I'm super happy to say that this post for The Ultimate Vegan Chocolate Cake is sponsored by World Kitchen, who I love for their affordable, non-stick baking pans. I seriously use Baker's Secret pans all their time. They are perfect for roasting veggies, making muffins, and of course, making The Ultimate Vegan Chocolate Cake! I have been compensated monetarily and with product. Yay!
Can we please just take a minute to drool over that picture? Seriously. I want to lick the screen, why oh why doesn't my screen taste delicious and like chocolate?
It is time, my friends, for the most ridiculously awesome, ultimate vegan chocolate cake. Applause, please. 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼
Thank you. I'm subtle I know.
I have a secret obsession with chocolate cake that stems back to my early days. Let me explain...
When I was a little kidlet, me and one of my best friends Katherine (hi Kat!), would always save up our loonies (that's Canadian slang for dollars), then when our parents weren't looking, we would go and buy a big chocolate cake that they sold in the freezer section of the grocery store. This was a cake intended for a family. We would sneak it back to our rooms and then proceed to eat THE ENTIRE THING. (Mom, shhhhhh, don't read that, shhhhh).
We were both scrawny little things so I really don't know how we managed to do that, but kids really seem to have a knack at consuming large amounts of sugar, don't they?
Yep, serious chocolate addicts were born. So when I say I love chocolate cake, this comes from a place of childhood sugar gluttony.
When I first tasted this cake, it brought back all of those chocolate cake-obsessed kid memories. This cake is rich, moist, fudgy, and super... what's the word...chocolatey. That's the best word to describe it really. I promise you no one will notice it's vegan. I wouldn't be surprised if non-vegans asked for the recipe, then you can be all cool with your sweet self, and pass it along, and wink when you tell them it's vegan.
I used these awesome red pans to make these cakes. Baker's Secret is for real my go-to pans when it comes to baking. They are very affordable, but the best part is they are very non-stick, so this cake just slid right out of the pan. The last thing you want is half your cake left behind in the pan! (Trust me, been there, done that). So I so appreciate Baker's Secret for sponsoring this post and giving me these beautiful pans so I could make the chocolate cake of my dreams. Yes, I dream about cake.
To make the Ultimate Vegan Chocolate Cake: Add all of the dry ingredients to a large bowl and whisk together.
In a separate medium-sized bowl, whisk together all of the wet ingredients.
Yep, there is apple cider vinegar in there. Yes, that seems weird. The reason it's in there is to make the cakes rise and get fluffy (remember baking soda and vinegar volcanoes)? It's a wonderful trick I picked up from Chloe Coscarelli, one of my most favourite cookbook authors. It works like a charm, and trust me, you can't taste the vinegar at all, only delicious chocolateness.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and whisk together until just combined. Don't over mix.
One of the many benefits of vegan baking is there are no raw eggs! So go ahead, lick the spoon (and by lick the spoon, I mean drink the batter).
Divide the batter between two 8" round cake pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cakes cool completely before frosting.
To make the vegan chocolate frosting, use a mixer to beat together all of the ingredients. If your frosting is a little too stiff, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of plant-based milk to soften it up until desired frosting texture is reached.
When you are ready to frost your cakes, run a knife around the edges of the cake pans, and flip the pans over to remove the cakes.
Place the first cake on your cake plate, and spread about half of the frosting on top. Place the second cake on top of the frosted cake, and spread the remaining frosting on top of that cake. Add swirl patterns with your spatula to make it pretty. Store the cake in the fridge or a cool place until you are ready to serve.
Prepare to have all of your chocolate needs met for life.
P.S. Can you find the hidden selfie in the pic below? ↓
The Ultimate Vegan Chocolate Cake
- 2½ cups all-Purpose flour
- 2½ cups white sugar
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2⅔ cups plant-based milk, (such as soy or almond)
- ⅔ cups light oil, (such as canola or vegetable)
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup vegan butter, (such as Earth Balance)
- ½ cup vegetable shortening
- 1¼ cup powdered sugar
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 - 2 tablespoons plant-based milk, (if needed)
- To Make the Cake: Preheat your oven to 350F (180C). Prepare two 8" round baking pans by lightly greasing them, and then cutting a circle of parchment paper to fit into the bottom.
- In a large bowl whisk together all of the dry ingredients, then set aside.
- In a medium bowl whisk together all of the wet ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Don't over mix. Divide the batter into the prepared pans, then pop them in the oven. Bake for about 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cakes cool completely before frosting.
- To Make the Frosting: Use a mixer to blend all of the frosting ingredients except for the plant-based milk. Blend until whipped and creamy. If the frosting is a bit too stiff, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of plant-based milk as needed until desired consistency is reached.
- To Assemble the Cake: Run a knife around the edges of the cake pans, and flip the pans over to remove the cakes. Remove the parchment paper and discard. Place the first cake on your cake plate, and spread about half of the frosting on top. Place the second cake on top of the frosted cake, and spread the remaining frosting on top of that cake. Add swirl patterns with your spatula to make it pretty. Store the cake in the fridge or a cool place until you are ready to serve.
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This is hands down the best cake I've ever made, vegan or otherwise. I've made it so many times and no one can ever tell it's vegan. Its moist, chocolatey, not too sweet, and the perfect thing for any celebration. People are constantly ask me for the recipe, we love It!
Sam Turnbull says
Aww yay! I love that!
