone’s birthdays!

  4. Julia says:

    5 stars
    I was looking for a solid no fuss, simple chocolate cake recipe that I could make on Sunday (shops are closed here in Germany so if you’re out of any special ingredients, you’ve got to wait till Monday). To say this cake delivered on its promise is an understatement. Fun trick – if you want brownies, it works great poured into a quarter sheet pan and baked off for a super delicious fudgey consistency (if you under bake it a little). I used the chocolate base for a black Forrest cake and it was just what I was looking for. Super versatile, tasty, and easy…not sure what more you could want out of such a delicious cake.

  5. Emily says:

    Hi Jessica, this cake looks amazing, cant wait to try it! I was just curious as to what oil works best? Thank you 🙂

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Hi Emily, thanks so much for reading! Canola oil works well or any neutral oil you might like!

  6. Simone says:

    5 stars
    The best chocolate cake I have ever had!! This recipe is amazing ❤️

  7. Cindy says:

    5 stars
    Looking forward to making this for the next birthday! Looks like a very simple straight forward recipe.

  8. Emily says:

    5 stars
    This recipe is sooo good! I made them into cupcakes using half the water and baked for 18-22 minutes. I skipped the frosting bc I honestly just loved the cake already, it didn’t need frosting. I also added some chia seeds for additional nutrients! They freeze well too. I swear I will always have these on hand from now on so I can defrost one whenever I have a chocolate craving! These are sooooo good I can’t tell you how much I love them! I will definitely make for non-vegans when I need to bring a dessert, they’ll never know!

  9. Alexandra says:

    5 stars
    So good! Totally worth the time and effort. I served this for my grandfather’s 90th birthday and everyone loved it. Nobody guessed it was vegan. If your are splitting it into thirds (i’ve done it both ways), I would recommend cutting the baking time by about 15 minutes.

  10. Krystal says:

    5 stars
    This cake is to die for! I followed the recipe exactly how it is. Used two 9inch pans. I did however put a lil rose water into the frosting batter for a nice floral essence. I will definitely make this again!

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