My Vegan Chocolate Cake is quickly and easily made. What’s more, it is delicious, moist and full of rich, chocolatey goodness! You will want to add this recipe to your collection as it is a cake which you can serve with complete confidence.
Why we love this recipe:
This Vegan Chocolate Cake is moist, rich and chocolatey – and it just happens to be vegan!
As well, it is quickly and easily made from everyday ingredients which you most likely have on hand now.
This delicious cake can be enjoyed by many people with specific dietary requirements. With its fine, moist, texture, it is difficult to believe that it is free of eggs, dairy, gluten and nuts.
This is not a tall cake. If you are looking for a cake with some height for a special occasion I suggest that you make two cakes and join them together. You could, for example, frost the top layer and put some frosting and sliced strawberries in the centre.
If you specifically want to make a Vegan Chocolate Cake, this is a go-to recipe. However, it is also a great recipe to have in your collection for times when you are planning to make a chocolate cake – and discover that you are out of eggs or butter!
Ingredients in this recipe:
Please see the recipe card further along in the post for exact quantities of ingredients and the full method.
For the Vegan Chocolate Cake:
All-purpose gluten free flour – I have used a commercial gluten-free all-purpose flour which is made from a blend of naturally occurring gluten-free flours. However, you can substitute regular all-purpose flour if you don’t need the cake to be gluten-free. Our gluten-free flour blends contain either xanthan or guar gum to stabilise and provide structure to our recipes.
Caster/superfine sugar – As the name suggests, it is finer in texture than regular granulated sugar and therefore, it dissolves more readily.
Dutch processed cocoa – I use unsweetened Dutch Processed Cocoa. It gives a lovely rich, chocolatey colour and deep flavour. Check that the cocoa you use does not contain animal products.
Salt – a small amount of salt boosts the flavours in baked goods.
Baking soda/bicarbonate of soda – this is not baking powder. Together with the vinegar, it assists as a raising agent.
Vanilla extract – use vanilla which has been naturally extracted from vanilla beans and not one which is synthetically flavoured.
Vinegar – use white wine or apple cider vinegar. The acidity of the vinegar reacts with the baking soda and helps to leaven the cake.
Vegetable oil – use a flavourless oil. I used Grapeseed oil.
Water – adds moisture.
For the Vegan Chocolate Frosting:
Vegan margarine – I used Nuttelex.
Dutch processed cocoa and vanilla extract– as used in the cake.
Icing/powdered sugar – I use pure icing sugar. If you use icing sugar mixture, be sure that it is gluten-free.
Water – to mix the frosting.
Step by Step Instructions:
Preheat your oven to 180 Degrees C (350 F).
Grease a 20 cm (8 inch) springform cake tin and line the base with non-stick baking paper.
- Add your dry ingredients to a large bowl.
- Mix the dry ingredients well.
- In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry.
- Using a whisk, mix together until completely combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking tin and bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Set the cake tin on a wire rack to cool then remove the cake from the tin and place on a serving platter.
- For the frosting, combine cocoa and icing/powdered sugar. Add the margarine and vanilla. Pour 1 tablespoon of boiling water onto the margarine and mix well. Add more water if necessary to achieve a smooth, spreading consistency.
- Spread the frosting on the cooled cake.
Tips for Success and FAQs:
Check that the cocoa you use does not contain animal products.
We make this cake gluten-free, however you can certainly use regular all purpose flour.
Traditionally, eggs play an important role in leavening cake batter. In this vegan cake, we use baking soda and vinegar to help the cake to rise. When baking soda and vinegar are combined, the baking soda reacts and bubbles vigorously. Therefore, it is essential to get the cake batter into the cake tin and into the oven as soon as possible.
This is a moist cake which is still delicious on the third day. Store it in an airtight container at room temperature.
Serve it simply dusted with icing/powdered sugar, or, if you prefer, with our simple frosting. I like to serve the Vegan Chocolate Cake with our Vegan Cashew Cream. It is also delicious served with coconut yoghurt and berries.
See our Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes post.
More delicious recipes for you to try:
If you are after some more delicious vegan sweet treats, here are some more of our favourite recipes for you to try:
- Chocolate Orange Bliss Balls
- Raw Salted Caramel Slice
- Apricot and Coconut Bliss Balls
- Raw Chocolate Mint Slice
- Vegan Almond Cookies
This Vegan Chocolate Cake is a great cake which is quickly and easily made. There are so many ways to enjoy it. It is ideal for morning/afternoon tea, to take on a picnic or to a potluck, or enjoy as a dessert. You can whip it up in very little time with ingredients that you most likely have on hand. A winner!
Please enjoy this cake, and let me know in the comments below if you make it!
This post was originally published in August 2018. It has been updated with new photos and more information. The recipe remains the same.
I have adapted this recipe from Sweet Little Bluebird.
