Intensely chocolatey, perfectly moist, super pretty and dead easy to make – this vegan chocolate cake is EVERYTHING a chocolate cake should be, and more. With no egg replacements and no fancy ingredients or equipment needed – this is the vegan dessert recipe you need to make. ASAP.
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Let’s slow down a bit. Keep things simple and relaxed. Sounds good? Mmkay.
I’m usually all for three-tiered elaborately decorated cakes, but sometimes you just need a simple chocolate cake that’s easy and quick to make, and requires the minimal amount of bowls. And, therefore, the minimal amount of washing up.
That’s not to say this VEGAN chocolate cake isn’t delicious, mouthwatering, gorgeous, intensely chocolatey and basically EVERYTHING you’d want a chocolate cake to be – it is. I promise you, it is.
And it does all that without eggs, without butter or milk or cream. Yes, sometimes baking is a bit magical like that.
The best thing about this vegan chocolate cake is that it’s virtually impossible to tell it’s vegan. It has the perfect crumb – moist and decadent without being too dense or claggy. Because the sponge contains both cocoa powder and melted chocolate, the wonderful bittersweetness of chocolate really shines in all its glory.
The vegan chocolate ganache is a 2-ingredient affair – just hot coconut cream poured over some dark chocolate, stirred until luscious and glossy and wonderful. When it cools down a bit, it firms up into the perfect consistency for swirling on top of the cake.
And while the swirly ganache itself is so beautiful it would be decoration enough… adding a small mountain of chocolate shavings is a great idea. Because (a) they’re pretty and (b) MORE CHOCOLATE.
Before we get to the bits and bobs of making this wonderful cake – if you like what you’re seeing, subscribe to my newsletter to keep up to date on the latest recipes and tips!
How do you make vegan chocolate cake?
Okay, first of all, it’s DEAD SIMPLE. If you’re capable of sifting and mixing together a few ingredients (with a whisk, no fancy equipment needed) – you’re good.
First up, we’ll sift together some all-purpose flour (plain, not self raising), baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt.
Then, add in the sugar and whisk until everything is evenly distributed.
In goes the almond (or other non-dairy) milk, warm water and lemon juice. Then, we’ll pour in the luscious melted chocolate + coconut oil mixture. Oh, the shine! Oh, that warm brown colour! Oh, the sheer chocolatey lusciousness!
Whisk it all together until you get a smooth cake batter (it will be super tempting to just go at it with a spoon, but try to resist). Then, we’ll transfer it to a lined cake tin and smooth out the top.
And into the oven it goes!
How long do you bake vegan chocolate cake?
For an 8 inch (20 cm) vegan chocolate cake, I recommend baking it at 355 ºF (180 ºC) for about 1 hour. I know it may seem like a looooong time (and it is, especially when the kitchen starts smelling all lovely and mouthwatering), but this is a properly moist chocolate cake – and it does require the long baking time to get the perfect texture.
Once baked, this vegan cake is super moist – without being too dense, and fluffy – without being too crumbly. It’s basically everything you might want a chocolate cake to be, and more.
If you adjust the ingredient quantities or use a different cake tin size, you’ll probably have to change the baking time. In that case, I recommend using a toothpick or skewer to check when your cake is baked to perfection.
To do this, insert a toothpick or skewer into the middle of the cake. When it comes out mostly clean with a few stray crumbs attached, the cake is perfectly baked.
How do you make vegan chocolate ganache?
The vegan chocolate ganache is a 2-ingredient recipe: all you need is some coconut cream and dark chocolate.
To make the vegan chocolate ganache, pour the hot coconut cream onto the the chopped dark chocolate. The heat from the coconut cream will melt the chocolate – and after stirring it all together, you’ll be left with a luscious, glossy vegan chocolate ganache.
Allow the ganache too cool (either at room temperature or in the fridge if you want to speed things up a bit) with frequent stirring, until it reaches the perfect spreadable consistency. (If it firms up too much, just reheat it briefly in the microwave). Then, you just need to swirl it on top of the cake.
The ganache complements the vegan chocolate cake PERFECTLY – although, honestly, I could eat it all on its own… it’s seriously good.
How long does the cake keep?
There are two answers to this question.
The theoretical/idealistic answer: for 3 – 4 days in a closed container or wrapped in cling film, in a cool dry place (the fridge works too).
The realistic answer: depending on how many chocolate-obsessed people are present and/or how strong the chocolate craving is… not long at all.
You might think I’m joking, but I mean… just look at it!
How do you keep vegan chocolate cake moist?
If you follow my recipe below, I guarantee you’ll get the moistest, most delicious vegan chocolate cake. Ever.
It’s basically all down to the wet:dry ingredients ratio. You want enough wet/liquid ingredients to keep the cake moist – but not too much, lest it ends up a gloopy mess. The addition of chocolate and cocoa powder (in addition to making it intensely chocolatey and just amazing) also helps keep the cake moist and lovely.
Truly, at this point I’m running out of superlatives when it comes to this vegan chocolate cake. And it deserves every single one of them.
But the proof’s in making and eating the cake – so get baking. And then, enjoy the sheer chocolatey brilliance of this rather simple (and yet, so darn impressive) dessert.
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Super Easy Vegan Chocolate Cake
For vegan chocolate cake:
- 3 1/2 oz (100 g) dark chocolate, chopped (I love Guittard's 64% and 72% chocolate – you can use either, depending on how bitter-sweet you like your chocolate cake to be)
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) melted coconut oil
- 2 cups + 2 tbsp (265 g) plain all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 cup (30 g) cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup (200 g) caster or granulated sugar
- 1 cup (240 mL) non-dairy milk, room temperature (such as almond, soy, rice or oat milk)
- 1/2 cup (120 mL) warm water
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
For vegan chocolate cake:
- Pre-heat the oven to 355 ºF (180 ºC) and line an 8 inch (20 cm) round cake tin with baking/greaseproof paper.
- In a heat-proof bowl above a pot of simmering water, melt together the chocolate and coconut oil. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Sift together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt. Add the sugar and whisk well until everything is evenly distributed.
- Mix together the non-dairy milk, warm water and lemon juice, and add them to the dry ingredients. Pour in the melted chocolate + coconut oil mixture, and whisk well until you get a smooth cake batter with no flour clumps.
- Transfer the cake batter to the lined cake tin, smooth out the top, and bake at 355 ºF (180 ºC) for about 1 hour or until well risen, spongy/bouncy to the touch and an inserted toothpick/skewer comes out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool in the cake tin for about 10 minutes, then remove from the cake tin and transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
For vegan chocolate ganache:
- In a saucepan, heat the coconut cream until it starts to boil.
- Place the chopped dark chocolate into a heat-proof bowl, and pour over the hot coconut cream. Allow to stand for 2 - 3 minutes, then stir together into a smooth ganache.
- Allow to cool, either at room temperature or in the fridge, with frequent stirring, until it reaches the consistency at which it can be spread on top of the cake.
- Swirl the chocolate ganache on top of the cake.As the ganache cools completely, it will firm up significantly. If you leave it too long, so it can't be spread nicely onto the cake, re-heat it briefly in the microwave and stir well, until you reach the desired consistency.
- Decorate with chocolate shaving, sprinkles or other decorations of choice (fresh fruit such as strawberries, raspberries or cherries work well too).
- The vegan chocolate cake keeps well in a closed container (or wrapped in cling film) in a cool dry place (or in the fridge) for 3 - 4 days.