Stop searching. You've found it. The best vegan chocolate cake recipe, not too sweet, dark, rich and so, so easy to make.
You can literally get it in the oven within 5 minutes, and that includes assembling ingredients. Maybe a minute or two more to line the tin with parchment paper. But really, it's that quick to make. No creaming, just whisk and stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
I need to thank Fran Costigan for this recipe which I edited slightly to suit both my bank balance and my store cupboard. Her sublime book, Vegan Chocolate, might be ten years old now, but the recipes are still sound and don't rely on the tedious vegan ingredients like egg replacers.
I have tried lots and lots of vegan cake recipes, and if you haven't checked out my post on vegan baking, go and have a look now!
I've written at length about how trickiest part of vegan baking is the egg replacers, do you use yogurt, applesauce or a flax egg? And how much? There are lots of like-for-like guides online but they don't always explain why and when you need to use specific types of egg replacer. I've written a (hopefully) foolproof post that guides you on what to use as an egg replacer, in various situations, along with a selection of vegan recipes that utilise these replacers successfully.
This particular cake recipe doesn't really use an egg replacer in the conventional sense, although it does utilise my favourite method, with is souring milk with apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice), to give a buttermilk-style ingredient.
This vegan buttermilk gives vegan cakes a tender crumb and texture that is normally given by the process of beating eggs with sugar. An egg free chocolate cake doesn't have to be stodgy and dense. This is moist vegan chocolate cake that is easily adaptable.
I have frosted mine with a peanut butter buttercream which is incredibly easy to make, but feel free to use your favourite vegan chocolate frosting, my vegan cream cheese frosting, vegan whipped cream or leave it plain.
Note: this cake doesn't rise a lot so if you want to make a layer cake double the mixture and use two 9" round cake pans. It would make a stunning layer cake for special occasions or a vegan birthday cake!
Whether you're egg intolerant, allergic to dairy or you've just made the choice to be plant based, you can have your chocolate cake and eat it!
- Plain flour. This recipe uses two types, wholemeal and plain (all purpose flour). This offer both texture and lift.
- Cacao Powder. You could use good-quality cocoa powder instead, but I love the dark bitterness of cacao, which infuses the cake batter with a rich chocolate flavor.
- Baking Powder
- Sugar. I used maple sugar as I have some in the cupboard and wanted to use it. Again, feel free to use granulated white sugar or brown sugar.
- Sea Salt
- Vegetable Oil or unflavoured oil. You could also use melted coconut oil, canola oil or a mild olive oil. This replaces the regular butter.
- Maple syrup.
- Vanilla extract.
- Soy milk or plant milk of your choice, such as almond milk.
- Apple cider vinegar.
(This is ONLY a list of ingredients for the recipe; please see recipe card below for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)
- Preheat oven to 170c.
- In a small jug, whisk the vinegar into the vegan milk and leave to stand for about 5 minutes to "curdle".
- Line a 9" cake pan, on the bottom only, with greaseproof paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, cacao powder and baking powder. Stir in the sugar and salt.
- Add the vegetable oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract to the milk and whisk thoroughly. Pour into the dry ingredients.
- Using an electric hand whisk, blend the wet ingredients into the dry until no lumps of flour are visible. Do not overmix.
- Pour into your prepared cake pan, banging on the surface of the work counter to knock out any air bubbles.
- The bake time is between 30-35 minutes or until the surface of the cake springs back.
- Leave to cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack, then leaving to cool completely before icing.
Try my other delicious vegan chocolate recipes
- Pear and Walnut Brownies
- Vegan Chocolate Mousse
- Peanut Butter Frosting
- Best Vegan Chocolate Brownies
- Levain-style Copycat Cookies
- Keto Chocolate Truffles
- Raw Chocolate Brownies
- Pecan and Caramel Turtle Cookies
Best Vegan Chocolate Cake Recipe
- 1 9" Cake tin lightly oiled and lined on the bottom
- 1 cup Plain Flour
- ¼ cup Cacao Powder or use cocoa powder, very dark
- ¼ cup Caster Sugar extra fine sugar, or, I used maple sugar
- 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
- ½ teaspoon Bicarbonate of Soda
- ¼ cup Vegetable Oil or melted vegan butter or coconut oil
- ½ cup Maple Syrup
- ¾ cup Milk any dairy-free of your choice
- 1 teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar or lemon juice
- 2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- Preheat oven to 180c.
