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Vegan Chocolate Cake Recipe

A simple vegan chocolate cake, made with basic ingredients and perfect for any occasion.

vegan chocolate cake recipe

This vegan cake is a good recipe to have on hand any time you need to make a basic chocolate cake.

It will never let you down, can easily be customized for different flavors, and non-vegans love it too.

You May Also Like: Black Bean BrowniesNO Flour Required

Healthy Chocolate Cake

The cake is great for any of the following:






Baby Showers

Family Reunions



Dinner Parties

And any other type of gathering I might have forgotten!

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Vegan Chocolate Cake Recipe

Vegan Chocolate Cake Flavors

Nutella Chocolate Cake: Frost with chocolate hazelnut butter or my Healthy Nutella between layers.

German Chocolate Cake: Add a caramel frosting mixed with pecans and toasted coconut.

Mounds Bar Cake: Frost each layer with coconut cream or Vegan Chocolate Mousse, and top with more shredded coconut.

Black Forest Vegan Chocolate Cake: Frost with Coconut Whipped Cream or cashew cream and cherries or cherry jam.

Mocha Cake: Add a small spoonful of instant coffee to your favorite chocolate frosting or to my Chocolate Avocado Mousse.

The vegan cake uses just a few basic ingredients you might already have on hand – no flax or chia eggs required, and no unusual ingredients like avocado or black beans. Baking soda helps it rise, and applesauce binds the cake without eggs, also keeping it delightfully light and fluffy.

No one will ever suspect it’s healthier and vegan, because it simply tastes like classic homemade chocolate cake!

Want a single serving version? Try this Vegan Chocolate Mug Cake!

vegan chocolate cake recipe

(Above – watch the video how to make vegan chocolate cake!)

The recipe can be dairy-free, egg-free, whole-grain, and even oil-free!

I highly recommend this shortening-free Vegan Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting.

Make it as written if you want basic chocolate, or change things up by frosting each layer with any of my Healthy Frosting Recipes, or coconut frosting, peppermint frosting, or raspberry jam.

The Best Easy Vegan Chocolate Cake
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Vegan Chocolate Cake Recipe

An easy vegan chocolate cake recipe, made with basic ingredients and perfect for any occasion.
4.92/5 (63)
Total Time 25 minutes
Yield 2 cakes, or 1 double-layer cake


  • 2 cups spelt or white flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips, optional
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar, or xylitol for sugar free
  • 1/2 cup applesauce, banana, or yogurt of choice
  • 1/2 cup oil, almond butter, or allergy-friendly sub
  • 1 1/2 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup water


  • Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease two 8-inch square or round pans. Set aside. Stir together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, optional chips, and sweetener in a bowl. (If your nut butter is not stir-able, gently heat until it softens.) In a new bowl, whisk the oil or nut butter, applesauce or yogurt, water, and vanilla. Pour wet into dry and stir until just combined (don’t over-mix). Pour into the pans.
    Bake on the center rack for 25 minutes or until batter has risen and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out mostly clean. (I like to take them out when still a little undercooked, let cool, then set in the fridge overnight. This prevents overcooking, and the cakes firm up nicely as they sit.) If you can wait, I highly recommend not tasting until the next day… this cake is so much richer and sweeter after sitting for a day! When ready to frost, go around the sides with a knife, then invert each cake onto a large plate. Frost separately, then place one cake on top of the other if a double-layer cake is desired. At this point you can also frost the sides if you wish. I linked a few of my favorite frosting recipes earlier in this post.
    View Nutrition Facts


For a keto version, try this chocolate Keto Cake Recipe.

Have you made this recipe?

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More About The Cookbook

More Simple Vegan Recipes:

microwave brownies

Vegan Brownies

vegan mac and cheese recipe

Vegan Mac And Cheese

Veggie Burger Recipe 

(Just 6 Ingredients)

vegan cheese recipe

Vegan Cheese Sauce

Easy Chocolate Truffles Recipe

Chocolate Truffles

pumpkin pancakes recipe

Vegan Breakfast Recipes 

Vegan Cheesecake Recipe

Vegan Cheesecake Recipe

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

If you have any favorite vegan recipes, please feel free to mention them below in the comments for other readers to get inspired!

4.92/5 (63)

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Published on July 24, 2017

Meet Katie

Chocolate Covered Katie is one of the top 25 food websites in America, and Katie has been 
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ABC's 5 O’Clock News. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating dessert every single day!

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Leave a comment or reviewLeave a rating
    • Rose G says

      It is AMAZING!!!! so moist and so good!! I made with apple sauce (homemade) and used avocado oil .. a must to try..

  1. Debra says

    I love to use Maple Syrup as my sweetner. Is it possible to swap out the dry sweetener for syrup by increasing the flour?
    Love, love your recipes, by the way!!

  2. Whitney says

    I’m dying right now! That looked exactly like a glorious chocolate cake with buttercream frosting my mom used to make, which I loved before we went off sugar! I want it so badly right now.
    Question: would it be possible to swap the oil/nut butter with Greek yogurt? Or maybe do 1/2 oil+1/2 yogurt?
    Thanks again, Katie!

    • Kattee says

      I am not vegan but I like to cook vegan for my daughters school so excuse the ignorance but wouldn’t yogurt disqualify it from being vegan?

