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Super Easy Vegan Chocolate Cake

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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Vegan chocolate cake on a white wooden board, surrounded by cherry blossom branches.

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.

Close-up of the cut vegan chocolate cake.

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.

Vegan chocolate cake on a white wooden board, surrounded by cherry blossom branches. A piece has been cut from the cake.

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!

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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.

Sifting together the dry ingredients.

Then, add in the sugar and whisk until everything is evenly distributed.

Adding the sugar to dry ingredients.

Whisking together the dry ingredients and sugar in a glass bowl.

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!

Pouring almond milk into the dry ingredients.

Pouring melted chocolate and coconut oil into the dry ingredients.

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!

Pouring the vegan chocolate cake batter into a lined cake tin.

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.

Close-up of a piece of vegan chocolate cake.

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!

Vegan chocolate cake on a white wooden board, surrounded by cherry blossom branches.

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.

Vegan chocolate cake on a white wooden board, surrounded by cherry blossom branches. A piece has been cut from the cake.

If you like what you’re seeing, subscribe to my newsletter to keep up to date on the latest recipes and tips!

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Super Easy Vegan Chocolate Cake

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.
Print Rate
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook/Bake Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Servings 10

Ingredients

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 ganache:

  • 1 cup (200 g) coconut cream (Note 1)
  • 5 1/3 oz (150 g) dark chocolate, chopped (as for the sponge, I recommend Guittard's 64% and 72% chocolate)
  • chocolate shaving, sprinkles or other decorations of choice

Instructions

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).
  • Enjoy!

Storage:

  • 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.

Notes

 
Note 1: You can get coconut cream by putting cans of coconut milk into the fridge for a few hours (or preferably overnight) – without shaking! The coconut milk will separate into coconut cream (that you'll need in this recipe) and coconut water (which is great in smoothies).
Tried this recipe?Mention @theloopywhisk or tag #theloopywhisk!

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30 thoughts on “Super Easy Vegan Chocolate Cake”

  1. Hi Kat, I tried you vegan chocolate cake today, I used gluten free flour and vegetable oil (the oil was the only one I had at hand, and I’m gluten free) and I must tell you it is the best chocolate cake I have ever made, you can’t tell it’s gluten free and it tastes super delicious, thank you so very much. I can’t wait to get your book
    Keep baking your the best
    Myriam

    Reply
  2. Hi thanks for this recipe. I made this yesterday and whilst overall it came out ok, I thought it was dense and sticky. I followed your recipe exactly as stated. Please advise. Thank you.

    Reply
  3. Wow! I came across your recipes via Pinterest and I made this today and it is amazing!
    I had problems a couple of weeks ago with a flopped birthday cake and lost some confidence! Having established that there is a temperature issue with my oven I needed a recipe that was simple and easy to follow and make with my 2 girls but would allow me to test the oven!
    This worked perfectly!
    Thankyou for sharing a great recipe. It’s definitely going to be my go to chocolate cake from now on!

    Reply
  4. This is a superb recipe! I’m always on the look out for good egg-free cakes that stand up to their traditional, egg containing brethren (ie no weird aftertaste, odd textures etc) and this wins the gold. It’s also absolutely idiot-proof for occasional bakers like myself. I’ve made it about 6 times now. And it’s completely delicious. 12/10.

    Reply
  5. Hi Kat,
    I can’t wait to try this out! Just had 2 questions:
    1) Does the colour of the cake tin matter? I heard darker tins need less time but not too sure :/
    2) Will this recipe work well for layer cakes?
    Thanks so much! 🙂

    Reply
    • 1) The colour of the tin shouldn’t make a large difference, but I usually prefer lighter coloured cake tins (anodised aluminium or similar), as they give an even bake without too much caramelisation/browning around the edges. Darker tins tend to absorb and emit more heat, so they result in more browning on the bottom and edges.

      2) The recipe should work for layer cakes without a problem! 🙂

      Reply
  6. Only dairy free cake recipe I could find which had actual chocolate in it and doesn’t rely on cocoa powder. It’s amazing! Made it twice now 🙂

    Reply
  7. Hi Kat, my daughter has lots of allergies and I am really trying to find a recipe for her birthday cake that she can enjoy without suffering for months afterwards. This cake has almost ticked all boxes..will this recipe work with brown sugar, and what would happen if I used whole wheat flour?

    Reply
    • Hi Yas, although I haven’t tried it with these substitutions, I think the cake should work with brown sugar and whole wheat flour – it’s possible that you’ll need to adjust the baking time slightly, so keep an eye on it, and test it with a toothpick or skewer.

      Reply
  8. Hi Kat
    Love your recipes
    What can I substitute for al purpose flour to make this glutenfree? Does a normal gluten free mix works?

    Reply
    • You can definitely use a GF flour blend (same amount by weight). I would also add about 1/2 tsp xanthan gum (if your mix doesn’t already include it).

      Reply
    • Hi Bina, you can definitely make cupcakes with the recipe, I would estimate the baking time to be around 18 – 20 minutes, but definitely check by inserting a toothpick in the middle of a cupcake – you’re looking for a toothpick that comes out clean or with a few stray crumbs attached.

      Reply