This BEST vegan chocolate cake recipe is quick and easy with no unusual ingredients. Hundreds of readers have loved this moist fluffy vegan chocolate cake. It's egg-free and dairy-free. So many readers love it regardless of it being a vegan cake.
When you think about vegan cake, you might think it will be dry, crumbly and somehow inferior to a typical chocolate cake filled with eggs and butter.
Well, you're wrong. Very wrong.
It might be an egg free and dairy free chocolate cake, but it is awesome!
So moist, so fluffy, so rich, so chocolatey - so amazing.
This vegan chocolate cake really is the BEST.
Why You'll Love It
Why will you LOVE this dairy free cake?
It's like a super-amazing, delicious, decadent chocolate cake that just happens to be vegan!
If you didn't mention that it's vegan, people would honestly never know.
It's rich, fluffy, moist and very easy to make.
Originally published January 2017. Republished 8 Feb 2019 with new photos.
Why it's the BEST
It's really quick and easy vegan choco cake.
This cake has a rich, chocolatey flavour.
No unusual ingredients - just pantry staples. And super easy too.
Light, moist and fluffy texture. Unbelievably a vegan cake!
It makes a great vegan birthday cake. In fact, many readers have kindly shared with me their lovely cakes on social media. I love that my recipe can be a part of your special day.
Nobody will guess that it’s vegan. It's so moist and rich!
Many readers have made it and love it. It's a recipe you can trust.
A moist eggless chocolate cake that's also dairy-free.
(Original photo from 2016)
I love making cakes, but I hate it when I need to seek out expensive unusual ingredients first.
So, this vegan cake doesn’t need any unusual egg or dairy substitutes like flax or chia eggs. And no banana either!
The most unusual ingredient is dairy free milk (almond, soy etc...), but you can pick that up at any shop.
Instead of butter, I've used a vegan spread (butter/margarine whatever you like to call it!).
It’s just a super-easy, light and fluffy chocolate cake that’s vegan that can be made with store cupboard ingredients.
Vegan Milk - try soy or almond etc...
Lemon juice - this will turn the milk into buttermilk.
Dairy free butter or margarine
Liquid sweetener - try maple syrup, corn syrup, agave etc... This adds extra sweetness and moisture.
Instant coffee powder / espresso powder - this is totally optional, but you can't taste it and it brings out the flavor of the chocolate.
Flour (all-purpose/plain flour) for structure and bulk.
Sugar - to sweeten the cake. I use granulated white sugar (double check that it's safe for vegan).
Cocoa powder - the unsweetened kind!
Baking powder & baking soda - to make the cake nice and fluffy.
For the chocolate frosting, you'll also need powdered icing sugar and cocoa powder.
Trust me, nobody will guess that it’s vegan. It's great as a vegan birthday cake, party cake or everyday cake!
A few reader reviews:
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ "I made this vegan cake today (first attempt at vegan baking) and I was truly surprised! It was light fluffy and moist and despite the lack of eggs the rise was excellent and the taste was super. I will be wowing vegans everywhere with this." - Ollie
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ "I just made this! It is absolutely gorgeous, as a chocoholic myself, I didn’t think I could ever find a vegane chocolate cake that was as good as the real stuff. But this is so good, if not better!" - Isabella
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ "This is a delicious and moist vegan chocolate cake! And very simple to make, some vegan cakes require an awful lot of expensive ingredients. A* for taste, ease and texture!" - Natasha
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ "Best vegan cake recipe ever! I made mine into cupcakes and subbed the vegan butter for vegetable oil and it came out perfect! I also added some vegan chocolate chips and it made it extra good so I'll totally be making these again" - Lisa
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ "Hello, I use this recipe all of the time for vegans but also for non-vegans and nobody ever notices a thing, in fact people always praise it for its moistness!! It’s my absolute go to recipe and would never use any other chocolate cake recipe!" - Nikki
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ "It’s just perfect. I’ve gone through a few recipe’s now but never been happy with the results. Now I’ve found this I won’t be looking anymore. It’s now my forever chocolate cake recipe. Thank you." - Janet
Step by Step Tutorial
This really is an easy recipe. Follow these step-by-step photos and your cake should come out perfectly.
Scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of the post for the full ingredients list and method.
1: Stir the lemon juice into the vegan milk. You can use soy, almond, hemp, cashew - they all work well.
>>Cook's tip: When you add the lemon juice it will slightly curdle - don't worry, that's what you want to happen! It's turning the plant milk into buttermilk.
2: Melt the vegan butter (a hard vegan butter or a non-dairy margarine all work, like Earth Balance) with the syrup.
>>Cook's tip: You can use any liquid sweetener: golden syrup, corn syrup, agave or maple syrup. Maple makes for a slightly less sweet cake, but it's still really nice.