When you say vegetable shortening, do you mean Crisco? Something else?
Sam Turnbull says
That is one brand, yes 🙂
Donna Murphy says
Hi Sam - I have to make a cake for about 30 people and this seems perfect as it will satisfy vegan and non vegan alike, only needing one cake! I need to make it a few days ahead.. can I freeze the cake and only add frosting day of? I'm thinking it will need to be a sheet cake, easiest given the number of people.
Hi Sam, I adore this cake and have made it many times. I have a heart-shaped pan (roughly 8 x 9inches) I want to use, but only one. Do you think I could bake this in one pan and then carefully cut it in half to make 2 layers? Or even leave it as it is and put the frosting on the outside? If it is possible, how might this affect the baking time? Many thanks in advance.
This cake is amazing. I made it for Easter and everyone loved it, no one questioned if it was vegan. It was moist and the frosting was incredible. This will be my go to chocolate cake recipe. I usually run to the grocery store and grab myself a vegan cupcake when I need a cake fix, but this entire cake costs about the same as just one cupcake and it was so easy to make. Another homerun Sam!
Sam Turnbull says
Yay! Thrilled you loved it Kristine 🙂
The recipe is PERFECT! When I crave sweetness, this is the only desert I make. My whole family and I absolutely LOVE it! My mood is immediately boosted whenever I taste the cake. Thank you so much for the guide.
God bless you.
I would like to try this but with a mini cupcake tin, any idea on adjusted baking time? I see you have an adjusted time for the regular sized cupcakes, but I am not sure if I should add more or less time.
I bake mine in a mini cupcake tin at 300 for about 10 minutes and they come out great!
JENNIE STEWART says
best chocolate cake I've ever had, we're not vegan but I still make this cake because its the best! I must admit that I use store bought frosting but the cake itself is just awesome!
I rarely leave recipe reviews and I can't believe it's taken me this long to comment on this one! I've been using it exclusively as my chocolate cake recipe for 3 years now! A recommendation I have is that I always replace half the non-dairy milk with freshly brewed coffee. It enhances the rich chocolate flavor and moistness as well. Sam, every single person I have made this cake for has not shut up about how much they love it! You've outdone yourself with this one!
good idea, I’m gonna give that go now
Tahira Akhtar says
Can i use cake flour for this recipe?
Also if i bake them in 2 9inch tins, how long do i need to cook it for? Thanks in advance
Hi Sam. I bought your new book. In the book, the frosting recipes says 2 3/4 cups powdered sugar. This recipe says way less although everything else is the same. Which do we follow? Thanks.
I’ve made this cake many times - it is SO delicious. I always end up using close to three cups of powdered sugar in the frosting…but I use solely vegan butter, no shortening. Thanks for this amazing recipe, Sam!
This is my second time making this recipe but I added chocolate chips in it and OMG!!!! This recipe never fails me! Thanks for sharing!
This is hands down the best chocolate cake I've ever tasted! Absolute perfection! I made this for my stepson's 15th birthday. Instead of 2 round cakes, I made a 9x13 cake, and it took about 48 minutes to bake at 350F. My husband and I are vegan, but my stepsons, my parents, and my husband's parents are not, and they all loved it. My mother-in-law even asked me for the recipe, so I sent her the link. This recipe is a keeper! Thank you!!
Abi S says
This recipe is the best vegan cake I have ever eaten. Tastes great with raspberries.
Bianca Neves says
Incurring the risk of being extremely repetitive: this cake is bomb! So fudgy and scrumptious
Hello, Can I just ask with the oven temp is it Convection or Convention?
I absolutely love this cake and made it twice on Convention but having trouble with it cooking through nicely. I'm starting to think maybe its meant to be 180c Convection (fan forced) ? I'm in Australia so just wondering what the general rule is in the USA if it doesn't state the type of oven heat on the recipe.
Thanks so much for an outstanding recipe:)
Hi Georgia, if you're still waiting for an answer to your question, I can tell you in Canada where Sam Turnbull and I both live (and USA too) conventional recipes would be written intending to use a conventional oven, unless otherwise noted. I've been making a recipe very similar to this one for the past 50 years, and it's 350F (180C) for a normal oven. My recipe has a few different measurements but makes 2 x 8inch rounds or a 9inch x 13inch rectangle pan, baked for 30 minutes (maybe a bit longer depending on the oven). (I've never heard ovens referred to as Convention), but do realize there are different oven options now. I've never used a Convection oven, although my brother who lives in New Zealand raves about his. I hope this helps.
I haven't made this yet but it looks absolutely delicious. I was wondering if I can use whole wheat flour and if it would come out the same.
I made chocolate cake for the first time ever last night and followed the recipe exactly (without the frosting). It tasted AMAZING!!! My husband, who has egg and nut allergies and isn't a fan of chocolate in general absolutely loved the cake!! Thank you for the amazing recipe!!! Cannot wait to make it for birthdays etc!
Does it crumble at all after baking? curious to know how it stays together without a binding agent like egg!
Sam Turnbull says
It's just like regular cake, you would never notice the difference. It holds together beautifully. 🙂
I've made it before, and it tastes absolutely amazing! I am such a big fan of you Sam!
P.s I follow you on pinterest
My best friend made this for my birthday this year and it was *heavenly*.
Only used the chocolate batter recipe and not the frosting. Really simple and accessible ingredients, so easy and quick to make. And most importantly, delicious.