Vegan Chocolate Cake Recipe

By Jessica Hylton - - Updated

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!

A 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
Ingredients
  • 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 (softened)
  • 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: 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




208 comments

  1. Natalie says:

    Hi! Do I have to use soy milk or would any milk alternative work? Thank you

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Hi Natalie! Thanks so much for reading. Any milk alternative will do.

  2. Katherine says:

    5 stars
    This cake was so moist, fluffy and had the perfect amount of sweetness! I halved the recipe and made a two layer cake using a smaller cake pan and it worked perfectly. Perfect chocolate flavor and just so good! Definitely the best vegan chocolate cake I have ever tried (and my nonvegan family loved it too!) Thanks for the great recipe!

  3. Karen says:

    5 stars
    I didn’t make this yet but I’m confused about the greasing, flouring and parchment paper. In which order am I supposed to do these? Seems silly I know, but I’m a novice baker 😬

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Hi Karen not silly at all. It’s grease then flour the pan, then add parchment. I hope this helps.

  4. Wendi says:

    Do you know if a GF flour would work? I am craving chocolatey goodness now!

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Hi Wendi we haven’t done it yet but, it should work. I would suggest Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour.

  5. Carlos Iglesias says:

    5 stars
    Amazing. It took me a little longer to bake than 35 but turned out so rich and delicious,

  6. Zee says:

    Hi! Do you think it would be possible to substitute chickpea or oat flour in the cake?

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Hi Zee this might not be possible. we haven’t tried it yet though so I’m not fully able to advise. you should be able to use Bob’s red mills 1to1 gluten free flour.

  7. Iman says:

    What size cake pan should i use if i halve the recipe?

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Hi Iman thanks so much for reading. In the post we specified 9 inch cake pans, if you’re doing a triple layer cake you would need 8 inch cake pans. I hope this helps.

  8. Lola says:

    5 stars
    I have made this cake so many times and everyone always loves it! but i have a question if i was to make cupcakes with this recipe how long would i bake them for? thanks!

  9. Sal says:

    5 stars
    Best chocolate I ever had! Perfectly moist and delicious! Only thing tweeked was I halved the amount of cocoa powder in the frosting. Vegans and non vegans loved. Masterpiece! Thank you for sharing!

  10. Fisayo says:

    What brand of all purpose flour was used?

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