      • Jason Sanford says

        Hi, there are many brands of dairy free yogurt, such as almondmilk, coconutmilk, or soy . Look in whole foods or ask at your regular grocery store, as most grocery stores will carry at least one brand.

  3. Tereza says

    The cake is amazing! Super easy, rich, and fudgy! I didn’t have two 8 inch pans so I used one 13×9 glass dish and cooked it at 325 for the same amount of time (25 min). So good. I want to eat the whole thing!

  4. Maria Joseph says

    Chocolate!! Now this my type of dessert as I am chocolate freak and i love frosted dessert but i am vegan as well.But this recipe is amazing idea for vegan chocolate freak. I am surely going to try this.What if i use white chocolate for layering in between?

  5. deepika singh says

    By the way, everyone likes cake, but i like something more. I have eaten a lot of cakes but it look very good and tasty. Today is my fast ,i’ll definitely try this tomorrow
    Thank you

  6. Erin says

    I made this cake for my son’s birthday yesterday, Katie, and it tasted wonderful, even on the same day! I’ll definitely make it again. Thank you for the recipe!

  7. TG says

    This cake is absolutely delicious! Not paying close enough attention I added the mini chocolate chips but did not get vegan so I ruined the “vegan” in the cake. A note of warning might be helpful for those of us who are not sure. It didn’t stop the Vegan Birthday Boy from enjoy how delicious it was!

  8. Karen says

    I made this cake this weekend as a birthday cake for my vegan niece. Since I am gluten free, I used Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 gluten free flour. Yes, the cake was amazing and yes, all the non-vegans loved it! For the options I used-1 cup coconut palm sugar and 1/2 cup xylitol as the sweetener. Then I chose 1/2 cup unsweetened organic applesauce and 1/2 cup of coconut oil in the liquids. I used the kind of cooking coconut oil that stays liquid all the time. The cake was perfect! I will definitely make it again. I would say double the frosting recipe. I scraped by with the one recipe but there could have been more. Thank you for this great recipe!

  9. Acid Angel says

    Hi Katie,
    I’m writing to you from Italy. Thank you for your amazing recipes, I’m not vegan but I love your blog (I discovered it because some of your recipes were in the credits of a BB Italian Blog! I’ talking about 2012 or so).
    Since I’ve never been too much confident with conversion charts, could you please give me the metric equivalents for the ingredients (just to know if my conversions would be right) in this recipe?
    Thank you in advance 🙂

  10. Wendy says

    What are the differences between this recipe and the 100 Calorie Chocolate Cake recipe? I can’t figure out why this one is that much higher in calories.

    • Mallika says

      Did you do equal amounts extra applesauce to replace the oil? I.e one cup of applesauce, no oil? Or different proportions?

  11. Kelly says

    I love to bake but cakes I have trouble with. I’m also not vegan, but a dear friend is and I made this for her birthday. I made cupcakes (so I could taste first) and they were amazing! Neither of us could believe it was vegan (especially me)! This is now my go to cake recipe. Thank you!!!!!

  12. Lucy says

    Do you know that chocolate chips have milk or any other ingredients that comes from dairy products?! That choice it’s not vegan at all! Have a nice day!

  13. Inge says

    This recipe is amazing! I made it yesterday for a mixed group of vegans and veggie-phobes and they all loved it. I topped it with your peanut butter chocolate frosting, absolute bliss! Thanks so much!

  14. Valentina says

    Such a great recipe! I made this cake for my sister’s birthday and she loved it! it was delicious.
    I used coconut sugar, banana, and coconut oil
    I topped it off with the chocolate frosting – amazing.
    Thank you so much

  15. SnakPak says

    I tried this recipe and ended up adding hulled hemp seeds, walnuts, and chia seeds after combining powder & liquid. This made it into a super good dessert that doesn’t feel guilty! Thanks so much

  16. Mehreen says

    This is the second time I’m making this cake because I got fantastic feedback the first time – truly non-vegan approved! I was wondering if you need to cover the cake before refrigerating it overnight or not?

  17. Marilyn says

    I made this cake for my friends birthday. It was so good she almost cried. Are used frosting made from sweet potatoes and cocoa powder for the top and chocolate avocado frosting for the middle Amazing!! Even the non-vegans who tasted it loved it.

  18. Nichola Ling says

    Brilliant recipe. Very tasty moist fudgy cake.
    I used coconut yogurt, dark choc chips and oil and this will now be my go to celebration cake.

    • Laurel says

      I’ve always thought they were the same thing. Bread flour is higher protein, but general white flour is considered all purpose from what I’ve been taught.

  19. Laurel says

    SO GOOD–just out of the oven and cooled. Not even iced! My vegan teen just made these for a family wedding as mini cupcakes (baked about 13-14 min.) She made as written with the following option choices: All Purpose White Flour, cocoa powder, mini dairy-free cc, sugar (organic cane sugar,) coconut milk yogurt (plain,) coconut oil. We’ll let you know how they go over at the wedding filled with non-vegans, but so far we’ve all agreed this is a keeper recipe. THANK YOU!

    • Laurel says

      I forgot to reply last year– these turned out wonderfully for the wedding (full of non-vegans who had no idea.) Thank you!

  20. Julie says

    A M A Z I N G. Super chocolatey but also not too sweet. Really moist and crumbly. Definitely would get a non vegan’s approval !

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