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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.

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Healthy Chocolate Cake

The cake is great for any of the following:

Birthdays

Barbecues

Potlucks

Graduations

Anniversaries

Baby Showers

Family Reunions

Sleepovers

Holidays

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, and top with more shredded coconut.

Black Forest Vegan Chocolate Cake: Frost with whipped coconut 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 (60)
Total Time 25 minutes
Yield 2 cakes, or 1 double-layer cake

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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

Notes

For a keto version, try this 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 (60)

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Published on July 24, 2017

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Reader Interactions

134 Comments

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  1. Bonnie says

    Thanks for this recipe, I just made it in my bread-maker and it turned out really well. My bread maker has a cake setting but I fined it tends to over-mix, so I just put the ingredients in, set pressed the cake button, left it to mix until everything was just incorporated and then I switched to the bake function and baked it for 1 hour and 20 minutes (about the same time it takes to bake a similar sized loaf of bread). I might try just leaving it on the cake cycle to see if it turns out as well completely unattended, I could even set it over night and have cake for breakfast 😀

  2. Morag says

    I made this cake for my son’s third birthday, and it was absolutely incredible. It was moist, tender, and fudgy. I used a layer of raspberry jam in the middle and a basic chocolate frosting for the top and sides – the raspberry really added a beautiful depth of flavour. This is my new go-to chocolate cake!

  3. leslie says

    Recipe was a success! I used olive oil for the oil, regular flour, regular sugar, pumpkin spice apple sauce from whole foods, and about 1/2 tbsp less vanilla since I ran out. I have the cake chilling in the fridge and will frost later but am happy that this recipe was easy and worked

  4. Samta says

    I am super excited about making this as a surprise birthday cake! I am a little nervous that the coconut based frosting might melt, or will it hold? And do you use that between layers and over the top as well? This is my first proper cake, and I want to get it right! Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Jason Sanford says

      You can put it both places, but it definitely should be frosted just before serving if using the coconut frosting. Or you can use any storebought or homemade frosting 🙂

  5. Danielle says

    For the frosting how much do i need to make? I was going with the classic chocolate frosting you linked. Do i need to double it? Thanks so much

  6. Ashley says

    I made this with Trader Joe’s regular sized chocolate chips. Unfortunately, they all sunk to the bottom and then stuck to the pan, even though I liberally sprayed the pans.

  7. Amanda says

    I love baking and I’m pretty confident in every area except birthday cakes – probably the pressure I put on myself to make sure I get it perfect for my kiddos. Because of this I usually veganize a boxed cake. I did this yesterday and it just didn’t work- it didn’t hold like I wanted to. I was making 2 different cakes. So I quickly pulled up my pins for homemade cakes and found this one. I whipped it up, stuck it in the oven and 25 min later PERFECTION. So, I whipped up another one for the second cake. This recipe is not only SUPER quick and easy, the moisture, texture, and taste of the cake is absolutely amazing !! Thank you for saving my birthday cakes ! I’ll never do a box cake again! ??

  8. Karolina says

    I have only one 8 inch pan. Should I bake half of the batter first and keep the reamining dough in the fridge, or rather bake everythink at once and cut it in a half after ?

  9. Danae says

    This cake is delicious. I used raw cacao, coconut sugar, banana and coconut oil.
    I am not vegan but my son is allergic to egg, so often look at vegan recipes. Pleasantly surprised!

  10. Christine says

    This was actually really good. I made the recipe for my dad’s birthday tomorrow but I made it twice and I’m going to put the two cakes on top of each other. With both recipes I added almond milk instead of water, and instead of using the banana I used two eggs in each recipe. I’m just wondering how to make the frosting? Do you have a recommendation on the frosting?

  11. Hilary says

    I can’t find a working link to any of the frosting recipes. Can you point me to where I can find some of the frosting recipes?
    Thanks,
    Hilary

  12. Stacey says

    I’m planning to bake this cake next week for my husband’s birthday:) Just wondering why it seems to be the same as the vegan chocolate cupcake recipe but doesn’t ask for vinegar. I’ve never baked a vegan cake without vinegar and just wanted to check that this is correct.

  13. Jess says

    literally the best vegan cake i have ever made- the applesauce/ yoghurt is a game changer! Love it 👍

  14. Harmeet B says

    Made this for my daughter’s birthday a couple of days ago. This is the best recipe I’ve ever tried. I used coconut yoghurt resulting in a delicious, moist cake. Never fails to disappoint and was even better with peanut butter frosting!

  15. Karla Lars says

    It would be really helpful to everyone outside America if you published your fabulous recipes in metric measurements instead of cups. For example, in the US when a recipe tells you to add 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of brown sugar and 1 cup of oats, this equates to 120g of flour, 180g of brown sugar and 90g of oats. And that’s for just three ingredients. Referring to a general US cups conversion chart it shows there are at least 17 different baking food stuffs with different weights for each one cup reference. Canada, South Africa and Australia also have their different weights for cup measurements to make baking even more precarious.

    We all speak English so why start talking a different language when sharing a recipe?
    Why would you want to be continuously referring to a conversion table throughout making a recipe? It’s crazy! This could also explain feedback I’ve read you’ve received from people who have had recipe failures – it could be they used a single cup measure as standard across all different ingredients.

  16. Tara says

    I must of used this recipe over 10 times and I thought its about time I leave a review! Honestly the best cake recipe there is 🙂

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