3: Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl, then whisk to combine.
4: Mix the wet ingredients into the dry and stir to combine.
>>Cook's tip: don't overmix. You want it completely combined, but stir gently and don't beat it.
5: Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 30-35 minutes or until an inserted skewer (or knife) comes out clean. Cool in the pans for a few minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack for the cake to cool completely.
Scroll down for the detailed recipe card and vegan frosting instructions
More Vegan Cake Recipes
Also be sure to try my light, fluffy and easy to make Vegan Vanilla Cake! No unusual ingredients and nobody will guess that it's vegan. It's also a perfect vegan birthday cake!
Also make my Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes - they're moist and soft.
Go for a classic with my Vegan Carrot Cake.
Want something zingy? Try my Vegan Lemon Cake.
Get bright! Try my Vegan Red Velvet Cupcakes.
Classic - try Vegan Banana Bread.
Make it small - Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes
If you're looking for a vanilla cake, try my Vegan Victoria Sponge cake. It's light, fluffy and delicious.
Don’t over-mix the batter when adding the wet ingredients to dry. Combine well, but don’t beat.
Add 1 tsp of cinnamon to the frosting for a wintery flavour.
Feel free to omit the coffee, it just enhances the flavour of the chocolate in this vegan cake.
Sugar: Note that in some countries (USA mainly) some sugar isn't vegan as it is filtered with bone char (why?????). In the USA organic sugar is usually vegan though. In most other countries all sugar is vegan. Pretty much all of it is vegan in the UK. Check your labels.
Cocoa Powder: Unsweetened cocoa powder should be vegan, but occasionally it could have a 'may contain milk' disclaimer so be sure to double-check.
Note: If anyone eating the cake has an allergy, be sure to check all ingredients. Food manufacturers sometimes change their recipes/formulas/processes so check that each one is suitable.
Cupcakes and Other Sizes
Turn this into vegan cupcakes by filling the cups of a lined muffin pan and bake for 15-20 mins.
Increase the ingredients by an extra 50% for a three layer cake
Storage and Freezing
This cake is freezable: you can freeze the un-frosted cakes for up to 1 month. Wrap each layer well and freeze them. Then let them defrost and add your favorite frosting.
The frosted cake is best stored on the kitchen counter for up to 5 days. You don't need to tightly wrap it, but a cake tin will ensure the cut edges don't dry out and keep it clean.
You can store un-frosted cake layers, well wrapped, on the kitchen counter for up to 5 days. If you need to keep them longer than that, freeze them. Perfect for a make-ahead vegan birthday cake recipe.
Get your free Cookbook!
We know time can be tight. Whether you're vegan or just want to add some easy meat-free meals to your meal plan, we've got you covered. Download your free 15 Minute Vegan Dinners e-Cookbook, full of quick, easy and tasty recipes! You’ll also be added to our mailing list to receive new recipes via email as soon as they're published.
Get the recipe
Did you make this easy vegan chocolate cake recipe? Please let me know how it turned out for you!
Leave a comment and star rating below and share a picture with the hashtag #veggiedesserts. I love seeing your recreations of my vegetarian and vegan recipes and cakes.
The Best Vegan Chocolate Cake
- mixing bowl
- 2 x 20cm/8inch round baking pans
- Wooden spoon
- 1 ¼ cups (300ml) vegan milk (soy, almond etc...)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice (or apple cider vinegar or white vinegar)
- ⅔ cup (150g) vegan butter
- 3 tablespoon golden syrup / corn syrup / agave/ maple syrup (use your favorite liquid sweetener (maple will make a slightly less sweet cake))
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules / espresso powder (OPTIONAL)
- 2 ¼ cups (275g) all-purpose flour (plain flour)
- ¾ cup (175g) sugar
- 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda (bicarb of soda)
For the vegan chocolate frosting (double to cover the sides as well)
- ⅓ cup (75g) vegan butter room temperature
- 1 ⅔ cups (200g) powdered icing sugar (confectioner's sugar)
- 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons water
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C/ 160°C fan/ Gas mark 4). Lightly grease 2 x 20cm/8inch round baking pans.
- Stir the lemon juice (or vinegar) into the milk and set aside to thicken and 'curdle' slightly into buttermilk.
- In a pot over a medium heat, melt the butter, syrup and coffee (if using) together. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Sift the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder and baking soda into a large mixing bowl and whisk together.
- Pour the milk and melted margarine mixture over the flour mixture and stir well until it becomes a smooth batter.
- Divide the mixture between the two prepared pans and bake for 30-35 minutes or until an inserted skewer or toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow the cakes to cool in the tins for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, to make the icing beat together all ingredients until smooth.
- When the cakes are completely cold, sandwich together with half of the icing. Spread the remaining icing over the top of the cake.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors, so is not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietician for special diet advice.