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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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  1. Mary Mathews says

    What is spelt ? What kind of white flour can e use? Plain flour, self raising flour, cake flour etc?

    What kind of oil? Olive, vegetable etc?

    • Jason Sanford says

      Plain all purpose flour works (the kind sold in regular grocery stores). And either vegetable oil or melted coconut oil. Or canola works.

      • Elizabeth says

        I used an 8inch recipient to bake it,but had to put all the batter or it would have come out a real thin cake even rhough I followed the recipe thoroughly. So I doubled the recipe(baking it in two different recipients).
        It came out reaally good, soft and humid. I’ll definitely doing it again

  2. Ria says

    Amazing – made this yesterday and it is delicious – thank you!

    I made chocolate frosting (for the top part only) using maple syrup, almond butter, vanilla and cocoa powder. Thanks again for this recipe, I will be making it again for sure!

  3. Mary Mathews says

    This vegan cake turned out delicious.. I made the avocado chocolate frosting to go with it .. and it was delicious.
    Only thing is, I followed the metric measurements rather than the cup measurements.. the batter was a bit runny though (not like the video).. but the baked product was ok..

  4. Sally says

    Has anyone tried doing this in an Instant pot? If so do you just put it in springform pan and cover with foil? And cook for about 40 minutes? New to the whole new instant pot. With it being hot this summer, trying not to use the stove or the oven. 😉

  5. Tabitha says

    I made this yesterday for my son’s 1st bday. Half my family is gluten free and I always have GF s’mores bars but wanted something else. I knew this was it when I saw the pic on Instagram. I was nervous because GF doesn’t always turn out so good. I held my breath as my sister took the first bite and she liked it… I was like whewwww. I used Pillsbuy GF all purpose flour and the applesauce option. I frosted it with Cherrybrook Farms chocolate frosting. Even my brother who makes fun of our food choices opted for this cake over the regular cakes that were available. They said it tasted like a yodel or the hostess ho ho cakes we used to eat when we were younger. Thanks Katie!!!!

  6. Theresa Thornsberry says

    My niece is vegan. I made this cake Thursday for her birthday party Saturday. To say it was a hit with the carnivores in our family is an understatement! This is, by far, the BEST chocolate cake I have ever eaten. I went to a link for the vegan chocolate frosting as well. I couldn’t find a decent can of coconut cream, however I found cream of coconut and improvised. I wasn’t able to pipe it, but it was amazing. My husband said you should put it on the market. I cannot say enough great things about this cake and frosting recipe. I will be making it again and again!

  7. Jayla says

    I made this cake yesterday and it was absolutely AMAZING!! I couldn’t get over how moist and rich it was AND that it was vegan!!! I am not vegan, but my daughter is, so I’ve been trying a lot of different vegan recipes. I even used one of your delicious frosting recipes for it and my family LOVED it! So much so, that it is almost gone! Katie, I’m going to try some more of your recipes and have no doubt we’ll be very pleased! Thank- you!

  8. katelyn costa says

    my non vegan mom tried this cake and said that it was a really good cake. i then said “you know that’s a vegan cake, right?” and she said she didn’t know. So basically for a sec, she had no idea she was talking good about a vegan dessert. The best part was after she found out she said “i’m going to have this cake tomorrow with my coffee” XD

  9. katelyn costa says

    also, i forgot to mention that i made the cake into a cinnamon cake instead of a chocolate cake but my nonvegan mom still loved it XD

  10. Faris Halteh says

    OMG… this was soo delicious. I made it for my friends birthday and everybody loved it! Even the people who are super against vegan food. It was easy to make and so chocolate-y. I’m gna do it again! For sure ? I replaced the water with soy milk, not sure if it makes a big difference though!

  11. Caroline says

    This cake is amazing! I literally mixed it up in less than 10 minutes. Topped it with homemade Nutella. I treated my coworkers with it and everyone at my work absolutely loved it. I wrote a small note saying “it’s vegan ;)” and that caused people coming to me to exclamate “oh my gosh that cake!!!”. I have baked it for the second time and this time I top it up with lemon curd and chocolate ganache, I will treat another group of coworkers and I’ll be waiting for the compliments later ♥ Thank you ♥

  12. Sona says

    Thank you so much for this amazing recipe. I used it to make a chocolate orange cake – using orange juice instead of water and orange extract instead of vanilla extract. It was delicious

    • Shavon Forrest says

      I learned this the HARD way. At first my cake was flat due to using Almond milk (1 cup) instead of water and Almond flour (2 cups) instead of white flour. I had to add a tablespoon of baking powder to get the thing to rise and cook all the way through but “oh what a feeling” once it rose and stayed up! YUM

  13. Ella says

    Thanks a lot for the recipe! It worked like a charm and the cake tastes lovely!
    I made it with rapeseed oil and water, but no chocolate chips.
    Baked it in muffin forms – yielded 24 exactly.

  14. Laura says

    I just made one, it’s really good! And my sister thinks the same, I’m sure the rest of my family with enjoy this vegan cake too!
    I was too impatient on waiting 24 hours, instead it was 4 hours haha xD
    I’m not vegan but I like to look at vegan recipes, this one was simple so I thought I’d give it a try 🙂

  15. Kelsy says

    My daughter and I are chocolate lovers. I have been in search of a cake that is delicious and rich to make for her birthday. I had compiled a few different vegan recipes. I made a different one that was oily and not deep in flavor. Tried this one, and my search is ended! It is perfectly moist and rich and not too oily.

  16. Katelyn says

    I changed the flavor of the cake to cinnamon because I was out of cocoa powder, and I had my mom try this because she’s very honest, (I wrote a note next to the cake that said “please eat me” or “eat me please” kind of like Alice in Wonderland style) and then she had a bite of the cake and said it was so good that she wanted to have it with her cofee the next morning. I didn’t even tell her it was vegan, but when I did, she said she had no idea.

  17. Judy says

    “Pour”? batter into pans? Mine is like a very thick fudge. What did I do wrong? Should I add Almond milk or water to thin it out or is it supposed to be this way?

    • Jason Sanford says

      Hmm, it should definitely be normal cake batter consistency. What flour, oil, sugar, etc did you use?

  18. Tena says

    I don’t usually comment on blogs, but I have to say this. The cake is amazing, I don’t make any kind of frosting, I poke holes and pour puding over it, everyone loves it and cant believe its vegan

  19. Isobelle Harvey says

    Absolutely delicious! Tested the recipe on my work mates who all thought vegan cakes were dry and tasteless. This showed them the light! I’ve passed the recipe on and I’m already making another to take to a party this weekend. Absolutely delicious chocolatey goodness and so moist!

  20. Jan says

    Hi, just wanted to say this cake is really great! I’ve been trying out all sorts of vegan cake recipes for years and I almost gave up until I found your website. I made the “lemon loaf” as well, which is my favorite. Thank you for publishing these! I’m glad they are so easy to make and use “normal” ingredients. I made the lemon loaf twice so far, and it came out exactly the same both times. I’ll try to make a marble cake with this chocolate one and the lemon one next!

  21. Gem says

    I made this with peanut butter rather than oil and banana rather than apple sauce. The result was very claggy and rich.

  22. Sweety says

    This recipe is amazing. I think i will use recipe as one of the desserts on raksha bandhan for my brother and little cute sister.

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