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
  • 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: 348kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 442mg | Potassium: 189mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 44g | Vitamin A: 328IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 85mg | Iron: 2mg
by Jessica

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

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Recipe Rating


  1. Valerie says:

    I can’t wait make! How long would I bake if I use 6 inch pans? TIA!

    • Hi Valerie,

      I haven’t tested that yet, so I’m not sure! How many 6 inch pans? You would probably need to use several to make the full recipe!

  2. nona says:

    5 stars
    Hey Jessica! I’ve made this recipe about three times now and my entire non-vegan family is blown away at just how good this is. Just wanted to say thank you for this recipe, before I make it a million times more again. <3

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Aww, thank you so much, Nona! We’re so happy that you love the recipe.

  3. Lisa Steczo says:

    This cake is literally the best cake I have ever had in my entire life. I am a real cake person. Unfortunately I was diagnosed with an egg allergy and was unable to eat all types of cakes. Now I try all different kinds of vegan cakes. My favorite chocolate cake was from Chicago diner nothing and no one could be that, that is until this recipe came across my eyes. Literally addicted to this cake I love it so much. What an incredible recipe.
    I need it for my fiance and I he beamed with joy. After eating one slice I could not think about nothing else but this cake for the rest of the week. I am going to make 1 for my neighbor just because I need people to try it. Thank you so much. Going to be making this cake for myself and others from now on.

    • Lisa Steczo says:

      I hate errors lol please read beat instead of be and made it for my fiance instead of “need”.

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      We’re so happy that you and your fiance enjoyed this recipe Lisa! Thank you so much for reading and leaving such a nice comment!

      • Zoe says:

        Can you substitute the flour for homemade oat flour in this recipe? Or do a half half with the flours?

  4. Marianne says:

    5 stars
    Thanks to your recipe, I made my first vegan cake for my mom’s birthday.
    (The frosting is a a bit different using cacao flakes, sugar & almond milk).
    Making a cake was a big task for me and with the help of people like you, recipes become easier.

  5. April says:

    5 stars
    We loved this. I used rice vinegar because I did t have apple cider vinegar, other then that I followed exactly.. I couldn’t find my second 9 in pan so I used a ball pan instead… didn’t work perfectly as a result. I only ended up with one of my pans coming away smoothly, so we used that half and I have the one that fell apart set aside for a clay activity with the kids( will make cake clay edible and play with it later) Oops. I adored the frosting.. I’ve never been successful with frosting before. This was so easy!!!

    The cake and frosting together was a little to sweet though. Pair the frosting with a less sweet cake or the cake with a less sweet frosting??

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      We’re so happy that you enjoyed this recipe April! Thank you so much for reading and leaving such a nice comment!

  6. Frances Blackie says:

    Hi Jessica, what is the best kind of oil to use for this cake please?

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      HI Frances! Thank you so much for reading. Any neutral oil will be perfect for this, vegetable oil, canola, grapeseed or safflower are some examples. I hope this helps!

      • Frances says:

        Thank you for replying Jessica. I actually made it for my husbands birthday this evening and used sunflower oil. It was OMG amazing. 5 non vegans ate it and loved it. I will never miss non-vegan cake now I have this up my sleeve. The milk/vinegar combo is bizarre but clearly works. Will be checking out all your other recipes now. Please recommend your other fav cake recipes.

  7. Adi says:

    5 stars
    THATS THE BEST VEGAN CHOCOLATE CAKE EVER!!!.. I myself amn’t vegan but I mad this cake for my sisters birthday and it was out of the world. It was super easy to make and tasted great. I would next time try with a vegan cream cheese frosting, I think it will go great together. Thanks Jessica for this amazing recipie.

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      We’re so happy that you enjoyed this recipe Adi! Thank you so much for reading and leaving such a nice comment!

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