- Sour the milk in a large jug by adding the vinegar or lemon juice. Leave to stand for 5 minutes.
- Whilst the milk is souring, sift together the flour, cacao powder, baking powder and bicarb into a large mixing bowl.
- Whisk the sugar and salt into the flour mix.
- Now add the oil, vanilla and maple syrup to the milk and whisk well.
- Pour this into the dry ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined. Don't overmix though.
- Pour into your prepared baking tin and bake for 30-35 minutes or until it springs back to the touch.
- Leave to cool 10 minutes in the tin before carefully turning out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Now you can frost your cake.
Nutritional Information Disclaimer
The automated nutritional information on my recipes can often be inaccurate due to the limitations within the programming. For exact measurements, there are lots of apps and websites that can calculate this information more accurately.
This is a great vegan chocolate cake! It came out with the perfect chocolate flavor, and I love the depth the maple syrup added.
The cake turned out perfect for me and it was a big hit. Thanks for the recipe!
Your cake was so delicious and super easy to make. Other vegan cake recipes are usually much more involved, but yours was perfect. Thank you!
Is this even vegan?? This is an excellent vegan chocolate cake recipe and would fool any chocolate cake lover!
The cake looks so moist, perfect for the evening snack and evening late night sweet craving.
Yum! I can't wait to try this! I'll use cocoa powder because I just don't like cacao but otherwise I'm not changing anything!
I’m a chocolate cake lover and this vegan recipe looks so yummy. Can’t wait to impress my vegan friends with this one.
This chocolate cake was so delicious and it was so moist, you couldn't even tell it was vegan! Love this recipe, thank you!
I have never tried a vegan chocolate cake before, but your's looks wonderful! I will have to give it a try! Thanks for the share!
I'm always a bit wary of recipes that claim to be "the best," but this cake really does live up to its name! I made the cake over the weekend and it was super chocolatey and moist, the crumb fine and elegant, too! I frosted it with a vegan chocolate frosting and it was a real treat. Will definitely keep this recipe on hand as I know I'll be making it again and again!
It's hard for me to find vegan recipes that I can make with pantry staples because I don't follow a strict vegan diet but its nice when I need to reset to have some recipes set aside that I can make in a pinch. This cake sounds and looks delicious. I love how simple it is.
Made this cake for my friend's birthday tonight and everyone raved about it, both vegans and non-vegans! Thank you!
I get really skeptical when it comes to cakes without eggs but this cake changed my mind. It was still soft and moist and no one knew it was vegan.
One of my favourite things to bake for my vegan daughter is chocolate cake. It's not something she gets too often but she really appreciates it. Your recipe was easy to make and really delicious. Thank you!
Such an easy chocolate cake to make...can't believe it's vegan! It was delicious...will definitely make again.
We all loved this delicious chocolate cake and I love how it's vegan! It was perfectly sweetened and totally satisfying!
I would've never thought such simple ingredients without eggs would make such a delicious and fluffy vegan cake! This one disappeared so fast I wish I made two!
I loved how simple and easy the recipe was and tried it out. The cake turned out super good! Thank you so much for sharing.
We are not vegan, but my sons girlfriend is, so I made this as a treat one night for dinner.
We all ate it and man was it good!! She was so happy that she could enjoy dessert with us all.
And it was quite easy to make as well. Thank you for helping me cook a food that I am not at all familiar with.
Amy Liu Dong says
This cake looks so delicious and looks so easy to make. My kids will def love this. Yum!
Chocolate cake is my favorite. I can't wait to give your recipe a try, it looks so chocolatey and moist!
Jacqueline Debono says
You had me at 5 minutes. I couldn't believe how fast and easy this vegan chocolate cake was to make and how delicious. A winner!
Hayley Dhanecha says
This is so amazing, my mum has stopped eating eggs, I baked this for her. So moist and moreish!!
this was one delicious chocolate cake! I made it for vegan friends and ended up having two slices myself!