Vegan Chocolate Cake

This vegan chocolate cake tastes like it came from an expensive bakery, but it’s actually so easy to make! It’s dark yet soft chocolate cake with a sweet & creamy whipped chocolate frosting.

Alright guys. Chocolate cake. If you weren’t a fan yet, this is the cake that will convert you.

Lately I’ve been low-key obsessed with coming up with the perfect vegan cakes. I always start out by imagining what my ideal cake should end up like.

For this vegan chocolate cake, I imagined something moist yet soft & fluffy (not brownie-like), with a deep, dark chocolate flavor and a light, whipped chocolate frosting. And not overly sweet!

So I was pretty gobsmacked when this cake came out exactly like I wanted. As I ate the first bite, I started hearing music in my head! I hope you will too.

How To Make Vegan Chocolate Cake

To make this cake you’ll need a bowl to mix the ingredients in, and a pan to bake the cake in. I formulated this recipe for a 7″ springform cake pan which is what I use.

I line my pan with parchment paper – you have to cut a circle for the bottom and strips for the sides. I don’t use any additional greasing or flouring since the parchment paper comes off easily anyway.

When making layer cakes, I prefer to bake a whole cake and cut it in half instead of making two separate cakes, because it makes the cake overall have a lighter & fluffier texture, with more moisture. I usually level off the round part of the top, flip it over so the bottom piece is now the top piece, and slice the cake into 2 layers.

Can I bake the cake in 2 pans?

You can bake this chocolate cake in two separate pans, but you’ll need to adjust the cooking time. If using two pans, check for doneness around 28-30 minutes of cooking.

A vegan cake made from chocolate, with whipped chocolate vegan frosting made from coconut oil. It's a two layer fluffy chocolate spongecake made without eggs, milk, or butter. Dark chocolate cake with lighter chocolate frosting.

How long does the cake bake for?

This cake bakes in about 40 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, which is less time than I usually bake a cake this size. The reason for that is that chocolate tends to burn quicker, and it’s hard to tell when a chocolate cake is done just by looking. So for that reason, I err on the side of caution and take it out at about 38-40 minutes.

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You can use a toothpick to check the center of the cake, of course. If it comes out clean, you know the cake is done.

A vegan chocolate cake with chocolate frosting made from whipped coconut oil. A fork has taken a piece of the fluffy chocolate cake out and looks delicious.

Can I use regular sugar?

For this vegan chocolate cake, use syrup. You can use maple syrup, karo syrup (which is what I used), or agave syrup. All of these syrups vary in taste considerably, but the end result isn’t very different because the chocolate flavor is the star of the show.

The dark karo syrup that I used has a slightly more molassas-y flavor and will yield a more bittersweet taste. For the sweetest tasting cake, I suggest using agave syrup. Maple syrup will be somewhere around the middle in terms of sweetness.

A bite of vegan cake on a fork - the cake is dark colored and chocolate flavored. The frosting is light brown chocolate vegan buttercream.

What kind of cocoa powder do I use?

Standard baking cocoa powder or Dutch-process cocoa powder are fine in this recipe. I prefer the darker color and taste of Dutch-processed cocoa so that is what I usually use!

Do I have to make this vegan chocolate cake with coffee?

In the recipe I like to use coffee – it makes for a darker cake and deepens the flavor of the chocolate. But it’s fine to use hot water instead if you don’t have coffee around. The coffee flavor is not detectable in the final chocolate cake if you do use it.

Vegan Chocolate Whipped Frosting

A cake as fluffy and dreamy as this vegan chocolate cake deserves a light, fluffy frosting.

I made a whipped chocolate frosting using coconut oil and plant based milk. To get an airy consistency, it’s important to follow the frosting steps exactly.

First, the coconut oil must be melted and hardened. Then, mix in the ingredients one at a time and in the order mentioned. The final result will be light and fluffy, the perfect vegan chocolate whipped frosting!

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Have you noticed that in some of the photos the frosting looks lighter, while in others it looks darker? This is because the chocolate will oxidize over time. The lighter frosting photos were taken on the day the cake was made, and the darker frosting photos were taken the day after.

So, if you prefer it looking one way or another when it’s presented, you know to either make it the day-of or the day before!

Can I refrigerate this cake?

I recommend leaving this cake out at room temperature, with a cover, as it will retain its moisture better that way. But, you can also put it in the fridge if you need to – for example, it would be a good idea to chill it before transporting.

Vegan Chocolate Cake Best
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5 from 5 votes

Vegan Chocolate Cake

This is the BEST vegan chocolate cake recipe – it's easy to make and the result is a fluffy chocolate vegan cake that's not too sweet.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Cooling Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 50 mins
Course: Vegan Desserts
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8
Calories: 190kcal


Vegan Chocolate Cake

  • 3/4 cup cake flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cups hot coffee can sub hot water
  • 2/3 cups syrup dark karo, maple syrup, or agave ok
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar distilled vinegar ok

Vegan Whipped Chocolate Frosting

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil melted and cooled
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 3-4 tsp soy milk other plant based milk OK


  • Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Line a 7" springform pan with parchment paper.
  • Add the dry ingredients to a bowl, and mix to combine well. Add in the wet ingredients, then stir until just combined.
  • Bake for 40 minutes. Allow to cool for about 2 hours before cutting or frosting.

For The Whipped Chocolate Frosting

  • Melt the coconut oil in the microwave for 1 minute, then stir in any leftover solid chunks. Chill in the freezer for 20 minutes, then set on counter until solidified.
  • Add coconut oil to a mixing bowl and beat with a hand mixer until smooth & creamy. Add in the vanilla extract and mix until completely combined.
  • Mix in the cocoa powder, then mix in the powdered sugar. Frosting will almost seem too dry but will become a thick frosting.
  • Once you have a very thick frosting, mix in the plant based milk 1 Tablespoon at a time, allowing it to become completely incorporated. The end result will be fluffy whipped frosting.



Calories: 190kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Sodium: 321mg | Potassium: 66mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 22g | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1mg
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