Recipe for a Vegan Chocolate Cake You'll Crave

Whether you use our vegan chocolate cake recipe or convert your favorite, we've got all the tips for making a delicious dessert the whole family will love.

Updated December 6, 2023
Vegan Chocolate Cake

Who says you can't have your cake and eat it, too, when you're a vegan? Whether you're excluding all animal products or you're someone who is allergic to dairy or eggs, vegan chocolate cakes give you all the sweet, fudgy goodness without milk, eggs, or other animal-based ingredients.  You'll love our delicious recipe for vegan chocolate cake.

Vegan Chocolate Cake Recipe

Sometimes, it just has to be chocolate, and nothing but a cake will do. Thankfully, vegans have more choices than ever for ingredients to make a delicious chocolate cake the whole family will love.


  • 1½ cups almond milk
  • 2 tsp distilled white vinegar
  • 1¼ cups unsweetened applesauce
  • ½ cup strong brewed coffee, cooled
  • ⅔ cup melted coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1⅓ cups sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. 
  2. Lightly spray two 8-inch round cake pans with nonstick spray, dust with cocoa powder, and shake out excess. Set pans aside for later use.
  3. Combine almond milk and vinegar in a large mixing bowl and let it rest for at least five minutes, or until the mixture has thickened.
  4. Add oil, coffee, vanilla extract, and applesauce to the milk mixture. Beat until foamy.
  5. Add flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt to the wet ingredients. Mix until thoroughly combined.
  6. Divide the cake batter evenly between two cake pans.
  7. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. Allow the cakes to rest on a baking rack until completely cool, then frost.

Vegan Chocolate Frosting

Use a tangy vegan cream cheese and cocoa powder frosting for the perfect finish to your cake. 


  • ½ cup vegan cream cheese (we like Miyoko's Creamery vegan cream cheese) at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter, softened (surprise — we like Miyoko's Creamery for this, too)
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. In a stand mixer, cream together the cream cheese and butter.
  2. Sift the cocoa powder and powdered sugar into the butter and cheese mixture. Add the vanilla.
  3. Beat until fluffy. Use to frost the cooled cake.

Substitutions for Converting Chocolate Cake Recipes to Vegan

If you have a favorite chocolate cake recipe that you want to make vegan, you'll need to add a few substitutions for different ingredients.  


To replace eggs, applesause is a great alternative. For each egg the recipe calls for, add ¼ cup of applesauce. You can also use ½ banana (mashed) per egg. As in most baking, very ripe bananas work best.


There are some great vegan butters on the market, and they make the perfect sub for regular butter, but you can also use coconut oil. Use unsalted vegan butter so you can control the level of salt in your recipes. 


If a recipe calls for milk, the easiest sub is your favorite non-dairy milk. We're partial to almond milk or oat milk, but whatever you like best will work. Opt for unsweetened, unflavored non-dairy milk. 

It may be easier than you imagine to replace buttermilk. To make one cup of buttermilk, add one tablespoon of distilled white vinegar to one cup of your favorite non-dairy milk and allow it to rest for five minutes before incorporating it into the recipe. This rest period allows the vinegar to interact with the milk, thickening it, and helping to promote a texture that is closer to that of traditional buttermilk.

Piece of Cake

Whether you use our recipe or convert your favorite, you can make the vegan chocolate cake you crave. Add some raspberry preserves or vegan chocolate mousse as a filling, and you've got the perfect special occasion cake. 

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Recipe for a Vegan Chocolate Cake You'll Crave