I analyzed several recipes for chocolate cake, vegan or otherwise, to create a recipe that’s:

  • quick and easy
  • turns out perfectly every time
  • tastes rich and indulgent

The main challenge when baking cakes without eggs is that they can come out gummy. With this recipe, the end result is incredibly moist – yet soft & fluffy, not gummy or brownie-like at all. Baking soda and apple cider vinegar work like magic to make the cake rise wonderfully.

This recipe uses coffee to enhance the chocolate flavor. The coffee blends in seamlessly with the chocolate flavor and can’t be detected in the final cake.

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 normally use. You can make the cake in other sizes including two 9-inch pans, 9×13-inch pan, bundt pan, etc. Cooking time adjustments are shown below.

How to keep the cake from sticking to the pan

There are two ways you can keep a cake from sticking to the pan: greasing and flouring, or using parchment paper. I usually use parchment paper but if I’m all out, I grease and flour.

A cooked chocolate cake cooling on the stove, still in the springform pan lined with parchment paper.

How to grease and flour the vegan way

To grease and flour a cake pan without using dairy butter, use about 1 teaspoon of vegan butter, vegan buttery sticks or coconut oil (refined or unrefined both work perfectly) and smear it all around the inside of the pan with your fingers. Then, add about 1 Tablespoon of flour to the pan and rotate the pan to move the flour so that it coats the pan. Gently tap the sides of the pan to get the flour moving quicker. Make sure you grease and flour up the sides of the pan too!

How to line a cake pan with parchment paper

To line a round baking pan with parchment paper, you have to cut a circle for the bottom and strips to go all the way around the inside of the pan. To line a rectangular pan, place a large piece of parchment paper under your pan and use scissors to make a cut from the outer edge to each corner of the pan. Then place the parchment inside the pan and fold the sides neatly straight up the sides of the pan.

A slice of chocolate cake on a plate, with some of the cake cut off on a fork.

How to make it into a layer cake

When making layer cakes, you can either bake a whole cake and cut it in half or bake two separate cakes. I prefer to bake one whole cake and cut it in half or in thirds to make layers. This way the cake will have a lighter & fluffier texture since there are less crusts. The method you choose depends on which type of cake pans you have. The advantage of using two 9″ round pans to make a layered cake is that it takes less time to bake.

Once your cake is cooked and cooled, level off the round dome of the top using a cake leveler or a bread knife. Then flip it over so that you have the nice flat bottom crust of your cake as the top – it will look more level and be easier to frost than the leveled side.

Take a bite!

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 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!

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

Vegan Chocolate Cake

This is the BEST vegan chocolate cake recipe – it's easy to make and the result is so moist, rich, and chocolate flavored.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Cooling Time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 50 mins
Servings 8
Calories 190 kcal


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 maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

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 plant based milk


For The Chocolate Cake

  • 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.



Cooking size & time adjustments:

  • Cupcakes – double the recipe and bake 25 minutes for 24 cupcakes.
  • 9″x13″ sheet cake – double the recipe and bake for 35-40 minutes.
  • 2 9″ round cakes – double the recipe and bake for 30-35 minutes.
  • Bundt cake – double the recipe and bake for 50-60 minutes at 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Course: Vegan Desserts
Cuisine: American


Calories: 190kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Sodium: 321mg | Potassium: 66mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 22g | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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  1. Sisley White on April 1, 2020

    5 stars
    This looks absolutely incredible. I wish i could reach out and grab a slice!

  2. Jessica Formicola on April 1, 2020

    5 stars
    This cake looks so decadent and delicious! I can’t wait to make it and share with my vegan friends!

  3. Kelly Anthony on April 1, 2020

    5 stars
    This chocolate vegan cake looks perfect for any occasion. I love anything chocolate especially when it looks this good.

  4. Anita on April 1, 2020

    5 stars
    Wow. I never knew one can make frosting from coconut oil. I’ll be trying this out for sure. 🙂

  5. Priya Lakshminarayan on April 1, 2020

    5 stars
    Now I am craving for chocolate cake..I guess I as well make it now. 🙂

  6. Rebecca Ashley on April 19, 2021

    5 stars
    Hey shan I just made this recipe for like the 3rd time today. It never gets old! So easy to make. One thing I’m not sure you mentioned in the recipe is that the batter will seem more thin than usual before it’s baked. But that seems to be how it’s supposed to be, mine turns out perfect every time!


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Shannon Hakala

Recipe Creator

I'm Shan and I love sharing tasty & easy vegan recipes!

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