Rich, decadent, and totally egg and dairy-free! This vegan chocolate cake is made with two layers of deliciousness slathered and stuffed with rich vegan chocolate buttercream frosting. It’ll knock your socks off!
I shared a recipe for vegan chocolate frosting last week. Sorry to leave you guys hanging for a whole five days with a frosting recipe and nothing to frost. I mean, who eats plain old frosting? Well, maybe I do. I’m kidding! Kind of.
In any event, even I prefer my frosting on top of a cake, and chocolate frosting on chocolate cake is about as good as it gets if you ask me.
Veganizing a Chocolate Cake
People are always amazed at vegan baked goods in general, but especially vegan cakes. What on earth do you use for eggs, I often get asked. My answer? Nothing! Eggs do some binding and leavening in cake, but so do many of the vegan ingredients that are already in there!
Binding is achieved by the gluten present in the flour, or if you’re making a gluten-free cake (and I’m honestly not sure how this one would work out if you tried that), your gluten-free flour should contain ingredients that perform the same binding function as gluten.
And as for leavening, that’s what baking powder and soda are for.
How to Make Vegan Chocolate Cake
Start by stirring together your dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix your liquid ingredients separately in another bowl or a large liquid measuring cup. Use a spoon to form a little well in the center of your dry ingredients, and pour in the liquid.
Beat everything on high-speed with an electric mixer just until blended, then pour the mixture into a couple of prepared cake pans and bake!
While the cake bakes, you can make your frosting.
Let the cake cool before trying to remove it from the pan, then invert one of your layers onto a plate.
Tip: line the plate with a couple of strips of parchment paper, placed so that they sit just under the edges of the cake. This way you’ll get frosting on the paper rather than the plate. The strips can be easily removed so you’ve got a nice clean plate to present your cake on!
Slather the top of your first layer with frosting. Remove your other layer from the pan by inverting it onto a separate plate, then carefully flip it and place it over your bottom layer. Cover the top with frosting, and then smooth a thin layer of frosting over the sides.
You can cut and enjoy your cake immediately, but I really like mine chilled and served with a big glass of almond milk.
FAQ & Tips for Making Perfect Vegan Chocolate Cake
- Don’t overmix the batter. Lots of people do this, thinking it will make the cake fluffier, but what it actually does is cause your baking soda and powder to fizz out. Beat the batter for 2 minutes, and no more.
- This cake will keep at room temperature for about 2 days, or in the fridge for about 5.
- My cake didn’t rise. What happened? Most of the time this is due to old baking soda and/or powder. To test your baking soda, sprinkle a bit in a glass of vinegar. To test your baking powder, sprinkle some in a glass of water. In either case, it should fizz. If it doesn’t, time to toss and replace it!
- Can this cake be made gluten-free? I’m not sure! I haven’t tested a gluten-free version of the recipe, but I have had luck with similar cake recipes using Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Flour.
- Does this have to be a layer cake? Can it be made in a different size pan? How about making it as cupcakes? I haven’t tested this recipe in different shapes and sizes of pans, but I suspect it would work as a sheet cake or cupcakes. The cook time will probably vary though (more for a sheet cake, less for cupcakes), so keep an eye on it during baking!
- Why does the sugar need to be organic? In the U.S., most sugar is processed using animal bone char, so it’s not vegan. Organic sugar is processed differently, without animal bones.
The Ultimate Vegan Chocolate Cake
Rich, decadent, and totally egg and dairy-free! This vegan chocolate cake is made with two layers of deliciousness slathered and stuffed with rich vegan chocolate buttercream frosting. It'll knock your socks off!
- 1 1/2 cups unflavored and unsweetened non-dairy milk, lukewarm
- 2/3 cup coconut oil, melted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups organic granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- Vegan Chocolate Buttercream frosting (or your favorite frosting)
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Lightly oil and line the bottoms of two round 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper.
In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, stir together the milk, coconut oil, vanilla, and vinegar.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Use a spoon to make a well in the center of the flour mixture, then pour the milk mixture into the well.
Beat the ingredients together using an electric mixer at high-speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat just until the ingredients are completely mixed, about 2 minutes.
Divide the batter among the two prepared cake pans.
Bake for about 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the layers comes out clean.
Remove the cake pans from the oven and transfer them to a cooling rack. Allow the cakes to cool completely.
To frost the cake, invert one of the layers onto a plate, then peel off the parchment paper.
Smooth a layer of frosting over the top of the cake.
Invert the second layer onto a separate dish, then peel off the parchment paper. Carefully flip the layer and place it, right-side-up, over the first layer.
Slather a layer of frosting over the second cake layer.
Cover the sides of the cake with another thin layer of frosting.
Cut the cake and serve immediately or chill for later.
Nutrition information does not include frosting. Why? Because it depends on what kind of frosting you use and how much. If you use my chocolate frosting, you can add the correct nutrition info for the amount of it you use.