Vegan Chocolate Cake
For the cake:
- 1 ½ cups (225 g) plain/all-purpose gluten-free flour See Note 1
- 1 cup (220 g) caster sugar
- ¼ cup (30 g) unsweetened Dutch processed cocoa
- ¼ teaspoon coarse cooking salt See Note 2
- 1 teaspoon baking soda/bicarbonate of soda See Note 3
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar – or apple cider
- ⅓ cup (75 ml) vegetable oil – I use grapeseed
- 1 cup (250 ml) water
For the frosting:
- 1 ½ tablespoon vegan margarine – I use Nuttelex See Note 5
- ¼ cup (30 g) unsweetened Dutch processed cocoa
- 2 ¼ cup (270 g) icing/powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoon (60 ml) boiling water – add a little at a time, more if needed See Note 5
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For accuracy, we recommend weighing your ingredients. This will produce the best results.
For the Cake:
- Preheat your oven to 180 Degrees C (350 F).
- Grease a 20 cm (8 inch) springform cake tin and line the base with baking paper.
- Sift the flour and cocoa into a large bowl with the sugar, salt and baking soda. Use a whisk to evenly combine the ingredients.
- In a separate bowl, combine vanilla, vinegar, oil and water.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and, using a whisk, mix together until completely combined.
- At this stage, the baking soda will react with the vinegar causing it to bubble vigorously. It is important to pour the batter into the prepared baking tin as quickly as possible and get it into the oven immediately.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Set the pan on a wire cooling rack until the top of the cake feels completely cool to the touch.
- Remove the cake from the tin and place it on a serving platter.The cake may be simply dusted with icing/powdered sugar or frosted.
For the Frosting:
- In a small bowl, combine the cocoa and icing sugar, sifting if necessary. Add the margarine and vanilla. Pour 1 tablespoon of boiling water onto the margarine and mix well. You may not need all the water so start slowly, and add more if you need to, to get a smooth spreading consistency.
- Spread the frosting on top of the cooled cake.
- I have used a commercial gluten-free all-purpose flour which is made from a blend of naturally occurring gluten-free flours. However, you can substitute regular all-purpose flour if you don’t need a gluten-free cake. Our gluten-free flour blends contain either xanthan or guar gum to stabilise and provide structure to our recipes.
- Do not use iodised or table salt as it will be too salty. Use coarse cooking salt, sometimes known as kosher salt.
- Baking soda is used in this cake not baking powder.
- Use good quality vanilla which has been extracted from vanilla beans and not synthetically flavoured.
- The Australian tablespoon is 20 ml or 4 teaspoons. In many other countries, the tablespoon is 15 ml or 3 teaspoons. Please adjust your measurement if necessary.
- This is not a tall cake. If you are looking for a cake with some height for a special occasion I suggest that you make two cakes and join them together. You could, for example, frost the top layer and put some frosting and sliced strawberries in the centre.
- I have adapted this recipe from Sweet Little Bluebird.
- Please note, the nutritional information is based on the cake being cut into 8 pieces and one being enjoyed as a serve. It does not include what the cake is served with. The nutritional information is an estimate only.
The nutritional information is an estimate only, and is derived from online calculators. For accurate results, we recommend calculating the nutritional information based on the ingredients and brands you use.
My son is allergic to dairy & eggs & I was looking for a birthday cake to make for his first birthday. I’m so glad I made this one – it was absolutely delicious! My husband, who recoiled at the suggestion of a vegan cake, told me it tasted “just like a regular cake” and had 2 pieces. Everyone else thought the same. Thank you!
Hi Cassie, I am delighted that our Vegan Chocolate Cake was a success for your son’s first birthday. And such a bonus that your husband enjoyed it too! Thank you for letting me know. 🙂
My husband made this chocolate cake today which was amazing! Amazing because he NEVER bakes anything and amazing because it turned out to be deliciously light. Can’t wait to eat a second piece with a cup of tea later.
Hi Bek, I am so pleased to hear that you enjoyed our Vegan Chocolate Cake, thank you for letting me know. It’s even better when a thoughtful husband bakes it! Enjoy it with your tea. 🙂
Super delicious cake and easy as well. Thanks dear…
Hi Sangita, I am so pleased that you enjoyed the Vegan Chocolate Cake, thank you for letting me know. 🙂
after making this vegan chocolate cake there’s no turning back. My friends love it
Hello Jean, I am so pleased to hear that you and your friends enjoyed the Vegan Chocolate Cake. Thank you for letting me know. 🙂
This cake is just delicious. So easy. You’d never know it was vegan, so it is great to be enjoyed by everyone. The icing is sooo decadent and yum!
Hello Sally, I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed the Vegan Chocolate Cake and do appreciate that you let me know. 🙂
This was my first time baking with Dutch processed cocoa and the flavor was incredible! My kids loved this chocolate cake and asked for it again when their friends came over. Good thing I had all the ingredients. Thank you so much!
Hi Rachel, I am so pleased that you and your children enjoyed our Vegan Chocolate Cake. Thank you for letting me know. 🙂
Hi! can I use regular cocoa instead of the Dutch processed cocoa? CanI doble the recipe to make a two layer cake??? Thanks for your feed back!!! 🙂
You can use regular cocoa, yes.
We haven’t tried to double the recipe before – if you did it with two tins, I think it would be fine. I wouldn’t try to use a bigger tin with double the mixture as gluten-free cakes can have the tendency to sink in the middle, and as I haven’t tested it, I wouldn’t be too sure on this.
Two regular tins, however, I imagine would be fine.